Hi, mama! whether you’re still in the planning-for-baby phase, or in the third trimester of pregnancy, that first with week with your newborn is on your mind. That’s why you need these survival tips for life with a 1 week-old baby to get you started on your postpartum and mommy journey–sanity intact!
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So you’re in the home stretch of pregnancy. Nesting has hit. You know it won’t be long now before baby arrives. While this time is the most high-speed, exciting part of pregnancy so far, I’m sure there’s a bit of buzzing going on in your nesting-crazed brain.
Am I ready for baby? Is there anything I’ve missed?
What in the world am I in for?
Here are some easy, life-saving tips for life with a 1 week-old baby to help you feel prepared.
1 Week-Old Baby: 5 Easy Tips to Survive
I remember those days well. It was an adventure. I got some stuff right, and I missed some stuff, too. Based on my fresh experience, I’ve compiled an easy list of tips for you to consider and to give you some peace of mind.
When you bring baby home from the hospital, you’ll still be flying high in an exhausted way. There’s no way to describe the delirious excitement as you introduce your newborn to their new house.
Then, the minute you sit down or perch on the bed, the exhaustion hits. You want to curl up, pull the covers over your head, and fall asleep for a week. Here’s some stuff to help you out.
1 Week-Old Baby Survival Tip #1: Disappear and DON’T Feel Guilt About It
The healthiest place for you to be during the first week (at least) postpartum is in your bedroom. It’s good to move around if you feel like it, but keep in mind: baby will never sleep this much again.
Take advantage of this time to heal. In order to heal, you need to rest. I know a lot of people have probably already told you this, and I know you’ve heard the refrain, “when baby sleeps, you sleep.”
Does this really happen? No.
The baby goes down for a nap and you instantly feel the pressure of all the things you need to do. If you’ve had a relatively smooth birth, you can bounce back rather quickly.
You’ll be riding high on the beautiful emotions and excitement of having baby home, and the relief of having baby out.
If you’re tired, forget about everything. Just go to sleep. Seriously. Guilt? Forget it. You just delivered a baby.
Let’s not forget you carried another human-being for 10 months, the last few of which were a balance-robbing weight that gave no relief.
You’ll hear people brag about how they bounced back and were doing back flips after having their babies.
Don’t let it get to you.
There’s always more to the story. Not allowing yourself to rest means you’ll pay for it in the long run, either physically, mentally or emotionally. Your hormones are everywhere, your body is readjusting, and you are bone weary.
It’s okay to keep it real, say “I’m tired,” close the door and turn off the lights. Take advantage of the fact that baby will never sleep this much again, and just be in bed.
1 Week-Old Baby Survival Tip #2: Keep Hydrated
No matter how good you’re feeling, your body is still going through an extensive healing process. Rest is imperative, and so is staying hydrated.
It’s going to be so tempting to give in to the pressure to “bounce back” immediately and start doing things, but don’t fall into that ridiculous trap.
Allow yourself to be home, to stay comfortable, and heal.
Drink plenty of fluids, keep those tissues plenty hydrated, and give yourself the best chance to heal fully and completely.
Getting dehydrated will do nothing for you, and will work against everything your body will need to do at this point, things like: physical healing, mental clarity, nursing, emotional stability and more.
The list is rather extensive, but you get the idea. Just drink those fluids.
Ask your doctor or healthcare provider for more information and education regarding postpartum healing.
1 Week-Old Baby Survival Tip #3: Form A Plan
While you’re nesting and preparing for baby’s arrival, take some time to create a plan of action.
Here are a few things you need to think about:
- Will you open your home to guests?
- How soon after baby arrives will you be ready for visitors?
- Is there someone you can rely on to help with housework and meals?
- What is your plan for when you want to have a helper over and how often should they come?
- Is there a safe place to leave your baby for those frequent bathroom visits if there’s no one else around? (Bassinet, crib, dock-a-tot or baby lounger)
You will make about a million trips to the restroom for at least a week after baby arrives. There may not always be someone nearby to hold baby.
You will need to leave your baby for a couple minutes while you take care of yourself, so you will need a safe place for baby to stay. Baby will most likely be asleep, but safety is crucial, and so is your peace of mind.
1 Week-Old Baby Survival Tip #4: Postpartum Kit
This deserves its own entire post, but I’m adding to the list of survival tips with your 1-week old baby because it’s absolutely important.
It’s not just about having all your postpartum necessities on hand–it’s about having them all in one place in easy access.
Have all of your supplies: pads, cleaning supplies, ointments, and necessary medications in one place in your bathroom where you can easily reach it. Put everything in a caddy or container for easy access.
1 Week-Old Baby Survival Tip #5: Comfortable Pajamas, Socks and Robe
One of the most important things I can share with you from experience is to not worry about getting up and dressed and looking perfect during that first week postpartum.
Your main focus needs to be getting rest and connecting with your newborn.
Before you even go into labor and take off for the hospital, have a few days’ worth of comfortable lounge clothes ready for when you get home.
These next tips are all about what you’ll need for your baby during that first week that will make life so much easier for you.
1 Week-Old Baby Survival Tip #6: Portable Baby Station
When you bring baby home, the last thing you’re going to want to do is get up and go into the nursery every time baby needs a change.
Yes, it’s so cute and you’ve worked hard to set it up, but you’re going to be tired and a bit sore. All those extra trips will quickly become a hassle.
Move your diaper pail, a box of diapers, wipes, and baby essentials right into your room. This is most likely where baby will be sleeping, and this is where you should probably be spending most of your time during with your newborn.
You’ll also be up throughout the night. Be kind to yourself and have what you need within arm’s reach.
A portable changing pad will do wonderfully for you to change baby’s diaper on the bed or wherever you’re comfortable.
Have a box or bag nearby with the following items:
- Several diapers
- Portable changing pad
- Diaper ointment
- Burp cloth
- Extra jammies for baby
- Nursing balm
- Nursing/pumping tools
- Swaddle blanket
1 Week-Old Baby Survival Tip #7: Preemie Jammies
I wish I had thought of this before my son was born. Kai was 7 lbs, 1 oz when he arrived. Babies will also lose a little weight once they’re born. 7 lbs is pretty average for a newborn, and this is what I discovered.
Even being average weight, the newborn-sized clothes were too big for Kai.
I didn’t like how all the extra fabric bunched up around his face. I ended up dragging myself out of the house after a few days and purchasing some preemie-sized jammies.
They fit him perfectly and gave me much more peace of mind.
Preemie size? I know, right? But yes, they fit him better than newborn-sized jammies for the first 3 weeks. If your 1 week-old baby is anywhere from 7 pounds on down, you may want to have 2-3 preemie-sized jammies on hand, just in case.
Bonus Tip: When you’re changing baby’s diaper during the night, the last thing you want to have to contend with is an array of snaps and buttons. Jammies that zip are so much more convenient to have on hand.
1 Week-Old Baby Survival Tip #8: That One, Amazing Friend
You know the one–the one you can talk to about all your TMI stuff, share your deepest feelings without judgement or fear, and whom you’d trust to hold your baby an hour after they’re born.
Whether that person is a family member or a best friend, it’s always a good idea to have support around you and some help around the house.
Try and arrange a few days during that first week where your trusted friend can come over and help you with house chores, meals, and even taking care of baby so you can get some sleep.
Prayers and support to you, Mama! You’ve got this!