Tips for first time moms.
When you're focusing on getting through pregnancy and labor, it's easy to forget that you still have years of parenting ahead of you. This can lead to a lot of new first time moms freaking out once they realize, "Wait, what do I actually do with this baby?!"
However, I'm here to tell you that being a first time mom doesn't have to be overwhelming. If it does start to get overwhelming, journaling helped me a lot when I was a new mom when it came to relieving stress.
It's fun now to look back at those journal entries to see just how frazzled I was. But it all worked out and those experiences are things I will never forget.
Follow these great tips for first-time moms from experienced moms to make sure your little one gets the best possible care!
Talk to a Feeding Specialist
Most hospitals will have a lactation consultant or feeding specialist who can help you out, and I'd encourage new moms to take advantage of this assistance. You might think breastfeeding is instinctual, but it can actually be tricky for you and your baby to figure out.
For latch-on issues, a specialist can help you with positioning or recommend a nipple shield that can help you out.
Prepare Before Diaper Changes
The last thing you want to be doing during a diaper change is leaving your undiapered infant in his crib while you hunt down ointment or wipes.
Before you take off the old diaper, make sure you have a clean diaper, wipes/washcloths, ointment, powder, and fasteners (if you're using cloth diapers) in place. This makes it way easier to handle this tricky task.
Learn How to Adjust Your Baby's Sleep Schedule
Many newborns are more alert at night and sleepier during the day, which can be exhausting for new parents. Of course, you should always try to sleep when your baby sleeps if possible, but there are a few things you can do to help your little one move to a more regular schedule.
First of all, try to reserve singing, playing, and other stimulating activities for the day. At night, keep lights low and voices quiet. Each day, try to keep your baby awake for a few extra minutes, so they can shift to being more alert during the daytime.
Know How to Give a Good Bath
Typically, doctors recommend giving your baby a sponge bath until his umbilical cord heals, at which point you can switch to a tub bath. For both types of baths, you should pick a warm room, and test the water on your wrist to make sure it is warm but not hot.
I know that trying to bathe a screaming, a slippery infant is easier said than done though! You may want to try some unconventional approaches like sitting in the bath holding your baby or keeping him wrapped in a clean, damp towel while you bathe him.
Babies all have their own little quirks, but if you experiment and find your little one’s preferred bathing method, you can cut down on the bath-time drama.
Try Some Soothing Techniques
When your baby is fussy, your first instinct might be to think something is wrong. However, sometimes infants are just crying because they want reassurance. Every baby is different, so it may take a little time to figure out what method of comfort you like. Here are some options suggested by other moms:
- Gently stroking your baby's nose or cheek with a fingertip
- Using a blanket to swaddle your baby snugly
- Patting your baby's back in a "heartbeat" rhythm
- Creating white noise with a vacuum cleaner
- Going to a quiet, calm place to soothe an overstimulated infant
- Singing or humming softly, even if you think you have a bad voice!
Always Have a Spare of Everything
Part of learning how to be a good mom is learning to expect the unexpected. You will routinely be shocked by just how many accidents you have, so it is important to be prepared with extra clothes, blankets, bottles, and more.
Some moms like to layer an extra set of waterproof sheets in the crib, so they can whisk off a dirty sheet and lay their baby right back down.
Others mention it's a good idea to have a set of adult clothes in the diaper bag, just in case a diaper blowout gets on you.
Don't Do Everything Yourself
When I had my first kiddo, I fell into the trap of thinking that no one else could do things as well as I could. Many first time moms think that way. While it's true that you and your baby will have a special bond, this doesn't mean you're the only one who should care for him. Try to let Dad step in as much as possible, so he can begin bonding and learning how to be a parent too.
You might want to consider accepting help from trusted friends and family members as well. Having an hour or two to yourself can give you some much-needed sanity - especially if you’re struggling with postpartum anxiety - so you can be the best parent possible.
First time moms often have a lot of questions and it can be good to get some help from others who know exactly how you feel and what you are going through.
There you go mama, you have a couple of helpful tips for the beginning! I’m sure you’ll be good on your own after some time.
Motherhood is one of the most challenging and hardest jobs that exist. A child doesn’t come with an instruction manual and you’ll need to figure out everything by yourself.
But you know what? I know that you’ll do an amazing job. There isn’t a single person in this world who knows what your little one needs more than you.
So, just relax and listen to your child. Learn from him and enjoy your time together because those moments are so precious and he will grow so fast.
Let this journey be the best one in your life! The positive mood on, mama!
Ivana Davies is an educator turned stay-at-home mom. She’s a proud mom of a beautiful 7-year-old girl and a playful 5-year-old boy. Since she didn’t have a clue about raising kids, she had to learn it all in a hard way. Ivana managed to find so much information online and it inspired her to turn to blogging to share her experiences and struggles as a mom. Being a mom is not easy. In fact, it can sometimes be pretty isolating. Her blog, Find Your Mom Tribe, is here to help you connect with other moms, as well as to share mom hacks, information, and tools to help you on this parenting journey. You can catch up with her on Facebook and Pinterest.