Making the transition (or promotion!) to mom and dad from husband and wife is a scary exciting thing, and somehow John and I managed to get through the first week unscathed – minus getting hit with a straight line of poo that izzy shot at us both at two different times while changing her. 😀
Our little one – Elizabeth “izzy” June Allegri – made her grand entrance on the luckiest day of the year, 7-7-17! She weighed 8lbs 3oz, measured at 20.25″ long, and came with all 10 little fingers and little toes. She is sweet and wonderful, and our first week with her has been nothing short of surreal!! Though we are in no way experts at parenting, I thought I would share some of the things we did, learned and experienced together that helped us breeze through our first week with a newborn:
1. Outings during the first week can actually be good for you
We went out three times during Izzy’s first week earth side – and it was really nice to get out of the house and hangout with family/friends after all we went through with labor and delivery. One of the days we went out to lunch and walked along the beach, another day we went to dinner and dessert, and the third day we went out for ice cream. We’ve also just started going on evening walks, which gives John and I quality time to talk and be active while getting izzy to doze off for a few hours at the same time.
I’ve felt totally rejuvenated and like a real person again after putting real clothes on and make up to go out – but I also have appreciated the time we spent at home the first week too (as in sleeping until 2pm, rockin pj’s and messy buns all day in bed watching harry potter movies). It’s easy to want to go out and resume life like normal immediately after, but taking it slow and only going out a couple days at a time is the best thing to do for your recovery and sanity.
2. tag team parenting is crucial
You both need to be on the same page about your parenting from before day one! Talking to your husband about how he can best help you out postpartum will drastically determine how smoothly the first week – and the rest of the month – will go. I had moments the first few days where I just sat there nursing Izzy at 4am crying because I was so sleep deprived! But John kept reassuring me and encouraging me on how great of a job I was doing, what an amazing mother he thinks I am to Izzy, what a great thing I accomplished by giving birth…and then he would take her and change her and rock her so I could get some sleep.
Switching off diaper duty, talking about how you’ll both handle bath time, letting him know exactly how you’re feeling, and giving him daddy-time with your newborn is going to really set the standard on how well your parenting journey will go! ❤
3. pay attention to your baby’s personality
Our babe – from day ONE – had such a mellow and sweet personality. We caught on right away to her different whines and cries (I want to be held vs. I’m hungry), noticed her cute quirks like how she always does 2 sneezes in a row and how she acts like a little cookie monster right before she nurses (growls and grr’s before she chomps down). Taking the time to slow down and really get to know our baby has helped us understand her better and learn how to communicate with her in a way she responds to!
She is very communicative and stares straight at us when we talk or sing to her – she definitely recognizes my voice and appearance and has things she likes/doesn’t like that she has made obvious to us. Recognizing these signs early will help us both get to know her more quickly as the weeks go on!
4. “sleep when the baby sleeps” isn’t always going to happen and thAT’S OKAY
Seriously, sometimes John and I just can’t fall sleep when Izzy decides to sleep. And it’s actually fine because it’s given us quality time together where we’ve talked, laughed, and snuggled in the midst of our sleepless delirium and it’s been the most fun and best part about becoming a mom and dad – not forgetting that we’re still husband and wife! 😉 Tending to each other and our marriage is more important than catching up on Zz’s right now – we will always be able to find time to sleep, but spending time together these first weeks is definitely something to be cherished and taken advantage of.
5. get yourself A DAILY (AND NIGHTLY) SUPPORT SYSTEM
AKA: don’t try to (or think you have to) do it all on your own! I had questions at all times of the day and night about breastfeeding, poops, trouble sleeping, and etc. and I would reach out to girlfriends and my mom for advice and help. Letting people know that you need help is nothing to be shy about either – ask for help with dinners, groceries, and for family/close friends to come over so you can feel like you’re still a part of civilization (they were right when they say having a new baby can make you feel isolated).
One of my great friends set us up a meal train account where people could sign up to have food delivered, we had at least one person stopping by our house every day since day 4 of our baby being home with us to either bring groceries or dinner or just to hangout and it’s seriously been a life saver.
6. DON’T THINK YOU NEED TO HAVE ALL THE BABY GADGETS in order to survive
When we were registering for baby things, I did a ton of researching on what items/brands/gadgets and gizmos to invest in and which ones I could probably go without. Even down to what I brought in my hospital bag! And to be honest, you really don’t need a lot of what the internet tells you you’ll need. For example, we registered for a mini crib instead of a full size (saves on space and money, and converts 4x ending up in a twin bed). We also forgoed the changing table and opted for just a changing pad (which we remove from her dresser constantly to take to all areas of our house). We also decided not to get a diaper pail – and just use our regular kitchen trashcan which works perfectly and takes up less stinky space.
We did get a rock n play swing, but she prefers her crib instead for now (we also borrowed the owl version of this Soothing Motions fisherPrice swing from a friend, and Izzy actually likes it for shorter naps! We were hesitant to buy it ourselves because we didn’t want to have it and have our baby not like being in it, and then it would just be an expensive thing that took up space…ya know).
I am going to do a separate post on what baby items we have loved and work for us for our diaper bags, for her play area, and for functionality vs. which items we’ve said pass to, so be on the lookout for that coming next week 🙂 ❤