Before giving birth to my daughter, Lena, I thought I was equipped for our first week home together. After all, I’d assembled the crib, washed the tiny clothes, stocked up on diapers, and hung the pink butterfly curtains in the nursery. Looking back now, I think: How could I have been so naive?
Sure, I’d done the necessary prep work for my baby’s arrival. But all that stuff is fluff when it comes to making it through the maiden days of motherhood. That’s when you need to master new skills that you can’t prepare for or practice until your baby arrives, like breastfeeding, soothing a crying child, surviving on no sleep, and tackling other areas of uncharted territory. To help you ease into your first week, we’ve asked experts and moms who’ve been there how to handle the most common challenges.