Congratulations! You’ve brought a brand new baby home and you’re starting to get acclimated to taking care of a tiny human. You’ve perfected cuddling. Your husband has gone back to work. You’re caught up on your Netflix series. And you’ve taken all the naps. Now what? I’ve got a few ideas of some things you can do with your newborn to help you enjoy those early days at home.
Read to your baby! Its no secret that reading to your child is beneficial for their cognitive development. Reading aloud exposes your baby to new sounds and words that they might not hear otherwise – especially when you’re home by yourself with the baby and aren’t talking aloud very much. Newborns also love black and white images – there are a ton of books available with black and white patterns just for newborns.
Try out tummy time. Something that I learned with my daughter was how important tummy time was. Not only does it help strengthen their muscles and prepare them for rolling over, but it also tires them out! We did a ton of tummy time and my daughter was sleeping through the night by time she was 5 weeks old.
Facetime or Skype with friends and family! Since we are still in the throws of a pandemic, it might not be as easy for friends and family to stop by. Make an effort to connect with others virtually so they can see your new baby grow and so your baby can get exposure to other faces.
Go for a walk. Its important to get out of the house for some fresh air and for your sanity! Its easy to hole up in your house, but your baby will enjoy the different outside sounds and you’ll get some light exercise!
Lower your expectations! I’m not kidding! I know you imagined you’d be organizing the pantry or redecorating your guest room or getting all sort of things done while you’re on maternity leave or home with the baby. I hate to break it to you, but you need to give yourself some grace. Babies need attention at the least convenient times. If you need to feel productive, give yourself one small task to accomplish each day. Whether it is doing a load of laundry, making sure you paid the water bill, painting your nails (self care!) or taking a shower (you know I’m right!) making your to-do list manageable instead of ambitious is the way to go.
What are some other things you’d like to do with your newborn baby? I’d love to hear some of your ideas in the comments below!