Although I was always grateful for my newfound motherhood, I was still rocked by the way my life was no longer linear.
When my head hit the pillow in the night, I was still on duty. It was at this delicate time that I came to understand another less-than-desirable aspect of becoming a new mom – getting inundated with suggestions.
While I’m sure the unsolicited advice was well-intentioned, I found it was anxiety-inducing.
There are nuggets of helpful advice for a new mom, as well as useful tips for moms to survive the first week. Here’s a recommendation for new moms and their better, better-modified equivalents.
Looking in from the outside, it seems, most mom’s got it all together. But the contrary is true. Sharing your struggles will encourage a mom to open up, and you will soon know that you’re not alone.
2. Shower Daily
As always, moms put this off when they’re so “busy” with a shower to make you feel not only fresh but ready to face the day, make up a little bit too, and you won’t feel like you’re stuck around the house with a baby. You’re going to be surprised at the energy boost you get.
3. Differentiate day from night.
Many new parents are afraid that the sun is too bright for the eyes of newborns. However, having it well lit while your sweet little one is asleep through the day and quiet at night will allow your baby to get on with the routine.
4. The postpartum blues are true.
If you feel down in the dumps or fail to become your own again after delivery, address your issues with your MD. There are true feelings that influence a lot of moms, getting treatment early rather than later will make the first six months as a mom a lot smoother.
5. Let Dad help
Getting someone to assist you with diaper shifts, late-night feeds, and the like would help you a lot. Only because your’re Mom doesn’t mean your Dad can’t join in. Remember, it takes two people to tango and a village to raise a boy. Leave the room as Dad starts the work for the first time, so he doesn’t feel judged.
6. Motherhood is hard work
You’re starting to sound like you’re not strong enough. It’s a natural feeling. Since your child is unable to convince you about your parenting skills, it’s natural to feel like you’re not doing a good job by hearing how people recommend you about being a parent
7. It’s Ok to ask for space.
Your first few weeks will be stressful, emotional, and confusing. If your family is one to “hover” ask them to leave or come back quietly when you’re well rested and ready for business.
This is only going to stress you and stress the baby. Intervene early to remind them to make a call when they get there. One of the smartest things my husband and I have done are not to invite visitors on 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. Prepare food smartly
Cook food beforehand or have someone make a few meals before hand so you can freeze. There are a range of helpful resources that describe how to correctly freeze products 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 your photos even if you look like a hot mess.
You’re going to hate them right away, but you’re going to look back in a year. You’re going to cherish these. Your child is going to want to see you in the pictures, not just themselves.
11. Don’t forget to swaddle with your baby.
Baby’s like feeling safe, they’re used to being in your uterus with hardly any room to move around. Make sure your nurse shows you how to swaddle or buy a swaddler from the store. If nothing seems to make your newborn happy, swaddle them.
12. Join a Mom’s group.
Babycenter.com’s got a great band. In fact, you can join your birth month. My daughter, for example, was born in November 2010. So, I’m a member of the Birth Club of November 2010. There are several women who post information about children of the same age as yours!
13. Don’t forget to still date your husband.
Getting a baby, wandering around the house in sweats, hair tied, with no make-up would not always make you want to throw on your Jessica Simpson heels and hit the club. But, just do something simple. Having an hour for yourself will bring your marriage and sanity to a whole new level. Your husband needs to see you not only as a mother but also as a wife.
14. Go outside.
Some new mothers are scared to leave the house and they’re afraid that their baby will get sick. This doesn’t mean you need to go shopping, but you need to go for a fun stroll. They have a lot of stroller covers on the market that you can use for your stroller.
You’re going to feel comfortable, and your baby is going to enjoy the movement. Or if you have a sun roof, go for a fast drive instead. You’re not going to have to think about your baby getting touched, and you’re going to feel refreshed outside. The best part of it is that you can do this in your PJs.
15. Invest in a quality baby monitor preferably video if you are able.
We purchased a cheap monitor when my daughter was a child. We’ve always heard the neighbors children as we reached the frequencies, couldn’t get several cameras across the house, and couldn’t see her to make sure that her little scream was just a baby’s dream.
Seeing her was a life-saving person. Especially in the early years, now that we hear her waking up in her bedroom when she falls asleep, we will look and make sure she’s already in bed and doesn’t play.
16. Buy a swing that’s going to plug the wall.
We used our swing frequently, and we kept going to the battery shop.
17. Find your intuition here.
You know the best about your kid. Most strangers are trying to tell you what they think is wrong with your newborn.
18. Nap when the baby’s nap.
You’re going to want to tidy up, catch up on your to-do list, or get ready. Try to do these things while an infant is awake.
19. Let’s be OK with adjustment.
You may have said before you had your newborn that you would never do this or that, but if it works for your newborn, do it.
20. If you are breastfeeding, ask to see a lactation consultant
La Leche League consultants are a good way to get started in your area. You’re going to be able to see your baby nurse and make sure you’re doing all right.
As neuropsychologist Allan Schore shares:
Giving birth and becoming a mother to a boy is a profound experience. Not unexpectedly, early postpartum contact is a stressful and difficult period correlated with both positive and negative outcomes.
The reality is, it’s all right to fade, feel out of contact with yourself, and feel overwhelmed. Over the ups and downs, lean on those around you, share your stories and soak in those baby snuggles.