Having now been a new mama for almost 2 whole months, I have learned quite a bit about being a new mama. I am no pro at this and I continue to learn new things everyday. There were things that I knew I would experience like no sleep, lots of cuddles, lots of dirty diapers, playing dress-up, etc. However, there are some things that I wish I would have know before I welcomed my sweet daughter into the world. Things that would have made my first two weeks a tiny bit easier.
I decided to dedicate this post to new mamas or any mamas that are expecting. Here are the tips and tricks that I have learned that I hope might be beneficial to others that are going to experience the same thing!
1.EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT
I am part of some new mom groups and there are so many mamas posting questions and needing help. I think this is perfect for when you might be looking for advice or need help with a certain problem. However, too often I see mamas trying to compare their babies with others. This leads to them thinking something is wrong with their parenting, something is wrong with their baby, or simply, they feel like failures. I have learned that no two babies are alike. Take advice. Try new things. But just trust your gut. You know your baby better than anyone else. You carried that babe with you for 9 months. You’ve got this!
2. PAPER PLATES FOR THE WIN
Every mama makes a birthing plan before giving birth hoping that they will have the perfect birth and it will end up just like they imagined. However, if you are like me, my birthing experience was nothing like I planned or imagined. I ended up having an unexpected c-section which meant that I was undergoing a pretty serious surgery and I would need time to recover. Even if you don’t have a c-section, you are still going to be exhausted and you are going to want time to recover. Those first two weeks, Isaac and I let our dishes pile up because it wasn’t a top priority for us as we were trying to figure out this whole new parenting thing. Isaac was busy helping me do all the things I couldn’t do and helping me take care of our sweetie pie. So, save yourself the trouble of trying to find a clean plate or utensil and dishes piling up…just use paper plates!! Make sure you have tons on hand. You will thank yourself afterwards. Trust me!
3. NO EXPECTATIONS
Seriously mama! Don’t give yourself any expectations. That will just make you more overwhelmed and stressed out. Babies can sense what you are feeling. If you are stressed, they are stressed. The only expectation you need is to love on your baby as much as possible. Enjoy the cuddles, the naps, the new milestones, watching your baby grow, the millions of pictures you’ll take. Nothing else is more important than that. You are building your baby a foundation that they will use the rest of their lives.
4. FUSSY BABIES
Our pediatrician warned us that sometimes babies just need to cry. The systems in their body are continuing to develop and their bodies may need to cry it out. This WILL break your mama heart!! But don’t fret. There are some things that you can do to help when your sweet little babe is crying or fussing too much. You can take them outside for a little sunshine. I don’t know why but they seem to like that. Give them a nice, warm, relaxing bath. We usually give little Rachel a bath right before bed because it does help her to relax and sleep better. Sometimes putting them in a swing works wonders. Some babies, like mine, love white noise! It annoys the heck out of me, but she likes it, so we put it on. And sometimes all you can do is cuddle and love of them. Don’t worry about spoiling them right now. They just really need the love- that is how they build their trust in you.
5. MAMA TEARS
Holly molly. I don’t know if it was all the hormones that I still had or if it was baby blues. Maybe it was the little sleep I got. But I found myself having a little cry sesh almost every day during that first week. And because I cried often, I would get even more upset with myself. I would think what is wrong with me? LOL My tears often came because I was overwhelmed with all the changes or because Rachel would keep crying and I didn’t know how to calm her. Or simply because I was sleep deprived and not used to getting little to no sleep. Sometimes I would cry just because my baby is so beautiful and I have so much love for her. Cut yourself some slack. It is OKAY to cry. It is okay to release your emotions. Let it out when you need to and don’t feel bad about it.
The baby blankets you get that are called receiving blankets are NOT swaddling blankets. They are not big enough and your babe will be out in seconds. I do recommend getting bigger blankets. Some babies like to be completely swaddled with their arms super tight. Some babies will hate the swaddle if both of their arms are in it. That is Rachel to a T. The only way she will be swaddled is if I leave one arm in and one arm out. I don’t know why that works but it does and she likes it that way. Some babies like the weighted swaddles that are newer. Find what works for your baby but swaddling does work wonders.
7. DON’T FORGET COLACE
I am not even kidding about this one! The nurses give you colace when you are in the hospital which is great. But once you leave the hospital, it is up to you if you want to keep taking it. TAKE IT!! You can thank me later. This may be TMI but passing your first bowel movement is not pretty. You almost feel like you are giving birth all over again. Save yourself the pain and the struggle, take colace up until you have that first bowel movement.
8. MATERNITY LEAVE IS NOT A VACATION
Don’t go into your maternity leave thinking that it will be like a vacation and that you will have lots of time for all of your little projects. Motherhood is a LOT of work but it is so rewarding! You’ll be rewarded frequently with baby smiles and cuddles. Spending time with your little love bug is the most productive and important thing you can be doing during that time. Your babe needs that just as much as you do!
These are just some of the things that I have learned on this beautiful journey. I am so grateful to be a mother and to be taught by my little girl. She is great at letting me know when something isn’t going well. LOL I hope that this helps some new mamas as they embark on this wonderful adventure.
The most important thing you can remember during this time of transition and change is… YOU’VE GOT THIS! YOU ARE A GREAT MAMA! YOUR BABY IS LUCKY TO HAVE YOU!
Stay tuned for more mama tips and tricks…