5 Things to Stop Worrying About in Your Baby’s First Weeks

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The early days of new parenthood are hard. Really hard. Whether you’re a first-time parent or a fifth-time parent, the combination of exhaustion, worry, and your baby’s constant need for care is enough to run most people ragged. Combine that with the fact that you’re also recovering from childbirth and you're likely in survival mode. So, as you move through the first few weeks of your baby’s life, cut yourself some slack and focus on the big picture. For a few weeks, give yourself permission to stop worrying about the following things. 

1. Folded laundry 

In your old life, perhaps you were someone who folded your clothes while they were still warm from the dryer. Perhaps you will be again, one day. But in the early weeks of baby’s life, it’s more than okay if you’re using the crib as a laundry basket. It's okay to grab what you need each day from the ever-growing, ever wrinkling, never folded pile. If you manage to get clothes washed and dried, you’re doing pretty good. So, don’t worry about folding and don’t worry about putting away. At least for at least a few weeks. 

2. Sit down meals 

Sitting down to dinner can be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. But, with a new baby, preparing and then enjoying and then cleaning up a meal can be more tiring than enjoyable. In the early weeks of your baby’s life, it’s okay to have cereal for dinner and scrambled eggs for lunch. Or snack on a hummus and vegetable tray all day. Or eat take-out and pizza for every meal. Eat what nourishes you and leave it at that. No need to worry about regular meal times or traditional dishes. 

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3. Screen time rules for older kids 

Even if your three-year-old has never seen a screen in their life, your first few weeks with a baby number two may be the time to relax your expectations and give yourself a break. While endless screen time isn’t good for little ones, a few extra hours over a few weeks won’t hurt them in the long run. So cue up Daniel Tiger, cuddle with your baby, and enjoy a few minutes (or episodes) of peace and quiet. 

4. Fitting into “regular clothes” 

Sometimes moms' bodies shrink right back to their pre-pregnancy shape within a few weeks of birth. But usually, they don’t. Zippers probably haven’t been your thing for a while now and a few more weeks in maternity clothes won’t hurt anyone. Enjoy the loosening waistband of your maternity pants and the comfort of flowy tops as your body shifts and transitions through the first few weeks postpartum. 

In the early weeks, there’s a lot to think about. So, stop worrying about the things on your list. Cuddle your baby. Figure out how to feed them. Figure out how to sleep in shifts. Start to get used to your ever changing life. And don’t, even for a second, feel bad that the laundry’s not folded. 

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5 Things to Stop Worrying About in Your Baby’s First Weeks

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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