Okay, your baby’s arriving in a couple of days and you are totally freaked out. You don’t have a clue about babies and you don’t know if you’ll do a good job.
You’re convinced you aren’t ready for the role and won’t be able to provide your baby with all they need. You feel like you’re losing your mind. But…
Stop for a second. Take a deep breath. You’ve got this. You are more powerful than you think. It’s all going to be just fine.
It’s normal that you’re going through something like this – you’re a first time parent. All new parents were once confronted with this kind of thought.
Especially new moms who yearn to be perfect for their baby, but don’t know how to do it. But once your little one comes to this world, you’ll naturally know what they need. Your gut will tell you whenever something isn’t right.
You’ll be just fine for your child. But before that, you first need to be fine for yourself. And here is how:
1. Best advice ever: Sleep when your baby sleeps
My mom once told me that I should sleep whenever my baby sleeps. At the time, I didn’t understand her, but after some time I got so exhausted that I wanted to sleep all the time. You see, when your baby sleeps, you’re free to do whatever you want.
But for new parents, maybe the best option is to sleep as well. Because, to be honest, you can do everything else while your baby is awake, but you can’t sleep, right?
Your baby will need your full attention in the first months and you need to be there – both physically and mentally. And if you’re planning to breastfeed them, you’ll be glued to your child.
Another thing. When a baby cries, mommy is the only person that can calm them down. When your baby is crying hysterically, just put their head on your heart and see how they calm down. You know why? Because they’re listening to the same rhythm they’ve been hearing for the past 9 months. Babies like familiar things, especially when they’re cranky. If you haven’t tried this method before, try it and see how it helps.
But the most important thing – sleep whenever your baby sleeps. Trust me, you can learn this the hard or the easy way.
2. New parents should take time to connect with their baby
Every pediatrician will tell you how important it is to connect with your baby in the first days. As a new mom, you need to develop the breastfeeding process. You probably won’t know how to do it, so you’ll need some extra time to master it.
When you breastfeed, you’re connecting with your baby on many levels. You’re giving your child your love, warmth, and moments that are reserved only for the two of you. Please don’t let anyone take that away from you because those moments are precious.
I know that your family and friends will want to see you and the baby, but rather ask them to come after you’ve had time to get some rest. Use that time to connect with your baby and enjoy every second spent with them.
Your newborn will feel that love and affection, and they’ll feel calm as well. In case you didn’t know, your baby can feel all your emotions, so make sure that you spend as much time as you can with them.
Your scent and voice are like a cure for them, no matter if they have cramps or just didn’t get enough sleep. So, be with them and show them that mom is there and they’re safe.
3. Breastfeed if you can
The very first milk (colostrum) that your baby gets from you is like penicillin. It protects your baby and gives them all they need to develop a good immune system. I don’t need to mention that mom’s milk is the most healthy food that a child can get.
But there are moms who can’t breastfeed for many reasons. I’m sure those moms would love to, but can’t and there’s nothing they can do about it. I remember a woman who couldn’t breastfeed because she had epilepsy.
She was my roommate when I delivered my first baby. She had to take strong pills that would cut off her milk supply. And she told me that doing that was the worst thing she had to do in her life, but she knew that she had no other option.
She did it because that was the only way her child would have a healthy mom. So, message to all the moms who can’t breastfeed – don’t feel bad if you can’t do it. I’m sure you’re giving your all to be the best mom for your child.
And I also know that the fact you can’t breastfeed is eating you alive. But please don’t stress over it; that way of thinking won’t help you.
Now’s the time when you need to be relaxed and in a good mood for your baby. Don’t be sad – they’ll feel it. Instead, take all the best that life has given you and enjoy every moment spent with your little one.
4. Have time for you and your partner
A very important piece of advice for new parents is to take some time for themselves. I know that you won’t have so much time for each other because you’ll be exhausted, but try to set aside one hour a day just for the two of you.
When your baby sleeps at night, make yourself a tea and spend some time together. Talk about something other than your baby – you’ll need to get out of baby world for a while. When your child gets a little bigger, you can get a babysitter for a couple of hours so you two can go out for dinner.
