16th February 2022

Tips for coping alone with a newborn

Being alone with a newborn is something I have experienced first-hand as a mother. When my son was nine days of age, I was alone with my newborn and two-year-old for eight weeks. My husband is in the army, so he flew back to Afghanistan, where he had also spent a large part of the time during the end stages of my pregnancy. It was tough, so in this blog post, I want to tell you what I learned along the way and most importantly, I hope this is useful to you all if you are in a similar position.

-Try not to use all the help at once, so for example, in the first two weeks when your partner is on paternity leave, consider it just being them and yourself because sometimes having too much support at once can feel overwhelming. Then when you have periods when you know you will be alone, you can ask for support from those who have not already helped.

-Although you may be able to have support try to have days on your own to build up your confidence. Over time it becomes much easier but I also believe it’s important to hit this head-on from the start.

-Do everything you can before giving birth to help you feel more prepared. Practise using your car seat, folding the pram up yourself, and prepping your changing bag.

-Postnatally try to go out once a day even if this is just for a short walk which can help you feel less lonely and shakes your day up a bit.

-If you find it tiring being on your own then take a rest day, binge on some TV & chill out on your own with your baby, you really will need this every so often!

-Stay in touch with family and friends, find time to chat regularly over the phone or video call. Doing this can help boost your mood and if you’re having a wobble or feeling overwhelmed being alone, always make that call!

-Explore the availability to you as a new mum – baby groups, coffee mornings, breastfeeding groups, etc. Don’t put lots of pressure on yourself to sign up for paid groups in advance. You may find the time doesn’t work in your routine. I found drop-in sessions much more accommodating.

-Try to be prepared and organised by following a loose routine. Examples that can help are: if you’re using bottles, sterilize these bottles every morning, try and keep up with washing in order not to become overwhelmed, find easy meals and snacks to keep you going, re-pack your changing bag every time you come home.

-Finally, when alone with a newborn it can be tiring but try and enjoy the one-to-one time. The time goes so fast so remember to enjoy all the cuddles and alone time with your newborn!

Bridie Testimonials 'baby foot in mouth'
My son Ru at 5 months old!

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