Notes to a New Mom: 10 Pieces of Advice I Wish I’d Had

| November 1, 2013 | 8 Comments

newborn and a mom


1. Shower everyday. It will make everything seem brighter and more manageable. And if you are breastfeeding, you will sweat. A lot. Unexpectedly. Especially at night. Shower every day.

2. Lower your house cleaning standards. While you may have been a Type A neat freak before, that is time that you no longer have and if you have it, it could be spent doing many more new mom nurturing things, like sleeping, eating or talking to a girlfriend.

3. You have to learn how to soothe your baby, it doesn’t necessarily come naturally to all of us. Read Dr. Karp’s “Happiest Baby on the Block”, about “re-creating the womb” via the 5’s to soothe your baby. Swing, swaddle, suck, shhh and side lying. Genius.

4. Buy a big swing. The big one, that has a large swinging arc and that plugs into the wall. It will take up your living room, but it will prevent your husband from getting tendonitis in his elbow from swinging the car seat for extended periods, and it will calm fussy babies really well. It is magic.

5. Learn how to decipher your baby’s cries and thus his needs. Listen to the Dunstan “Baby Language” to learn what your baby’s cries mean, ie hunger, vs fatigue. You can find them on You Tube or in the App store.  Being in tune with your baby and understanding their needs makes the whole process so much easier and will be very empowering for you.

6. Put your baby down for a nap fully awake once a day at least. Teaching them how to put themselves to sleep is an important life skill. And awake does not mean in a milk coma.

7. You will never be so hungry. Get lots of good carb, high protein food stocked in your cupboards and freezer, and then stock it again.

8. Do not worry that you are not stimulating your baby enough. You don’t constantly have to entertain them. The world in itself is entertaining to them. Just because the Mom next to you has her baby enrolled in Mom and Tot music does not mean that you should be doing this as well, and it does not mean that your baby is missing out. Big long life ahead of her full of experiences.

9. Find your peeps. You need people who are going through similar things as you. Get out of the house and find them… at strollercize, the coffee shop, online groups. Whatever it takes.

10. Give your baby a bottle once per week. I am a big fan of breast feeding, but once breast feeding is well established, it is a real gift to yourself to have your baby be able to take a bottle of breast milk from someone else if you need to be out of the house during feeding time. There is a window on getting them to take a bottle.

It is a journey. Enjoy the ride.

Martin Gommel / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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  1. Amanda says:

    I agree with all of these except #4. Those swings can be amazing, but they don’t work for every baby. My oldest son adored his swing and often fell asleep in it. My youngest son *hated* swinging of ANY kind….he’d cry and cry and fuss so much. Even when he got older, he hated the swings at the park until he was like 3 1/2 lol.

  2. Brenda A says:

    I prefer the advice of “find your own groove for what works for you, your baby and your family”. I dislike the “put baby to nap wide awake every day” and the bottle. Why? If your baby sleeps best by falling asleep at the breast, which is by far better than sucking on a piece of plastic, do it. Finding the time to pump is also just an unnecessary pressure to put on a mom.

  3. Jo-Anne Pfoh says:

    I found my own groove as well and it took all my stress away once I stopped listening to everyones advise

  4. Anna W says:

    I really liked reading these, the showering one made me laugh because it is so true!! The swing was a wonderful thing for my kids, it always put them straight to sleep 🙂

  5. Heidi C. says:

    Great list! All the tips may not work for every mom but in reality moms should do what they feel works for them and not feel guilty!

  6. Judy C (Cowan) says:

    Great list, thanks for sharing. You get so much advice but you have to figure out what works for you and baby!

  7. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Every baby is different and so each one has to be treated differently, what works with one doesn’t always work with another. Just find out what works best for you and snatch some sleep whenever you can 🙂

  8. kathy downey says:

    Every baby is different and every Mom is different,you need to work out whats best for you

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