70 Tips For Surviving The First Few Weeks Of Motherhood-Updated!

Before I had my daughter I thought I was prepared for "Motherhood," I had washed all of her tiny clothes, decorated the nursery, and packed her diaper bag. However, I didn't read any tips for new moms because I was under the impression it was going to be a walk in the park. What I didn't realize it was a RUN in the park and I was NOT equipped with directions. Here is 70 Tips that I learned after bringing my little one home from the hospital. Again, these are my opinions and as always check with your Practiconer if you have any issues/concerns. These tips have helped several Mom's and continue to everyday. Please feel free to comment but let's keep the comments supportive! :) Thanks!



 

1. Share your struggles- From the outside looking in it seems that most Mom's have it totally together. But, the opposite is quite true. Sharing your struggles will allow other Mom's to open up and you will quickly realize you are not alone.

2. Shower Daily- Mom's often put this off because their too "busy," showering will make you feel not only fresh but ready to face the day, put some light make up on too and you won't feel "icky" sitting around the house with a newborn. You will be surprised at the energy boost you receive.

3. Differentiate day from night. Many new parents are concerned the light is too bright for their
newborns eyes. However, keeping it well lit while your precious little one is sleeping during the day and dark at night will help your newborn achieve a schedule.

4. Post-partum blues are real. If you are feeling down in the dumps or struggling to become your self again after delivery, discuss your concerns with your MD. These are real emotions and affect many Mom's, getting help sooner rather then later will make your first few months as a Mom much easier.

5. Let Dad help or in some cases make Dad help Dad may just be nervous and unsure of where to start. Having someone assist you with diaper changes, late night feeds, and the like will help you considerably. Just because you are Mom does not mean Dad can't pitch in. Remember, it takes two to tango and a village to raise a child. Leave the room when Dad starts a task for the first time so he doesn't feel judged.

6. Motherhood is hard work, you are going to feel like you are not good enough. This is a normal feeling. Since your child is not able to reassure you of your ability to parent, it is normal to feel like you are not doing a great job by hearing how others suggest you parent.

7. It's Ok to ask for space. Your first couple of weeks will be overwhelming, emotional, and confusing. If your family is one to "hover" ask them to politely leave or come back when you are well rested and ready for company. This will only stress you and stress the baby. Intervene early and ask them to call before coming over. One of the best things my husband and I did was not allow visitors the first day. We were exhausted, needed help with breast feeding, and just wanted to bond. We love our family to pieces, but we waited 9 months for this!

8. Make meals before hand or have someone make a few meals before hand for you that you can freeze. There are several useful websites that explain how to properly freeze items and foods that taste better reheated.

9. If you need to cry, cry! Nothing is better then sitting in the shower, let the water hit your back, and cry.

10. Take pictures even if you look like a hot mess. You will hate them right away, but when you look back in a year. You will cherish these. Your child will want to see you in the pictures and not just them selves.

11. Don't forget to swaddle your baby. Baby's like feeling secure, they are use to being in your uterus with hardly any room to move. Make sure your post-partum nurse shows you how to swaddle or purchase a swaddler from the store. When nothing seems to make your newborn happy, swaddle them.

12. Join a Mom's group. Babycenter.com has a great group. In fact, you can join your birth month. For example, my daughter was born November 2010. So, I am a part of the November 2010 Birth club. There are several women who post information regarding children the exact same age as yours!

13. Don't forget to still date your husband. Having a newborn, roaming the house in sweats, hair tied, with no make up on will not really give you the desire to want to put on your Jessica Simpson heals and hit the club. But, do something simple. Having even an hour to yourselves will take your marriage and your sanity to a whole new level. Your husband needs to see you not only as a Mom but his wife as well.

14. Go outside. Many new Mom's are afraid to leave the house because they are afraid their newborn will get sick. This doesn't mean you need to go out shopping but go for a nice walk. Their are many stroller covers out on the market that you are able to use with your stroller. You will feel relaxed and your newborn will love the movement. Or go for a short drive instead, if you have a sun roof open it. You won't have to worry about your newborn being touched and you will feel refreshed getting outdoors. The best part is, you can do this in your PJs.

15. Invest in a quality baby monitor preferably video if you are able. We bought a cheap monitor when my daughter was little. We always heard the neighbors kids if we crossed frequencies, weren't able to have multiple monitors to place around the house, and couldn't see her to make sure her little cry was just her having a baby dream. Seeing her has been a life saver. Especially into the toddler years, now when we hear her awake in her room before she falls asleep we can look to make sure she is still in bed and not playing.

16. Buy a swing that plugs into the wall. We used our swing often and we were constantly running to the store for batteries.

17. Follow your instincts. You know your baby best. Many will tell you what they think is wrong with your newborn.

18. Nap when baby naps. You will want to clean up, catch up on your to-do list, or get dressed. Try to do these tasks as baby is awake.

