So you are settling in at home with your precious newborn bundle at your side. Do you feel overwhelmed yet? That’s normal! Here are some words of advice just for all you new moms!
Just take it one day at a time and remember that it is very common to wish that babies came with their very own “Owner’s Manual!”
Table of Contents
- 1 10 Things All New Moms Should Know Below:
- 1.1 1. Baby is still a stranger
- 1.2 2. You won’t get thanks just yet.
- 1.3 3. Dry skin is the norm for newborns.
- 1.4 4. Baby will let you know if she’s getting enough food.
- 1.5 5. You don’t have to hibernate at home.
- 1.6 6. Don’t forget to take time for you.
- 1.7 7. Don’t forget to take time for your partner.
- 1.8 8. No one is a perfect mother.
- 1.9 9. Listen to your baby’s cues.
- 1.10 10. You Are Sleep Deprived.
10 Things All New Moms Should Know Below:
1. Baby is still a stranger
If it seems surreal that you are finally a mom and it’s hard to believe that this tiny helpless creature totally depends on you, that’s because it can take several days for your body and mind to catch up to reality. For so long he was just another part of you, but now that he is here, he’s an extension of you, but still totally distinct! It will take you awhile to figure out his rhythms, learn his voice, and memorize his face. But that is perfectly normal because even while all this is falling into place, you will likely have the thought: I wonder how I can love SO MUCH someone that I just met!
2. You won’t get thanks just yet.
Caring for a newborn is a brutal, thankless task. No matter what you do, she’s still going to scream and cry. Babies don’t pat you on the back and proclaim your praises when you change the poopy diapers, wipe the spit up, and walk the floor for 3 hours before they finally fall asleep. No, instead they are ruthless little slave drivers who expect you to feed them whenever they are hungry, hold them for endless hours, and clean up all their nasty messes. But just be patient. It won’t be long before she gives you her first sweet smile and coos with excitement when you enter the room. Long before she learns to say “Thank you” she will make it all worthwhile when she babbles “mama” and reaches out her arms to you.
3. Dry skin is the norm for newborns.
If you’ve ever heard the term “soft as a baby’s butt” then you might be in for a surprise when it comes to how your newborn’s skin will start to look. At first, it will likely be covered in goo and fuzz, and then you will enjoy several days of sweetest, supplest, yummiest-smelling skin you have ever encountered. But then, oh my, look out! As he begins to grow, his skin will begin to peel here and there, giving him a nice scaly, patchy appearance. Mix that with baby acne and your adorable baby will begin to look quite silly. My advice? Get that newborn photo shoot scheduled ASAP or you will be begging the photographer if they can do “touch-ups” on your little one’s first pictures!
4. Baby will let you know if she’s getting enough food.
Of course, she won’t have the ability to say it in words, but babies are notorious for being inconsolable little beasts when they are hungry. If she’s fussy, clawing at your breasts, nuzzling frantically, or crying incessantly, make feeding her a priority. If you are breastfeeding and are wondering if you have enough supply, listen to your baby. Don’t cut a feeding short just because you think she’s had plenty. She will unlatch when she is ready. As long as she’s making lots of little peepee diapers and poo-ing every so often, and gaining weight, then she’s probably drinking plenty of milk. Babies don’t care about clocks and schedules. They have tiny tummies, but fast metabolisms, so they need to be fed often, but on their own timetable. Just remember that chubby thighs on babies are all the rage!
5. You don’t have to hibernate at home.
You will probably feel like a wreck after giving birth and you might even look like one! Couple that with wanting to keep your new, vulnerable baby away from all possible cooties and it is an excuse for wanting nothing more than to curl up on the sofa and let the world go by without you. But don’t do that. That is a recipe for postpartum depression and loneliness. What to do instead? Take a shower, put on a clean blouse, dress baby in something warm if it is cold, or in something cutesy if it is warm, and for land’s sake, go outside! The fresh air and sunshine will rejuvenate you and make you feel like a million bucks! Take a walk to the park or go to the local market and show off your perfect little gem. It’s okay to tell people that you have a “look-but-don’t-touch” policy if they seem a little too ambitious to interact with your darling. But it will brighten your spirits to get out of the house and it is very healthy to let baby experience the great outdoors.
6. Don’t forget to take time for you.
What with all the endless baby care you will be handling, it is easy to let your own needs fall by the wayside. That is the worst thing you can do. A well-taken-care-of mommy is a better mommy. If you need a break, ask for help. Let someone else take the baby for awhile so that you can truly take a breather. Pamper yourself with a manicure, a massage, a warm bubble bath, an evening with friends, or a fancy dinner. You need it, trust me. And even if you can’t do those things often, fill in the gaps with a long, hot shower, a yoga session, or taking the time to put on your make-up. Anything that makes you feel human again will do the trick.
7. Don’t forget to take time for your partner.
If you aren’t going it alone, remember that your baby’s other parent is probably in need of a little TLC, too. Having a new baby around takes its toll on everyone in the house. If your significant other has been tag-teaming with you ‘round the clock, then consider turning him out for a night on the town with his friends to unwind. Or on the other hand, maybe get a sitter, and take him out for an evening of wining and dining just for the two of you. Don’t forget that dads sometimes feel replaced when a baby comes into the picture, so you might want to make sure he feels like you still have some special attention reserved especially for him. In that case, make it an evening “in” and surprise him with some one-on-one time. A massage, some snuggles, or a little “Netflix-n-chill” time would probably be very appreciated.
8. No one is a perfect mother.
Sometimes you are not going to like yourself as a parent. You are going to have moments of frustration and occasionally you are going to make bad decisions. This is perfectly normal. Quit worrying about all the “perfect” mothers you see out there in “facebook-land.” That is a fantasy world. There will be moments when you momentarily veg out and forget that you have a sleeping baby in the next room. (Don’t worry, they will remind you shortly!) There will be times when you might even feel like you just want to throw up your hands and quit this whole gig. Raising a baby is tough and you will make mistakes along the way. When it happens, just pick yourself up by your bootstraps and vow to do better next time. You’ll get better with practice, but you’ll never be perfect, so just let that one go.
9. Listen to your baby’s cues.
Really, as a mom, that’s all you’ve got. Babies don’t come with manuals. Advice can be faulty. Not every trick works every time. And no one knows your baby like you do. So, what do you have left? Yep, that’s right…listen to what your baby is telling you. He knows best what his needs are. All you have to do is follow his lead. A newborn’s needs are pretty simple. They mostly eat, poop, and sleep, after all. So if you’ve handled those obvious concerns and they still aren’t happy, look for signs of illness, pain, or boredom. Ask yourself if they might be too hot or too cold, need more or less stimulation, or maybe just need extra snuggles. Don’t worry if you can’t figure it out immediately, just stop and pay attention. Your baby will let you know.
10. You Are Sleep Deprived.
There is nothing quite so tiring as giving birth and dealing with a newborn. You are likely so exhausted that it will feel like you have traveled halfway across the world and have a serious case of jetlag. No, wait! It’s 10x worse than that. You feel like your brain is scrambled and that life is passing you by in a blur. You have no energy. And You can’t climb out of bed to even get a shower. And all you want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep forever. Yep, you are a new mom. Thankfully, newborns sleep a lot (when they aren’t eating or screaming). So do the same. Don’t worry about the house or the laundry. Let someone else do the cooking and cleaning. There is no shame in that game. Forgive yourself for your zombie-like state. It is the plight of all new moms, so embrace the craziness and spend your time snuggling. Soon enough, this too shall pass.