Set up your baby’s room by the seventh month of pregnancy. Babies do come early, so being prepared will help you relax as you near your baby’s birth.
Make sure you create a dark, quiet, calm space for your baby to sleep. Remember to keep stimulation out of the room. No flashing lights or musical toys in the crib area please. And, remember, no bumper pads around the sides of the crib area as they are a suffocation hazard. The day you bring baby home, remember to focus on your own care. Eat, sleep and REST. Baby can feel your stress so try and keep company away for a few days. The first night home can be difficult, so go to sleep early. Try staying in a pattern of feeding baby, a diaper change, some touching and talking to baby for 15 minutes, then swaddle and sleep. You need to sleep when your baby sleeps. Don’t be tempted to answer emails, make calls, or clean the house. Let others take care of you and baby. Sleep is precious and very needed by the new mother. Let others take care of you.
Especially if you are breastfeeding, eat something every 3 hours before you feed your baby. Make sure and include enough protein, and foods with iron. Print out a photo of your baby and tape it on the front door with a note to NOT DISTURB. Saying something about the baby will appease the neighbor’s curiosity. You can even post some visiting hours that work for you. SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP. Your baby will sense your irritability and stress, so do take care. Stay in the pattern of FEED, DIAPER, PLAY, SLEEP all day long. At night, try and keep your baby swaddled and do minimal diaper changing. Just feed, and sleep for the first six hours. After this, change diaper half way thru the feeding, then finish feeding, and go back to bed. As baby gets over 10 pounds, he should be able to give you a 4-6 hour sleep stretch and you will feel much more able to get back to a more normal life again.