Well, Ellie is now officially one week old. It’s been a little testing at times, but for the most part, it’s just been incredibly fun watching her grow and learning her idiosyncrasies.
There’s been a few things that have really made this first week a lot easier to manage, so I thought I’d write down a few of the things that we just couldn’t do without, so that expectant parents can get a headstart and make their first week a little easier:
Rock N' Play Sleeper
Because: spending several hundred bucks on a bassinet is ridiculous, and you can have them sleep near you in this, and rock them to sleep if they’re not going down on their own.
Rock N’ Play Sleeper
Because: swaddling was our first big ah-ha moment when we realised why Ellie wasn’t sleeping quite as well at night. Swaddle her with one of these super soft and light blankets and she’ll be out in no time.
Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddles
Because: this made swaddling much simpler. You’re just two strips of Velcro from swaddling your baby into a peaceful night’s sleep. So worth the little amount of money.
Because: we will be using cloth diapers/nappies, but for the first couple of weeks, you’ll want some disposables, so that you can fold the front down and protect his/her umbillical cord stump.
Because: you’re going to find yourself changing your baby in all sorts of places and this changing “peanut” makes it comfortable for the baby and won’t let her roll away. Also, it’s waterproof, and open-air accidents are quite common.
Keekaroo Changing Peanut
Because: no need to destroy the environment. Use these reusable wipes with some warm water and coconut oil to soothe your baby’s skin when you change them. They are ridiculously soft.
Charlie Banana Organic Cotton Wipes
Because: this is going to really pay dividends when it comes to making baby food, but it was a Godsend for labor and the first week, where making a nutritious fruit-loaded smoothie in a couple of minutes meant one less thing to worry about.
Blendtec total blender
Because: your nipples are going to be getting a lot more action than they’re used to and this will help soothe them. It’s also vegan, odourless and edible. Use it for a few weeks before delivery to help to prime your nipples.
Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter
Because: your boobs will hurt when your milk “lets down” and you can heat these to help let down (and to soothe mastitis, should you be so unfortunate) and freeze them to help soothe your boobs after feeding.
Earth Mama Angel Baby Booby Tubes
Because: you will leak. A lot. And until that subsides a little and you can use reusable breast pads, these disposable ones will do the trick.
Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads
My Brest Friend
Because: you need to be able to breast feed wherever you are in the house, and this makes light work of it. Be sure to get the professional version which has a waterproof cover: there will be milk everywhere.
My Brest Friend Professional
Because: babies tend to come out with quite long fingernails and they don’t mind thrashing their hands around, whether your eyes, your boobs, or their face is in the way. Keep those nails in check with these excellent scissors.
Piyo-Piyo Nail Scissors
Things that money can't buy
30 seconds for a hug
It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment and forget about your spouse so try and remember to just take 30 seconds to hug your spouse. It will go a long way.
Taking time off work
You’re going to want to take as much time off as possible (both Mum and Dad), both to enjoy time with your new baby and to help get everything done around the house.
Help from friends and family
Get as much help as you can from friends and family. Have them cook for you, pick up groceries, do a load of laundry and run the vacuum through the house. Don’t be afraid to ask, especially when help is offered: it’s not a big deal to them, but it will be huge for you.
The support of the husband is critical: emotionally, your wife is really going to need you. Physically, she’s not going to be as mobile, and will need help getting in and out of bed, so she’ll also need help getting the baby, keeping hydrated, and doing everything else around the house that usually falls to her.
Setting expectations and saying no
Start setting your expectations up front and don’t be afraid to say no. If you only want visitors to stay for 30 minutes so that you can get some sleep in and not get overwhelmed, then make that clear before your guests even show up.
You’re going to be tested a lot this week, and you’re going to need a lot of patience to allow for the life changes that you’re going to need to adjust to. If you’re used to getting everything done, expect that tasks are going to fall behind schedule as you start putting your newborn first.
Dave is the proud father of Ellie and Jack. There's nothing that makes him happier than spending time with his incredible wife and their amazing children. He's a civil/mechanical engineer and he also builds and maintains WordPress websites.