Take breaks, ask for help, and remember to put your recovery first.
If you are parenting full time, it’s a really good idea to lean on a partner or close support person. New moms often miss out on sleep, and it’s always okay to let someone else take a turn with baby if you need a nap. Also, if your baby is upset and you can’t figure it out and you’re getting frustrated, put the baby down in a safe sleep position and take a break. Your baby is safe in their crib, and it’s more important right now for you to soothe yourself than to get your baby to stop crying. Some babies just cry a lot. It’s not too much fun, but it is temporary. Take it easy on yourself.
Be curious. Listen by watching your baby. Talk back!
A really good way to get to know your baby is to be curious. Even though they’re small and can’t talk yet, your baby is actually a whole little person. Babies begin to communicate with their parents right after birth. Spend a few minutes just looking at your baby. Watch them move their arms and legs, see if you can see them pucker their lips, or suck on their hand, to tell you that they are hungry. Begin to communicate back with your baby. Talk to them. Tell them you notice when they’re talking to you, and tell them that you are going to meet their needs.
Your baby already knows your voice from spending all of that time in your belly. Keep talking to them now. This will help them learn and it will be the foundation of a good relationship between the two of you. This is true even if you are just visiting your child for a short amount of time. More than lots of presents or pictures, a few good moments of stillness and curious attention can be exactly what you and baby need.