It is surprising how much work it really is to take care of a newborn, and how stressful especially if your baby is colicky or if you get little help from your spouse. You will always feel “on call” for the first month or so and will chronically feel sleep-deprived. Previously-working mothers sometimes find themselves socially isolated with a new baby. These feelings are probably at their worst at one to two months when the novelty of the experience has worn off, when the baby is still awakening at night and has not yet begun to smile and has not yet become socially responsive.

What can you do? Trade off with your spouse. Get a few hours away, for yourself. By one month, recruit a reliable babysitter and make a date with your spouse. Get some exercise; meet up with some friends, perhaps with other parents of newborns, for strolls, trips to the park, etc. Travel with your baby. Between one month and nine months is ideal for a trip to visit relatives and show off the baby.

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