As many moms out there know, the first six weeks of new motherhood are the craziest weeks of your life. The first six weeks are a massive period of adjustment—for you, your hubby, your baby, and anyone else who’s there with you on your motherhood journey. If you’re currently in the midst of the first six weeks, don’t worry—one day not so far away, life gets a teeny bit easier, or you’ll simply find yourself settled into parenthood. In the meantime, here are some survival tips many moms before you have lived through:
1. Know that it is normal for babies to be THAT clingy.
Are you frustrated because you can never put the baby down? Don’t worry mama, it’s perfectly normal for your baby to be uneasy when they’re not in your arms. Remember, they too are adjusting to the world outside of your body. Trust your instincts and go to a doctor or ER if there’s something wrong, but do know that infants DO cry a lot during the first six weeks. Just calm down and give them all the love and cuddling that they need while you still can.
2. No, they’re not going to magically be okay with getting left in their cribs while you do errands.
And yes, you can forget about doing anything really productive during those first six weeks but again, it’s okay! Relish your maternity leave and the time you have to just focus on your baby. Even if it means you have to carry them ALL THE TIME. Get a baby wrap or a sling if you must, but make sure you do your research thoroughly before using anything.
3. Don’t forget to eat…and it’s okay not to be OC with what you’re eating (for now!)
This especially applies to new moms who don’t have house help or someone else helping them during the first few weeks. You probably won’t be able to cook much, so make sure you eat whatever you can WHEN you can. Even if it means going for fast food or takeout.
4. Ask the hubby for help. Spell it out for him because they can’t read our minds.
As much as we would like them to magically know what we need, sadly, husbands don’t have that sixth sense. They also lack our instant mommy super senses that wake us up just as the baby wakes up. Yes, they can sleep through anything. Yes, it’s okay to wake them up and ask them to take a shift of changing diapers. At some point, you may irrationally hate your husband for sleeping peacefully through the night while you sit sleepless for the nth night in a row.
5. Keep your phone (and charger) within arms reach at all times—for your sanity.
Your phone, social media, and online shopping will be your best friends during those long hours of nursing and pumping and holding the sleeping baby for fear they’ll wake up again. Make sure you have a charger or powerbank nearby, too! It’ll also come in handy when you’re alone while your husband’s away, and you need to get in touch with him.
6. Pillows are your best friend.
Prevent backache and strained arms by using as many pillows as you need. Behind your back, your neck, under your arms, knees, etc. Strategically placed pillows make breastfeeding that much easier!
7. Take that long shower.
You’ll be surprised how much good a long shower can do to your tired mind and body. Even if you have to wake up at 5 am to do it. It will help you stay sane by at least feeling a little like your old self.
8. Find a seasoned mom to be your go-to bible (Whether it’s your mom, MIL, or friend who gave birth recently).
They are your reminders that you are not alone. The best thing is, they know exactly what you’re going through and survived. That also means you can also message them randomly with your most paranoia-induced questions, and they will calm your nerves.
It may seem like forever, but before you know it, the first six weeks will be over, and you’ll find yourself a relatively seasoned parent. It may seem like forever, but it’s not—and enjoy the time when literally their whole universe revolves around you. It won’t stay that way for long.