19. Be OK with change. You may of said before you had your newborn that you would NEVER do this or that but if it works for your newborn, try it.

20. If breast feeding, ask to see the lactation consultant at the hospital or look up a local lactation consultant. Le Leche League or IBCLC consultants are a good place to start in your area. The will be able to watch you nurse your newborn and assure you that you are doing everything accurately.

21. Order out, your not a bad Mom if you not nursing baby, wearing make up, cooking, and keeping the house clean. It's NOT going to happen. Order out once or twice a week and use the spare time to make precious moments with your little one.

22. Your I-phone notepad or a notes application is your best friend. When baby reaches a milestone jot it down. It's OK if you don't have time to put it in the baby book right this second. Jot it down that way you will remember these moments when you do have time.

23. If you post your newborn's pictures to Facebook, place a date at the bottom that it was taken. This is helped me so much keeping up with images and my daughter's baby book.

24. Try a warm compress- if you are nursing, applying a warm compress will help open your milk ducts and promote let down.

25. Don't obsess about being tired. You are going to be tired so empower your self with knowledge to get baby on a schedule as fast as you can.

26. Mimic the womb- as I said earlier swaddle, white noise, and swaying.

27. Be Flexbile! You are no longer going to be able to leave the house for hours on end running errands. Pick a few places you need go and be prepared to abandon your plans at any time.

28. Pack the extra in the car- you don't have you tote around 15 outfits, 20 diapers, and a bizillon wipes. Pack an emergency kit in the car, in case you run out and forget the diaper bag or the weather changes your ready!

29. Take an infant care class- you may think that you do not need to take one. But, even the most intelligent people require help when it comes to baby basics. Plus, your husband will learn a lot as well!

30. Walk away- If you have done everything your baby is clean, fed, changed, swaddled, and still crying. Put him/her in a safe place and walk away. Take a 5 minute breather and let him/her cry it out. Keep your sanity and when you have gathered your emotions go back and pick him/her up. Your baby can sense your frustration.

31. Don't rush these moments- Even though it may seem you are waking up often or never sleeping for that matter these moments will FLY by. Try to tell your self to enjoy them, stop, and smile. Your little one is growing every day and one day your crazy toddler will not want to be held, swaddled, burped, or cuddled with.

32. Alcohol is out- Newborn's cords are no longer cleansed with alcohol prep pads, instead keeping them as dry as possible is best practice until they fall off.

33. It normally doesn't happen naturally- Breast feeding is hard work and typically does not happen naturally and requires much support. Many mom's have different shaped breast and nipples. There are many tools and techniques out there to get your newborn to latch. Do not be upset if you newborn does not latch right away.

34. Burp often- typically formula fed babies are the ones that will burp more often. However, plenty of breast fed babies burp too. Newborns digest breastmilk easier and are less likely to do so. But, still make sure your are burping your baby often. If you are formula feeding burp your baby every 15ml or so. This will allow them to digest it and "clear" some room for more.

35. Back to sleep- remember newborns are always to be laid on their back while sleeping to prevent SIDS.

36. An extra layer- always dress your newborn in one extra layer then you have on. If you are comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt perhaps your newborn may need light pants and a long sleeve.

37. Skin to skin contact in the first few days promotes bonding- as much skin to skin contact as you can get in especially if your breast feeding will promote bonding between you and your little one and helps regulate their temperature too.

38. Keep Snacks, Magazines, and perhaps a TV close by- nursing is a FULL time job. When you breast feed your baby it will feel like it is a never ending task. For example if you start feeding at 12pm and feed until 1pm, your baby will more then likely be ready to feed again by 2pm or 3pm. Because baby goes from the time the feeding was started not the end time of the feeding. Keeping things within reach before your feeding session is started will make breast feeding much easier.

39. Do something for yourself. Becoming a Mom is an awesome feeling and I wouldn't trade it for the world. However, it became my only idenity. Remember to find time for something you enjoy. Whether it's a soak in the tub, a favorite magazine, or simply painting your nails. Do it. Like I said earlier, when you don't feel confident about yourself you will not feel "rested."

40. Accept help- It is OK for your family to assist you. It doesn't mean you are doing a bad job. It means they love you and want to share in the joy and excitement.


41. Stock up on diapers while your pregnant- I did this with my daughter, we bought a pack every time we went to the store. Before baby is here you have more time to clip coupons, find deals, etc. I ended up picking up most packs for less than five dollars.

42. Walk Away- If baby will not stop crying, do not be afraid to put baby in a safe place and walk away for a minute. Gather your emotions and come back. If you need further help, step away and call. You can always call the hospital you delivered at for support as well.

