So you arrive home with this new bundle of joy for the first time… now what do you do?…
Arriving home with Oliver was an adventure; we opened the door and our two giant Newfoundland dogs greeted us. They immediately saw the baby and their curiosity was peaked.
What is that? – was the look on both the dogs faces.
Their eyes wide, tails wagging they were beyond excited to meet the new family member – after all they are referred to as nanny dogs.
We get asked all the time… “How are the dogs with the new baby?” The best answer to this is “They are adjusting to the baby”. They miss having the one on one attention all the time; similar to a toddler accepting a new sibling.
Looking back during my pregnancy I feel like I could have prepared the dogs for the babies arrival a bit more. I had placed out a lot of baby items (swings, mats, clothes, etc.) but looking back I wish I would have taken the time to ensure they understood to be very gentle around all the items. Both dogs are just over 2 years old and listen relatively well; perhaps working on a few more commands before Oliver arrived would have been beneficial.
After allowing the dogs to slowly and gently meet Oliver they seemed satisfied and went about their normal activities… which is mainly sleeping beside the food bag. At this point we decided to settle in.
It was an invigorating yet unsettling feeling putting Oliver in his crib for the first time… he laid there sleeping and I couldn’t help but sit and watch him. His tiny eyelids fluttered as he dreamed and his little chest moved up and down. When I finally decided to leave the room I remember thinking when I closed the door “I FINALLY HAVE A BABY IN MY BABY ROOM!”
The night went by quick and my eyes were glued to the monitor if Oliver wasn’t in my arms. I knew that sleep was something I must do – but I really had to force myself into it. Naturally the next day came all to soon….
First morning home with baby…
Waking up… telling yourself “get up the baby is crying” comes second nature when your baby is a few weeks old but in the beginning reminding yourself that YOUR baby is crying is a powerful feeling.
Our morning started early; which was a good thing as it was going to be a busy day. We had family visiting from morning until evening – we ended up having family come into the city unexpectedly to meet the baby. Initially we planned on not having company the first official day home. It was a challenge to keep track of Oliver’s feedings, diaper changes and nap times while hosting company but we managed it. I highly suggest any free app that will help you keep track – this was a life saver for me as my mom brain was crazy forgetful.
There were so many lessons learned our first few days…
- We thought we had EVERYTHING for the baby that we could possibly need – sure enough to our surprise we were missing a couple items that would make our life a bit easier.
- Bottle warmer – I am old school; learn as you go kind of girl… we started out heating our bottles on the stove in hot water and a colander to keep it from floating. Heating a bottle on the stove takes FOREVER! So we caved on day 3 and bought a bottle warmer.
- Bottle sterilizer – Ok, this one took me a bit to cave on… but when I melted 5 new bottles in a pot of boiling water I was on amazon faster then you can say SOLD!
- Babies sleep… A LOT. When they aren’t sleeping they either want to be fed, or changed. The early days are basic… EAT SLEEP POOP…
- You need to sleep when baby sleeps; I have never been a person to nap, I find it really hard to wake up and I end up regretting taking them. The first few days when Oliver would sleep I attempted to catch up on housework but I ended up wearing myself out. TAKE NAPS – not only does it make you feel better but it also makes you more pleasant for your significant other.
- Remember to eat. I had a hard time remembering to feed myself when we first got home. I had made a ton of freezer meals prior to baby but never really ended up using them. We ended up snacking on muffins or just having a piece of toast the first few days.
- Your vagina will be sore! You just had a tiny human push their way out – of coarse you’re sore. Remember to take your meds – it helps a lot. I ended up setting an alarm on my phone to stay on top of it because I kicked myself in the butt every time I would forget. Don’t be shy after giving birth – if it helps to sit on a ice pack then do it, if it helps to lay down then do it, if it helps to move then do it… do what works for you!!! No one else will truly experience your exact pain that you are experiencing as everyone is different but just remember you are a warrior!
Every day gets easier – just take it day by day…
By the end of our second week home we had a routine in place that involved playtime, tummy time, naps, bottle prep and formula prep. A routine is not the answer to everything, sometimes you need to go off of what the baby wants vs the clock. This was very hard for me to grasp as I am a very prompt person and it irritates me to be late. In the end you will get done what needs to be; don’t rush or get frustrated just know that we all experience this. Just remember take a moment when life get crazy to breathe a remember that you are a rockstar.