Advice for new moms…where do I start? As a seasoned mom of three, I often wonder what I wish I had known before my little one’s were born. What advice would I give myself, if I was having my first baby?
Here’s my top advice for new moms:
Have realistic expectations
Being a new mom with a new baby is a learning curve for you both. You won’t get it right 100% of the time and your baby won’t be the perfect baby in the baby product ads. There will be days when it all feels too much and feeling like you have failed this little person may become a familiar emotion. Try not to set yourself up for failure by expecting perfection. Your baby may not sleep through when other babies do. They may not look exactly as you expected. You might not fall in love straight away and need a bit of time to get to know your new baby. Your toddler may throw a tantrum in public and you may shed a tear when it all feels too much. Be gentle on yourself. Be gentle on your baby.
A rigid routine is a recipe for stress
While you may crave a semblance of predictability to your life in the next few weeks, your baby may have another agenda. Try to go with the flow, especially in the early weeks when your baby needs to feed on demand to help your milk supply become established. A month down the line, you can start to think about guiding your baby towards a predictable rhythm each day.
Don’t compare your baby to other babies
Thank goodness your baby is unique – they are magnificently one of a kind. The flip side of this is that they may not keep up with the baby next door – or they may exceed your developmental expectations. Give your little one space to develop according to their own genetic blueprint.
Your baby will cry more and sleep less than you can ever imagine
In a fog of sleep deprivation, you will be searching for clues as to why your baby is crying. This is the cruelest fact of the first three months is that you have never been this tired or this clueless. The good news is that the crying settles by 12 weeks and your baby will probably sleep through before 6 months. Apologies that the good news feels like an eternity away.
Suddenly everyone will be an expert about your baby
You will want to lock yourself in a bathroom and avoid certain people – that’s a fact. Try to keep it simple, listen to your instinct and better yet, reflect on your style of parenting before you start this journey. From there, surround yourself with wise people who confirm that your style is right. Conflicting parenting advice is not helpful at all. If you want a credible source of science-backed guidance to help you be the expert on your baby, subscribe to Parent Sense. It’s the only parenting app you need to parent with confidence.
You are your baby’s whole world
You will teach your baby about the world, emotions and make them feel safe, just with a little eye contact. Take time to bond. Slow down and connect with your new little being.
Most importantly, my advice to new moms is to not wish the time away too much. Enjoy your little one – there is never a time in life when the old adage: “Enjoy the journey” is more accurate than when it comes to parenting.