43. Teach your baby to self soothe. Lay them down for a nap when they are awake but sleepy, give them the item that comforts them. We call them "loveys" in our house. My daughter never really took to one item. It's OK if it's different items that soothes them. (This is recommended only once baby understands that you will return- typically age 6 months and up)

44. Learn how to pop open the travel stroller without DH! This one makes me laugh, every time we went out at first DH was always around. But, one day when my DD was around 3 months we were trying to run into the store to buy him a present. I must of looked so silly trying to pop the stroller open, I just thew it back in the car and went back home. :) BTW, I was NOT smiling.

45. THIS IS A GREAT TIP, plug the bath toys with a hot glue gun. The water will seep inside these toys and grow mold. My dog got ahold of one of my daughters rubber duckies and bit the face off, revealing a moldy ducky. Nasty!

46. Baby girls- may still have your hormones inside of her. Therefore, vaginal discharge is normal along with a swollen private area and or vaginal tag. These things will go away as your hormones leave her body.

47. If you are going to breast feed read up before delivery on pumping- It is not recommended to start pumping until your milk is established OR you have been told by an IBCLC (Lactation Consultant) that you need to pump (ex: if baby is not getting a nutritive latch). Pumping too soon can cause supply and demand issues and can cause over production. Ask your Lactation consultant for information regarding pumping and going back to work. They will have ALOT of useful information for you.

48. Side Note- Alot of insurance companies are covering breast pumps. However, each insurance carrier is different and this is a newer thing that insurance companies are offering. Check with them to determine if a pump is available free of charge to you.

49. Invest in a GREAT thermometer- My husband and I are both RN's, you would of thought we would of invested in one with our daughter early on. However, we always thought of other things to spend money on. I recently invested in a Brauhn ear thermometer and we love it. It's fast, my daughter doesn't mind it and it's accurate. There are plenty of great ones out there, just look around. Also, if you have a flex spending account, it may be covered under that.

50. If you ever have trouble with leaking diapers they make overnight diapers. We use to have issues with my daughter leaking through her diapers at night. It was like she either didn't pee at all or she flooded her diaper. It didn't matter what she drank before bed. The overnight diapers saved our sheets and minds!

51. Buy cute sheets and breathable bumpers! Save the money on a crib bumper. We bought a gorgeous crib bumper for my daughter. Her great grandmother assembled it so now we can't get rid of it. It just sits in a box in the garage taking up space. Buy cute sheets and a inexpensive breathable bumper, you can see baby at a glance, baby can breathe through the bumper, its lightweight, and must importantly MACHINE washable. Remember how it goes on and off because it is a little frustrating. I'm not much for figuring stuff out so either ask your DH or watch Youtube.

52. If you are bottle feeding, put the amount of water needed in the bottle and take the formula with you and add it to it. Don't worry about having to keep the bottles at the right temperature.

53. Monthly pictures are a must. Etsy has cute little stick on's to add to plain onesies to take as baby grows. Take a picture every month and display them at your newborn's first birthday. You will LOVE looking back at these and will be amazed at how fast they grow.

54. Don't beat yourself up if breast feeding is not for you. For example, the other day at work I was helping a BTDT Mom who successfully fed her two year old girl when she was a newborn. However, she was 3 days PP and was having difficulty breast feeding her almost 11 pound baby. She had issues with depression and just didn't feel up to breast feeding. Your baby can sense your feelings and emotions. I am strongly for breast feeding and I feel with dedication and commitment almost every Mom can do it. However, if it's taking too much out of you and too much to stick with it, you are NOT a bad Mom if you end up giving formula.

55. If you can't afford it, it can wait! Newborns do not need much the first couple of months. If you can afford a crib, don't worry about it. Diaper genie? Use a trash can. Activity gyms/ mats, blankets work great along with a few toys. Baby's for the most part are minimalist. WE are the ones that believe baby's need more then they really do. High chair? No worries, baby won't be feeding for at least 6 months and bumpos are great alternatives. You aren't going to remember the things your baby had/didn't have you are going to remember if you were there for those moments. I understand if you have to work, you have to. But, if you have the option to spend a little more time at home, try. I understand it's not for everybody. But, I can promise you, you will be grateful you were there. I had to work a lot with my first and I did not get to see all of her "firsts" and it tore me apart. Again, like I said you have to do what's best for your family but if it is an option. Time is priceless.

56. Sleep sacks, sleep sacks, sleep sacks! My daughter didn't care to be swaddled (even as a toddler she hates to be confined, imagine that :)) But, sleep sacks worked great, they were easy to access her if I needed to with just a zipper, she was warm, and they are so cute and comfortable!

57.Don't compare your baby! It's human nature to wonder how a  baby close to your newborns age is comparing. Don't do this, every baby is an individual. If your baby is doing exactly what the other baby is doing, it doesn't mean that your baby is behind. In fact, you may notice the very next day your baby begins to do what you were just talking about.

