Having a baby is one of life’s greatest joys and gifts. A new life has been created, a family expanded and the next generation is being formed. As amazing as it is to bring a new life into this world, a lot happens in the weeks and months before a baby is born and having a baby can be one of the more stressful events in life. So when the dust settles and your new family is home from the hospital, remember to celebrate! Celebrate the life you’ve made, your new family and all the other seeming small things that come along with having a newborn.
To help you remember and to keep perspective on what life is like with a newborn, below are a few things to celebrate the first week or two with your baby and a few reasons they are worth celebrating. Go ahead, high five your partner or give yourself a nice pat on the back. You’re doing great! 🙂
Mom, dad or partner had a nice shower or nap
That first shower home from the hospital is so rejuvenating and not just for the mother. Anyone that’s been in the hospital or birthing center for a day or two knows how refreshing the first shower post baby is. Don’t worry if it’s not a long spa like shower, that will come with time. Just enjoy what time you do have and practice self-care like this regularly. Same goes for napping. Anytime you can, rest. It’s so important and needs to be a priority. You will feel so much better when you’ve had some good rem sleep. Take turns with your partner watching the baby if needed, and give yourself permission to relax, rest and have yourselves a beautiful nap.
2) Mom stayed in bed
If mom was able to stay in bed, she most likely had a support system providing her with some great postpartum help. If you are a friend, spouse, family member or postpartum support professional, please recognize that mom staying in bed, in and of itself, is a huge victory. You have done your job well! You’ve made the mother feel comfortable enough not to worry about anything else other than what’s most important right now – healing from childbirth, resting and bonding with her baby.
3) Mom finished a glass of water
Mom needs to drink plenty of fluids to help with milk production, prevent dehydration and replenish fluids lost from giving birth. Sometimes it’s nice to use regular size glasses as opposed to the large water containers from the hospital. These big containers while nice to help keep track of liquid consumed, can be overwhelming. Do what you can to help her stay hydrated. Offer to refill water glasses and encourage her to sip on water all day, limiting soda, coffee and tea.
4) Parents got baby to burp
Yay! Not all babies are easy to burp! It is very important to give it a good effort though as helping your baby remove excess air from their belly will help reduce gas, helping them to be more comfortable and more likely to sleep well. Try different positions such as over the shoulder, sitting on your lap, rubbing gently up and down the back, massaging in a circular motion between the shoulder blades and rotating your baby’s body gently in a clockwise direction while they are sitting on your knee.
5) Baby had his/her first sponge bath or full bath
Whether it’s the first week or month after their birth, it’s a right of passage for new parents and sort of a “welcome to the world baby” thing to do. Babies do tend to love baths as it somewhat recreates the womb environment. Just make sure that the water is warm, 99-100 degrees and their umbilical cord has fallen off before they get a full bath.
6) Successful nursing session
Breastfeeding is an art and a skill, learned by the baby, the mother and together as a duo. Even with multiple children, the breastfeeding relationship will be different with each baby. Celebrate the beautiful (and not so beautiful) nursing sessions. Celebrate and be grateful to your body for its amazing ability produce milk and nourish you newborn. Celebrate your newborn’s ability to latch, extract and use this nourishment. And definitely celebrate those wonderful breastfeeding sessions that result in your baby being “milk drunk”. He or she is very likely to have a nice rejuvenating nap afterwards!
7) Confidence in parents
There is not a lot to say here, it’s more of an observation from family members, friends, and providers – Postpartum Doula’s, Newborn Care Specialists, Pediatrician’s, Lactation Specialists etc. As a provider, it’s one of the best feelings to know that you were a part of this family’s journey and helping the new parents feel more confident in their new roles.
8) Changing diapers
It may look easy and it may have been a breeze on the baby doll in your parenting class, but diapering is skill and another wonderful right of passage for new parents. At first it may take you 5 minutes to get through the whole process. Celebrate those first few changes – your infant is super squirmey and may have peed once or twice. Laugh and tell your baby you don’t mind if they pee on you. It means all their parts are working and they are hydrated! Soon you will be a diapering pro. In and out in 60 seconds or less!
9) Baby pooped/blowout
When you have a baby, you’re going to get a lot more comfortable talking about poop. In the first 5 days, the blackish meconium should be gone. If your baby has had a “blowout”, just laugh. Celebrate all the poop! Poo everywhere, yellow poo and multiple poopy diapers each day. All this means is that your baby’s bowels are moving, the meconium is clearing out and everything is working well.
10) Calming baby
Babies cry, this is well known. But being able to soothe your baby isn’t always easy for some new parents. Information is power, so learn some time tested soothing techniques before your baby is born. It will help you feel more empowered and confident. The 5’s, pioneered by Dr. Harvy Karp, is a great starting place. Learn them with his book or dvd.
11) Dressing baby
Before your baby was born, you may not have thought this would pose any type of challenge. Fear of hurting baby and being uncomfortable changing an infant is actually quite common. Yes, they are small and have little arms and legs, but babies are pretty resilient. Watch a few videos and have a few types of clothing on hand. Kimono style shirts with side snaps are popular as well as onesies.
12) Baby sneezed
Little baby sneezes are wonderful. Maybe you notice your baby sneezes three times in a row just like you1 Celebrate those little sneezes. Your baby’s sinuses are working well!
13) Successful swaddling
Another right of passage for new parents. Maneuvering those swaddle blankets while your infant is crying and moving their arms and legs is difficult! It takes practice. Soon you will be a swaddle ninja. If you’re still struggling after the first several weeks using a traditional blanket, look into some swaddle pods, love to dream, or swaddle me sacks. Some new parents swear by these.
What did you celebrate the first few weeks with your new baby?
The content contained in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or to replace the advice of any medical professional. It is based on our opinions and experience working with newborns and their families. Other’s opinions may vary. It does not represent the views of any affiliated organizations. The reader understands that term “Babynurse” is often a word used to describe a newborn caregiver. However, unless otherwise disclosed, we are not licensed nurses in any state. By reading and/or utilizing any information or suggestions contained in this blog, the reader acknowledges that we are not medical professionals and agrees to and waives any claim, known or unknown, past, present or future.
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