Thursday, November 2, 2017

Advice for New Moms

Being a "new mom", I am ALWAYS asking for advice from my more experienced friends.  For this post, I asked a ton of my friends who are moms what they wished they had known entering into parenthood.  I asked for general advice, or words of wisdom, and I was so pleased with all the feedback I received! I'm writing this for all the new, tired mamas out there, and for myself.  Even though Marlowe is a bit older now, I need some of these reminders!  Parenting is sooooo tough sometimes.

1.  Accept AND Ask for Help
As much as I wish I could do it all, I just can't sometimes.  There is nothing wrong with asking for help!  If your friends offer to bring you dinner, take them up on it.  If your mother-in-law wants to vacuum, LET HER.  And if they don't offer, ASK!  People are so eager to help out in anyway they can after a baby is born.  I am so thankful for the friends and family that would just hold Marlowe for 30 minutes so I could take a nap.  I also went through two major surgeries when Marlowe was 4 months and 7 months where I literally could do nothing.  I hated asking for help, but it was necessary and I'm glad I did.  

2.  Go with your Gut
I can't stress this one enough.  If you think something is wrong, you are usually right.  You know your baby best and you should always trust your instinct. If you feel uneasy about a situation, or think your baby isn't feeling well, or that you shouldn't do something even if someone else told you it was fine, listen to yourself and do what you feel is right! There's been lots of times where I KNEW Marlowe had a fever, and Kyle would disagree and say she didn't feel warm, and we'd get the thermometer to check, and I was always right.  No offense to Kyle or anything hahaha. 

3.  Take Care of Yourself
It's sooo easy to get in a groove of constantly taking care of your baby, that you forget to take care of yourself.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and I'm like oh my god is that really me?  Then, I call grandma or if it's the weekend put Kyle on daddy-duty and leave to take care of me.  Meaning, go get your nails done, get your eyebrows waxed, get a tan, a massage occasionally, YOU DESERVE IT and you'll feel better afterwards too.  This also includes remembering to feed yourself!  I'm the worst at this.  I honestly feel like I hardly ever eat a good breakfast or lunch anymore because feeding her meals takes all my energy.

4.  Date your Spouse
This is easier said than done, but seriously go on a date with your spouse whenever you can!  Make a goal for a certain amount of times a month that it has to be just the two of you. Someone else can watch your little one for a couple hours. This is soooo important for a healthy marriage.  Even though you'll probably end up talking about your baby the whole time you're gone haha.  

5.  Co-sleep
Yup I said it.  CO-SLEEP with your baby!  Co-sleeping doesn't necessarily mean sleeping in the same bed, but it means sleeping in the same room.  Marlowe slept with us till 6 months old (and then after I highly recommend sleep training!) She was a nursing maniac, and putting her back in her crib afterwards was a fight every single time.  Once I just let her sleep with us, we ALL slept better.  Plus, several studies show that it's extremely beneficial for your baby to be near you.  Think about it, it's a new-age thing for every child to have their own room.  Since the beginning of time, moms slept with their babies.  

6. Do your Own Research
Just because THEY did it that way, doesn't mean it's the RIGHT way.  Research anything you are unsure about and come to your own conclusion.  This can be anything from teething, to feeding solids, to sleep training.  Everyone will tell you how it's "supposed to" be done, and it's your responsibility to dig deeper in order to do what's best for your little.  

7. Wear Your Baby
Use a sling or wrap to wear your baby as much as you can!  It's daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it you'll finally be able to get things done.  I would clean the house, put my makeup on, go shopping without the stroller, all while wearing Marlowe.  It is also really healthy for baby to be close to you, and good for preventing a flat head because they aren't laying down all the time! 

8.  Stick with Routines
This one was so tough for me at the beginning.  Babies LOVE routine.  Keep a routine for mealtimes, routine before bed, and routines for naps.  Every time I stray from her schedule, I regret it.  It messes up everything for the night and even into the next day.  This one can be tough for friends without babies to understand, but trust me when I say who cares, just stick to the routine.  

9.  Subscription Diapers and Groceries Delivered
Get on subscriptions on Amazon for just about anything you can!  We use a subscription for diapers, wipes, toilet paper, etc.  Meaning, Amazon will deliver your item once a month (or however you set up the frequency) without you having to think about it.  You will never have to run to the store to get more diapers.  This can also mean a subscription for Honest Diapers or cloth diapers if you prefer those. Also, if you live in California then you need AMAZON FRESH for groceries.  We get two deliveries a week, and I literally just do my grocery shopping on my phone in a couple minutes, and my food is delivered the next day.  Going to the grocery store is such a pain in the butt and I'm all about anything that saves me time. 

10. Read to them
The teacher in me had to add this (and also several teacher friends told me this was a must), but read to your baby!  I cannot stress enough how important it is to read to them right from the beginning.  Babies are literally sponges for language, so even if they aren't able to say the words back, they are digesting what you are saying.  Reading early will benefit them in the long run.  Their little minds are capable of SO much, but you have to give them the tools.   

11.  Don't Compare
It's so easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other moms especially with social media.  Don't do it.  You are the best mother for your child.  I could find a million things about myself that I wish I could do better and forget about all the things I already do well by comparing myself to others. There will be a lot of times you will feel like you are failing as a mother, but give yourself grace and know that you are doing a good job.

Tips and Tricks (from my friends!)
Here's a list of tips and tricks, in no particular order, that I received from all the friends I asked!

1.  Blackout curtains are game changers for helping baby sleep.
2.  DREFT stain remover is the BEST.
3.  Let Dad do a feeding with pumped milk or formula once during the night (this SAVED me!).
4.  If you're a working breastfeeding mom, pump in the car on your commute to work. Use a shawl to cover up, and an adapter for your pump. (This one made me laugh so hard, but makes so much sense!)
5.  Put the Pack in Play in the bathroom when you shower!
6.  Leaking diapers usually mean you need the next diaper size up. (I wish I had known this prior to the leaks...)
7.  Frozen washcloths for teething. GAME CHANGER.
8.  Give them things to look at during tummy time (it will help them like it more!)
9.  Nose-Frida and Saline spray for stuffy noses, and Vicks on their feet with socks.
10.  Nail clippers with the magnifying glass on the end for those little nails! (look on amazon!)

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Emily Noble | Copyright 2017