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There is nothing easy about being a new mom for the first time, and even these tips for new moms I’m sharing with you may or may not work for you. They did work for me, so I’m hoping they will for you.
In spite of your innate maternal instincts, having an entirely dependent little person to nurture can be a daunting task. Parenting is as old as humanity.
That means everything you will encounter as a new mother, someone else has experienced it before and lived to tell.
Being a new mother can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack – in the dark! It doesn’t have to be.
With many older and more experienced mothers having gone ahead of us, a new mom can get loads of advice and survival tactics to stay sane and enjoy her baby.
Here are some time-tested tips for new moms.
Tips for new moms with newborns
Sleep when the baby sleeps
Some moms say this is one of the MOST hilarious pieces of advice they have ever received. I’m sharing my experiences, and sleeping or simply laying down when the baby napped helped me keep my sanity.
I was a zombie for the better part of the early days of my baby’s life. Sleep deprivation is one of the most challenging issues in the life of new moms.
Baby’s nap time should not be the time to do all the stuff that was left undone when the baby was fussing and causing chaos.
If you take a nap the moment the baby sleeps, you’ll be more rested and energetic when he wakes up. Even if you actually don’t get to sleep, just laying there makes you feel rested.
TIP: Before baby takes their evening nap, bathe him. It can be sponge bathing or full immersion, whatever works for you. I realized that if i bathed my baby before he went to bed, he would sleep so much longer.
However, I know this can be a tough call especially if you have a toddler.
Let someone else watch the baby once in a while
I know, mama knows best. You can barely trust anyone else with your newborn baby. Despite the notion that only you can take the best care of your baby, you need to let someone else take the little bundle of extreme fatigue out of your hands.
Word of advice for new moms; you can’t do it all alone. It does really take a village. If your partner is not with you for whatever reason, get a trusted relative or a sitter to watch the baby for a couple of hours.
Avoid calling every thirty seconds with all your mommy questions during that time. It’s your ‘you-time’ to unwind and re-energize.
Get the baby to latch properly
The pain from clogged breasts and cracked nipples is way above the charts. I remember being in so much pain from engorgement that I envied having a toothache.
It was unreasonable because no one pain makes another pain lesser, but I was miserable.
Make sure the whole nipple and the areola are inside the baby’s mouth before they start suckling. This reduces the chances of sucking in the air which leads to colic. It also may save you some cracked nipples and engorged breasts.
Having to deal with all this is tough for a new mama. And it doesn’t have to be hard to master breastfeeding with the right tools. Save yourself from the trouble by enrolling in The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class. This will set you up on a successful breastfeeding journey.
Additional tips for new moms – keep some nipple cream nearby for when it does happen. I used the Motherlove nipple cream. It is 100% Organic and a little goes a long way. The best thing is that you do not have to wash it off before nursing.
Allow your little one to get used to some noise
The lullaby says “hush little baby…” Do not hush all other noises as well. Tiptoeing around the baby when he’s sleeping and shutting out all noise creates an unreal environment for the baby.
The world is a noisy place, let the baby get used to sleeping in spite of the noises.
If the baby gets used to only sleeping in total silence, it will be very difficult for them to sleep in an environment where you can’t control the noise.
This is one thing my husband and I fought over when I brought the baby home. He only sleeps with lights and music on.
And I had got used to it so we’d sleep with the lights on and some slow music playing in the background. We settled on training our baby to sleep in our environment. And good enough, he coped well.
My baby can now sleep through excited chatter and laughter as well as music. Of course, it’s important to keep the noise within safe levels to avoid damaging the baby’s eardrums.
I do not recommend installing a music woofer in the baby’s room to ‘noise train the baby’.
Baby knows – follow the leader
Becoming a mom seems like being handed a blank slate who screams a lot and disagrees with anything mommy puts on the slate.
On the contrary, babies are not blank slates ready to follow whatever programming we set it to. Don’t know what to do? Ask the baby.
If there is an increased ‘fight’ between mommy and baby, it could be that baby just doesn’t agree and is trying to tell you, but you’re not listening.
Learn the baby’s cues for what they need. I was pleasantly surprised at how easier it got when I learned to identify their various cries and decode what each meant.
Have barriers to keep your baby from falling
My baby fell thrice. I know I should say “I dropped my baby thrice” but being a new mom for the first time – no judgments, right? All three times, it was just pure carelessness.
I’d be dressing the baby a little too close to the edge with no barriers. One glance away and I picked a screaming beauty from the floor. Luckily, the falls were not fatal.
One of the most valuable tips for new moms I can give: it costs nothing to put a barrier on the surface the baby is lying on, but it may save your baby from fatal falls. The sound of your child’s head hitting concrete is one of the worst sounds ever.
Teamwork is key
More advice for new parents, it’s easier and fun if both of you get actively involved in taking care of the newborn. If one of you is unsure about anything, consult and reason together.
Read helpful books together and compare notes. If your partner is better at one thing than you, let them do it.
Hands-free parenting is a terrible thing. It prevents one parent from properly bonding with the baby. Letting one parent slave it alone is frustrating and draining. It took the two of you to make the baby anyway.
You’re doing great!
These tips for new moms are not meant to show how clueless you are. If anything, you’re doing a great job already. Self-doubt sets in sometimes and that’s normal. But don’t dwell on it.
The eye bags and a messy house could be painting a different picture, but a little healthy and contented baby is all you need.
They grow up so fast, these babies. Before you know it, you’ll be waving them goodbye from your front porch as they go out into the world without you. Babies may not come with a manual, but we can surely create one for mommies.
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