9 things to expect during the first week at home with a newborn

The first week home with a newborn can be a whirlwind of emotion. While the experience is different for everyone, here’s our tongue-in-cheek guide on what you can expect during that first week which will hopefully give you a bit of a chuckle.

Because laughter is always the best medicine, even for extreme sleep deprivation and leaking breasts.

What to Expect The First Week Home With a Newborn

So, you just had a baby. What’s next?

Here are nine things that you can expect to happen during the first week home with your newborn. And make sure you also check out the thoughts every parent has on the first night home with their little one. 

1. Expect to live off adrenaline.

The shock of what your body just did (you just gave birth! How awesome are you?) and the new changes that are taking place will leave you feeling a tad elated. Your body will be full of adrenaline and it can take a week for this to wear off.

2. Expect to not really sleep, even when you should be.

What to Expect The First Week Home With a Newborn

Even when your body is tired, you will probably have a hard time falling asleep because of the excitement and probably a bit of fear pumping through your body. Even when you fall asleep for an hour, it will probably be light sleep as it’s natural instinct to wake as soon as you hear any slight sound coming from your newborn.

You’ve just given birth to a helpless human being who relies on you constantly – it’s understandable that you are having a hard time sleeping when bub does. Or at all.

3. Expect to spend a lot of time just staring at your baby.

By the end of the week, you will probably be too tired to even realise that you’re doing it. There were countless times in the first week when my husband would catch me staring vacantly at my son as he slept in the bassinet beside us.

Why? Because newborn babies are so insanely cute they have to be looked at! Constantly. You can also expect to spend a lot of time smelling his head (the delicious smell is addictive). Their big blue eyes are pretty cute too. And their little toes. And squishy bums.

4. Expect to don the world’s most awful undergarment.

What to Expect The First Week Home With a Newborn

The bleeding doesn’t stop as soon as you give birth. You can expect to require a heavy duty maternity pad (or even an adult diaper) for at least the first week. Most women will bleed for two to six weeks but it can be longer. It does get less and less though and usually the first two or three days are the worst.

5. Expect to pretty much leak all over every towel and bed sheet in the house.

Leaky breasts come with the territory. And massively engorged ones that look like they might be trying to take over your entire body. Oh, and the blue veins popping out of them are also quite a pleasant surprise.

You can learn more about how your body will change after labour right here.

6. Expect to just give up on wearing a shirt at all.


In between cluster feeds and expressing, you are pretty much going to feel like a milk machine. I remember feeding my son every 45 minutes on day three or four simply because it was all he wanted. Shirt not required. Pants optional too.

And, when you are not expressing or feeding, you will probably spend the majority of your free minutes massaging your engorged breasts, caking your nipples with cream and searching the fridge for cold items to help with the swelling (cabbage leaves are the holy grail for this).

7. Expect to get peed on.

It’s almost like a parenting rite of passage to be saturated with newborn wee during the first few nappy changes. Mustard coloured baby poop is also pretty standard. And baby spew. But considering you’re probably still not wearing a shirt, your laundry pile shouldn’t get too intense.

8. Expect to feel like you are pooping out razor blades.

sit on toilet

Not going to sugarcoat it, ladies. That first bowel movement can be a rough one. Plenty of pear juice, fibre and water can help. And, as you enter the toilet and prepare, just remember, you’ve just pushed a baby out. You can do this!

9. Expect to feel like you have no idea what in the world you are doing.

Feel overwhelmed, confused and emotional? Then odds are you’re doing it right. Because that first week with a newborn isn’t easy, especially if bub is fussy or if he is having digestive troubles (which are also common during the first week).

While that first week can be filled with frustrating moments as you accidentally spill the breast milk and clean up the baby poop that leaked onto the lounge cushion, the good moments completely outweigh the bad – the late night (okay, all night) newborn snuggles, the blissful family time and, most importantly, the joy you feel when you look down at the sleeping infant in your arms and know that you are finally complete.

Have a look at what other experiences you can expect during the fourth trimester as well as our tips on juggling a baby and a toddler.

The Healthy Mummy Smoothie

Did you know that The Healthy Mummy’s range of delicious smoothies are breastfeeding-friendly?

choc mint smoothie

The Healthy Mummy smoothie has been created to help mums benefit from a wide range of nutrients which can also help support your healthy eating plan and exercise routine if you are trying to lose weight.

The smoothie range has been formulated by leading nutritionists, dieticians and with input from Monash University.

It offers an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and important antioxidants.

It’s also free from any weight loss accelerants, caffeine, contains no wheat ingredients, no fructose, is 96 per cent sugar free and is dairy free.

You can download our information fact sheet here. You can also download the smoothie label and ingredient list here.

Buy your Healthy Mummy Smoothie HERE.

written by:

Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna traded in the cold mountain air for the laid back lifestyle of Australia nine years ago. She is now a mum to one son, one daughter, one dog and one cat, all of whom live with her and her partner in Cairns, QLD. When not writing about the ups and downs of parenting, she is usually outside doing some form of physical activity or indulging in a glass of antioxidant-infused fruit drink. Okay, it's wine.