Top 10 Newborn Tips

Top 10 Newborn Tips // jessconnell.com

A young friend of mine, going through her first pregnancy, asked on Facebook for ten newborn tips. And since I try to use all my writing from other places, I figured I’d share my advice to her with you.

Here are my top 10 newborn tips:

  1. Stay in bed for a week. Minimum. (See the comments for more fleshing out of what I mean by this.) You’ll feel like getting up and getting around, and proving to everyone how capable and back to normal you are, but later you’ll regret it– if you “rest more than you think you need to” your emotions and exhaustion will be better off.
  2. Nurse him with full feedings every time he’s hungry. This means I have to be fierce about not letting them snack. Full feedings, better milk supply, longer naps, better sleep at night.
  3. Get a good non-underwire nursing bra or nursing tank. Non-underwire because getting mastitis hurts like the dickens, and I get it every time I try to use underwire while breastfeeding.
  4. Eat protein. Chicken thighs. Jerky. Cheese slices. Fruit. Nuts. Tuna. Try to eat real food and avoid boxed/canned food.
  5. Be content with extra weight. (Read why I Don’t Mind Being a Chunky, Happy Mama While Breastfeeding.) Don’t fiddle with food to produce weight loss– strong lactation means you’ll have more weight (to produce good solid, healthy milk for him). The more content I get with this, the better off I feel.
  6. NoseFrida. What a wonderful invention this is! This greatly reduces the difficulty of the hard nights when baby can’t breathe.
  7. MyBrestFriend nursing pillow. I love the way it clicks around me rather than just sitting there like the Boppy– it allows me to focus on getting a good latch rather than having to fiddle with how he’s positioned WHILE trying to get a good latch.
  8. Gas drops (simethicone)… seriously this is like gold. I use these a ton in the first two months or so.
  9. SwaddlersI never had these with my first 5 babies– but I LOVE them!!
  10. Meals in the fridge, or splurge on convenience foods for a good couple months. Don’t put pressure on yourself to “do it all” while you’re learning to care for a new baby and figure out motherhood.

Have you seen my full list of newborn must-haves?

And can I share with you how I beat postpartum stress? 

IN THE COMMENTS, SHARE: What would make your “Top 10” list for newborns? 

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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5 Responses

  1. Stephanie says:

    A great list, personally I don’t like to stay in bed for a week. I find it makes me more depressed not to be a part of the family but I do aim to rest a lot and spend a lot of time on the couch. I also like to be able to get out a little so we go to church even with a new baby to allow me a chance to see other people. I’d also say getting a shower and clean clothes everyday, even if just pajamas, makes me always feel better. I so appreciate your advice on nursing, I’m similar to you in needing to keep extra weight while nursing and I really have to fight it not bothering me.

    • Jess Connell says:

      Oh man, you know what? I don’t technically stay in bed the way you’re describing either.

      Whoops!

      Once I read your comment, I realized, this comes across differently than I mean it. I mean having a mindset of REST rather than a mindset of DOING. So:
      * I don’t get up and see to the dishes. We use paper plates and I let other people do it (and if it doesn’t get done I try not to freak out about it)
      * When I come down to the living room to be with my family, I lay back on the couch and take it easy. When I start feeling overwhelmed, I know it’s time to head back to bed.
      * I take a nice shower or hot epsom salt bath daily and then tuck back into bed quickly afterward.
      * I even (gasp!) go to church… but instead of the typical 9:45-12:45 affair, I went in the time period between two nursing times. So I got myself ready, nursed him, went to church for right at about an hour, snuck out when he started getting restless and hungry before the end of the service, and came home to nurse him and get back into bed.

      So, yes, I do those things too. I just make my own REST one of the very very top priorities (maybe, priority-wise, second behind feeding him any & every time he’s hungry). So… ha… :) Thanks for keeping me honest. I didn’t even think it would be read like that. Because so many women lean so far the opposite direction (go-go-go from the minute they have a baby, proving, like our culture says to do, that you aren’t any worse for the wear and can get up and “do it all”), I want to encourage women toward a mindset of REST.

      But… YES… I still do get up, some, and I love being with my family. It’s just that I put ZERO pressure on my own shoulders anymore to get up and do everything around the house, attend social events, etc.

      • Stephanie says:

        Ah makes perfec sense. I’ve known a few ladies that literally stayed in bed for a week or two after having a baby so that’s probably why I read it that way :) Thanks for all your great writing, I so enjoy and am encouraged by it.

  2. Tracy says:

    One of my good friends introduced me to the two-week rule when I had my third baby. The rule is you don’t do anything you can’t do in your PJs for 2 weeks. Her reasoning was the same…right after you have a baby everyone expects you to need more rest…but when you don’t take it right away, you still end up needing it. So, we are still tired and recovering weeks and weeks later. If we would purpose to rest for those two weeks…way longer than we originally feel is necessary, we will have the energy to enter normal life much sooner. Love your list of tips Jess!

    • Jess Connell says:

      I like that rule. :)

      And I love this—> “If we would purpose to rest for those two weeks…way longer than we originally feel is necessary, we will have the energy to enter normal life much sooner. ” SOOOOOOOOOOOOO true!

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