58. Read to your baby early on!

59. Establish a bed time routine. SAME.THING.EVERY.NIGHT. my daughter is two and we still do the exact same routine (bath, brush teeth, pjs, we read a book, sing the itsy bitsy spider, say prayers, hugs, kisses, knuckles, lights off, and we blow kisses). Baby's like routines, they know what to expect and will expect you to do it. Start your routine at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. A lot of times this is when your baby is the most calmest so enjoy the time with them. Plus, the bath will help relax them. If they do not need a bath, rub them down with bed time lotion and sing or talk to them calmly. Turn down the lights and only have a lamp or dim lighting. This will help baby establish bedtime for daytime.

60. Sneezing is normal after delivery, especially for C-Section babies. Baby has a lot of secretions after delivery and he/she is only trying to get them out. If you are ever concerned though, notify the nurse at the hospital or pediatrician if you're already discharged.

61. It takes a VILLAGE to raise a child, no joke. Find your support, even if it means finding NEW friends.

62. If your baby is happy and your happy, ignore the rest. You must be doing something right!

63. Don't forget about your significant other, that's how baby is here anyway right? I had SUCH a hard time leaving my DD with friends/family etc. for a night out. I felt selfish and that I was doing something that "Mom's" weren't suppose to be doing. I feel for a brief moment in time, my spouse and I lost each other and just became "parents." Don't forget about your husband, boyfriend, fiance, etc. They are important too and even when you are so tired that you can't keep your eyes open. A moment away will help renew your spirits, energy, and realize that your not in this alone. Lord, I am preaching to the choir on that one!

64. When all else fails, put down the books, and listen to your child. Learn his/her cries.

65. Get a breathe of fresh air, go for a walk, even if it's just down the street and back.

66. Reward yourself. Do something to make you feel good about yourself. Not showering for 3-4 days, unpedicured toe-nails, and no make-up can make any Mom feel down. Make a commitment a few times a week to do something to make your self feel good again.

67. Dance with your newborn, I use to love putting my little one in the wearable sling I had for her and dancing around the house to music (gently of course).

68. NEVER run yourself down as a Mom. When you run yourself down publicly, you will begin to really believe that is true. Do not allow those words to come into existence even if you "think" they are true. Talk with someone about your feelings instead of bashing your motherhood capabilities.

69. Baby Slings- work great for being able to multi-task once your body has recovered from labor. If your baby (like mine) loves to be held carrying your baby in a sling helps you become hands free in order to get things done around the house.

70. Hands Free Bra- Several companies make a hands free nursing bra to use while pumping so you do not have to hold the pump to your breast. Works great to get things done, I even used it at work to chart on my patients while pumping during my break. It can make let down harder though if your not relaxed, so try to stick to things that are relaxing if you are going to go for the hands free method.

71. Never run yourself down as Mom- What comes out of your mouth you will start to believe.

72. Reward Yourself- especially on their first Birthday (YOU made it a whole year, yeah!)

73. Listen- When all else fails and you can't stop your little one from crying, put down the books, get off the phone with your friend about what to do, and just listen to your child. Focus in on his/her needs and learn his/her cries.

74. You're More Than Just A Mom- Don't forget about your significant other, that's how baby is here anyway right? I had SUCH a hard time leaving my DD with friends/family etc. for a night out. I felt selfish and that I was doing something that "Mom's" weren't suppose to be doing. I feel for a brief moment in time, my spouse and I lost each other and just became "parents." Don't forget about your husband, boyfriend, fiance, etc. They are important too and even when you are so tired that you can't keep your eyes open. A moment away will help renew your spirits, energy, and realize that your not in this alone. Lord, I am preaching to the choir on that one!

75. If you're baby is happy, ignore the rest. Who cares if you don't use 100% Organic, or read reviews before purchasing baby gear, or bake perfect brownies. Your child thinks your perfect.

76. It takes a VILLAGE to raise a child- find people to support you. Whether it's your significant other, your Mom, a best friend, co-worker, neighbor what have you. We all need support.

77. Chores can wait- These days are fleeting. Regardless if the laundry gets done, there will be more tomorrow. There may not be another day of your little one crawling, tomorrow he/she may be walking or on to the next biggest thing. Be present for these moments.

78. Sneezing is normal after delivery- This is a common question I get at the hospital. Parents normally ask me if their little one has a cold. Most newborns sneeze in order to get the fluid up that accumulated during delivery. Sneezing and crying after delivery is great!

79. If baby is still crying after a feeding, diaper change, bath etc. Try to go back and burp him/her. Or, lay baby down on his/her back and rub the soles of the feet and move them in a bicycle motion to get out any trapped gas baby may have. Mylicon works wonders for gas. But, as always check with your pediatrician before giving any medications to your newborn.

