I see so many Mamas with newborns all the time, (which is so much fun!) There are so many things I get asked all the time, so here are a few of those summed up in this post. Babies are the greatest gift and the most wonderful thing in the world, but that whole no sleep thing is tough. It’s rough and awful. Neither one of my babies liked to eat at all. Owen didn’t like to eat or breathe for months, and Harrison’s eating struggles were due to being early. Add in major reflux for both of them + not eating, and we did not have some good sleepers the first few months. By 2 1/2 to 3 months, they definitely got better sleep and started sleeping 12 – 12 1/2 hours at night, which definitely felt like a miracle. I mean, I would be scared every time I woke up and they had slept longer like something was wrong with them.
1.Starbucks drive thru. Yes, this is definitely number one – ha! It is just so difficult to go anywhere with a newborn, but I felt like I needed to stop staring at my living room walls for a minute, so after a feeding, I’d just get out for a few minutes and go through the drive thru. I got to see new things and just feel a little refreshed being out of the house.
2.Harris Teeter Online Grocery Shopping. Ok, my Harris Teeter does deliver, too, but I really felt like ordering the groceries online kind of went with being able to get out for a few minutes without having to get out of the car and worry about my hair, etc. I still use this because it saves time, and I also know how much money I’m spending ahead of time – no budgeting in the store.
4.Resting is so important. Try not to do too much or exercise too early. If you have older siblings, be careful about picking them up those first few months. Rest. Rest. Rest. The more you rest the first few months, the better you get and can start working out again. I’ve seen too many mamas already hurt in the first few weeks after having a baby because they were picking up siblings or pushing themselves too hard. Try to focus on just taking care of your baby and resting those first few weeks.
5.Although, if you feel good, a short walk in the sunshine, if the weather’s nice, can also work wonders to lift your spirits and brighten your day. The first time I ever left the house with Owen to go for a walk, (he was born in June) he was six weeks old. I didn’t even get a quarter of a mile before another mom was running across the street yelling, “Yay!!! Another mom!!!!” And we have been good friends ever since. I did also sometimes take him to Crabtree and walk around for a little bit just to get out of the house.
6.Don’t try to do everything those first few months. Honestly, Owen did not make it to preschool a lot right after Harrison was born, and that was ok. The thought of getting both of them out of the car twice in once day (the struggle is real) just was overwhelming to me at that point. I definitely had to let go of a lot of my type A try to be super woman tendencies. And when I did go, I lovvvvvved this stroller for walking into preschool or hitting the mall. I loved the skateboard part of this stroller because Owen was stuck in between me and the stroller. It was perfect. I still use this stroller when I need to run in somewhere and don’t want to worry about corralling Owen.
7.This goes along with resting, but also try to take a tiny bit of time for yourself everyday. Read a book, take a bath, maybe run out to target by yourself or go on a target date with your older child when your husband gets home. Stress relief is so important those first few months.
8.Invite friends over to sit with you on the couch. Although you may not feel like having anyone over, it’s always great to see a good friend. I remember after having Owen, one of my best friends wanted to drive a little over an hour to see me. I said, Yes, that would be AWESOME to see someone during the day instead of my living room walls. (I really felt like I just stared at the living room walls 24/7 and most everyone came to visit in the evening) I said, please just know that we will spend the entire day on the couch feeding him. (you know, trouble eating plus babies eat allll the time) We did, but it was so great to have her there and laugh, and we watched movies, too. Letting people feed you + bring you meals goes along with this too. It’s wonderful if someone will bring you dinner right after you’ve had a baby and you don’t have to think about cooking.
9.When Harrison was around a month old, Michael surprised me by arranging a friend to watch the boys, and he took me out to dinner and a movie. I was exhausted and really didn’t want to go, but it was so great for the two of us to get to spend time together and just laugh together.
10.Leaving the room to feed them in the middle of the night. I was so tired so I usually had to get up, go to another room, watch tv, kind of wake up a little bit. We got netflix when Harrison was born – ha!
11. Take help. If there are grandparents or another family member around who will sit with the baby while you sleep, by all means, don’t try to be superwoman and take as much help as you can get.
12.Know that this is a very short window of time, spend time snuggling + cuddling that baby. We started a bedtime routine from birth, and I loved spending time reading to my babies.
What helped you in the first three months? Let me know in the comments below!
Rebecca Keller is a family and newborn photographer featured in People Magazine who spends her time sipping iced coffee, chasing after her two little ones, reading, running, and editing. Because I chat alot about my personal life, books i’ve read, and other style recommendations, etc– I may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about Raleigh Newborn Portraits and travel sessions.