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You’re about to embark on the most amazing journey of your life- becoming a mom.
This tiny little bundle of joy is about to change your entire world.
You’re going to be bombarded by countless amounts of advice for new moms from loved ones that mean well and doctors that make a living off of guiding parents through those first precious years of life.
While it may seem overwhelming at first, our top ten list of must-know tips for new moms will have you well on your way to rocking this whole mom thing.
Tips to Start Motherhood the Right Way
1. Build Your Village
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that is certainly true.
While you might want to do it all on your own, no one person can tackle such a big job. Surround yourself with loving and supportive friends and family who aren’t afraid to step in when times get tough, but who also know when it’s time to back off and let you make the decisions regarding your own child.
Take people up on their offer to babysit. Have play dates with fellow moms where you can vent and exchange parenting stories.
Lean on your friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers, and other parents who have been down this path you’re walking on. Knowing that you’re not alone on this incredible journey will make it all seem a little more manageable.
If you haven’t found a good babysitter or daycare, check out this platform that helps connect moms like you to good childcare providers.
2. Lean on Your Mom
No one loves as a mother does, and while you’re so focused on starting this new journey, your own mother is watching her child get ready to embark on a monumental life change.
She’s witnessing your body change and wants to be there to support you however she can.
If you’re lucky enough to have your mom or a special mother figure in your life, lean on her.
Ask for advice, don’t turn away her attempts at helping, and try to remember that her heart is in the right place- even if sometimes it seems like she’s trying to tell you what to do.
Remember that you never stop being a mother- even when your child becomes an adult and has a baby of their own. Her years of experience will prove invaluable as you wade through the choppy waters of motherhood.
3. Include Your Partner
There are some things only a mother can do, but there are so many things your partner can lend a hand with.
Diaper changes, baths, bottle feeding, playtime, soothing- the list of ways they can chip in is virtually endless.
While a new dad’s body may not be changing, their hearts and minds are getting ready to welcome this new life into theirs.
Let them be involved as much as possible because the bond between your baby and their father is just as important as the bond you and your baby will share.
Ask them to come to appointments, hold their hand in the delivery room, don’t push them away when they try to help with feedings in the middle of the night, and try not to get discouraged if they make a few mistakes.
They love your child just as much as you do, and they need reassurance that they’re doing a good job, too.
Related: 10 New Mom Life Hacks
4. Don’t Overload Your Brain with Too Much Information
It’s great to read a few parenting books and ask for advice from family, friends, and doctors, but too much knowledge is not only overwhelming- it’s unnecessary.
The moment your baby is born, you’ll have everything you need.
Your motherly instincts will kick in, and no amount of internet searches can compare to that.
Constantly bombarding your brain with baby facts will not only leave you feeling mentally exhausted, but too much information can also be confusing.
If you do start getting confused by all the information, the best place for advice is your obstetrician and pediatrician. They have years of real medical experience to help guide you along on your parenting journey.
5. Go With Your Gut
A mother’s intuition is a real thing. You’re connected to your baby from the moment his/her little heart starts beating in your womb.
It’s a bond that no one can describe- you have to feel it for yourself.
If you think something isn’t right with your child, trust that instinct. It’s better to get it checked out, and it’s nothing than to avoid seeking help out of fear of overreacting, and it turns out to be something.
Pediatricians expect a lot of phone calls from a new mother, so take comfort in knowing you aren’t the first one to ask about that unusual rash or wonder why your new baby isn’t latching properly.
If something doesn’t feel right- get it checked.
6. Make Time for Yourself
It’s easy to get so caught up in the busy daily activities of a mother.
You may look down and suddenly realize you’ve been wearing the same pajamas for two days, and you can’t recall the last time you took a shower.
While your newborn baby will certainly be your main priority, don’t forget to take care of yourself along the way.
Your child needs a mother who is healthy and happy in order to take great care of them.
Schedule time for a shower each day and a few moments of quiet time where you can do something you enjoy- like reading a book or exercising. Set aside sometime each week to get out of the house for a little while, too.
Every mom can use a little pampering or time with their girlfriends now and then.
If you start feeling guilty about wanting a break from your newborn, rest assured that you’re not alone. It’s a feeling every new mother will have from time to time.
It’s completely normal, but it’s still important you take some time to yourself. Here are some self-care tips for new moms.
7. Sleep as Often as You can
You’re going to have a lot of sleepless nights those first few months after your baby is born. Babies only sleep a few hours at a time, which means broken sleep for mom.
Catch those z’s as often as you can- whether it’s while the baby’s napping or when your partner can keep an eye on the little one for a while.
It might be tempting to take care of other tasks during those moments instead of sleeping, but your health has to take precedence over laundry and dishes.
A messy house isn’t the end of the world, but sleep deprivation will feel like it is.
8. Don’t be so Hard on Yourself
It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to be the “perfect” mom. News flash- no mom is perfect. We all make mistakes, and that’s okay. Your child will still turn out just fine.
The main thing babies really need is love and care, so as long as you’re providing that- you’re doing a great job.
If you have a moment where you feel like you’ve messed up, forgive yourself and learn from it.
Being a new mom is hard work, and that challenge comes with a few growing pains. As long as you’re getting up and showing up each day for that sweet baby, you’re doing a great job.
9. Expensive is Not Always the Best
You’re going to get the urge to want only to buy the expensive things. You’ll want to buy the expensive diapers, the expensive formula, the expensive car seat, and strollers.
If you can afford to buy all those things, then have at it. If you’re like me and many other moms out there, the financial weight of having a newborn can be pretty significant.
One of the things I realized was that the benefits of some of these more “premium” products are over blown. We didn’t buy the most expensive crib, and my kids survived.
I bought the most expensive diapers I could find to avoid blowouts. I kept having blowouts in those diapers, and it wasn’t until I switched to the cheap store brand diapers did the blowouts stop.
Am I saying don’t buy expensive things for your kids? Obviously not. On the contrary, I think there are certain items that paying up might be worth it. But for a lot of them, it’s probably not really going to matter.
10. Make Motherhood Fun
Yes, the messy diapers, chapped nipples, and stretch marks aren’t pleasant- but motherhood offers so many chances to have fun!
The first smile, the first coo, the first tooth, the first steps- your baby is going to have so many exciting milestones, and you’re going to be right there to experience it all.
What an amazing blessing it is to have this special little person put into your life for you to love and guide.
Attend those Mommy & Me classes, make all the cute crafts you see on Pinterest and Etsy, wear matching outfits, take your child to museums and parks and the zoo- do whatever you can to enjoy this remarkable time in your life that will never happen again.
11. Take it All in
It’s overwhelming- this whole motherhood journey. You’ll be exhausted, stressed, worried. But you’ll also be so in love with this tiny miracle. You’ll be amazed at every little thing they do.
Your heart will grow bigger than you ever could’ve imagined.
And the time will go by so incredibly fast. Do your best to enjoy every moment. When you feel like breaking down- smile even through those tears.
Look at your sweet angel baby and realize you were chosen to be their mom. What an extraordinary blessing that is.
Related: How New Moms Find a Good Daycare
It’s Hard, But You Can Do it!
The best advice for a new mom is to breathe in that soft baby scent, lay gentle kisses on that delicate cheek, and absorb all those tiny snuggles.
Before you know it, your baby will be a toddler, and your toddler will be in school, and your little one will no longer be little.
Those chubby hands and feet will fade away, and in their place will be stinky teenage socks or painted toenails.
The little baby you doted on will be a young adult that will still look to you for guidance because you’re their mom.
The one who loves them more than anything. Be their mom, and you will always be more than enough.
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