by Debbie Alford
You spend months and months preparing for the arrival of your baby. But when you come home from the hospital with a newborn in your arms you will need to be prepared in a different sense. Here are some tips for those first few days and weeks after arriving home with your baby:
Clean your house and change your sheets. You will be too tired and consumed with your new baby to worry about vacuuming and cleaning but you will be thankful coming home to a clean and tidy house and fresh sheets.
Cook extra food and freeze it. While you are still pregnant prepare extra large meals and freeze half of them. Freeze portions of pre-chopped vegetables and meat for easy preparation.
Rest when you can. You will probably often hear “rest when the baby does” and this is very wise advice. You will be exhausted when you first arrive home from hospital so take time out and get as much rest as you can.
Accept all help and don’t be afraid to ask for it. Your close friends and family will be very willing to help anyway, so delegate tasks like laundry, ironing and grocery shopping.
Ask your partner to take on more of the regular domestic chores than normal. Most are very happy to help out but they need to be pointed in the right direction.
If your partner offers to cook dinner, just be happy that you don’t have to do it. It’s worth a couple of overcooked meals just for the opportunity to relax for a while. Of course, if he’s a great cook you can encourage him to keep cooking!
Don’t be afraid to ask people to go home. You will get lots of visitors so you have to be prepared to say things like “it’s time for us to rest now” when you have really had enough. If you are comfortable with the idea, leave a note posted to the front door something like “Hi, it is nice of you to visit, but my Mum and Dad are very tired. Please stay no longer than 15 minutes.”
Finally, I would like to suggest that when you are thinking of birth gifts for your wish list, you add me to it. I can make a huge difference in your life for those first few days. I can do anything from shopping to cooking and cleaning.
Now go and put your feet up while you can.
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