That’s not cruel or bad. It’s necessary to keep your marriage stable when the new baby comes. Your child won’t even figure out that you’re not there, and you’ll get some satisfaction because you did something nice for yourself. It’s the worst to leave your baby with a baby sitter for the first time, but later it will normalize.
Also, if you have your parents or in-laws, you can ask them politely that you leave your child with them for a couple of hours. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to spend some time with their grandchild and you two will have some time for yourself.
And what’s most important, you won’t worry if your baby is fine. Trust me, when they are with the grandparents, they have all they need.
5. Trust your gut
Even if you’re a first-time mom, you’ll know when something is not okay with your baby. You should ALWAYS trust your gut; don’t listen to what others have to say. You know your child best and if you feel they’re not fine, they probably aren’t.
If your baby cries, they’re in need of something. Change their diaper, give them something to eat, or check if they’re in pain. Maybe your baby has cramps and the only way they can let you know is by crying.
When you have a baby, you’re bound to spend sleepless nights carrying them around to calm them down. It’s what every parent does and you can’t escape it. Some kids wake up during the night when they are just a couple of months old until they are one year old.
And it’s not easy to handle if you have no help, so be sure that you and your partner split the responsibilities regarding your baby. Both of you need a break and the only way to do so and stay sane is if you work as a team.
6. Don’t compare yourself to other parents
The worst thing you can do is compare yourself with other parents. Many moms I know compare themselves with other moms. Some mothers, for example, drop all the pounds they picked up during pregnancy pretty fast, while others don’t.
I struggled to lose my weight after I delivered my first baby and I couldn’t understand why some moms don’t have the same problem. But you know what? That was the worst thing I could do. I was so frustrated and stressed out about shedding pounds that I forgot to enjoy my baby.
So, to all of you who are struggling with postpartum weight – don’t sweat the small stuff, okay? You’re amazing and beautiful just the way you are. You sacrificed your body to bring a new life into this world. And that’s something that already makes you a queen. Don’t you ever forget that.
Don’t think that you’re a bad mom because you still have a couple of extra pounds after pregnancy. Or because you don’t have time to cook for your family. Or because you don’t look as good as before because you don’t have time for yourself. You’re fighting so hard every single day to be the best mom that you can be to your child. And that’s what makes you exceptional.
7. Ask for help if you need it
You’ll likely need some extra hands in the first couple of months. Your baby will need you more and you might suffer from sleep deprivation. If your baby cries at night, you have no other choice than to take them and try to make them go to sleep again. Don’t wait until you reach your breaking point – ask for help before.
Ask your husband that you need some help and that it is impossible to function like this. He’s sure to understand and try to help you. That said,it’s perfectly normal that there’ll be times the baby won’t want to be held by anyone else but mom
But your husband can take over the baby for a bit during the day so you’re able to get some sleep. He can put the baby in a stroller and go for a walk while you take a well-earned nap. The first year is the toughest period for every new parent because most are confused and tired.
Good news, though! It gets better later when they learn more about their child and their routine.
Also, if you need some information about things you don’t know, you can always Google it. That is some of the best advice you can get. There is so much info online that can be helpful. This can literally save you from stressing out and losing your mind, especially if it’s your first child.
Become a member of different mom support groups on social media. It’s a great way to get all the answers you need firsthand. You can ask all that you want to know and moms readily share their opinions and experiences. Can it get any better than that?
8. Postpartum depression is a common thing
A lot of women struggle with postpartum depression but keep quiet about it. It’s important to know that there’s nothing wrong with having it – it’s natural to go through some changes after giving birth. Changes in your mood and emotions is a normal thing and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
You should talk about it with people who are close to you so they can help. If you need it, seek professional help so you recover faster. And if you have to take some medication to feel better, do it, but strictly if your doctor is monitoring you.
Do all in your power to feel better. Because if you are good to yourself, you’ll be good for your baby as well.
Don’t feel bad that you’re suffering from postpartum depression – you didn’t cause it. Accept it for what it is and then help yourself the best you can. And know that you’re not alone and that many women suffer from this. Just because you are depressed, doesn’t mean you are a bad mom whatsoever.
