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The first days at home with a newborn

The first days at home with a newborn

Home again - but with a newborn baby in tow. And perhaps not much is how you expected it to be. But don't worry - you'll learn and it will soon be great.

A lot of parents have noticed the same thing: that feeling of unreality when they leave the maternity ward with their first baby. Many can’t grasp the fact that they are actually allowed to leave with this new life. It’s huge; it’s life changing, to say the least.

The first few days at home are overwhelming. Enormous joy, anxiety, tiredness, happiness and frustration are just some of the feelings that will course through you.

Mixed emotions
Many new parents expect to feel that amazing euphoria everyone talks about during the first days at home. But as a mother you may feel mostly tired (shouldn't little babies sleep all the time?), sweaty from breastfeeding (which also hurts to start with - nobody told you that!) and a bit confused (how can such a little person take up so much time?). There's nothing strange about all this - it takes time for the two of you to get used to each another. The same almost applies to the father - tired and confused, though perhaps not sweaty.

Forget all the “have to’s”
You'll spend the first few days and weeks putting your life into some sort of order, dealing with the huge change that has taken place. How long it takes for everyday life to settle back into a routine varies from family to family.

So forget all the things you "have to" do. The thing you should aim to do first is to get to know each other; you and your newborn. As a mother, and even as a dad, see to it that you get the rest you need; sleep when your baby sleeps. You'll never get these few days back, so make the most of them.

Ban all visitors and unplug the phone. Your baby will be just as cute in two weeks time, but by then you'll know one another better. Say no to visitors - unless they offer to make lunch or do your shopping; then that is a yes!

Welcome home! Your new life starts here.

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