How to Survive the Newborn Phase (Without Relying on Coffee… or Wine) 

Yes, I have a newborn. No, I am not wearing a shirt. Any more questions? 

Bringing baby home is amazing, right? It can leave you bursting with pride and joy and happiness and all that other mushy stuff. But the newborn phase can also leave your breasts sore, your brain fried, your stomach hangry and your body absolutely exhausted.

For weeks on end.

Want to know how to keep going, even when you’re running on empty (and you’re not ‘allowed’ to refuel with heaps of coffee or wine)? Here’s 14 things to bring on board when bringing home baby.

1. Get used to jiggling ALL THE TIME 

Regardless of whether you actually have an infant in your arms or not, it’s easier to just accept that the jiggle is now part of your life. Not the tummy jiggle, though that comes too. I mean the OTHER jiggle, when you’re trying to rock baby to sleep. It’s your new hobby. As is making a light “shush shush” sound.

2. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish each day

Then use this lift to clean up the baby vomit that spewed all over the floor.

3. Give up on wearing a shirt

Honestly, it’s just not worth the effort. Or the extra laundry when you have to change your shirt eight gazillion times a day because your boobs keep springing leaks.

4. Check the fridge

That’s most likely where your keys will be.

5. Invest in sunglasses – really big ones

Shirt optional. Sunnies necessary.

6. Add an automatic SMS message to your phone

It should read, “Sorry, I can’t make it today.  I just got the baby to sleep.”

This will save you the time of recording this pretty much every single time you make plans.


A child is literally sucking all the energy out of you. You deserve a cookie, dammit.

Oh, and partners, if your wife asks for a cookie, bring her the WHOLE BOX. None of this “two bickies on a plate” BS.

8. Learn sign language

It’s pretty much the only way you and your partner can successfully communicate without risking waking up the baby.

9. Keep a pillow in the back of your car

The next time bub falls asleep TWO SECONDS before you reach your destination, grab your pillow and join in on the in-car nap. Just be sure you’re not parked in the hot sun.

10. Online shop

Best. Idea. Ever. You can stock up on maternity pads AND rock your baby to sleep at the same time. Plus, you don’t have to leave the house. Or put on a shirt.

11. When heading out, place a sign on your pram that explains ALL the details of labour and birth

The more details, the better. That way you won’t have to stop and explain that, Yes, I did push my baby out of my vagina, thanks for asking, 15 times a day.

12. Accept the fact that ‘hearing sounds’ is now part of your life

Most likely the sound of your baby crying. And most likely the moment you step in the shower. Or lie down in bed.

Sometimes it will be bub actually crying. Other times it will be your mind playing tricks on you, proving that yep, you are slowly going insane. And nope, you’re never allowed to relax again.

13. Take up kick boxing

It’s good for stress relief. It can be done at home. And, it can be very useful when attempting to wake up your husband when it’s his turn to attend to bub at night.

Baby crying doesn’t wake him up? That’s okay. A round kick to the face certainly will.

14. And, finally, don’t be too hard on yourself

Newborns are seriously hard work. And, let’s be honest, some days they are kind of assholes too. The tiredness and the tediousness, it can get the better of all of us. And it will.

But try not to let it. Know that you are doing everything right, even if it sometimes feels like you’re not. Know that you are giving bub everything he needs, even if you haven’t done the washing in days and you’ve spent most of your week trying to jiggle bub to sleep.

If you feel like you’ve lost your mind (and you’ve definitely lost your keys), then you’re doing everything right.

Have a read of the 7 reasons why new mums get nothing done for more proof that newborns turn us into incompetent puddles of mush. Good thing they are so damned cute.

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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