After the entire adoption process full of paperwork and emotions, it’s normal that you’ve been dreaming about bringing your baby home for months. Once you find out you’re going to become a parent soon, it’s important to prepare your own newborn survival guide. That first couple of months at home with your newborn baby will try your willpower unlike anything else and once you’ve adopted a newborn, a whole new life is about to start. Here is some helpful advice to get you through those first few weeks and months.

Stall the Visitors

You'll likely want to spend lots of alone time with your baby, but family and friends will all want to visit as soon as possible. Parents need some time to bond with their newborn baby after the adoption, so kindly ask your family and friends to wait with the visits. If you explain to them why you think that the right thing to do, they will understand.

Freeze the Meals

Your baby will need your full attention and constant care, which leaves little room for cooking dinner. That's why it’s a nice idea to prepare some meals before your baby arrives and store them in the freezer. Meals like pasta dishes, lasagna, casseroles, soups, chili, and stew are good make-ahead options.

Calming a Crying Baby

Babies cry, and often you’ll have no idea why. To calm your baby you’ll need to identify the issue step by step, so you’ll check your baby’s diaper, make sure he or she isn't too cold or too hot, try to feed him or her, and check everything you can think of. If this doesn’t work, you can try swaddling your baby. A newborn massage also does wonders, just like swinging, and sucking a bottle or a pacifier.

Bathing

A newborn baby needs a full bath only once or twice a week. Using soap and shampoo too often will dry out your baby's delicate skin. Before a bath, make sure your baby is not hungry or tired and that the room is warm enough. In between baths, you can give your baby a sponge bath with a warm, wet washcloth.

How to Survive the Night

Babies thrive on routine, and it's never too early to start establishing one. A bedtime routine is a great place to start. Begin winding down with the same activities every night, like reading a book, lowering the lights, singing a song, and cuddling. Over time, your baby will associate those activities with bedtime and falling asleep will come more easily. Keep nighttime feedings short and quiet to encourage your baby to fall back to sleep quickly.

Feeding

Newborns have very small stomachs, so it’s completely normal to feed them more frequently. For the first few weeks, it’s important to feed them on demand. Eventually you'll work up to a feeding schedule if you so desire. If you feel like your baby isn’t getting enough food, you can always talk to your pediatrician to make sure your baby is gaining enough weight.

Diaper Checks

When you’re changing your baby’s diaper, you should know your colors. In baby’s first couple of days, the stool is usually black. After that, it’ll get lighter brown before turning to yellow. No matter how you feed your baby, normal colors are brown, green, or yellow. If you notice something white or red that can indicate a problem, so call your baby’s pediatrician right away.