New Baby Care - Top 10 Helpful Tips For New Moms
For many of us who have been in the parenting world for a while, it’s tough to remember those days when you were counting down to when your new arrival would enter the world. For new moms-to-be, the stress of having everything “just so,” and being prepared is considerable. Just the thought of having a baby to care for is, alone, a daunting proposition.
From breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, to Ferberize or not to Ferberize it’s no wonder that expectant moms are dealing with serious amounts of anxiety as they await their new arrival. The good news is that we as a species have been having babies for millennia and the reality is that it doesn’t need to be as complicated as we’re lead to believe. Babies’ needs are simple - they need food, shelter and love (in the form of attention), and that’s basically it. Add a few items like a soother, a special blanket and perhaps a bouncy chair you’d be surprised at how content they can be.
Once you get past the shock of childbirth, you can and will realize that you’re more than able to handle it - and then some. Follow some of these simple tips below and treasure those special moments with your new bundle of joy.
New Baby Care - Top 10 Helpful Tips For New Moms
1) Newborns don’t need much – Don’t go overboard buying baby layette items other than a few onesies, sleepers, diapers, wipes, and a couple changes of clothes. For the first few weeks, you will not need a lot of clothes - guaranteed. A few alternates that can be put on after baby spits up, and will tide you over until the laundry is done is really all you need. All of the other stuff is extra.
2) Catch sleep whenever you can – Sleep is a premium and you never know when you’re going to get it so sleep whenever you can. This includes sleeping when the baby sleeps and doing “shifts” with your significant other, if possible.
3)Trust your instincts – You know best because you’re the mom, right? Your “gut instinct is there for a reason.” If something feels right or wrong, it probably is, so trust your gut and act accordingly.
4) Limit visitors – Well-wishers are great but they can be a stress for new moms. Feeling like you have to entertain when you’re exhausted and the house is a mess is too much to bear. Limit visits to only the immediate family for the first while after baby is born and focus on your own new family during this precious time.
5) Get out of the house – Don’t stay in, as tempting as it may be. This is particularly the case when you’ve just come home with a new baby and you’re feeling stressed and anxious. Bundle up the little one and go for a walk, or if you don’t want to venture far, at least go outside on the front porch or step. The fresh air and outdoors will make you feel revitalized.
6) Cleaning can wait – The house won’t fall apart if you don’t clean it as often as you’d like once the baby is born. Being a mom is hard enough; don’t add to your stress. Clean when you can and focus on the baby. If unexpected visitors show up and the house isn’t spotless, too bad. It’s their problem, not yours.
7) Stay hydrated and nourished – You’ll be better prepared to take care of your baby if you’re in good health and well fed. Don’t forget to eat! Drink lots of fluids as well, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You need that extra water in order to nourish your child.
8) Accept help – When someone offers to do something for you, accept. If they want to clean, cook or babysit, say “yes” and be thankful for their kindness. Don’t second-guess yourself or feel guilty. People really do want to help, particularly when there’s a new baby involved, so take them up on it and let them take over some of the chores.
9) Lower the bar – You have a new baby. Don’t expect to do everything you were able to do before. Things take longer with little ones around so accept that and take it easy. The house may bet a bit more messy, laundry may pile up…accept that this is the norm and you’re not expected to be “Housecleaner of the Year” when you’ve got a newborn in tow. Let things go, focus on your child and worry about the dusting when the baby is a bit older.
10) Reach out to other new moms – Don’t isolate yourself! Having a new baby is a wonderful thing but can also be very daunting and isolating, in some cases. Find a new moms group or similar in your area and attend playgroups or meetings where you can discuss common experiences and concerns. Just having the support and understanding of others in the same position can do wonders for your state of mind.
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What additional tips and advice would you give to new moms? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below!
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