"It's really cool having her with me," the country star, who was named New Female Artist of the Year at the 56th ACM Awards, tells PEOPLE about taking the stage for the first time since giving birth.

Gabby Barrett has embraced life as a new mom.

The country music star, 20, welcomed daughter Baylah May on Jan. 18 and tells PEOPLE how much her priorities have changed since she and husband Cade Foehner brought their new addition home.

"Oh my gosh, it's awesome," she said during rehearsals for the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards. "It's a whole new world, honestly. It's so true all the cliché sayings — when you have kids, everything changes in your world; just flips upside down."

Check out PEOPLE's full ACM Awards coverage to get the latest news on one of country music's biggest nights.

Gabby Barrett and Baylah
| Credit: Gabby Barrett/Instagram

Barrett is set to hit the stage at the ACMs to perform her No. 1 ballad "The Good Ones," which will mark her first televised performance since giving birth.

"Now everything's kind of transformed from me doing it for myself, to me doing it for her now, and I would much rather have it that way," she added. "She's just my whole world now. She's the sweetest, so it's really cool having her with me."

Gabby Barrett
Gabby Barrett
| Credit: Terry Wyatt/ACMA2021/Getty Images

The new parents met during their respective runs on season 16 of American Idol in 2018 and tied the knot in October 2019.

Barrett shared the news of little Baylah's arrival with an Instagram post showing the baby swaddled in a deep red blanket, with a decorative sign showing her name placed on top.

"Got to spend a very sweet week with our newest addition.. meet our girl," the singer wrote in the caption, going on to share her daughter's name and birthday.

Having spent most of the coronavirus pandemic at home in maternity clothes, the singer couldn't be more thrilled to finally have an opportunity to dress up.

"I'm super excited! I've always loved dressing up and the idea of prettiness and makeup and hair and all the fun stuff since I was younger," she confessed. "I've had the fair share of sweatpants and big 'ole t-shirts, especially when I was pregnant and after and all of that, so I am excited to be dressed up and have my hair done and makeup done."

Cade Foehner and Gabby Barrett
Cade Foehner and Gabby Barrett
| Credit: Terry Wyatt/ACMA2021/Getty Images

Barrett already has reason to celebrate as she received the award for new female artist of the year, her first ACM Award, earlier in the week.

"I feel extremely honored. It's just been a very large year for me in many ways," she said. "I just feel blessed beyond comprehension — just so many wonderful things that I'm just very grateful for. I'm excited to be here and be a part of the ACM Awards this year."

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And she's already celebrated her win — though less glamorously than one may think! "I went back and changed a dirty diaper, that's what I did," Barrett jokes. As for her new mom essentials? "Chapstick, water, and my [breast] pump."

The "I Hope" vocalist is still up for one of the night's biggest honors, single of the year, for her debut single. She's surrounded by Miranda Lambert, Carly Pearce, Ingrid Andress and Maren Morris in a category dominated by women, and is only feeling "excitement," not nerves.

Gabby Barrett 56th Academy Of Country Music Awards
Gabby Barrett
| Credit: John Shearer/ACMA2021/Getty

"Single of the year is mind-blowing to me, especially with it being my first single, so that's super-duper cool," she said. "All the other women are super awesome in the category, so I'm really excited for them. We'll just have to watch and see, but I'm just really excited and all of them are great songs, so it's a win-win."  

The 2021 ACM Awards will air live from Nashville on Sunday from 8-11 p.m. ET on CBS and Paramount+.