Many mothers are opting to cocoon their newborns, particularly with their first, and here are some benefits.
There is something earth shattering about having a baby. Especially your first.
You are pregnant, exhausted, and barely hanging on and then – all of a sudden – you go through one of the most strenuous things a body can do.
And then, to top it off, you’re handed a tiny baby that depends on you for every single thing.
It’s both amazingly wonderful and extremely disorienting.
Back in the day… cocooning was the norm
Don’t you love watching old movies and seeing how heavily pregnant women would typically remain in bed or in calm rest for the weeks leading up to birth, and the weeks after.
Of course, some mamas give birth on the rice paddies, as they say, but many who were able created a time of dedicated rest.
That’s what cocooning is.
Setting aside a time to stay home bound, with family, caring for your precious newborn.
And suspending some of the other parts of life for a time to recover and get used to having a new baby.
Here are some benefits to cocooning and how it may be beneficial to your own family.
1) Baby can feed, nap, and get to bed at optimal times
Early bedtimes can be hard in our busy daily lives between work and daycare pick-up and other after-school activities, endless appointments and errands.
In those early days and weeks, it’s so important to get into a good rhythm with baby. Honestly, it’s essential for survival.
When you cocoon, you essentially eliminate as many activities outside the home as possible so you can focus on getting your feeding rhythms down.
You can get the hang of nursing without having to feed in bathrooms, the car, or on park benches.
And you can make sure your newborn is well rested and you aren’t running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off as though your life never changed. When in fact, the whole family changed.
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2) You can focus on baby, not all of life’s responsibilities
Moms are notorious for having tons of things to do and making them happy no matter what.
It’s tempting to try and “get back to normal” as soon as you’re able to get up and at ’em, but unless you have to… don’t. Cocooning is a great time to do the following.
- Take advantage of your leave (if you work) and enjoy it
- Bow out of any commitments for a time, take a pause
- Stop hosting events, bible studies, groups, etc. at your home
- Hire help (whether a mother’s helper or a cleaning service) if you’re able
- Pause any subscriptions, memberships, programs, etc. you will feel guilty for not doing while you’re cocooning
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3) You can tackle optimizing the home for peaceful days
If you are going to cocoon baby at home with you for a time, why not use this as an opportunity to really create a loving nurturing peaceful home environment.
One you want to come home to and hang out in.
Haven’t had a chance to hang up those blackout curtains or set up the crib yet? Keep forgetting to order a white noise machine? It’s a great time to do all that.
You can make the nursery homey (even if you room share for a few months like we did with our 5). Make sure the areas of your house where you hang out the most have things like burp cloths, diapers, wipes, etc.
Make your home a cozy place to be.
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4) You can focus on getting into a feeding pattern
If you are constantly in the car, going here, going there, at that event or the other it’s hard to get into a feeding rhythm. Even if you are an old pro at nursing, there will still be adjustments with each baby.
Some babies feed quickly, others are barracudas, others feed for 45 minutes at a time.
Also, some mothers experience D-MER which is a negative (verrrry negative sometimes) during letdown which can make them feel quite disoriented.
Make sure baby takes full feeds, that’s the main thing. Full feeds means a proper interval between feeds which allows them to get enough restorative sleep. If they are feeding every hour they are never going into a deep sleep.
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5) You can give older children time to process the new addition
If you’ve got toddlers or preschoolers in the home, having some time to cocoon can help them with this new family transition.
Many times siblings will develop some aversion to baby and they’ll feel jealous or displaced. The more you’re able to cocoon at home – and since most newborns sleep all day – you’ll be able to spend quality time with your older kids.
If they feel like they can help out with or even hold the baby, it will help with the bonding process.
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6) You can take these 2 weeks to set yourself up for success
If you haven’t prepared for the first few months with baby, now is a great time.
Do you have infant seats, high chairs, and clothes for the next season?
Maybe you’ll want to get some food storage going. This is particularly true if you know you’ll return back to work in a few weeks. Because, of course, you don’t want to feel stressed at that transition.
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7) You can get YOURSELF caught up on some sleep
Even if you had a fairly straightforward stress free birth… it’s a huge physical undertaking.
Your body has been hard at work for nearly the past year… it needs time to adjust and heal.
Weary comfy clothes, embrace the lounge movement, and take advantage of this life season.
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