7 Super Useful Tips For Surviving The First Week At Home With A Newborn

There are so many questions we ask ourselves as first time mums. How do I prepare for the first week at home with a newborn? How to survive the first week with a newborn? What should I expect on my first day at home with baby? How long should a baby stay at home after birth?

Have no fear, we have got you covered! I will be sharing all my top tips on how to survive that first week at home from my experience of having my two boys.

I know what helped massively for me to keep me on track and put my focus where it needed to be, on my beautiful baby.

Hopefully some of the tips I will share with you come in handy and help you in the first amazing but crazy week at home with your newborn.

Here is what we are going to cover to help you feel 100% prepared :

  • What to expect in the first week at home with a newborn?
  • How much will baby feed / Can I over feed my baby?
  • How will I feel in your first week being a new mum?
  • 7 top tips on how to make your first week at home so much easier

What To Expect In Your First Week At Home With A Newborn?

No matter how many books you read or websites you have scrolled through nothing is going to prepare you for your first week at home. It will be a complete whirlwind, but my biggest piece of advice is EMBRACE IT.

Do not worry about keeping the house nice and tidy or getting baby dressed into all their cute new outfits. Just enjoy the moment and do whatever makes you comfortable and feel at ease.

For baby there will be LOTS of eating, sleeping, pooing, weeing and probably crying if I’m honest. This will also be on a constant loop for a while so you will become an absolute pro!

Now I’m going to be honest with you, you are going to be tired. Nothing and no one can prepare you for this, but what I can tell you is that you will be fine and your body works with you.

Its crazy to think but as a Mum as soon as your baby is born your motherly instincts kick in. Its like someone just turns a switch on and you go into protect and care mode. You will instantly wake when you hear them crying, you will have a gut feeling on what they need its like Mum magic.

The first few weeks will fly by, you will look back on them as a blur. As tiring as it will be, know that you are amazing and your baby is so lucky and happy to be with you. You have totally got this!

How Much Will My Baby Need Feeding In The First Week?

The best approach to take in the first few days at home is to feed on demand. Try to feed your baby as often as they want and for as long as they want. After a few days baby will start having fewer but longer feeds. 

General guidelines to help you on how much your baby should feed is around 1-2 ounces per feed. This went up for us at around 2-3 weeks to approx. 2-3 ounces. (This is based on my own experience, I am in no way an expert)

If you are breastfeeding this can be different as your baby will be having the colostrum in the first few days until your milk comes in. Your baby may feed more regular at around 1-2 hours as they are having small amounts of the colostrum. Once your milk comes in this will likely be around 2-3 hours as your baby is having longer feeds, however this can and will vary.

Newborns have a very a small stomach so they need to feed frequently. On average it’s about every 2-3 hours depending on baby with 8-12 feeds a day. This can change daily so the best advice is to go with the flow and feed on demand.

There is no point even thinking about a schedule for a while yet as baby is too young. 

Can I Overfeed My Baby?

Babies are really good at eating just the right amount they need. However, if they do overfeed this will mainly be bottle fed babies who will either be sick or have wind. Both are normal and nothing to worry about.

Sick is normal and nothing to be alarmed about, plus it will only be a small amount. I was worried about this initially and went to feed my little one again as I was so worried they would be hungry but I didn’t need to be.

It’s all a learning curve and the best thing to do is let your baby tell you when they are hungry.

How Will I Feel In The First Week At Home With A Newborn?

This is a tough question as it is very personal, people react and cope in many different ways.

For me I was emotional and at the same time in awe of this little person that was mine. Sometimes I would drift off into a daydream and think wow is this real am I really a mum?

Your emotions will probably be a driving force for how you are feeling in your first few weeks. Your hormones are going crazy and you have just gone through the huge event of giving birth so please don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Now, unfortunately whether you like it or not you are going to get so many people sharing their opinions and thoughts on how you should do things. At first I was really polite and just listened but you will get to a point where you want to do this your way and rightly so.

Be yourself, don’t feel like you have to impress or look like you are ok if you’re not.

Make sure you are surrounded by people that love and care for you as this was the biggest comfort I needed when I felt overwhelmed.

Now lets get to the tips that will help you in your first week at home

7 Useful Tips For Your First Week At Home With A Newborn

1.Help & Support From Your Family

I can’t tell you how important this is! There is no need to be a Mum warrior, the more help you get the better it is for your well being.

The winner for me is being an equal partner or co parent with your other half. It is natural that the focus for everything falls to the Mum and I totally understand why. However, you are both parents and therefore need to split the care and responsibility so that you both get a break

My partner was a complete star and still is to this day. We are equal parents and have been tag teaming since our first born came into the world.

