Top Tips for the First Few Weeks

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1. Have Dad or Another Family Member Carry The Baby Into the House Experts agree that it’s best for mom to have her hands free and let someone else carry your newborn into the house. Use those free hands to give your firs-tborn a big hug.

2. Expect a Variety of Emotions from Your Firstborn Towards You and the Baby It’s completely normal and it shall pass, just as PMS does. Emotions can range from elation to anger to excitement to rage. You’ve been away and distracted for the last few days and your child is responding to all the transitions. Don’t dwell on it. Just reassure your child that there is plenty of love to go around.

3. Give As Much 1:1 Attention to Your Firstborn Let Dad/Grandparents take over the diaper duties and bathing. They know the drill. Outsource as much as you can; housekeeping, laundry, meals. Consider it a short-term investment in your family’s stability and survival for the first month.

4. Try to Keep Your Firstborn’s Routine in Tact Now is a good time to ask for help from your mommy friends. Consider a mommy’s helper to assist you at soccer practice or dance class. Teachers, instructors, and aides are understanding and can also be very helpful during this transition.

5. Show Your Firstborn How to Express Love By Gently Touching the Baby’s Feet While it’s tempting to grab the baby’s hands, it’s a easy way to spread toddler germs once newborn hands find a way into their mouths. A firstborn needs specific direction on how they can and cannot handle the baby. Try saying “The baby loves it most when you tickle his feet”

6. Engage Your Firstborn While You Are Feeding the Baby Read Books, Sing Songs. Feeding time was play time in our house. My son used the breast pump shield as both a hat and a Star Wars weapon and that was okay because he knew that he was part of feeding time whether he helped me or knew he was going to hear one of his favorite stories recited (aka improvised).

7. Expect Regression in Behavior including Feeding and Sleeping Habits It’s normal for your firstborn to show regression. She might ask to nurse or ask for a bottle. It’s okay to indulge her; the novelty will wear off quickly.

8. Ask Visitors to Dote on Your Firstborn with Cards, Hugs, and Praise It’s natural for family and friends to make a bee line to the baby but ask them in advance to first take notice of your firstborn and spend some time with them and then ask to see the baby.

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