80. Stock up on diapers while your pregnant. I did this with my daughter, we bought a pack every time we went to the store. Before baby is here you have more time to clip coupons, find deals, etc. I ended up picking up most packs for less than five dollars.

81. If baby will not stop crying, do not be afraid to put baby in a safe place and walk away for a minute. Gather your emotions and come back. If you need further help, step away and call. You can always call the hospital you delivered at for support as well.

82. Teach your baby to self soothe. Lay them down for a nap when they are awake but sleepy, give them the item that comforts them. We call them "loveys" in our house. My daughter never really took to one item. It's OK if it's different items that soothes them.

83. Learn how to pop open the travel stroller without the hubby! This one makes me laugh, every time we went out at first DH was always around. But, one day when my DD was around 3 months we were trying to run into the store to buy him a present. I must of looked so silly trying to pop the stroller open, I just thew it back in the car and went back home. :) BTW, I was NOT smiling.

84. THIS IS A GREAT TIP, plug the bath toys with a hot glue gun. The water will seep inside these toys and grow mold. My dog got ahold of one of my daughters rubber duckies and bit the face off, revealing a moldy ducky. Nasty!

85. If you have a little girl she may still have your hormones inside of her following delivery. Therefore, vaginal discharge is normal along with a swollen private area and or vaginal tag. These things will go away as your hormones leave her body.

86. If you are going to breast feed read up before delivery on pumping. It is not recommended to start pumping until your milk is established OR you have been told by an IBCLC (Lactation Consultant) that you need to pump (ex: if baby is not getting a nutritive latch). Pumping too soon can cause supply and demand issues and can cause over production. Ask your Lactation consultant for information regarding pumping and going back to work. They will have ALOT of useful information for you.

87. A lot of insurance companies are covering breast pumps. However, each insurance carrier is different and this is a newer thing that insurance companies are offering. Check with them to determine if a pump is available free of charge to you.

88. Invest in a GREAT thermometer. My husband and I are both RN's, you would of thought we would of invested in one with our daughter early on. However, we always thought of other things to spend money on. I recently invested in a Brauhn ear thermometer and we love it. It's fast, my daughter doesn't mind it and it's accurate. There are plenty of great ones out there, just look around. Also, if you have a flex spending account, it may be covered under that.

89. If you ever have trouble with leaking diapers they make overnight diapers. We use to have issues with my daughter leaking through her diapers at night. It was like she either didn't pee at all or she flooded her diaper. It didn't matter what she drank before bed. The overnight diapers saved our sheets and minds!

90. Buy cute sheets and breathable bumpers! Save the money on a crib bumper. We bought a gorgeous crib bumper for my daughter. Her great grandmother assembled it so now we can't get rid of it. It just sits in a box in the garage taking up space. Buy cute sheets and a inexpensive breathable bumper, you can see baby at a glance, baby can breathe through the bumper, its lightweight, and must importantly MACHINE washable. Remember how it goes on and off because it is a little frustrating. I'm not much for figuring stuff out so either ask your DH or watch Youtube.

91. If you are bottle feeding, put the amount of water needed in the bottle and take the formula with you and add it to it. Don't worry about having to keep the bottles at the right temperature.

92. Monthly pictures are a must. Etsy has cute little stick on's to add to plain onesies to take as baby grows. Take a picture every month and display them at your newborn's first birthday. You will LOVE looking back at these and will be amazed at how fast they grow.

93. Don't beat yourself up if breast feeding is not for you. For example, the other day at work I was helping a BTDT Mom who successfully fed her two year old girl when she was a newborn. However, she was 3 days PP and was having difficulty breast feeding her almost 11 pound baby. She had issues with depression and just didn't feel up to breast feeding. Your baby can sense your feelings and emotions. I am strongly for breast feeding and I feel with dedication and commitment almost every Mom can do it. However, if it's taking too much out of you and too much to stick with it, you are NOT a bad Mom if you end up giving formula.

94. If you can't afford it, it can wait! Newborns do not need much the first couple of months. If you can afford a crib, don't worry about it. Diaper genie? Use a trash can. Activity gyms/ mats, blankets work great along with a few toys. Baby's for the most part are minimalist. WE are the ones that believe baby's need more then they really do. High chair? No worries, baby won't be feeding for at least 6 months and bumpos are great alternatives.

95. Sleep sacks, sleep sacks, sleep sacks! My daughter didn't care to be swaddled (even as a toddler she hates to be confined, imagine that :)) But, sleep sacks worked great, they were easy to access her if I needed to with just a zipper, she was warm, and they are so cute and comfortable!