It doesn’t matter how you choose to feed as your partner can still help. If you are breastfeeding your partner can do the nappy changes, take baby for a walk while you sleep, wind baby, do babies bath and so much more.

What majorly helped in the first week for me was taking the night in shifts. We had 3 hour slots at first to just make sure that at some point in the night/day one of us was getting some sleep. You will learn very quickly that a 3 hour sleep is like a dream!

If you are lucky to have family close by ask them to help. There are so many ways support from your family can really help in the first week to make you feel better.

  • Doing your washing and ironing for the week
  • Doing a food shop for you
  • Ordering you a take away
  • Popping in to do the washing up

2. Meals Prepared

What a game changer this is! Having your meals for a full week prepped and ready to either take out of the fridge or freezer. The time and stress this will take away is huge from something that can be seen as so small.

We did a mixture, I prepped some meals and bought freezer food that was so quick to cook that would see us through the first couple of days.

We then had our family and friends make us dinners which they dropped around. It felt like we were getting a take away every night but with the bonus of it being a home cooked meal made with love.

I remember a yummy cottage pie from my mother in law and the most amazing Thai curry from one of our close friends! Even though the first week was a blur I will always look back and think we ate so well.

Ask your family to help, I guarantee that will be so happy you asked them.

3. Track Babies Sleep With A Planner Or App

In your first week after birth you will get a few healthcare visitors dropping in to check on you and baby. Without a doubt you will always get asked the following

  • How often is baby feeding?
  • How much milk is baby having?
  • How many wet nappies?
  • Have they had their black tar poo yet?
  • How is their umbilical cord?
  • How much is your baby sleeping?
  • How much are you sleeping?

I used a notepad and started a mum & baby daily tracker. I monitored and wrote down every time my baby had milk and how much is was, when I did a nappy change and when my baby went to sleep and what time they woke up.

It also helped to track the amount of sleep I was having. This helped me understand if I was having a bad day emotionally as most of the time it plays came down to lack of sleep.

If a manual tracker isn’t your thing you can download an app. I actually did this too so that if I was out and about I would quickly just update the app. This is the one I used, Baby Tracker – Newborn Log and it as great!

4. Keep Visitors To A Minimum

This I found really hard in the first week. You already have visits from healthcare professionals but to add family and friends on top can be difficult.

In no way is this because you don’t want to see them but because you want to show that you are ok and managing fine. However in reality you are so tired and trying to figure out what the hell you need to do yourself without being told.

Me and my husband had the discussion before our little man was born. We made a list of who if any we wanted to come and meet the baby in the first week. In the end we kept it really small and just said both our mums would be all we would want.

Our friends and other family members started to come from two weeks old which suited us fine. At two weeks old you are figuring things out and you are coming out the other side of the crazy whirlwind.

Have a chat with your partner to see what you both would like. It may be that having all your family around gives you that additional support that you would want in the first week. You may be at the other end of the spectrum and just want to cocoon with your partner and baby for the first week.

Remember don’t worry about anyone else, focus on you and what makes you feel comfortable.

5. Calendar For Healthcare & Family/Friend Visits

This is something so simple but honestly helps. Picture this… you are so sleep deprived, have no idea what day it is and your little one has just done the biggest smelliest poo! Then there is a knock and the door and you have the ‘OH NO’ feeling! Its the midwife and you forgot you had an appointment.

Trust me this happens! We didn’t do this with our first and I wish we had done. For our second I updated our wall calendar in the kitchen and also put it in our calendar on our phone.

6. Set Up A Baby Change Area Or Kit Both Up & Downstairs

When you lovely new born does a poo you are going to want quick access to your change station.

By having someone both upstairs and downstairs to go to quickly is honestly amazing. We had a little bag that I bought from amazon for downstairs which has sections so it was perfect. Check it out here to give you an idea.

We then had the main change station upstairs in the nursery for bedtime/naps etc.

7. Get Out Of The House

All you will want to do is stay at home in your safe place and be with your baby. This is absolutely fine and totally normal! But what I want to share with you is how good it feels to have your first walk with your new born.

There used to be a rule back in the day that you shouldn’t leave the house until after the first week with your little one. This has now changed and it’s totally down to you and how you feel.

To have some fresh air and have a bit of exercise makes you feel like you again. Also as an extra bonus you get to take your first photo of baby in their pram.

First Week At Home With A Newborn Round Up

There you have it guys! My 7 most useful tips that will hopefully help you get through your first week at home with your newborn.

The most important thing to remember is take care of yourself! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to master everything straight away, these things take time.

The amazing and challenging thing about being a Mum is there is not one perfect way to do it. We are all different and we figure out what works best for us and we roll with it.

Ultimately as long as baby is fed, sleeps and you change their bum they are winning!

Leave a Comment