The first month with a newborn is full of highs and lows, tears and laughter… and oh so much love!
But what are those first days and weeks really like? Here’s the lowdown.
Newborn sleep patterns
There is nothing that can prepare you for the sheer and utter exhaustion that comes with having a newborn. Ask any new parent about their newborn sleep patterns and they are likely to laugh in your face!
In the first month, your baby might sleep a lot during the day and be awake all night… or perhaps they just won’t sleep very much at all! To say newborn sleep patterns are unpredictable is an understatement. Just as you feel like you are getting a handle on things, everything changes.
Sleep when you can, take help when it is offered and ask for it if it isn’t. Oh, and look into Lulla Dolls - they are amazing!
Feeding a newborn
Whether you are breastfeeding or not, feeding a newborn takes a lot of time. In fact, sometimes it can feel like that is all you are doing, particularly if you have a breastfed baby in a cluster feeding pattern.
Here are a few tips to help with feeding a newborn:
- Preparation is key - you will spend a lot of time feeding your baby so make sure you always have a water bottle in reach, the TV remote if you are planning to watch TV and maybe even some snacks.
- If you are breastfeeding and finding it painful or getting any grazing on your nipples then reach out for help as your baby likely isn’t latching properly. Call the Australian Breastfeeding Association or speak with your doctor, midwife or family health nurse.
- Everyone will have a different opinion on feeding a newborn but you need to do what works for you!
All the emotions
That first month with a newborn is HARD and it can take an emotional toll. Sleep deprivation and the hormonal changes your body is going through will do that to you.
3-5 days after the birth of your baby you will likely have the “baby blues”. This is normal and lasts a couple of days as your body starts adjusting to its new normal. If the blues last longer than a few days and you are seeing other impacts in your life such as feeling unhappy or depressed, go and speak to your doctor as you may have post-natal depression (PND).
PND is serious but it can be treated. More than 1 in 7 new mums and 1 in 10 new dads will suffer PND in the first year after their baby is born so you are not alone.
A change to your relationship
You are both tired, emotional and life has just turned upside down. Know that in that first month with a newborn, your relationship can change significantly. It goes from just the two of you to now three… and that third addition is very demanding on your time and energy!
Make sure that you prioritise time for just the two of you. Even if it is just sitting together at dinner once the baby goes to sleep or putting the baby in the pram or carrier to go on a family walk. It does get easier and you will start to find things settling back soon enough. Just remember to keep the communication lines open!
Nappies, nappies and more nappies
However many nappies you think you will need in that first month - double it! In that first month with a newborn, you will be going through 8-12 nappies per day… but some days could easily be more than that.
Once you start venturing out and about with your baby, always keep plenty of nappy supplies in your nappy bag. Pack what you think you need… and then add a couple more, just in case. With a newborn, it’s also wise to pack a spare change of clothes or two as nappy leaks are very common and normal.
That first month with a newborn is all about getting to know the new addition to your family. And a lot can change in a month. After the first couple of weeks, you will notice that your baby is more alert and by the end of the first month, your baby may even be able to lift their head during tummy time.
The thing to remember with baby milestones is that while they do roughly happen around the same time, every baby is different. If you are concerned you should speak to your doctor or family health nurse, but try not to compare your baby to others around you.
The first month with a newborn is exciting and exhausting. It’s such a huge adjustment… for all of you so don’t put too much pressure on yourself and make sure to prioritise self-care.
Our Jollypop newborn dummies are fully-flexible with a comfortable curved-shape to fit baby’s face. They are made from 100% silicone, easy to hold and have a textured nipple that babies love. And they could be just the thing you need to get you through that first month with a newborn!