In this new mom survival guide we will tell you some great tips you probably didn’t heard before.
The beginning of motherhood is one of the most exciting times of our lives!
It is a time of joy and happiness, but can also be overwhelming and exhausting.
Becoming a mom for the first time is not exactly what you expect it to be. I was clueless and searched endlessly for new mom tips that could help me.
As new moms we will be faced with new challenges that we have never experienced before.
Anything that makes life with your newborn easier is a win! Here are a few new mom tips and tricks I picked up along the way that helped me care for my little ones.
I hope these newborn tips will make the first few months with your baby easier too. Babies are different, but newborns are very similar in their needs and expression of those needs.
NEW MOM SURVIVAL GUIDE
I wish I have had a new mom survival guide when I was a first-time mom. So, I want to share these first-time mom tips I wish I knew sooner. These are things I learned on my own or from other moms.
1. Get all the sleep you can get postpartum
Everyone tells you to sleep when your baby sleeps, and they’re right, but that gets a little more complicated when you also have a toddler to care for.
You will find that it will be almost impossible to find rest during your regular sleep hours, so sleeping, whenever you can, will be vital to keep you energized.
With that said, I highly recommend starting ASAP! Try to get as much sleep as you physically can your first night postpartum. Labor is exhausting and you will be tired postpartum, but, based on personal experience, some extra super powers kick in those first hours which keep you alert despite being physically exhausted.
Sure, babies do sleep a lot in those first few weeks. But they also wake up like every 2-3 hours. So your sleep will constantly be broken up into two-hour time blocks. This means you are never really even entering a full sleep cycle.
So for the first few weeks, you will feel exhausted. And that feeling will seem like it’s never going to end.
But it will.
The best advice I can give is to just try to get through it and take the chance to sleep when you can. It only takes a few weeks to a month or two before your baby starts sleeping for a bit longer chunks.
2. Feed on demand
A newborn baby wants to eat constantly
It’s a pain, but it’s totally normal.
And to add to the exhaustion, your nipples can become really sore.
But still, my advice, in those first days, offer the breast every time your newborn shows the first signs of being hungry (especially if you know that he/she doesn’t need a diaper change or need to sleep).
Your milk comes in anytime between 2-5 days postpartum. Your newborn cluster feeds in order to increase your milk supply, and if you don’t nurse around the clock you not only risk having a low milk supply but you also risk having clogged milk ducts making your areola/nipple too hard for your newborn to latch on. This condition can progress to painful and severe mastitis. I’ve been there (three times), trust me it’s something you definitely want to avoid.
Related article: 30 Game-Changing Breastfeeding Hacks
3. Learn the cues
Babies can’t tell us what they need, which makes it a little trickier to know what they want. But they do show us some signs using various physical hunger cues.
There are early and late stages in which babies let us know that they’re hungry. If you ignore these early stages of hunger, it will only get more difficult to feed and keep your baby calm and happy.
Early Hunger Cues:
- Fists moving to mouth.
- Head turning to look for the breast.
- Becoming more alert and active or acting fussy.
- Sucking on hands or lip smacking.
- Opening and closing mouth.
- Positioning as for a feed (curling, laying back, pulling with or stroking at clothes)
- Hitting your arm or chest repeatedly
- Breathing rapidly
Late Hunger Cues:
- Head movements from side to side
- Turning red
At this point you’ll have to calm your baby down before trying to feed
Babies also show sleepy cues. These come in stages as well as the hunger cues. If you miss the sleepy early cues you too will also have a fussy, and overstimulated baby who needs to be calmed down first.
4. Gas Issues Relief
The digestive system of newborns is still developing which means that there will be discomfort along the way. Although colic is known to develop when babies are between 3 to 4 weeks old, occasional gas discomfort can occur earlier due to things like allergies, mother’s diet, sensitivities, and breathing incorrectly when crying.
