The first few weeks at home with a newborn baby is one of the hardest, but most special, times for a family. It is a time of transition, especially if it is the first child in the household. Not only will the mother be recovering from childbirth and using breastfeeding tops for the first time, but the baby will also have to be welcomed into the home.
In order to make the house comfortable for the baby, mother and the rest of the family, some short-term and long-term planning needs to be carried out:
- Make the mother and baby comfortable.
- Prepare a space or a room for the baby.
- Plan a routine.
- If you can, get some help!
Making the Mother Comfortable
The first step is making the mother comfortable. Some early Mother’s Day flowers and a comfortable chair will help. Most of this organisation needs to be done before the baby is born, so you can discuss what your partner will need or want in the house. Remember, when they arrive home, the mother will be very busy helping the baby settle in, feeding and recovering from childbirth.
Here are some great ideas for making a mother more comfortable:
- Prepare a room that is cool in summer/warm in winter.
- Buy a specific comfortable chair just for breastfeeding.
- Place some pot-pourri or other scented things around the house.
- Get some special pillows for the lounge and bed.
Preparing the Baby’s Room
Preparing the baby’s room is both exciting and stressful. Here are some steps you can follow to prepare the room:
- Select the space or room for your baby.
- Clear the room of clutter and unneeded items.
- Give the room a fresh coat of paint, in a shade chosen by the mother.
- Put up some decorations around the room.
- Add a special nightlight and some pictures.
- Prepare a diaper and cleaning table in the room.
- Choose a cot for the baby.
- Organise a cupboard to put all of the baby’s clothes in.
Making a Routine
After the baby is brought home it is important to try and have a good routine. This will include time for letting the baby and mother rest and feed regularly. You may want to ask people to wait a week or so before coming to visit. If you have a lot of visitors in the first week, the mother and baby may have no time to rest and bond.
If you have a large family, make sure everyone pitches in to help. You might find it helpful to make a chore schedule for everyone to follow. If you have young children, make sure they know the importance of being quiet and allowing the baby and mother to rest. Most children will be very understanding and try to look after their new baby sister or brother.
Getting Help Around the House
If you find that cleaning and taking care of the baby is too much, you might need to look for professional help. There are many services that you can pay for. However, money may be tight after paying for all the new baby things. If it is, don’t forget that family members will often be willing to help out with washing or even cooking a few meals. Whatever you need help with, the most important thing is to make the mother and child as comfortable as possible.