What to Expect: My Firs Week With A New Baby

What to expect your first week with a newborn

Welcome to our What to Expect series on pregnancy, birth, parenting and beyond!

For our first post, we want to chat about what to expect in your first week with a newborn! This blog will be pretty generalized as we will go more in depth in future blogs about specific things you can expect your first week home with a newborn.

The exhaustion, excitement, and changes

Your first 0-3 days with your newborn will typically be spent in the hospital, length depending on if you had a vaginal delivery or a cesarean delivery.

In these first few days you will learn to change diapers, swaddle, latch if you are planning to breastfeed, figure out what it really is like to be parents and perhaps recovering from a perineal tear. You will have nurses to help here and there and do routine tests.

The discharge process…. oh, this, this can sometimes be frustrating.

It make take a while because the nursing staff have many other families on the MotherBaby floor to care for and there are many things to check off. ProTip: start the discharge process the night before you would like to go home and reiterate your desire to leave that morning, as early as possible.

Sometimes, this process can be delayed if your newborn needs to poop, pee or pass another test before being cleared for discharge, sometimes their bilirubin levels (Jaundice) are a little high and they want to use the lights for an additional day before sending you and baby home.

Finally, you are home with your baby!

These few days home with your baby will finish out your first week with your sweet baby.
Your first night home might be overwhelming. Focus on what you absolutely need to get done! That being, getting the baby settled, the baby gear in, feeding the baby, feeding you and your partner and setting yourselves up for the night. ProTip: set up “ basket” stations on each floor of the house to have quick, easy access to diapers, a snack, bottles if needed, baby outfits, and anything else you might need at that 2am spit up or diaper change.

Spend your first few days home however you want! Most families feel pressured to host guests, but we want to give you permission to say you don’t want guests in the first 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or however many days you’d like to have just with you and your new family. On the other hand, you could just open your home to guests who will be of the utmost help to you and your new family. Let them care for you, let them feed you, let them help with a chore, then reward them with baby snuggles.

What to expect emotionally

You may find yourself happy and then sad with tears, baby blues are common in the first 1-2 weeks after your baby’s arrival. Birthing a baby and bringing them home to care for them 24/7 is a big adjustment, and on top of it you are tired and sore from delivery!

Give yourself grace, you deserve it.

You will have pediatrician visits with your baby. You will be learning how to navigate breatfeeding your new baby and figuring out a schedule as best you can.

Go outside if you can to get some fresh air.

Give yourself grace and ask for help, even when things are going well.

Enjoy your first week with your sweet baby, we want to make a note for NICU families, that this is not what your first week will look like. We wanted to share what that might look like for you and share some resources for NICU support.