You can make it through the newborn stage
I’m sitting here thinking about how much I want another baby! Their tiny little bodies, the intense stares into your soul, the little belly chuckles they give at the simplest of things.
Oh, to have a newborn baby again! But how did I even survive the newborn phase?
OK, am I crazy? Do I not remember the horrible, sleep deprived version of myself not that long ago with my previous newborn? How could I possibly want to go through the sleep deprivation again?
In this article I will go over how to easily get your newborn to sleep, tips and tricks to survive the newborn phase as well as how you can help your older children get through this new adjustment as well. I also have helpful printables in my FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY to help you survive as well. Trust me, you wont want to miss out on all the goodies I share.
You can get through this phase of life much easier, I promise.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. I will never recommend a product I don’t love or feel you would get value from.
5 tips to get your newborn to sleep
If you think about it, babies are in a brand new place and can get just as overwhelmed as you. To soothe their cries try these 5 things to mimic life in the womb.
I don’t know about you but I couldn’t hack the baby swaddle. When I found these really cool Velcro swaddles on Amazon, it was a complete game changer for me.
I spent less time screaming every profanity in my head and more time focusing on other important things (like where I left my coffee).
I used these every time I put my baby to sleep and it made a huge difference;
- It created less stress and frustration and
- It made putting my baby to sleep easier because they felt secure like when he was in my womb.
2. White noise
So I didn’t know about this until my son was about a month old. My newborn hardly slept in 45 minute increments.
When I introduced this white noise machine to him… HOLY MOLY was it a miracle! He slept, my baby actually slept!
My little found this to be completely relaxing, I shushed so much that I forgot how to shush. Have you ever said a word so many times that you forgot how to say it? Yeah, it was like that.
I ended up finding a YouTube video of someone else shushing and would just keep replaying it. Not that I didn’t love shushing him to sleep but come on now, this mama needed a break.
When babies are in the womb, it’s like a constant jiggle. Your baby moves with every move you make.
That’s why rocking your baby is so soothing to them. Have you noticed when your older kiddos were trying to put them selves to sleep they would move their head back and forth?
It’s the same concept, they are doing it because they remember how relaxing it was doing it in your belly. I recommend getting a rocking chair to make things easier and less exhausting on you, because your other kids expect mom at full energy! I have had this rocking chair for 2.5 years and still going strong.
5. The nose tickle
Ok this one might sound a little silly but I promise its one of the most effective ways I found to get my baby to sleep.
All you do is take your finger very gently and go from the top of the center of their forehead and tickle gently down to the bottom of their nose.
It is so soothing to them and my baby would fall asleep in minutes doing this, every time.
How you can easily get through the newborn phase
1. Sleep when the baby sleeps
This is a mistake many of us moms make. We use this time to get things done around the house “playing catch up” instead of getting the rest we need.
Let me repeat that, you sleep when the baby sleeps! Don’t use this time to get chores done. Trust me, you will thank me later and your baby will to.
2. Organization is key
It’s so important to be organized if you want to make the newborn phase easier. Here is a post I wrote on quick tips to organize your home.
You will also find super helpful organizational printables in my FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY. Organizing isnt just for the organized. EVERY SINGLE PERSON is capable of getting organized and my FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY will help you.
Have you ever tried changing your baby’s diaper and couldn’t find any more diapers?
Maybe your baby has a rash and you can’t find the butt cream you got at your baby shower.
It’s so easy to organize your baby’s nursery and it will make all the difference when your baby is born. Here is a very helpful article from from The Bump on Expert Tips To Organize Your Nursery.
3. Keep things at arms reach
This goes along with organizing. Keep the items you use most often at arms reach. For example if you use baby powder keep that near where you change your baby’s diaper (see below about diaper changing).
If you swaddle your baby to sleep, keep a swaddle close to baby’s bed. That means taking it off right when your baby wakes up, not when you take them into another room.
Trust me, this will make your life so much easier.
4. Changing Station
If I was to give you one thing to take away from this article it is to have a changing station.
Have you ever been to someones house and they have diapers and wipes all over the house? This not only causes unnecessary clutter (which creates more stress for you) but it also makes the newborn phase harder.
Dedicate a certain space specifically for changing your baby’s diaper. We have our changing station on top of my sons dresser with the following items next to it (at arms length)
- changing pad/ sheet and liner
- butt cream
- nail clippers
- nose aspirator
- diaper genie
Every time he needs a diaper I take him here to change it, EVERY TIME.