96. Don't compare your baby! It's human nature to wonder how a  baby close to your newborns age is comparing. Don't do this, every baby is an individual. If your baby is doing exactly what the other baby is doing, it doesn't mean that your baby is behind. In fact, you may notice the very next day your baby begins to do what you were just talking about.

97. Read to your baby early on!

98. Establish a bed time routine. SAME.THING.EVERY.NIGHT. my daughter is two and we still do the exact same routine (bath, brush teeth, pjs, we read a book, sing the itsy bitsy spider, say prayers, hugs, kisses, knuckles, lights off, and we blow kisses). Baby's like routines, they know what to expect and will expect you to do it. Start your routine at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. A lot of times this is when your baby is the most calmest so enjoy the time with them. Plus, the bath will help relax them. If they do not need a bath, rub them down with bed time lotion and sing or talk to them calmly. Turn down the lights and only have a lamp or dim lighting. This will help baby establish bedtime from daytime.

99. Record your baby- pictures are wonderful but remembering that adorable coo and that precious sweet innocent voice is hard to remember by a photograph.

100. Always remember- You are blessed beyond measure and there is not a better position or role on this earth then being a Mother.


DH- Dear Husband
DD- Dear Daughter
LO- Little One
BTDT- Been there done that


Do you have any tips of your own? Feel free to comment with them and I will add them to my list. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful group of contributing Mom's!

43 comments:

  1. Great tips! Came from Baby Center.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. New research is showing that newborns being in the light during the day and dark at night doesn't help them learn the difference as much as skin to skin time (they think due to Mom's hormones). With that being said sun light is good for moms and babies alike!

      Delete
  2. Great tips! Can't wait to welcome my baby here any day now, and these tips will for sure come in hand!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great tips...baby is adorable too...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome tips! I'm having a scheduled c-section in the morning and am sort of freaking out. Your list of tips really helped calm my nerves about bringing baby home. Thank you!

    Amanda
    Diaryofanangrypregnantlady.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Diaper bag note: You also don't need to carry a bazillion things in your everyday diaper bag to run errands. Have a "Quick Bag" with just wipes, a couple diapers, and maybe a spare outfit in a baggy in case baby needs a change (you'll need the baggy for the dirty outfit!). You do not need lotion, baby wash, baby powder, sunscreen, blankets, bottles, formula, baggies, butt cream, hats, mittens, etc. for your 30 minute grocery run.

    Swaddling note: Swaddle the arms but leave the legs loose. Tightly bound legs inhibits proper hip development and most babies want to sleep with their knees bent like a little frog.

    Crib Bumpers: You don't need one until the baby can freely roll from their back to their front and front to back and even then probably not until they become wild sleepers. Hold off on putting one in the crib until then, because that is when they are old enough to not suffocate on it.

    Babies go through clingy, cranky, crying phases. Read about the "Wonder Weeks" and you won't be surprised when your 5 week old is suddenly not sleeping as well or eating as well as they were a week ago. It passes.

    "The Fourth Trimester" is real. Your baby cries because they are hungry, tired, or uncomfortable. Feed them when they are hungry, hold them when they are lonely, and let them sleep when they are tired. Trying to force them into a schedule won't work because they aren't cognitively aware, they are reacting to what they are feeling and experiencing.

    Don't be disappointed if your baby isn't sleeping through the night by 3 months, you aren't a bad parent and you aren't doing anything wrong. Every child is different, and there is no way to know if your baby will be a sleeper or a waker. If your sister's baby slept through the night at 3 weeks she was lucky, not a better parent. Don't take it personally if your baby prefers to see you more often at night. ;)

    Baby Powder is out. Even the talc-free powders are bad for baby's lungs. Google "Alternative Uses for Baby Powder" for a list of things you can use it for, because you are sure to get some as shower gifts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is a great list! Please add it to the linky tool to keep more Moms informed.

    http://charlie-the-cavalier.blogspot.com/2013/01/50-thing-you-should-know-before-having.html

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  7. I just came across your blog from Pinterest!! What a blessing. I am expecting my first baby in April, so I will be reading ALL of your posts in depth!!!

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  8. i've read a lot of "helpful tips after giving birth" that friends have pinned and i think they are for the most part NOT helpful, but this was actually spot on!!!! good job!i will reccomend it to all my new soon to be mommy friends!

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  9. As a mother of 2 and a pediatric nurse for more than 35 years, these tips are excellent as are those from MightySapphire, above. I am about to be a grandmother for the first time in June and glad my daughter found this on Pinterest.

