The early weeks and months of your baby's life are particularly special. So much change, all so new if its your first little one, a huge transition from the life you once knew. But with each addition to your family this is a very special time of change and readjustment. So how do you adjust? Being prepared helps of course. Knowing a little of what to expect takes the fear away. But yes, once you come home from hospital with your little bundle of joy, the reality hits you. Your life changes and suddenly (after many months of anticipation!!) you are responsible for this new little being.
So what can I tell you? You love this little person. You begin to bond, some immediately, some take little more time (that's OK). You are apprehensive about feeding, changing, bathing, settling your little one, but, in a short time, you will learn and become an expert in all those fields! You need support (everyone needs support!), supporting each other, seeking out support from family, friends, health professionals, groups, is essential. You are sleep deprived! But you will find ways to carry on regardless, and let me assure you, you will get a nights sleep again in the future!! You do worry!! Is your baby hungry, tired, windy... Soon you will get to know your baby. You will decipher their needs and will recognise feeding cues, discomforts, tiredness. You are on an emotional rollercoaster!! You will never have experienced so many emotions all at the same time. Love, excitement, euphoria, relief, joy, pride, apprehension, anxiety, panic; the highs and lows of the emotional rollercoaster for both parents.
How can I advise you? Cherish the moment. Spend time enjoying your baby. Skin to skin contact as much as possible in the early weeks. Look at your baby, make eye contact, smile, chat, sing. Kiss, cuddle, hold, rock, comfort your little one. Forget routines for the early days and weeks. Feed on demand, whether breast or bottle. Observe their tiny hands and feet, little facial expressions, little noises and funny quirks... Take lots of photos and videos!!
Yes, there will be hard days and better days. Although, it is a huge transition, parenthood is wonderful, fulfilling and overwhelmingly rewarding!