It saves me the hassle of having to clean constantly clean up the mess as well as creating clutter (which causes stress).
5. Establish a routine
Sign up below to get this Baby Milestone Checklist to keep your baby’s development on track.
This one is important, getting a routine in place not only creates a sense of security and stability but it also helps you to. Here is an article on how to establish a routine with baby
With a routine you will always know what to do and when to do it. This will save you so much frustration down the road.
6. Break time
It’s so easy to get burnt out parenting, especially during the newborn stage.
Taking a break is important for your mental health which is important to keep in check not only for your baby but for your sanity and the long haul of parenting as well.
7. Split shifts
Take turns with your partner, after all your baby is half theirs, is it not?
My husband and I got through our newborn stage by doing this. It was harder at night when I was breastfeeding but we still found a way to split it.
When my son would get up, my husband would change his diaper and then bring him to me in bed and I would feed him.
Or sometimes I would go to bed earlier and my husband would stay up later with my son and then I would get up more in the night (this was the case after I lost my supply and stopped breastfeeding).
Find what works for you mama!
8. Laugh and laugh some more
They say sleep is the best medicine, well laughter is right up there with it.
Laughing is a good stress reducer and will make you feel like the newborn phase was just a little bit easier to get through.
Find a funny movie/show or meet up with some girlfriends and get your endorphins flowing.
Something I often do is watch prank videos on YouTube or find bloopers and I’m usually on the floor laughing.
9. Take baby on a walk
Getting fresh is is key to keeping sane during this new time in your life. It will give your baby some sunlight exposure which helps them produce vitamin D which is important for absorbing calcium which helps strengthen their bones.
It also allows you fresh air, helping you relax and step away from being cramped up inside and provides you with a change of scenery.
When we become parents we have this crazy notion that we have to be able to do EVERY THING, ALL THE TIME.
This is simply not true and these kinds of expectations are setting you up for failure.
It’s alright to not have a clean house or to not look your best at all time and it’s alright to not get everything right with parenting. Especially since there is no right way to parent.
We often feel guilty (mom guilt) for what we’re doing while parenting and that kind of pressure is to much and is setting you up to fail at parenting in general.
11. Change your eating habits
Eating healthier has so many benefits, the biggest one being that eating the right things will give you more energy.
Also, drinking enough water is key to keeping up your energy levels. What worked for me was to buy water bottles and put them in the fridge, I seemed to drink more this way than I would if I was going to get water out of the faucet.
Probably because there was really no effort on my part, just opening the fridge door and grabbing my water. Remember, we’re tired mamas so lets save a step any way we can.
As moms we need to have a ton of energy to keep up with our newborns but also to keep up with our other kids. Being a mom is A LOT OF WORK!
Pin this now to your favorite Pinterest board.
12. Make noise
I made the mistake with my first kid and did not make noise while he slept and now he wakes up at the tiniest of noises.
Learn from my mistake…
Make noise when your newborn is sleeping so they can sleep through noise when their older.
13. Diaper bag
Keep a well packed diaper bag that is ready at all times. This will make it easier when you are trying to leave the house and already have what you need. Baby Center has a checklist of what to put in your diaper bag.
No more rushing out of the house forgetting diaper wipes (I’ve done this) or an extra outfit because your baby soiled their last one.
14. See a lactation specialist
If you are going to breastfeed than you are going to struggle (probably).
When I delivered my son it was the hospitals policy to have their on staff lactation consultant come to every mothers (that planned on breastfeeding) room to show them tips and tricks to getting a good latch to make the process easier and painless.
Don’t wait until your home and struggling because your so frustrated your newborn won’t latch.
Ask your nurse if the hospital has a lactation consultant and if you can set up an appointment to see them before you leave.
15. Zipped sleeper
Have you put your baby in a buttoned sleeper and get frustrated in the middle of the night because it’s dark and your tired and can’t get the buttons to line right?
There is an easier way!
Put them in a zipped sleeper, not only will it save you time but it will save you the frustration too.
16. Ask for help
Remember earlier when I said we often have to high of expectations as mothers?
You are not expected to do everything yourself and it’s alright to ask for help.
You might not realize it at the time but people want to help. They love your precious newborn as you do and I bet they would jump at the opportunity to spend time with them.
