Your life has changed forever – for the better BTW. You’ve become a mom for the first time. If you’re like most moms, you’ve also just realized how dangerous the world really is.
We get it. We’ve been through it. That’s why we combined our ingenious mom-brains together to help guide you through the wonderful first year of your child’s life. Our tips come straight from the mouths of mom’s who’ve done it before. They know how those hormones and no-sleep can leave you a bit brainless and that’s where we come in. We can’t help you with all the upcoming diaper changes, but we can give you a few tips to get you started so you can focus on what matters most and let that mommy brain of yours rest a bit in-between feedings.
1. Don’t Feed the Audience
In the first few weeks after you’ve brought home your newborn, you will have lots of guests. In addition to finding any opportunity to sleep during this hectic time, you will want to entertain your guests. Just a few short months ago when your kind friends came over whom in the past you’ve always greeted them with a mixed drink and a smile, don’t feel obligated to still do this. Well, here’s the news: that life is over. You are not a bad host for serving donated casseroles and ready-mix drinks to your guests. Most people understand what you are going through. Most of us are lucky enough to have been there. The really good people in your life won’t care that they have to go through the drive-thru. They love you. Remember that.
2. Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
Your baby’s tummy is about the size if a pea. Plus, it is brand new. It will need to be filled every couple of hours. Whether you choose to feed via the breast or bottle, this is the reality for the next six months. It is our mommy opinion that new mommy’s should only be concerned with getting rest and lactating at least the first six weeks of her baby’s life. The best way for new mommies to be up to the task of doing this, is to get plenty of sleep in-between feedings. Your household chores can wait, your baby’s tummy can’t.
3. Don’t Hesitate to Lactate
Baby formula is expensive. Plus, babies cost a lot of money if you’re planning to put her in childcare. You can save more than $800 by breastfeeding your baby. That $800 can go to pay for a part-time sitter for a few months or a much-needed vacation that in one year you must take if you want to stay sane. If you’re wondering how you will manage breastfeeding and daycare, think about buying a $200 breast pump. They are relatively easy to use and the milk you make is the right milk for you baby. Plus, your town’s hospital is always in need of donated breast milk for their neonatal unit
4. Don’t Worry About the Mess
The laundry is not calling your name. Let it pile up. Better yet, hire a housekeeper. Your baby needs you. There is no one on Earth who can replace you right now. She is your first priority. Yes, you like to keep your house neat. Right now is not the time, though. Right now your focus is your baby. When she is sleeping, that’s when you sleep. If you are really itching to get the housework done, think about buying a wearable device like the Moby wrap. This will keep your baby close to you while you work.
5. Consider Baby Proofing Now
Things are changing in how baby proofing is done. We asked moms, and one commented that when it came time to baby proof, she simply didn’t know how to use a drill. She then added that as a former construction worker, she knew how to use a drill. She simply couldn’t remember how to use one when it came to install the baby proofing supplies though. Now with the Safety Mag, there’s no drilling involved. This device is easy to install and easy to uninstall. They thought of this in the design as a baby really only needs the cabinets locked the first few years or so. Plus, it really works. It keeps the kiddos out and brings the safety in.
6. Nipple Guards
When talking about safety devices and babies you have simply got to bring up nipple guards. When you first start breastfeeding you maybe think it’ll be natural and easy. You are wrong. Beginning breastfeeding really hurts. If you are recovering from a cesarean then it’ll hurt even worse. Getting into position to feed while your baby while your wound is closing will be so painful you will want to quit. If you do, don’t hate yourself. Feed your baby. If you are determined to breastfeed, consider getting a nipple guard. It will help you ease into the pain of breastfeeding. They are cheap, they are simple and they really do help.
7. Watch What You Eat
Remember that what you eat goes into your breastmilk. If you are eating onions, you will pass them into your baby’s breastmilk. If you are eating food that causes gas and bloating, then you will pass that into your milk as well. Watch what you eat, and the best thing to do is eat as bland as possible.
8. The Gas Build-Up
The first few months of a baby’s life they really don’t move very much. All they really do is look cute, eat and fill a diaper. That means that if they have gas then they don’t have a way to move to pass it out of their body. Consider gas drops to help with this time. If you gently rub your newborns tummy clockwise, this will too help move the gas out. Gas out means less pressure means baby is feeling better means less crying means more sleep for mommy and daddy.
9. Avoid Diaper Rash
Zinc oxide creams are amazing. They heal the skin and keep moisture away. You will need this cream. The best thing for your baby right now, though is fresh air. You may be thinking right now that you would never allow your baby to go without a diaper and give her a chance to make a mess. Well, yes this is true. Your baby is incontinent. That’s why the best time to allow your baby to go commando is after you change the diaper. Your baby just went potty. They will probably not go potty again for at least an hour. Therefore, for about five minutes after you change her diaper let her go diaper-free. Let her bum hang in the air. This is the best way to help prevent diaper rash.
10. Focus on the Extra Pounds in a Few Months
If you thought pregnancy made you hungry, wait until you experience breastfeeding hungry. It is way more intense. If you choose breastfeeding you are still eating for two and your body will burn an extra 300-600 calories per day just by breastfeeding. Your body will want to make up the calorie loss by eating more food. You should still practice eating a well-balanced diet. Do not start dieting though until your baby is off the boob.
11. Take a Shower Before You Go Back to Your OBGYN
One mom told us recently that when she went to her OBGYN appointment six weeks after she gave birth, she didn’t realize they would be examining her. She had been so focused on her baby, that she didn’t take the time she needed to properly groom. This was okay for her at home, but was very embarrassing to her at the doctor’s office. Remember to rinse.
12. You’re Real/ Not Perfect
Babies are very unpredictable just like the rest of us humans. Yes, they are completely dependent on you the first year of their life. However, we are imperfect people too. We will make mistakes. It is important to remember this as you try your best and forgive yourself often. We’ve all made mistakes. Mistakes don’t age well.
13. Realize You Do Still Love Your Pets
We asked one dad how he felt about his cats after the birth of his first child. He said if it would make his newborn daughter sleep better he would drown his cats himself. Okay, don’t call the Human Society. He wasn’t serious. However, your pets were once your babies. Now, they’re just pets. That doesn’t mean you still don’t love them. You just love your baby more.
14. It’s Not Going to Be Easy
Parenting is not easy. Maybe as the tincture of time moves forward there will be less diapers to change and meals to prepare, but as they get older different things become harder. When you have a baby at least they are completely innocent to the horrors of the world. You can protect them at this time. Love every minute before the yucky life stuff comes in. Because it will.