Welcome Home: Week 10
Your baby is now ten weeks old, and you're in the full swing of parenthood to a newborn, except you might now feel like you know what you're doing! This is a time when many mothers are returning to work or thinking about their future childcare options. None of these decisions are easy to make, but with the right planning, you can find the situation that works best for you and your family. In the meantime, here's what's going on with you and baby specifically.
Between constipation, breast pain, night sweats, and other postpartum symptoms, you're probably starting to wonder if your sex drive will ever come back. Each woman is different, and it's important to remember that having a baby lowers libido for many women, particularly if they are breastfeeding. Nature has a way of making you less likely to get pregnant right after having a baby, whether that's through breastfeeding hormones or just not wanting to have sex.
If you feel ready to begin again, talk to your doctor about how long it takes for hormones and your libido to adjust, and in the meantime, work on keeping lines of communication open with your spouse. What do you need to feel sexy again? How can you both stay physically close if you don't feel like having sex? Sometimes all it takes is some patience and knowing that things will get better.
As your baby's movements become more coordinated, give him plenty of space to wiggle and roll. This will help his muscle development, as well as an increased view of the world around him.
By now, your baby may enjoy socializing with other adults and babies, so it's a great time to introduce a babysitter, caregiver, or daycare provider. Be present during the first few visits to let your baby know that you trust this person, which will help him or her adjust, especially if you plan on returning to work in the near future.
If you plan on returning to work, consider your different childcare options. Do you have family nearby that could care for your child each day or during your work schedule? What about a trusted friend? If these options aren't available to you, begin exploring daycare providers, and find what you feel good about. The more comfortable you feel with your child's caregiver, the better it will be for both of you as you return to work.
Lastly, don't underestimate the power of a bedtime routine, even at this early age. Your baby can greatly benefit from a bath, story, and transitional object of some kind to help signal to them that it's sleepy time. This is an important step in sleep training, which means more uninterrupted sleep for you in the long run!
Have a back-up babysitter aside from the regular caregiver. If you have a close family member that watches your baby daily while you work, you're in luck! But get another regular babysitter for date night and other things so you don't make Nan and Pop feel taken advantage of, and so you don't feel guilty about going on a date! It's also best to have a back-up in case of emergencies.