two week old newborn care

Your First Two Weeks With Your Newborn

Your first two weeks with a newborn are so precious. Here are our tips as expert doulas on how to make the most of this precious time.

Congratulations! You just brought home your new baby. 

There’s nothing sweeter (or more exhausting) than those newborn days, and with that means new priorities now that there’s a sweet new addition in your home. Whether you’re just getting your feet wet as parents, or have been around the block, every new baby in the home is an adjustment.

So What Do The First Two Weeks with a Newborn Look Like?

Pregnancy feels like a marathon, and just when you’ve crossed the finish line, you’re now the primary caregiver of this new little person. There’s no time off in between! That makes it so important to take care of you and your little one, and put your needs ahead of your well-intentioned visitors. Want a few weeks to yourself before anyone sees the baby? Then that’s how it’ll be. Now is not the time to be a people-pleaser!

Here’s what we suggest:

Boundaries are your friend. Set boundaries early and often. Your friends and family are excited for you, and they mean well. But if the thought of having people in your home overwhelms you as you’re establishing feeding, meeting this new little person, and recovering, you can absolutely say you need more time before people visit. If you can, give people a head’s up before baby is born.

Bonus tip! If you’re concerned about navigating in-laws with your boundaries, have your partner be the one to break the news. It can be less tricky when it’s their own parents, and the channels of communication are more open. If things go south, let them be the bad guy.

In the first few weeks, baby comes first.

If your little one is born around cold & flu season, this is especially important in their first 2 months. Consider their health surrounding germs, and if you need to hold off on visits, or remind everyone to stay home if they’re sick, then that’s what you have to do. These conversations can be tactful and kind, without compromising your values.

Protect your peace as a new family.

Protect your peace. A LOT happens when there’s a new baby in the home, and your wellbeing is priceless. Make your family a priority, even if that means saying no (or yes!) to something. Just because it’s not a good time in the moment, doesn’t mean it won’t once you find your footing. 

The first weeks with baby are for rest & recover, not routine.

No routine = No problem. Unless you have older kids that need to be places (Bonus if someone else can chauffeur them!), toss your routine out the window for the time being. The first few weeks are for rest, recovery, and bonding with your sweet new baby as you adjust to your new normal. Soak in the joy of the early days as best as you can, without stressing about a routine.

Your first 2 weeks of healing are huge!

Recognizing hormone involvement. The postpartum hormone crash is REAL. On top of this life altering event, no sleep, and learning everything from scratch, your hormones feel like they’re hosting a rave. It’s a lot to handle, but it does get easier! Be mindful of what feelings are hormone driven, and what needs closer attention. Let those tears flow if you need to.

This is your special time for bonding with your newborn.

Encourage bonding. If there are siblings in the house (or even pets!), facilitate a little bonding time. Expect that siblings might not be interested right away, and that’s totally fine. A new sibling is a major transition for everyone – especially for the little ones in your home. Fostering pressure free ways to help everyone get acquainted is a great way for everyone to feel good about the new addition.

Bonus tip! Those first couple weeks (and beyond, even) can be pretty rough on older siblings. Prepare for more wacky sleep, bathroom accidents, and big feelings than what is typical. Remember that their whole world has been rocked, so try to have a little 1:1 time, and extend lots of patience.

Don’t push yourself too hard. Remember that you just grew and birthed a human, and that deserves a TON of rest! A great rule of thumb in your first two weeks is 5 days in bed, 5 days on the bed, and 5 days around the bed for your first 2 weeks. Use this time to recover and bond with your sweet baby. Block out some time to do something for you! Make sure you can get a shower, nap, or watch your favorite show. Our postpartum doulas are excellent at helping make this happen for you! Honoring your needs is a lot easier when you know your little one is cared for by someone experienced and loving. 

Say yes to help. Outsourcing and delegating is more valuable than ever during this time. If help is offered, accept it! Even if something isn’t done just how you’d do it, if it means the task is complete, consider it a win. Or try a cleaning service, meal delivery, or anything else that makes your life easier.

You’re not Martha Stewart. Your first two weeks are not the time to be entertaining guests. If you’re fine with visitors, let them take care of you, and not the other way around. They shouldn’t expect to be catered to either. If you’re bold, pop a list on the fridge of all the things you’d love to be done. When a guest asks if they can help, direct them to it!

Our Newborn Care Education Classes equip you for all the things you hadn’t even thought of once your baby arrives. There can be a lot of Googling in those early days, but that often leads you down the rabbit hole of conflicting advice – No thanks! Get the answers you need to make confident, informed decisions.

Your first 2 weeks with your newborn can be incredible, and sticking to your guns will help make that happen.

Questions about any and all the ways we can support you pre and post birth? We’re all ears! Get in touch with us or take a look around our service options.

CLEbaby Cleveland Doula Services
Ashley & the team

CLEbaby was established in 2015 to help Cleveland area families have positive, supportive experiences during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Our wide range of services means that there's something for everyone. And our skilled, compassionate doulas, childbirth educators and sleep trainers deliver unmatched care, ensuring you're confident and set up for long-term success. At CLEbaby, we want families to not only survive early parenthood but thrive.