Being left alone with your newborn for the first time is, well, terrifying. If you're anything like me you can envision a myriad of things going horribly wrong and OMG you're too sleep-deprived to deal. Thankfully, the people in our lives can make this next step easier to manage, like when these moms shared the special thing their partner did for them when they were left alone with their baby for the first time.
I find myself firmly established in the "it's natural to panic" camp of first-time mothers spending time with their babies alone. I mean, newborns are a huge responsibility, parenting isn't some intrinsic thing we're all born automatically knowing how to do, and most of us don't have that much practice taking care of tiny humans who need us every hour of every day. And even if you have babysitting experience, taking care of someone else's child is not the same as taking care of your own. I had been a professional nanny for many years before I had my son, and even though I had lots of childcare experience, I was still nervous on that first day I spent time alone with my newborn. When my husband went back to work and my parents returned to their home, I was left all alone with this little creature and I was terrified.
In the end I realized it helped to have a routine each day. With an established schedule my baby knew what to expect and the familiarity was comforting. It also helped me get out of the house and feel like each day had a purpose beyond just keeping my child alive. And on that first day, my husband checked in with me with thoughtful texts and made sure he came home early to see how I was doing. Even something that small made a big difference. So with that in mind, here's how a few other parents helped first-time moms deal with the terror that is being left alone with a newborn for the first time.
"My boyfriend left me sticky notes on everything I would need, like bottles and in the laundry, saying stuff like 'you got this.' It was really cute."
"My partner arranged for a friend and a neighbor to pop in during the day and visit. It really helped to break up the day."
"My girlfriend made me a week of lunches with a little menu and then she would text me to say 'take your lunch out of the freezer and turn the stove on.' I felt nurtured."
"My husband went on half-days for the first week, so he was home after lunch."
"He called me, like, every hour, and it was sweet. But in the end, I had to say 'I am fine, I can handle this.' He was more worried than me!"
"My husband had put little candies in all the diaper changing baskets so everytime I had to change a diaper there was a treat after I washed my hands!"
"As soon as my husband got back from work he ran me a bubble bath and took the baby for a long walk. Then, when the baby went to sleep, he made dinner and massaged my feet. It only lasted a week, but it was the greatest week ever!"
Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.