The best cure for this state is your baby. Connect with them, learn more about them, and be by their side. When you focus on something other than your problems, they seem to fade. Don’t forget that you have the best possible reason to be happy.
You are so blessed because God sent you a beautiful creature that you get to take care of. So, get all the help you need to deal with the problem. Because it too shall pass. Even if it’s hard, try to relax and be the best mom you can be. Trust me, that will be more than enough for your baby.
9. Enroll in parenting classes
Parenting classes are a great thing for new parents. This is some of the best parenting advice you’ll ever get. They prepare you for everything that you can expect when having a baby. You learn everything from how to throw a baby shower to pumping breast milk.
These classes are also great because you get to meet other parents who are going through all of the same things you are. You can even discuss some things in person, on social media sites, or in different groups online.
Some people take these classes, while others don’t, and both are okay. Some parents just want to learn everything firsthand and that’s fine. But if you really have no clue about kids and you don’t want to be stressed out when the baby comes, I suggest taking these classes.
You’ll know what to expect and won’t have to Google every time your baby cries to know what’s wrong with them. You’ll already be prepared for almost everything that can happen during the whole process. It is a great thing for first-time parents, so consider it while baby is still on its way!
10. Do something nice for yourself
I know that a baby comes with a lot of responsibilities, but you need to think about yourself too. You need to be in good mental and physical state so your baby gets the parent they need. From time to time, do something that you enjoy.
Take a bubble bath or go out for a walk with friends. Just because you are a full-time mom, doesn’t mean that you need to stop enjoying your social life. Of course you’ll put your baby first, but take some time for yourself from time to time.
It’s not selfish. It’s something you need in order to function as a normal person. Every mom needs a break from everyday tasks;that’s completely normal. So, ask your partner to take care of your baby while you’re relaxing or doing something nice for yourself.
Also, you can ask your parents or your husband’s parents to step in so you’re able to have some you time. You’ll see a change within you and feel much better for it.
No matter how much you love your child and always want to be there for them, you need to also have some alone time. And the sooner you accept it, the easier it will be. Trust me, I’ve been there!
11. Give your baby all your love
The best possible thing you can do for your baby is to give them all your love and affection. Even if you don’t realize it, your baby can feel it all. So, no matter what kind of things happen in your life, try to remain calm for the sake of your baby.
Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t feel bad if you don’t succeed in something. You’re a first-time mom and it’s expected that you won’t learn everything immediately. Just relax and spend as much time as you can with your child.
That’s the best way to learn about them and how to react in every situation. If you feel good after giving birth, grab that stroller and take a walk. Spending time in the outdoors is a great thing you can do for yourself and your baby. Whenever you spend time with them, you learn more about them and it becomes easier to help them when they go through phases of fussiness.
By bonding with your little one, you’ll notice a change within you as well. You won’t be the same woman as you were before. You’ll put your child first and your needs second.
Nothing will be hard to do for their sake and you’ll enjoy every second of being there for them. And you know what? It’ll make you the happiest woman alive!
12. Learn to say “NO”
When your child is no longer a baby but a toddler, you need to start teaching them some things. They need to know that you are the authority they have to listen to. I know that you love your child more than anything, but if you give them all they ask, they’ll soon start taking advantage of it.
Even if kids are just kids, don’t underestimate them. They learn one pattern of behavior and follow it if they get all they want by acting like that. So, as soon as they are old enough to understand you, make some rules and learn to say “NO.”
Because if you don’t set some boundaries, your kids will eat you alive. Trust me, many parents have been through this. Just because they didn’t know when to cross the line, they now have to deal with problematic teenagers.
There’s an old saying that small kids mean small problems and big kids mean big problems. That’s why you need to teach them from an early age that you’re the parent and they’re the kids, and that they need to obey your rules.
I’m not saying that you should restrict everything for your kids, but there are some essential rules that have to be obeyed. As soon as you realize this, the easier life will be for the both of you.
