As a new mom, it can be helpful to have a beginners guide to parenting to consult when questions or concerns come up. You might have a lot of information coming at you at first and then when things start to slow down is when you might feel more curiosity towards schedules, food, learning, etc. We’ve consulted our team of experts and experienced moms to provide our top 10 tips for new moms.
1. Babies cry for no reason
Sometimes babies cry for no reason and as frustrating as it can feel in the moment, it happens. They can still be fussy even after you’ve fed, changed, and bathed them. Since they’re adjusting to this brand-new world with unfamiliar sights and sounds, it will take time for them to get used to it all.
You can consult your doctor as much as you’d like in this early stage, but if you’re doing your best and caring for the baby, rest assured that the crying will get better over time. You’ll also learn more of your baby’s cues and what they like or dislike, which helps. Our biggest recommendation in this newborn phase is getting a white noise machine. This can be soothing for babies and help them fall asleep.
Here is our sound machine recommendation. It’s available on Amazon for an affordable price and it will be a lifesaver.
LectroFan White Noise Machine, $32
LectroFan White Noise Machine has twenty different noises that will soothe your baby to sleep. Since their ears are still developing, we recommend keeping the noise to a low volume. You want it at a level where you can hear it softly, but it can be placed right near where the baby sleeps.
The sounds included are white noise, pink noise, and brown noise. Each noise level is different from the other. White noise is like a steady hum as if you are listening to a ceiling fan. Pink noise does the same, but is said to feel more calming and slow. Brown noise is like a rumbling storm, so it’s a bit rougher. We suggest staying between a white and pink noise for a newborn’s little ears.
Everyone will tell you to sleep when the baby is sleeping and it’s one hundred percent the truth. In this early phase, your baby will be on a crazy sleep schedule before they start to adjust and settle in. It is important to get in little naps for yourself so that you don’t get too worn out. The laundry, dishes, and house cleaning can all wait until you are more rested and have the energy to do it.
3. Breastfeeding is hard work
There is nothing wrong with giving your child formula if you aren’t producing enough milk. There are many passionate moms about both formula and breastfeeding. It’s truly to each their own, but it will hurt your baby at all if you go the bottle-feeding route. If anyone has a problem with that, we suggest referring to number seven. It’s your body and you have to take care of yourself as well as your newborn.
4. Help your child learn new words
One of the best ways to help your child learn is to have your child help or observe you around the house. For example, if you are doing laundry, you can put it on the couch and ask your child to help pass things to you. They might throw it around, but they are learning with each new experience. Things like this allow for you to teach them new words.
You can also read to the child in the morning or before bed so they can hear new words every day. Here’s a great book library to start with:
My First Complete Learning Library, $28
My First Complete Learning Library is a set of books that cover different words you can teach your child from foods to animals. The collection consists of twenty books and each covers a different topic. It is an excellent set of books for a toddler who is learning how to learn to hold things.
Reviewers on Amazon have stated that their toddlers love these books and it is easy for toddlers to hold. It is an excellent start to a child’s library because they can come back to each book over time and have fun while solidifying the words in their brains.
5. Help your child express themselves
If your child starts to creep into the “I do” or “do it myself phase,” we suggest you lean right into it. If they want to pick what to wear, help them pick by providing one to three options. This way, you won’t spend so much time looking through all the clothes, but teach them autonomy by selecting their favorite of the choices. It’s helpful for children to work through their feelings or frustrations at an early age because this behavior will be instilled in them later. You can always help or hint in the beginning until they get comfortable with it.
6. The phases shall pass
Children will go through many behavioral phases and it’s usually all short-term. The terrible twos, as people like to call them, will pass. Even though it might not seem like it, they grow up fast and that means growing out of phases as well.
It’s hard for toddlers to communicate their feelings, so tantrums or outbursts are common. You can help your child use words to express their feelings whether they are mad or tired or excited. It is always best to give them a choice if they are feeling upset. They might not want to be held or accept someone’s help because they don’t understand how they are feeling.
Some examples you can use are:
- “Are you feeling sad? Would you like a hug?”
- “Are you upset that the toy is not working? Would you like help?”
- “Good job with throwing the ball. Are you happy?”
7. Ignore any unrequested advice
As a new mom, you will probably encounter a lot of other parents sharing their advice whether it is solicited or not. Some tips might be helpful, but unfortunately, some will not align with your ideas. Trust your instincts when it comes to your baby because everyone raises children differently.
There are helpful Facebook groups for new moms that you can join to share your experiences or ask questions. Sometimes, it can be helpful to approach a group of strangers for advice because it’s not as personal as asking your close friends. A community is important for new moms, so this is a great way to be a part of one.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
As a new mom, you might have questions and think you’re silly for not knowing the answer. There is no such thing as a dumb question and it is okay to ask your doctor, family, or even friends on Facebook. Asking questions proves you are interested in learning as much as you can, which is great in the scope of parenting. It’s also helpful to talk things out instead of turning to Google. The internet can lead you down a rabbit hole of concerns and more unanswered questions, which isn’t as helpful.
9. It is okay to take time for yourself
If a friend or family offers to watch your child for you, even for a little bit, it is okay to take the well-needed time to go grocery shopping in peace or treat yourself to a spa day. When offered help, we recommend taking it because every new mom needs it. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. It is a lot of work to raise a child, run errands, work, and have a social life. That’s why they say “it takes a village.” It’s always okay to ask for help or accept it when offered.
Here’s a fun way to incorporate self-care into your life as a new mom. We highly recommend:
Busy Girl Bath Bakery Self-Care Box
Busy Girl Bath Bakery Self-Care Box is a subscription that you sign up for and receive a delivery either once a month, every three months, every six months, or every twelve months. If you can’t go to the spa, then let the spa come to you.
You will get a different box every time, so it’s always a fun way to treat yourself at-home. Examples of the products they provide are body scrubs, lotion, bath salts, and more. When you get started, you fill out a questionnaire and let them know your preferences. You can even get friends or your partner involved for a fun self-care evening while your baby sleeps.
10. Don’t compare yourself or your child to anyone
Everyone is different regarding how they bounce back or live their lives after having a baby. You are on your own journey and no journey is the same. Don’t compare yourself, your body, or your parenting style to others. It’s also important not to compare your child to other children. Every child develops at their own pace, which is all part of growing up. Cherish the time with your family because it is special and no one else should influence that.
We hope this guide helps you as you learn to be a new mom. We may not have covered everything you need to know, but our tips are here to help you take care of yourself as well as your child. There are so many great books and blogs on parenting out there, but none of them will prepare you for everything to come. You follow your gut and know what’s best for your little one. Your instincts are there for a reason. You got this!