You’ve got this
Many mothers have experienced some degree of anxiety with the thought of parenting a new baby. Anxiety ranges from first-time jitters to sheer terror. With all the different parenting advice and information, it’s only natural to question your own capabilities.
Even if you’ve never had any experience with babies, it will work itself out. For many parents, it can be described as “a switch” that went off the day their first child was born. Maternal instincts will take over, and things will fall into place naturally.
Tip 1: Pinch Pennies
It is common knowledge that kids are expensive. But it’s a myth that you have to be financially secure before you have children. Take it from millions of mothers over the span of time who have had next to nothing when their first baby arrived. Try not to spend too much money on baby items/equipment or clothes before her or she arrives, since you might only use some of it.
People will shower you with not only love, but with diapers and onesies!
You will likely have a loved one, friend or coworker throw you a shower for your first baby. Daddy Diaper Parties are a new trend that can also help! Not to mention, a fun way to get Dad more involved and excited!
Other ways to save money:
- Free Baby Products! (Online Coupons, Formula, more)
- Garage Sales
- Local Assistance Programs: Women, Infant, Child Programs (WIC)
Tip 2: Let people help you!
It sounds easy, but some mothers put an unreasonable amount of guilt on their shoulders about giving their baby to a trusted relative or friend. Your mother-in-law will likely be thrilled to take your newborn for a couple hours while you get some down time.
Some mommies have trouble “sharing” their newborn, out of fear their baby will be upset. The best way to overcome this fear is: practice. If the baby cries, let someone else try to calm her down, feed her, diaper her. As hard and emotionally challenging as it can be, this is for your own sanity. A healthy mama can translate to a happy baby.
Tip 3: Trust your gut
Breastfeeding vs. Bottle-feeding?
Co-Sleeping vs. Crib Training?
Cry-it-out vs. No Tears?
We are not here to give you specific tips on any of these hot topics, but we are here to let you know that whatever you choose to do, trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right about letting your baby cry all night long for the sake of “training” him, then don’t do it. The only “right” and “wrong” is what you know is best for your baby. There are both OG and modern methods of parenting that have their benefits. Trust yourself enough to make informed decisions, be adaptable and open minded. Be your own advocate.
If you do decide to breastfeed, read our next tip:
Tip 4: Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a great way to bond with baby, provide the nutrition your baby needs, and save money, just to name just a few, If you breastfeed and find yourself having issues with supply or latching:
Find a certified Lactation Consultant.
Your OB/GYN will likely be able to refer you to one of their own, or a hospital staffed L.C. They will help identify any issues that can be immediately addressed (such as a tongue tie), and assist with latching issues, clogged ducts, low supply, etc. Research Le Leche League, it is an excellent resource.
Tip 5: Sleep when they sleep
You may be frightened when exhausted parents comment that they never get any sleep…while this may be true for some, it doesn’t have to be. Most newborns sleep more than you expect. Although they may sleep all day and be up all night.
A newborn may sleep up to 18 hours a day, waking every couple of hours to feed. Breastfed babies feed often, about 8 to 12 times a day. Bottle-fed babies tend to feed less often, about every 3 to 4 hours or so.
That means there are plenty of opportunities during the day to catch up on your own. Our advice: Leave the housework alone & go to bed!
Tip 6: Don’t forget about your partner!
Having a newborn can be the most amazing, miraculous, and precious time in your life, and at the same time it is the most exhausting and grueling. Take time to spend with your partner, whether its some cuddle time on the couch or an occasional night out (there won’t be time for too many at first). It is vital to your relationship that you get the time you both deserve to relax and enjoy each others company. Do whatever it was you did before you had the baby, as often as you can.
Tip 7: Read to your baby
It is never too early to start reading to your baby. It builds an early parent/child bond and enhances early language awareness. To start your child’s library, you can enroll in local or online book clubs.
Do you have any tips for our first-time mommies? Leave your comments!