Its time for another one of OneDadOneBlog’s top 10. This week is about those very first two weeks following child birth. Now before you get into reading these, these are my own reflections following becoming a dad to my two children. Both were delivered relatively well with no complications and obviously peoples experiences may be different. However, all that aside I have thought about what I wish I had either been told, done or not done and put my Top ten of things to do in the first two weeks of child birth below… enjoy 🙂
10. DO Not panic! – things will come natural to most new parents, there is no set manual / right way of doing things in a general sense but equally do not be afraid to ask for help from family, friends, midwives, health visitors or bloggers if you need it. No one will judge you or think your bad parents.
9. DO Let others do things for you – you are new parents, you are the ones people should be falling over to help, so don’t go getting up to do the washing, make a cup of tea for visitors or tidying the house. Ask visitors to do it for you.. Seriously, visitors are quick to call round and have a part of this precious first few days so the least they can do it make themselves and you a cup of tea, put a washing load in (if you trust them to do it right of course) or wash the dishes.
8. DO Take pictures (and lots more)- Your baby will change massively in appearance from the first few days of birth, their hair colour my change, fall out. Eye colours can change several times before they are one so make sure you snap those baby blue eyes now.
7. DO Get some rest – you are probably feeling on top of the world and rightly so, you have just performed a miracle and created a beautiful son or daughter. However make sure you don’t confused your adrenaline working over time for feeling fresh and having bags of energy. I’m not going to tell you to sleep when baby sleeps as that saying always annoys me, (like you have a switch you can flick when they nod off) but try and take turns with your partner if possible napping as you’ll need that energy more soon.
6. DO Plan in some family time – As much as people will want to visit and I’m not knocking that for one second, its fantastic that they all want to congratulate you as well as see your beautiful bundle. However don’t be afraid to say no, especially if it isn’t convenient and don’t feel you need to get them in within the first two weeks. Pan them out so you have that interaction planned once your partner goes back following the pitiful excuse for Paternity leave. This means you are able to spend some really key time as a new family.
5. DO not worry if you don’t venture out – In fact some experts suggest not going out is actually good for you, particularly if your looking to get into a routine from the off. Personally my point is that having a baby puts on at least an hour of getting ready time, only for the little on to drop a massive poop and a full change just as you were patting yourself on the back for being able to be ready to leave in time.
4. DO Book an official newborn photoshoot – Personally you can get all hooked up in the moment of having a baby and before you know it, the Bounty Team are around your bed side asking if you want photo’s of your newborn. The temptation is to say yes, my advice would be to take your own photo’s and save your money for an official shoot when you get home. These typically have to be done around 7-14 days old to ensure the baby can be showcased in that cute and cuddly way but I think its well worth it and probably doesn’t cost much more than the Bounty team if you shop around.
3. DO Eat / Eat Well – Again, its quite easy to get caught up in the amazement of your newborn however don’t forget to make time to eat (as silly as it sounds) and eat well at that, as much as takeaways are easy and conveinient, they lack good nutrients. Get friends or family to make extra and bring some round for you or alternatively start making some batches now and freeze for nearer the time.
2. DO Trust your instincts – Everyone wants to give you advice and believe me, they do mean well. However, if you think you want to do things a certain way, trust your own instincts and don’t worry about what other people did, or didn’t do. Yes there are set things which health professionals recommend and I’m by no means saying go against them, but equally there are other aspects of parenting which require you to use your own judgement and common sense. Just because someone else did it, doesn’t mean you need to or it will work for you, go with what feels right for you, say true to your values.
1. DO Enjoy it – These are your first two weeks with your little one, the one you have been waiting for months to show their beautiful face. Enjoy it! If you can’t enjoy it, talk to someone as you should be! Your body, providing its recovered, will hopefully be high enough on adrenaline and excitement that these two weeks will feel like your floating on air. Parent’s always talk about how time flies and it does! These two weeks…your babies first breath, their first nappy change, their first feed, their first journey home… these are the very first things your child will ever do and being part of that and watching them develop is the most enjoyable thing as a parent so take time to cherish and enjoy them.