5 Tips to Survive Your Newborn

An Early Father’s Day Gift

My husband and I celebrated Father’s Day early this year with these three words:

“You were picked!”

My husband and I always knew that a placement could occur quickly. Six days, however, caused our worlds to turn upside-down… in the best possible sense of the term of course.

Looking back on those first few days, here is a top five list of ways we have stayed calm, cool, and collected these first few weeks:

  • Rely on others. You are going to have scads of people offering to help with purchasing items, making dinner, sitting with your new bundle of joy, etc. Take them up on it!
  • Get the bare minimum. People are going to want to buy you everything and anything. Ask for gift cards, formula and diapers. It’s amazing how few things you need right away. Don’t go crazy and buy stock in your local chain baby store. Over time, you will figure out what you need to supplement with.
  • Work out a schedule and stick to it. Surprise! Your newborn is not going to sleep through the night. Talk with your husband or partner about who is going to get up when. Mentally, it does a world of good knowing whether you are going to get a full night’s sleep, or just a few chunks of shuteye. What worked for us was dividing up the two middle-of-the-night feedings. Figure out what works for both of you. If you are single, find someone to help you for a while.
  • Cull the herd. People are going to have an opinion about EVERYTHING when it comes to babies. If something strikes you as gold, implement it. If not, just smile and nod. Identify early on your few go-to people for advice. For us, this was one set of parents and a trusted female friend who is level-headed and the mother of a 1-year old.
  • Laugh. We heard the following quotes the first week.
  • “OK, so how much FUN are you having?”
  • “I just can’t imagine the thrill in the air at your home these days.”
  • “Are you just loving every minute?”
  • Laugh at these people instead of guffawing. You are not going to love every minute. Being a dad to a newborn is the toughest job you will ever love. Enjoy the times that are great with your new bundle of joy. Those other times that aren’t enjoyable? Find humor in each moment you can.

    We are certainly not experts after three weeks of parenting. The one thing we do know for sure is that being a parent is the greatest privilege we’ve ever known. Happy Father’s Day!

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