You’ve probably envisioned your first night home with baby a billion times over. And it’s unlikely to go like anything you’ve conjured in your imaginings. To tether you to reality, here are some things that will almost certainly happen–so you can feel more prepared.
Forget the nursery
Nursery not perfect yet? Nobody cares. And SIDS safety guidelines suggest keeping baby in your room for at least the first six months. Also; it’s just plain easier having bubs right there when you have to get up for feeds throughout the night. Or stare at his squishy little face. Throughout the night.
There will be no ‘sleeping through the night’
Your newborn’s stomach is the size of a marble (literally) and empties just as quickly as it fills. It’s entirely normal and healthy for him to wake every two to three hours for a feed–and to check you’re close, of course. Sleep deprivation sucks, but it’s par for the course, and it means your bubs is doing exactly what he should be.
Don’t forget yourself
Make use of those 2-3 hour stretches; adrenaline and postpartum hormones rushing through your body will make you think you can keep going, even straight after birth, but pretty soon you’ll be desperate for any kind of shuteye. Take it whenever and wherever you can.
Poopsplosions–they’re a thing
Don’t be fooled by their pint-size; babies can create some spectacular mess. Keep nappies, wipes, and extra nighttime clothes close–leaking is normal, and not always a small amount, either. (You’ve been warned.)
You might fall in love again
Some say it’s the surge of oxytocin post-birth, others say it’s seeing him overcome with love for your baby; the sudden exponential feeling for your partner is probably a combination of both, and tends to strengthen your bond in those early days. Treasure it and don’t forget to keep feeding it in between all the other feeds–even if it’s just a “thank you” for hosing down bubs after the third poopsplosion.