New Mom Survival: How to Keep It Together During the First Year
New mom survival? Being a new mom can be challenging for most. As we are constantly learning how to take care of our little ones. It becomes difficult when we find ourselves in a bad situation, with no clue how to get out of it. That is why I have compiled some advice that I have found useful during my time as a new mom.
Being a New Mom Is Not Easy
It can be very stressful, as everything needs to come naturally with no learning curve at all. Since you are inexperienced, it might take a while before you get things right. However, I believe that this process can be greatly improved by being prepared in advance. And knowing what to do in certain circumstances.
It always helps to be one step ahead. So you can avoid having to reinvent the wheel. Here’s my advice:
Preparation Is Everything!
Make sure that your house is baby-proof before the actual birth takes place. You don’t want to find out that your newborn cannot move around freely in his own house. While you are trying to take care of him. Baby proofing is not only about your child’s safety. But also about making sure that you have an easier time looking after him. And allowing both parents to get some rest without having to worry about the baby being hurt.
The first few days can be challenging for new moms. As they need to recover after delivery. It is important to ask for help from loved ones if you feel overwhelmed and need a break. As it can be difficult to find the time later on.
Try Different Nursing Positions
After my first baby, I experienced some pain in one of my breasts that resulted from the baby’s bad latch. It was excruciating and left a deep mark in my breast tissue. Which lasted for about a couple of months. In solving this problem, I discovered some useful nursing positions that can help new moms solve pain issues during breastfeeding.
It is important to find out what works best for you before your baby arrives. As experience might be difficult to get when you need it the most. I’ve discovered that all babies are different. And so are their feeding behaviors.
Experiment With Different Positions and See if One Works Better for You Than Others
There is no right or wrong position. What matters is which one feels more comfortable for your baby and you. Try different ways to nurse. You don’t want the feeding experience to be painful for either of you. The way that worked best for me was kneeling in bed with my baby on the mattress next to me. And leaning back on a pillow.
Another new mom survival tip: Breastfeeding is not easy! It requires patience and commitment from both parents. However, there is no better food for your baby than breast milk. So you should not give up if it does not work out on the first try. The important thing is to keep trying. And consult a lactation consultant if you feel unsure or have pain issues.
Check Your Nursery
It might sound silly, but I made the mistake of checking my baby’s nursery only the day before he was born. I discovered that some things were missing. Which meant that I had to ask for help. And wait until they arrived so that everything would be just right when we brought him home from the hospital.
I made sure to have the following items in my baby’s room. Crib, mobile, diaper pail (or a trashcan would work too), thermometer, baby monitor, and a fan.
While you are preparing the nursery for your little one, it is important to keep in mind where all his things will be located concerning yours. Also, think about how you will handle the laundry. And put aside some time to do it. So it is not a surprise when you are already feeling overwhelmed.
New mom survival tip: A breastfeeding pillow makes all the difference! It will help new moms to latch their babies on and can even be used for propping up after, breastfeeding (you don’t want your baby sleeping on your chest in the beginning).
The pillow that I bought is made of a very firm foam, which does not lose its shape even after years and washing. It has a removable cover that can be washed separately from the pillow itself. The best thing about it is that it is flexible enough to fit around you while keeping your baby happy and comfortable at the same time.
Keep Track of Your Baby’s Feedings
It is imperative to track how much your baby eats and when he needs to eat next. A good idea would be to schedule the feedings so that they are as close to the same time every day as possible, and also try not to let more than a couple of hours go by before feeding your baby.
The reason for this is because newborns need their feedings on a very regular basis, and if there is too much time between feedings, your baby could get dehydrated, which might cause him to wake up a lot and be less than happy. If your baby wakes up crying in the middle of the night, you will also know that he needs his feeding and it is not something wrong with him.
A record of feedings will probably come in handy, as it is easy to lose track of time and not remember when the last feeding was. I used a small notebook where I wrote down everything that had happened during the day so that I would know exactly what time his next feeding would be and how long he should wait between them. It saved me many headaches. And will definitely recommend as a new mom survival practice.
And after you have kept track of some feedings, you will be able to use the information to plan ahead and even buy enough diapers for your baby before his arrival home from the hospital. If you know that he needs a feeding every couple of hours during the day and one in the middle of the night, you can estimate how many diapers he will go through in a day and pick the right size. This is something I did, and it saved me another trip to the store for diapers after he had arrived home from the hospital!
Preparation Before Bringing the Baby Home From the Hospital
When your baby is about to be born, you should prepare everything you need to take him home from the hospital. That way you won’t have any problems or surprises, and it will be nice for everyone involved.
Keep In Mind That Some of These Items Are Perishable, so You Might Want to Get Them Before Your Baby Arrives
- Diapers – Get at least twice as many as you think your baby will go through in one day. You don’t want to run out of diapers at 2 am!
- Wipes – I loved my wipes warmer; it made changing diapers so much easier when they were nice and warm! If you don’t want to buy a wipes warmer, make sure you have plenty of warm water to clean him up.
- A couple of clothing changes – You don’t want to run out during the night and have your baby go in only diapers!
- Breast pads – good for when your milk comes in so that you do not leak through your clothes. Breast pads should be washed with a small load of laundry to not go in the dryer.
- Nursing Pillow – This is a good idea for nursing your baby; it might take some time to figure out how to use it properly and make sure that it does not hurt!
- Breast pump, if you plan on expressing milk and using bottles – A breast pump comes in handy when you need to express milk for feeding or if a baby gets sick and cannot nurse.
- Bottles, nipples, + bottle brush – If using bottles with your breast milk, always make sure the bottles have been cleaned well after every use!
- A few outfits for baby – It is never a bad idea to have a few extra outfits for your baby if he throws up or has an accident.
Other Items to Prepare:
- A couple of blankets or swaddles – A blanket is an excellent security item to have during the night, and it makes it much easier when you need to change him during the night. You can use any blanket or fabric as long as it is not too loose.
- Baby socks – Make sure you have some warm socks for your baby to wear when he is indoors; many newborns get sweaty feet and need an extra layer to keep them comfortable!
- Static socks – Socks that the hospital will give you when you leave; they are good for putting on when you are cleaning him up so that the dirt does not get on his feet.
- Mittens – Newborn babies have no control over their hands and need protection from scratching themselves if they do not have nails yet. It is better to be safe than sorry!
Items for Travel:
- A diaper bag – You can buy these in all kinds of shapes and sizes, or you could also use a backpack. Make sure it has places to store all of your baby supplies!
- A stroller – This is very useful when going shopping or traveling with your baby. If he is happy in the stroller, then everyone else is happy too!
- Car seat carrier – You can buy these in different styles and colors, and I opted for one that is as lightweight as possible. I also didn’t want the seat to turn into a baby bathtub on the floor of the car, so it was simpler and safer for me to buy a carrier without an insert!
- Car seat accessories – You can buy many different things for your car seats, such as the sun shield or rain cover.
- Blankets for the car seat – You can use a light blanket to keep the baby warm in the car seat while driving around. Make sure it is not too heavy!
- Baby sling – This was very handy when I needed something to hold onto my baby
I really hope this article has been helpful to you in some way. I would love it if you could share it with your friends and family, which will help to make the world a better place for all of us!