I had never heard the term “Babymoon” before, but when we had Mila this year I had a few friends talk about the sweet phase of the babymoon. It made perfect sense; just like a couple enjoy the bliss of a Honeymoon, so can new parents enjoy this special little newborn stage. I feel like so often we feel like were just surviving this stage, and you know what…thats a good first step but what if we could thrive and really enjoy every ounce of that special stage with baby. Before I go any further I want it to be very clear that I totally understand that this stage is TOUGH and often carries some really difficult moments, emotions, stresses etc., and its not always roses and butterflies like we dreamed and hoped for.
What I hope I can do with this post is give a few suggestions of things that worked for our family when we’ve brought a baby home. After all, we’ve done it 4 times now;) . As difficult as those first few weeks can be, I always look back and my heart aches to relive those precious moments . It feels like a little bubble of happiness off course mixed with sheer exhaustion:) . It really is one of those seasons in life that I wish I could place in a time capsule. Its the absolute tension between in the moment feeling like its never going to end but after the fact realizing that time truly goes too fast!
Tips to Thrive in the newborn stage
Here are some tips that I’ve learned along with a few additions from friends who’ve also thrived in the babymoon stage:
Have some meals planned in advance:
Either prepare meals before baby is born or tap into your community for some meal deliveries. I can’t say enough about how this blessed our family. My husband is a great cook and he very well “could” have made dinners for us but having this aspect of our days covered for the first 7-10 days was an incredible gift and one that I would love to be able to pay forward in the future.
Decide what you are comfortable with in terms of visitors and make sure to discuss it with everyone else living in the home to ensure you are supported and everyone is on the same page. Maybe you actually like a bit of company or maybe you need 2 full weeks with no company. Whatever it is that you need, be sure to stick to it. This is your time, your space, and your babymoon:)
Take all the help you can get:
Take people up on their offers. If someone offers to let you lie in bed all day while they do all the cooking and cleaning…let them! I know personally I try to be superwoman and have a hard time taking these offers but when I do it feels amazing. I remember some days lying in bed in and out of sleep with baby in my arms until noon. Those were glorious days and so precious for the bond of mama and babe
Pj’s all day:
Give yourself permission to stay in your jammies all day everyday! I think the best gift we were given when Mila was born was a few weeks of snow which made it really hard to leave the house. The driveway was a mess and the roads were dangerous so we had all the excuses we needed to stay home. It was so nice to stay home in my jammies and snuggle baby all day!
Give yourself grace:
Celebrate the small wins. Is everyone fed? #winning. Try to lower your expectations and focus on your sanity above all. The dishes can sit a bit longer and goodness that laundry pile will never go away anyways so just let it be. Its ok for the family to eat cereal for dinner or your kids to watch a bit more tv than normal. Remember, this phase is so short and you’re going to look back and be happy that you gave yourself all the grace you needed in the moment.
Take a time out:
One way that I did this was to hand baby over to a family member and lock myself in the bathroom for a good solid 1/2 hour. Baby was going to be ok and I was able to have a hot bath, close my eyes, and take a breather. Newborn days are exhausting and sometimes very overwhelming. Its so important to recognize when you need a moment of silence. Trust me, you’ll be a better mama for it:)
Organize ahead of time:
One thing I found very helpful was to stock up and organize a few simple things before baby arrived. Put together a postpartum basket for you and another for baby so they are on hand and ready when you need them. Your basket could have things like nursing snacks, a water bottle, phone charger, tylenol, gum, etc. Babies basket could have a few diapers, small wipes packet, paci, receiving blanket and any other items that you need on hand during those first few weeks at home. Having these items on hand and readily available when you need them will alleviate hunting them down.
Trust your mothers instinct:
Everyone is going to have an opinion…I will guarantee you that. From the doctors and midwives, public health nurses, Dr. google, and even the random lady you see in a grocery store. There is ALOT of good advice out there and ALOT of questionable advice too! You need to filter all the opinions you get and really go with your instincts…they are there for a reason! I’ve personally always had a hard time with milk supply and keeping baby fed, full, and gaining weight. Feeding baby is a very controversial subject and there are a ton of opinions on the best way to get your little one fed. I won’t go into much detail on my thoughts here, but I can say from experience that the happiest and healthiest baby is the fed baby. I had to listen to my mama instincts on this one and find a balance that worked for our family.
Find your groove:
The last item I want to touch on is just the basics of figuring out the best pace for YOU. I found that after a few weeks I started to feel more and more like myself. That didn’t mean I could carry on with life pre baby but I did start to find the day to day pace and balance that worked for me. Maybe an outing a day is good for you but maybe you are the opposite and can only handle one outing a week. Don’t try and mold yourself into anything other than what makes you the best mama you can be.
I hope your Babymoon is a precious time that you look back at with fond memories. Babies are such a gift and they change and grow so fast. Being a mama of 4, I can tell you that all the cliche’s are true and they do grow up faster than you can imagine.
You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow they will be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift.
photgraphy by Bernine Marie Photography