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  10. These are great tips! I wish I had seen this when I first had my daughter because I was definitely sitting around the house in sweats and feeling inadequate in the beginning. Your tip about the baby monitor, I saw something on Pinterest posted by another mom and I thought she was a genius!! She bought a regular home video monitoring camera (http://www.amazon.com/Foscam-FI8918W-Wireless-Network-Viewing/dp/B00466X9SY/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=FAGBEDNJL18U&coliid=I1QD4KBFIZVIED) and it was only $63 instead of the hundreds you pay for baby video monitors and it has an app for your phone to monitor it, two way speaker system, zoom, night vision, camera rotates, and can have up to 6 cameras linked to it. Great for new moms (or anyone really) who don't have tons of money to spend on the "fancy" baby video monitoring systems.

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  11. Thank you so much for following me ladies! JKBrown13, awesome tip! Will be sharing this with my friends.

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  12. Excellent list! I have a 9-week old baby and since those first 4 weeks are still pretty fresh in my mind, I couldn't agree more with everything you have on here.

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  13. I have a 6 week old son and couldn't agree more with your tips! The hardest thing for me to learn was to accept help. People will offer to bring food or to watch your little one for whatever reason. Take them up on it!! I hate asking for help and am a super independent gal. But raising a baby really does take a village. And when you feel better and baby is older, you can repay those super kind people if you wish. Most won't want it though! :)

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  14. Congratulations on your little one. It is very important to accept help. Not only help, but accept the offers to have your child watched so you can go for a night out with your significant other. My husband and I have always been home bodies, but getting a night to yourself kids free will make you feel so much better and strengthen your relationship to each other! It's important to not only see each other as parents, but as individuals who still have common goals and interests. Good for you for learning this so early. It took me almost 2 years to fully grasp this concept!

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  15. Overall great list! I did want to point out that #3 Differentiating day from night is incorrect. A recent research study has shown that having rooms bright or dark doesn't impact Circadian rhythms. The study did find that skin to skin bonding (also known as Kangaroo Care) DOES help infants develop Circadian rhythms.

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  16. Thanks Rachel. I understand that "studies" may show that keeping the room bright during the day and keeping it dark at night does not help as it does not impact the newborn's circadian rhythms. However, having a child of my own. I can assure you that it helped my daughter tremendously and I still stand by the fact that it DOES help. Not only does it help the newborn establish day from night, but it also keeps things easier for the new parents as well. Keeping the room bright and not tip-toeing around your newborn will help them learn to sleep sounder and allow you to still get tasks done though out the day. It also is nice to keep the room dark for those late night/ early morning feeds as your partner is able to remain asleep and or keep the environment "calm" for your newborn. Skin to skin is a great bonding method as well and will also help with breast feeding and regulating maternal and infant temperature. Thanks for the input, however, I still feel Mom's KNOW best and you have to do what is best for your child as EVERY child is different even your own.

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  17. Also this is straight from pampers.com from Suzanna Dixon, MD

    Newborn

    Your newborn baby doesn't know the difference between night and day. She needs to sleep and feed around the clock to grow and develop correctly, so night and day don't matter much to her anyway. In general, your newborn will sleep about 16 to 18 hours out of every 24. A newborn usually sleeps two to four hours at a time and wakes up hungry. She needs to eat around the clock at first but will gradually sleep more at night and less during the day.

    You can begin to teach your baby the difference between night and day by behaving differently at different times. During the day, talk to your baby more while you feed her. Keep it light and bright. At night, be more subdued and quiet. Keep the lighting down. Eventually, she'll catch on and begin to sleep more at nighttime.

    Tip: When your baby was in the womb, your walking motions lulled her to sleep. It's no surprise that your newborn still loves to be gently rocked and swayed. Swaddling also helps make her feel "at home." Many babies also find comfort in music. But remember: She's supposed to feed every two to three hours around the clock.

    You can find the rest of the article here:
    http://www.pampers.com/baby-sleep-patterns

    Side note: Everything we do as parents is going to have a study that will denote that it is NOT best practice for a parent to do this or that. As long as it is not a safety concern for the newborn, parents SHOULD do what is best and what WORKS for their family. Each family and child is different. Just like you can find an article that may favor a particular type of baby method you can also find another article that will denote it. As a nurse, I can practice and the very next day, a study will surface and it will no longer be deemed as "best practice." It doesn't mean that it doesn't work it just may not work for the overall good of the population. Take comments from others with a grain of salt as everyone will have input and offer their advice to you. As long as your newborn is healthy, happy, and striving towards age appropriate goals then you are doing your best as a Mom. Again, these are TIPS that have helped me parent my daughter and has helped thousands of Mom's that I come in contact with get through those rough nights. It doesn't matter how much research is out there when your child is screaming, crying, won't latch on, won't sleep, is dry, and you just don't know what else to do. GO with you gut! :)

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  18. Thanks for this! I have two (soon to be three) little ones and I agree with all - some we're new to me :)
    I also appreciate the non-judgemental tips about feeding. It's a pet-peeve to see moms forcing the 'breast is best' mantra on others. I agree, breast feeding IS hard. New moms need to hear that it might not be perfect right away and yes, you are still a loving wonderful mom if you choose to formula feed. I have so many friends that struggled with the guilt of not being able to breast feed their babies, it is a topic that hits close to home. So thank you for saying "if" you breastfeed instead of "you should". It makes all the difference.