Two baby medications you should always have on hand (in addition to your Vitamin D drops) are Gripe Water and Simethicone Gas Drops. These are natural remedies and miracle workers for babies with colic, gas and hiccups. Both Gripe Water and the Gas Drops are used by parents for baby gas issues but it really depends on your baby’s reaction to either to see which one would work best.
Babies are all different so one might work better than the other.
Just make sure to always check with your pediatrician before giving your baby anything besides breast milk or formula.
5. Keep the nest warm
Newborns love to be held and be near you.
Your newborn baby has been born into a cold and strange new world. They find the best comfort on your warm chest listening to the familiar beat of your heart.
But it can be a bit challenging when this is the only place your newborn prefers to ever be.
One hack you could try is using a heating pad to heat up the place you would like your newborn to sleep in prior to putting them there (REMOVE the heating pad completely before putting down your newborn).
I purchased a cheap heating pad from Amazon and all I can say is that it made wonders.
Babies will fall asleep or lounge so much easier and better on anything that is warm and cozy. Just make sure to not make the area too hot, the highest setting I use is medium heat and I remove it after a couple of minutes of preheating.
Make sure you ALWAYS REMOVE the actual heating pad and NEVER have your newborn baby lay on it. Also, you should always turn the heating pad off after every use.
6. Use Your Keurig To Keep Bottles Warm
If your baby doesn’t finish his bottle right away, run your Keurig without the K-cup and put the bottle in the warm water. This will keep your baby’s formula warm for a while, until your baby is ready to finish the bottle.
You can also use your Keurig as an alternative to warm your baby’s bottles. Just place the bottle in the warm water until it reaches the desired temperature. Just remember to always check the temperature of the formula before giving it to your baby.
7. Get things done with your baby
A few weeks into motherhood, I realized I needed to get things done around my home, like laundry or dishes, while still caring for my newborn baby. I felt guilty if I wasn’t paying attention to my baby, but at the same time, we couldn’t live in a home that looked like a total mess.
Then I found a great solution! Take your baby with you around the house while you get things done. Use a baby bouncer and move it around the house or wear your baby in a hands-free carrier.
Your baby can watch what you are doing and learn while you are productive! You will be surprised by how easily your baby is entertained.
8. Create an Optimized Sleep Environment
Sleep is essential for both you and your baby during this time. A great way to promote better sleep is to use blackout curtains and a sound machine in the nursery to promote better sleep.
The sound machine can also help your baby sleep away from home by creating the familiar sounds of his nursery.
Your baby’s crib should always be free of any blankets, stuffed animals, or bumpers. A wearable blanket is a safe option for keeping your baby warm!
9. Keep Toys On The Changing Table
If your baby is fussy during diaper changing, keep toys on the changing table to distract him. These toys are perfect for the changing table and also help develop your baby’s fine motor skills.
10. Warm the diaper wipes
Babies are so different but both of my babies were terribly afraid of the cold from the diaper wipes. This is so common with newborns. As soon as we touched their little bums with the cold wipes they cried and then peed everywhere
Since we started using the diaper wipes warmer we didn’t have any more diaper changing issues.So, don’t brush aside the diaper wipes warmer as an unnecessary baby registry buy, you might actually need it!
11. You need to take care of yourself
You really need to learn how to take care of yourself to be a good mom. Please don’t forget about your own needs. You know on airplanes when they instruct you to put your oxygen mask on first before you help your kids? Apply the same principle to your life.
Make sure you eat right, get exercise, fresh air, spend time with your friends and do other things you enjoy. Do not put yourself last!
12. Do What Works Best For YOUR Baby
Every baby is different and over time you will learn YOUR baby’s preferences. What works for one baby may not work for another and you know your baby better than anyone.
Trust your instincts and enjoy this time with your baby! You are only a new mom once.
Trust your gut, Mama!
I hope you found this new mom survival guide helpful and I wish you all the best on your journey as a new mom. You have such an amazing and enjoyable time ahead!