Itz no secret that I’m new to motherhood. I mean, hello, ever since William’s arrival my entire life has revolved around him. And I love every minute of it!
Itz also no secret that I’ve received an incredible amount of help, support, and love from my sister Stephanie, my mom, and my grandma Mama. I’ve learned everything I know about being a mom from them. They’ve been by my side from the beginning when I was trying to get pregnant, during the IUIs, all throughout my pregnancy, during William’s birth, and these last three months. When they’re with William, they explain the reasoning behind what they’re doing, so I am able to learn. Itz because of them I’ve learned how to become a mom. I feel blessed that we’ve got such strong women in our family and awfully big shoes to fill in the best way possible!
Alright, let’s cut to the chase now. Since I’m new to motherhood, I thought I’d share some tips for new moms that I’ve learned from Mama, my mom, and Stephanie. These are in no particular order, just advice I’ve taken, learned, and used as a new mom from those three lovely ladies.
Tips for New Moms
- If breastfeeding is your goal, don’t give up even when itz tough.
- Pat the baby’s bottom when holding and rocking him to sleep.
- White noise is magical. (There’s even an app for it!) It can help calm him down, get him to sleep, and keep him asleep.
- Babies don’t need to be bathed everyday. Their skin is new and sensitive and they don’t get dirty.
- When you do bathe them, get in their folds very well. Particularly under their arms (armpits), under their necks, and in between their legs. All areas where there are folds in their skin and little baby fat. When finished washing, make sure you get in these same folds to dry the areas, as well.
- Itz ok to ask your mom to give your baby his first bath. And then your sister for his second. And repeat this for several weeks until you’re comfortable enough to give him his own sponge bath.
- If a baby straightens and stiffens his legs, he’s probably gassy / cramping / has to poop.
- Massage your breasts if breastfeeding. If they turn rock hard, that is not normal. Use heat, massage, and nurse and/or pump to relieve them. Clogged ducts are NO joke and should be prevented at all costs.
- Cluster feed in the evening. This means feed your baby more often near nighttime which will help him sleep longer throughout the night.
- You don’t need to hold your baby all day long. Itz ok to put him down.
- Feed your newborn every two hours at the beginning. If he’s not getting enough calories throughout the day and fueling his tank, he will make up for it at night.
- Capture ALL the moments. Including sad/mad faces.
- Babies sleep A LOT. Itz ok to call your sister and ask if he’s sleeping too much. Then call your mom to confirm. And ask the pediatrician just to be absolutely positive. The verdict? Babies can’t sleep too much. Sleeping = growing.
- When babies stretch, that means they’re growing, too. They’re stretching their skin to grow, says my grandma Mama.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. You’ve heard this from everyone, but itz so true.
- Talk to your baby from different sides (left/right). You want him to turn to you when you talk, and you also don’t want him to only look to one side. This could cause a flat spot or weakened muscles on the side that’s not used.
- You don’t need to stimulate your baby 24 hours a day. Just like adults, they need “down” time, too.
- Once your baby starts focusing on something (you, a toy, book, etc.) move it slowly to teach your baby to begin tracking it. Eventually, he will be able to follow it/you as you move.
- Babies cry for a reason. Stephanie thinks itz because he’s hungry (and sometimes she’s right). Mom thinks itz because he’s gassy (and sometimes she’s right).
- You can’t overfeed a breastfed baby, so it definitely can’t hurt to try and feed him when he’s fussy. Even if he just ate an hour ago. You may have a very hungry baby like I do.
- Don’t believe everything the internet says. In fact, don’t Google things. Just call your mom, sister, or grandma for advice.
- If you think a baby is gassy, lay him on a hard surface (changing table, rug, etc.) and bring his knees to his chest. Apply a little pressure. You can also put him over your knee, or hold him tightly against your chest holding him tight so there is pressure against his belly. Toot toot!
- Hire the world’s best newborn photographer.
- Babies love music. Babies love their mommas singing to them more. (They don’t even care if you’re tone deaf.)
- Don’t clap your baby’s hands to the music. It limits his natural musical tendencies/abilities. Instead, make a beat or clap on various parts of his body (legs, belly, head, etc.)
- Itz never too early to start reading to your baby.
- Babies LOVE to be swaddled.
- Sometimes if you can’t get your baby to calm down, lay him down somewhere safe (in his crib). Sometimes William gets overly tired and won’t fall asleep in my arms, but will fall asleep once I put him down.
- You don’t have to read a million baby books. Use common sense. Mother’s instinct is usually right.
- Find a support group and a playgroup to join. Don’t hesitate to join more than one.
- When talking to your baby, pause momentarily giving them a chance to respond. At first, it may just be a slight movement of the tongue or mouth. Eventually, he will coo at you and communicate even more.
- Always try to burp your baby, but they may not always burp. However, Mama always gets William to burp. She does the traditional over the shoulder burp, but also puts him over her knee while supporting his head.
- Newborns like to see contrast (think: black and white). You can Google it and print out pictures for them to look at. Itz good for their eyes and helping them focus. I set up some images on his changing table and in his crib (places he’s at a lot).
- Mirrors are so fun. It takes a couple months for babies to really get into them, but once they do, they think they’re the funniest things ever!
- Capture every moment. Pictures. Videos. You can’t ever have too many. After all, you never know when you’re going to get that one perfect shot.
See, how much I’ve learned from Mama, Mom, and Stephanie? I literally wouldn’t know what to do without them. In the last three months, I’ve become confident as a new mother. Sure, there are times when I still question myself or am not sure what to do, but those are the times I pick up the phone and call one of them to ask. Their reassurance, guidance, encouragement, support, help, and love mean the world to me and William.
Mommas – what tips for new moms would you add or do you wish you knew sooner?
Like a good neighbor State Farm is there.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by State Farm via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of State Farm.