You Are No Longer Pregnant
That first car ride home from the hospital is a memorable occasion. You’re no longer pregnant, and your baby has safely made his or her entry into the world. It’s not just you and your partner anymore. Baby makes three! Everything changes with a new baby, including your family dynamics.
In the first weeks after baby arrives home, your normal routine will change. For most first-time mothers, they’ll be on maternity leave and taking care of their newborn around the clock. Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you’re going to get very little sleep in that first couple of months. Your new baby needs to be fed every two or three hours, possibly more if you breastfeed. Not to mention all the dirty diapers that you’ll be changing. (Newborn babies can go through as many as ten diapers a day!) Your new role as a mother will leave you exhausted and cranky.
You may notice that it’s hard to meet your own personal needs (i.e. you might forget to take your daily shower or you may go through an entire day without any makeup). It’s so easy to get consumed with the new baby that you leave out the other members of your family, like your husband or older children.
With a new baby, navigating family dynamics can be difficult. But if you plan ahead, you can have a smoother transition.
Spend Quality Time with Your Partner
If there’s only you and significant other, and baby makes three, make sure that you carve out some quality time with your partner. This may seem impossible in the first couple of months of your baby’s life, but make an effort to do this. Your relationship with your husband or partner will be stronger, and it gives you a break to rewind and relax. If you live near your parents or his, ask the grandparents to babysit. Grandparents are excellent babysitters; they have great parenting skills (they raised you, didn’t they?) and they love your baby unconditionally. You may also want to hire a babysitter, or ask a close friend to watch your baby.