Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Survival Guide for the Newborn Days

Two months after finding out we were having another baby, I thought back on the joy, delirium, and exhaustion of the newborn days with our first baby. Based on these memories, I jotted down some thoughts on surviving (and even enjoying) the first weeks with our second child. 

With the due date for number two just two months away, I write my thoughts here in hopes that they come back to me more readily when I'm in the middle of the exhaustion of those first twelve weeks. It will also be interesting to look back to see if my expectations were on or way off target.

How can something so sweet and tiny run adults ragged?
First five days...
  • Sleep as much as possible.
  • Eat, nurse the baby, connect with Grace once a day, and take a few pictures.
  • Embrace the roller coaster of hormonal emotions.
  • Let Michael take all other details.
First two weeks...
  • Let Michael coordinate meals that are delivered by friends, get food for our family, and making sure we have enough diapers.
  • Jot down the birth story.
  • Connect once with Michael to talk, cry, and/or laugh about how we're doing.
  • Go outside even if it's just sitting on the backyard swing in the morning.
First month...
  • Don't clean.
  • Don't cook.
  • Go outside the house a few times per week even if it's just a walk around the block.
First three months...
  • Don't expect much sleep, go to sleep right after Grace, and embrace feeling like a total zombie.
  • Write a blog post around the two month mark about the new baby.
  • If you feel like cooking or cleaning, do it. If you don't, don't.
  • Pray and spend time in Scripture when it's helpful. Don't guilt trip over not doing it. Once per week is plenty.
  • Don't try to lose the pregnancy weight yet. Just eat healthy food when hungry. (Which will be all the time because you're breastfeeding!)
Am I missing anything? Is there anything you would add? Parents who have had two kids, is this realistic with a newborn and a toddler?

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