You've set up the crib, bought the nappies and stroller - you're all set for the arrival of your little one. But are you? Coming home with a new baby can be overwhelming, so here are some tips to help you get through that first week.

1. Enlist help

If you are lucky enough to have your mum around (and have a good relationship with her) consider asking her to stay for the first month. Most new grandmothers will be happy to help. Ask her to share night shift with you so that you can get at least a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Although newborns sleep a lot - they often wake up every few hours.

2. Set up your bedroom

Invest in a night light or just a small table lamp so that when you have to get up in the night you don't have to switch on a really bright over head light. Keep a bottle of water by your bed and some easy to read magazines or books so that you can have something close by to read while you night feed. If it's winter, invest in a small oil heater for the room so that your baby doesn't wake up because he / she is cold.

3. Soothing your baby

The transition from the womb to the bright lights of the world is harsh for babies. Try to recreate the soothing effects of being in the womb by swaddling your baby and have as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. Using a baby sling or carrier also keeps your baby close to your body and makes them feel safe and secure.

4. Get help from a Lactation Expert sooner rather than later

Even though it's natural and our bodies are equipped to do it, breastfeeding can be hard. Don't wait until you are exhausted and have cracked nipples before enlisting the help of a lactation consultant. If you can, attend breastfeeding classes before the birth (or if you're lucky enough to have a close friend who is breastfeeding, ask her if you can learn by observing her and asking her questions). Most hospitals have lactation consultants on hand to help you in those first few days.

5. Bathing your baby

Newborns are so slippy when wet! Relax and take it slow. Because you'll want to work around the umbilical cord (the faster it dries, the sooner it will fall off), a sponge bath is the way to go at this stage. Gather the supplies and have them within arm's reach - this way you can have one hand on the baby at all times. Then place him on a towel and gently wash the areas that need cleaning with a warm washcloth and baby bath wash.

6. The lowdown on nappies

Get ready for all colours of the rainbow. The first poo, meconium, is black, tarry gunk. As your baby eats more (or your milk comes in), her feces will change from brown to green to a mustardy yellow. But don't expect solid stool. There will be nothing of substance for months. A good indication that baby is eating enough? By day four, she's wetting four to eight diapers a day, pooping three to six times a day, and starting to gain weight. If you see red in the stool, contact your doctor. This could be blood. Call your doctor if you are at all concerned.

7. First Week Survival Package

You've got the essentials for baby (swaddling blankets, diapers, and bath products), but what about you? Here are items you'll want to have on hand.

Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is key, but you probably won't have the energy to go to the kitchen for a drink. Fill your water bottle and have it by your side.

Extra Pillows: Make yourself comfy with body pillows, doughnut pillows (which can ease pressure on a sore tailbone), or regular pillows to prop and cushion as needed.

Handy Snacks: You will need them to keep your energy up.

Sanitary Pads: After birth you can expect blood flow from the uterus for several weeks.

Have you got any tips you'd like to pass on for preparing for the arrival of a newborn? We'd love to hear from you!