New Mom Tips: Being a new mom can be scary, intimidating, and unknown territory. Here’s everything that I wish someone had told me early on in my mothering journey.
As a mom to four kids, I will share some advice that I think you can use and find beneficial. Now, with all the advice you always have to remember not everything one person does will work for you. Enjoy your pregnancy and embrace motherhood in all the good and messy that comes with it.
New Mom Tips
1. Grain of Salt
As soon as people hear you are pregnant you will get an earful of tips, advice, and everything else you can think of. Take it with a grain of salt. Some people will share incredible and helpful tips, maybe even sanity-saving! Other advice, not so much. Do what works for you and take each word of advice as it comes but don’t feel it is something you have to do if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle. Every baby is different and every parent is different.
2. Ask for Help
Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to do it all. It won’t make you less of a new mom if you let your mother-in-law watch your baby while you hop in the shower to freshen up. Make sure if you need help, you ask. You have to remember childbirth is hard on your body, so it will heighten your exhaustion. Take care of you and your new bundle of joy.
3. Freezer Meals
If you can before your baby arrives make some quick and easy freezer meals. Do items like lasagna that you can toss in the oven straight from the freezer. Or whip up some dump and go meals for your slow cooker. This will help you the first few weeks to a month of being a new mom.
If you don’t have time to get freezer meals ready, it is okay! Even if you order out more, or eat sandwiches, you and your family will survive. Don’t beat yourself up!
Don’t be worried if your baby is not hitting the milestones exactly when it says they should. Each baby has their own personality and timeframe they will reach milestones. What you read is a guide, not a strict guide on exactly when. So give it time and I am sure they will hit the milestones.
Consider buying a couple of mesh laundry bags. The first little while after having a baby you will be sore. If you toss all the baby clothes in the mesh laundry bag, you just grab the bag and toss it right into the dryer. It saves your tummy and body from having to bend over as much and the laundry gets just as clean–this is a trick from a c-section mom friend and I think it’s genius!
6. Keep Track
Make sure to write down how many wet diapers, ounces of milk, etc your baby is doing. When you have your first doctor visit it can feel overwhelming when they ask how many hours a day are they awake, how much they sleep, etc. So be prepared! I find the easiest way to do this is on an app on my phone.
7. Fussy Baby
My first baby was very fussy, so I pretty much used everything in this book for the first three months of her life exclusively! If it was in there, we were doing it! Fast forward three more kids, I still think the soothing techniques covered in this book are good for life (and have worked for each of my children!)
Create a little station where you plan to sit and feed the baby. Make sure to have a drink for yourself, snacks, and of course your phone in reach to check out, a book to read or tv in view. Also have extra bibs on hand, nipple cream if breastfeeding, etc. You will spend a lot of the first month feeding your newborn, burping and you want to make sure you are comfy.
Invest in a few sleep sacks, they are great for those middle of the night feeds. Lift up on the bottom and you can access the diaper without having to unzip or button! I think having four for the newborn stage, and 2-3 for each other stage is very helpful! Our kids wore them until they were 2.5 and transitioned to a big kid bed.
9. Cabbage Leaves
Wash up cabbage leaves and apply to the breasts in between your feedings. This will help soothe and reduce pain for achy breasts, help reduce engorgement and help if you oversupply milk.
Do note that cabbage can reduce your milk supply so don’t over-do this method! You leave the leaves on your breasts until they wilt, then toss.
Even More Parenting Tips for New Moms
10. Sleep when you can even if that means napping when the baby does. Housework can wait.
11. Baby’s can sense stress so if you are stressing when they are crying it could be escalating the issue. Don’t feel bad if dad steps in to help calm baby.
12. Take time to have someone watch the baby so you can do something for you. Go to the grocery store, manicure, date night, etc.
13. You learn as you go, no one is perfect.
14. After a bit, you will learn what your baby is wanting by the type of cry they make.
15. Trust your gut. If you feel like something is “off” it probably is!
16. Stockpile essentials before baby arrives.
17. Fresh starts happen each day, take a deep breath and relax. There will be hard days but you are a good mom.
18. The newborn stage doesn’t last forever, you will eventually get to sleep again.
19. Skin to skin is a great way to connect with your baby even after leaving the hospital.
20. Get outdoors if you can and get some vitamin D, it will do your body good and boost your mood.
21. Listen to your body, if you start feeling the baby blues talk about it. So many women experience, there is no shame.
22. The time will go fast, so cherish it.
23. Remember no one is perfect!