Here are some things that have helped us survive this crazy (but precious) newborn stage:
1) Take notes
So much of the newborn stage is completely out of your control. When will they sleep? When will they want to eat? Will mom ever sleep or eat again!? One thing that brought a little order to the crazy was taking notes. Each day I set up a new note in my phone and track my newborns day. This way I can recognize patterns and try to start to get the little one on a schedule. Here's what my notes would look like:
MON FEB 29
Put down for nap @8:35...8:55 fell asleep until 10:05
Put down for nap @11:10-12:15 in rock n play
Put down for nap @12:50-2:40
Put down for nap @4:10-5:15
Put down for nap @7-7:45
Put down for the night @8:55-12:20
Woke, ate, back down 12:50-3:50
Woke, ate, back down 4:15-6:50
2) Recognize the Season
With all the details and notes you are focusing on it can be really overwhelming. You can get completely stuck in the chaos of the day and forget that this is just ONE short season of your little ones life. It really does go by fast even though the days are long and the nights are exhausting! But each day brings new growth and change in your newborn, and soon enough you will be at your sweeties 2 month check up and have forgotten all about the umbilical cord you had to carefully care for the first week, or the feeding frenzy your baby went through on his second day of life, or those pesky contractions and stretch marks! Have you forgotten about that already? I have and it's only been 3 weeks! Wow! I know it's hard, the bags under my eyes will speak for themselves, but it's just a season, this will pass, and then we will all wish we could have this precious time back.
3) Make the most of your minute
Every minute counts when you have a newborn. Especially if you have any other children at home. I was having a really hard time feeling like I was getting anything accomplished in my day, even though I felt busy nonstop. My husband suggested making a daily list of things I'd like to accomplish. Sounds old school right? But man it was a game changer! I have my yellow legal pad and every morning I sip some coffee and make a list of todo's for my day... And you know what? I WAS getting a lot accomplished! Even if the house still looked like a cyclone hit it, I was still making progress!
4) "ME" time is necessary
It looks a little different when you have a newborn, and possibly another child (children) to care for. But it is still important to take care of YOU mom! The way I see it, if the caretaker isn't cared for, how can she care for others?? My me time is a quick 30 minute workout in the morning (where I catch up on my trashy TV shows :)) and getting myself ready for the day so I don't feel gross in my Pjs all day! (Although there are times this has happened). Also, a quick nap while my boys naps was KEY since baby boy is waking through the night still. So, figure out what refreshes you and make it a priority!
5) Lean on your people
This may be the most important tip for surviving the newborn stage. When I had my first I was so overwhelmed that I shut everyone out, even my mom! I was disappointed that I couldn't do it all myself, and felt like I didn't want anyone witnessing me "failing". Ugh! What a lie! It's more than ok to ask for help! And it's ok to not have it all together! It's so crucial to have your friends surround you too. Other moms that are in the same life stage as you will make you feel less alone, especially when you are super sleep deprived and can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there and lean on your people!
Enjoy this time, even through the difficulties, remember you are AMAZING and God has entrusted this sweet baby to you to care for and I know God will equip you with all you need to survive this newborn stage ❤️