Plus people want to feel needed and lets face it, we need the help.
Now lets talk about how we can get your older kids settled in with a new baby.
4 ways to help your older children survive the newborn phase
1. Let your older children know what to expect when baby arrives.
Surviving the newborn phase is just as important for your older kids as it is you. After all you don’t want them acting out in jealousy creating more stress on you.
It’s important to explain to your children what to expect when their new sibling arrives, and don’t sugar coat it. Give them a clear idea of how things are going to change so they are not blindsided by the reality of it later on.
Also, try to explain to them what jealousy is and that its alright to be jealous but its not alright to act out in jealousy. Here is an article with 8 steps for helping your older child adjust to the new baby, # 7 is a big one.
Encourage them to talk about their feelings so things don’t build up and they lash out.
2. Let them help with the bottle feeding.
They will more then likely want to help any way so encouraging this should be easy.
If they are not interested, don’t force them as you don’t want them to think they have to take care of the baby (that’s to much responsibility for a child).
Try to find other ways to get them involved with their newborn sibling.
3. Set aside one on one time each day
Even if its only a few minutes a day or taking a quick nap together with your older kids, it will make your child feel like you are still there for them.
4. Let family take older kids on day outings
Let family or someone you trust take them for an activity out of the house; going to the park, getting a meal, going to the zoo or just staying the night with a grandparent.
Remember they want to help, so let them.
We covered your precious newborn and how we can get your baby to sleep easily, we’ve covered your older children.
Now what about you?
In order to fully survive the newborn phase, mama needs to have her sanity together to, right?
Here are 6 ways to help you keep your sanity
1. Take care of yourself
First and foremost, take care of you!
Carrying and delivering a child is not as easy as some portray it to be (although I’m totally jealous of those “easy pregnancies”)!
You go through A LOT, mentally, emotionally and most defiantly physically!
For nine long months your body is the home of a growing human being, and now that your baby is done using your body its time to heal. (By the way I am more then happy to sacrifice my body to bring another little angel into this world)!
As women we tend to be a tad bit cranky when we are uncomfortable so heal those lady parts!
Are you wondering how you can heal after giving birth? Here is a post I wrote on postpartum recovery.
2. Sleep as much as you can
I used to think the phrase “you sleep when the baby sleeps” was so overused, and I’m sad to say I didn’t follow it when my little was a baby.
I mean there are so many other things that need to get done, I cant just sleep!
I’m here to tell you that you most certainly can and sleep is necessary to keep to surviving the newborn phase.
3. Let family help
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again!
Your loved ones want to help more then you realize, so let them!
Even if they can’t always help with the baby, ask them to bring a meal or pick up the house or watch your other kids while you nap.
Trust me, they want to be there for you but don’t want to overstep so give them a task and they will gladly accept! OK, maybe I’m watching to many toddler shows because that last sentence sounded like a nursery rhyme!
4. Take your vitamins
We’re sleep deprived, in pain, emotional and anything else you can think of after having a baby!
So we’re probably not even thinking about getting the vitamins and nutrients our body needs to recover, so keep taking your prenatal vitamins.
5. Take a shower
Taking a shower will probably make you feel somewhat human again! It will also make you feel like you have some kind of handle on the chaos! After all, who doesn’t find a shower quiet and relaxing?
As a bonus showering will help manage the pain to your lady parts.
6. Alone time
Whether it be time by yourself or time with other “adults”, this is so important to keep sane!
We didn’t have much adult time when my son was born because I had a hard time letting anyone help much with him!
What we did was have one room in our house free of anything baby related, which was our living room and at night we would sit together in our adult only space and watch a show before bed.
Even if its not a lot of time, being able to take your brain off your baby for a few minutes will help tremendously in keeping your sanity.
Conclusion of surviving the newborn stage
Having a newborn baby is supposed to be the most joyous time of our lives, but for most is the most chaotic, stressful and tiring time we will ever have (for me it was).
That’s why I decided to put together this article talking about my tips to get your newborn baby to sleep easier, how to actually survive the newborn phase, how you can get your older children adjusted to life with a newborn and tips for you to take care of yourself, first.
let’s talk about other ways to survive the newborn phase! Leave a comment below letting us know how you survived this phase of life.
- What the first weeks home with a newborn is really like
- Postpartum recovery after a vaginal birth
- How to get your baby sleeping through the night
- How to soothe a teething baby