13. Stick to a sleep routine
A sleep routine is an extremely important thing once you get a baby. From day one, try to set a routine for your baby – it’s not only better for them, it’s easier for you. You can start with feeding, bathing, reading a baby book, and then putting your little one to bed. After they fall asleep, you know that you have time for yourself.
You can relax, read a book, or just spend some quality time with your hubby. Then when just before going to bed, you may opt for dream-feeding your baby.
A sleep routine is especially important when your baby becomes a toddler and even when they start going to school. It is scientifically proven that kids need more sleep than adults because they’re growing.
When they sleep at a regular time, they sleep better and get the rest they need to function normally throughout the day.
Some parents didn’t know about all the pros of having a sleeping routine, but once they learned it the hard way, they follow it religiously. Choose and adapt to what’s best for your child, and be sure to practice a sleep routine consistently.
14. Problems will pass
In fact, all will pass – the pain, suffering, tears, confusion, sleepless nights, and every single problem with your child. Getting a child is a real blessing, but you need to put a lot of effort into raising a happy, well-rounded person you’ll be proud of.
And to be honest, that’s pretty hard nowadays. That’s why you need to have a lot of strength for all the problems that may occur during the process. You need to be smart and never let your child manipulate you. And no matter what happens, just know that you are not alone.
There will always be someone to help you, whether it’s your partner, your friend, a member of the family, or a parent’s support group. Everything is much easier when there’s someone you can lean on.
That is probably the best advice you can get from an experienced parent. I hope you will grab onto it, relax, and enjoy your parenting journey. Because, my dear, it’s the best feeling in the whole world!
15. Make a lot of memories
Whether they’re simple photos of your child totally covered in food, or time you spent with them while traveling, whatever you do, try to make plenty of memories with your kids. Because one day, they’ll be so happy to see their old photos.
If you have a chance, travel with your kids and make great memories wherever you are. When you’re at home and busy with work and school, always find time to at least bake a cake together or have a picnic at a nearby park.
Your kids will love it and besides the great time you guys will have, you’ll also make lasting memories. Trust me, when they get older and leave the nest, memories will be so important to you. They’ll be reassurance that you did your best to be a good parent and were always trying to make your kids happy.
16. Don’t compare your kids to other kids
The worst thing a new parent can do is compare their kids to other kids. There will be situations where you’ll be able to do that and you won’t feel happy with certain things. For example, your child may not eat all you cook, while your neighbor’s kid will eat all that’s offered.
Or your child learns how to ride a bike later than some kids that are younger than him. In these situations, you may feel that you are the guilty one – that you did something wrong. But that’s not true. Every child develops individually and it’s completely normal.
Don’t feel bad because your child doesn’t do the same things as other kids. If your child is completely healthy, they likely just need some extra time to get there. It doesn’t mean that they are kids with special needs or aren’t smart and intelligent.
So, please don’t sweat the small stuff – don’t think about potential reasons why your kid is different from others. It’s perfectly normal and there’s nothing to worry about. So what if your child doesn’t know how to ride a bike yet – he might have another talent other kids don’t have.
Every parent is inclined to see the bad and not the good. And that’s something every one of us should work on. When you relax and let things take their course, you’ll finally be satisfied and happy.
17. Always listen when your child tells you something
Parents are pretty busy these days and don’t have a lot of time for their kids. Many of them work overtime and instead of spending some quality time with their children, they’re glued to their phones or laptops.
Even if you think that it’s enough that you’re in the same room with your kids, if you don’t pay attention to them, it’s not. Your kid needs you to listen to them when they say something.
They’ll know if you’re only pretending to listen to them. So, no matter how much work you have, take half an hour and talk to your child. Ask them about their day, or what they want to eat for dinner. Give them some time and make sure that it’s undivided, without anyone interrupting you.
Trust me, your kid will be so happy that you’re playing with them instead of holding your phone. They’ll be in a better mood because you put them first and are willing to listen to their stories.
Even if those stories don’t seem important, they are to your kid, so always make sure to listen to them carefully. That is just one step closer to being a great parent – a step forward to raising a happy and satisfied child.