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  19. Thanks for the sweet comment Leigh2021. Congratulations on your soon to be new addition. I of course would LOVE it if Mom's CAN breast feed their little ones, however, it IS difficult and no two breast feeding situations are alike. You would be amazed how much nipples vary in size, shape, and how some moms can produce like crazy, and others can't produce at all. Some babies just aren't as comfortable at the breast and some go straight to it like they were born to feed. After working VERY closely with Mom's on a daily basis, it has come to my knowledge that it is not easy for everyone. Also, when Mom's go home their is less support. Yes, we have breast feeding support systems but with multiple children at home and or difficulty in getting to the classes, it is MUCH easier said then done. I can totally understand why Mom's resort to bottle feeding. Plus, when you get to the point of frustration, your newborn can sense it and it inhibits the production of milk as well. Go with what works for your little one. If you can breast feed GREAT, if not it is OK and your newborn will do just fine. You are an AWESOME Mom regardless!!

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  20. This is by far the most useful list of tips I've seen so far! Im due in July and have been reading A LOT to try and prep myself to be a first time mom. I was skeptical at first thinking what could this list have that I havent read already but I was wrong, so many little things like putting a little make up on can really make a difference, I actually pictured myself 2 months from now sitting on the couch in sweats, hair up and no make up thinking "why am I so down?" so that really helped! Along with all the reassuring about not stressing thinking youre a bad mom and if things dont go so easy its ok :) Thanks again for spending the time to share this! I printed it out for my husband and friend whos due around the same time :)

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  21. Congratulations NewMommy on your soon to be new addition! I am so glad this list helped, I love reading all of the encouraging topics as I always wonder how many people this list is actually reaching! :)

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  22. I like the valuable details you provide in your material. I would save your blog website and examine again here regularly.
    Tubal Ligation Reversal

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  23. I'm wondering about "alcohol is out". My daughter is almost 6 months old, we were encouraged to use the alcohol on her cord. I've honestly never heard of it not being used any more! We definitely did the same thing with our son (although he is 6 now!). I love a lot of these tips though! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. We were told not to use alcohol by the hospital staff. It also stated that in both pregnancy books I read before my son was born. I am not sure why, though. Maybe too drying?

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    2. Jamie- thanks for responding! They are now saying that cords left untreated (no triple dye and no alcohol0 are healing at a faster rate then those that are treated. :)

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  24. I have found here much useful information for myself. Many thanks to the editors for the info.

    How To Play With Babies

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  25. Don't forget car seat safety and make sure to have your car seat checked by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician!

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  26. Thanks for all of these tips! I don't plan on having kids for a while but these are super helpful. My friend had a newborn nurse in Los Angeles, would you suggest that?

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    1. Thanks for the response Stacey! If you mean a separate nurse for the newborn not necessarily. As long as the baby transitions normally and is healthy and cleared by the medical staff upon delivery then one nurse for both Mom and Baby is perfect! I think having one helps the new parents sleep also as there are not two separate nurses coming in for Mom and Baby. But, if there is a separate newborn nurse that is fine too. Either way, you're little one will get the attention he/she needs! :)

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  27. These are great tips - hoping to use them myself some day! One thing - I would be hesitant to recommend this to others because of all the typos and punctuation errors ('be flexbile' and 'Jessica Simpson heals' for example). This is a shame, because the list is so helpful otherwise! Could you maybe run over it and check for errors, then update it?

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    1. Here's an idea - copy and paste the blog onto your own computer and fix them yourself before you send it out? I thought it was great she took the time to write all that down for all of us who are actually worried and expecting, and not caring so much about the spelling and grammar of it. By the way, it's *someday. :)

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  28. I am sorry you feel that way LeeLens- feel free to read my blog on, "Feeling Judged" to hear my response.

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  29. Thanks so much, your support means a lot. Once we all became mothers we realized that we were no longer perfect and in fact have a ton of flaws. As I said earlier my blog is no exception ;) Blogging is actually a luxury in between all my tasks and trying to spend sweet cherished moments with my kids! Glad someone could see the meaning behind the message!

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  30. Can I ask what DD and DH mean in #5???

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  31. Are you looking for organic mattress for your children? I will suggest too choose best mattress for your children and give a better sleep to your child.

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  32. Great article, but I'm having some issues understanding your acronyms. Is there another blog post that I'm missing that explains them?

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  33. Thank you! I added an explanation of the acronyms at the bottom of the article. Hope this helps! Let me know if it doesn't! :)

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