This is one of the best things I done, we are both knackered at the end of each day and cooking is the last thing on our minds. Most of us lack space in the freezer so I defrosted mine a few weeks before my due date and started clearing it out making meals out of what I had. Then on a Sunday I would spend the afternoon cooking and storing it in microwavable containers and ensure I had at least a months supply of food. I made a lot of simple meals: beef stew, spag bol (sauce only), lasagne along with a few chinese dishes. We would often steam veg / made salad to go with these meals and it was a case of boiling spaghetti or rice which was easy enough for the evenings.
SleepI am sure you have heard it before sleep when your baby sleeps which is often easy said than done. I never have problems sleeping so it was easy enough for me but for those who do struggle I would suggest to have one of those eye shields and make sure you have curtains that make your room dark enough which makes sleeping easier. I was very lucky in that my baby literally eat / sleep / eat / sleep as newborns often sleep lots. Every time after feeding she falls asleep immediately so I would put her back in the bedroom and I would also sleep. It is broken up sleep so not quite the same as having the usual 7-8 hours stretch but it really is the best you are going to get.
Cuddles With Your Baby
I know everyone says you can never have enough cuddles but too much cuddles in my opinion can lead to your little one getting too attached to you. Often in forums I read about mums who cannot put their little one down without them crying and needing to be picked back up again. Initially you probably don't notice it much (you just want to give lots of cuddles) or see it as a problem but trust me later on it will stop you from doing things around the house and resting! There are plenty of opportunities for cuddles! Babies are clever they can quickly pick up that if they cry they will be held again and you will notice they sleep very well whilst being held so don't fall into that trap.
Team WorkIt's so important for you and your other half split your duties so the other one rests to ensure you both get time to rest up. My hubby sleeps in our bedroom and I sleep in the little ones room this ensures your other half gets un-interrupted sleep and fully rest up for the next day. I generally go to sleep around 9-10pm and other half would do feeds until 4am for me to take over (we do combined feeding) with me sleeping so early I get a good block of sleep. My other half would often sleep in until 12 noon or later so he gets enough sleep, when he wakes up he would take over so I can sleep more in the afternoon. It may sound like there is a lot of sleep going on between all of us but having a newborn drains you physically and mentally so even in doing what we were doing we were both still not getting enough rest on some days.
GadgetsPerfect Prep - I do combined feeding (expressing) so the perfect prep machine came in handy with feeds. There is nothing worse than a crying baby in the middle of the night and this little machine is really amazing. A lot of people say it's the lazy way but who cares, if you don't know what this is then you must watch this clip! We purchased ours from Boots in the sale along with collecting plenty of club card points and if it brakes I can always return it to store easily.
Baby Tracker app - it's important to keep track of feeding times / nappy changes etc so when your little one cries you can work out what the problem is..you can both use the same login and update as / when you need to. This was particularly useful at nights when hubby would be doing the feeds and I would know how much she drank in the last feed or when her nappy was last changed. Before we discovered this app we use to write it all out on a pad of paper and it was so much faf. Trust me when you feed / nappy change so many times during the day everything becomes a blur and you forget when you actually last fed!
Cot/Sleepyhead/Moses BasketWe brought a cot for her but soon as we arrived home we tried to put her in she didn't like it because it was too big and not snug enough. I didn't buy a moses basket so we ended up using the basket from our iCandy pram which worked well for the first 5 weeks when she was tiny but as she got bigger it looked too small so we brought a Sleepyhead from our local John Lewis. I wish I purchased this before her arrival but it's expensive £99 and I saw it as something to buy if we struggled to get her to sleep. Sleepyhead can be used from 0-8 months and we put this in our cot which works well. I take it into the lounge with me for the afternoon naps so when she falls asleep I can just carry her into the bedroom without waking her up. It can also be used as a travel bed / changing mat. I also picked this one because it can be used as a bed, I know there are lot of different ones on the market but you may not be able to use it as a bed.
Baby Clothes - outfitsEveryone goes crazy on the cute small baby outfits and stock up (I didn't) what you will find is that it's often a lot easier keeping them in these baby gros / sleepsuits for convenience changing in and out. We picked up a few packs of newborn / 0-3 months from primark and already I have given the newborn ones to charity. When they are cheap you don't get attached to them and not wanting to give them away but we simply don't have space for storage in our apartment. Don't forget family / friends will also gift you with clothes and you will have too much and clothes that never actually get worn because you forget about them and it's such a waste. It got to the point where I had to tell people no more clothes and things like nappy's are far more useful.
VisitorsEveryone will be excited to see your newborn and there is plenty of time for that so unless they are coming round helping with the cooking / cleaning etc then it's best to keep visitors to a minimal. Firstly you may find yourself in your PJ all day because you literally didn't get a chance to change out of them and as for hair / make up why bother when you are at home all day long. Visitors will forget you don't sleep through the night and often they stay for far too long and it interrupts with your feeding / schedule so it's best to let them know before they come that they cannot stay for long because you need to rest! Don't feel you need to make them drinks, instead tell them where everything is and they can make themselves useful! haha
Amazon / Boots have been great for stocking up on top up items. I usually compare the prices between these 2 sites and see which works out cheaper bearing in mind Boots do the parenting club which gives extra boots points to spend back in store.
If you are doing combined feeding or just formula then you need to create a section of your kitchen for the bottles / formula etc you don't want your bottles mixing in with your dirty dishes with all the grease etc.. I have a bucket for washing bottles in using NUK bottle cleanser and a teat brush for the brand of bottles I am using.
All the formula brands will do these starter packs which are ever so convenient for going out in the first few weeks. The formula is ready made and all you need to do is warm it up and screw the teat on to start feeding then throw it away when you are done. These ready made formula's can be fed as room temperature or warmed up. A lot of people take one of these packs to hospital / birth centres but our one provided formula so I saved mine for going out.
I think that is it...if I think of anything else I will just add to it. Lastly the first few weeks are tough but it really does get easier!!!