Every year, approximately 3.8 million babies are born in the United States. If one of those babies is born to you and this is your first go-around with a child, then you’re in for a treat.
Being a first-time mom is unlike any other experience. You’ll find that you’ve never loved (and occasionally loathed) a single thing so much in your life.
While things can get tough when you’re in the trenches with your newborn, believe us when we say that, in the long run, you’ll find that you wouldn’t trade these moments for anything in the world.
To help make you and your newborn’s relationship as seamless as possible after bringing him/her home from the hospital, below, our team has compiled a list of baby care tips for new moms that we think can be total game changers for you!
1. A Little Noise Goes a Long Way
It’s parent’s first instinct to try and keep everything quiet in the house when they bring home their newborn. We get it…you want your child to sleep and quiet and sleep go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Here’s the thing though: it’s loud in your womb. Your baby is used to noise.
Continuing to do regular things around the house and making a little bit of a ruckus can not only be comforting to a baby but can also help train them to sleep when it’s noisy which will allow you to get more done around the house.
2. Resign Yourself to Being Tired
Babies are not great sleepers not because they want to ruin their parents’ sleep, but because their bodies need nourishment more often than adults and they aren’t meant to sleep all night without eating.
If you have a unicorn baby who sleeps all night from day one (and we all have that friend who claims their baby slept through the night all the time), consider yourself lucky.
The reality is, most babies will wake to eat every 3-4 hours (or sometimes even more often). If you resign yourself to this and prepare accordingly by going to bed earlier, napping when possible, and what we discuss below, taking turns on nighttime feedings with your partner, you can minimize some of the exhaustion.
Know that it does get better eventually and you won’t be tired forever. Just maybe the first 18 years of your child’s life or so!
3. Set a Nighttime Rotation
Just because babies are going to ruin your sleep for a while doesn’t mean that you need to be the sole victim of that occurrence. One of the top baby care tips for new moms that we can give you is to try and share the load by getting your partner involved.
Have a schedule set up where you tend to the baby on certain nights and your partner tends to him/her on other nights.
That way, you’ll both have a few nights where you can look forward to a good night’s sleep.
4. Have a Soothing Strategy
When babies cry, things can get a little testy. To try and get them to calm down quickly, know your go-to soothing techniques.
Patting your baby on the back, swaddling them, or letting them nurse are all great things to get started with.
See what works for you and go from there.
5. Keep Cribs Warm
Babies love warmth. If you take away anything from these baby care tips for new moms, let it be that.
So, when you lie your baby to rest in their crib, wrap them up so that they’re cozy. They’ll fall asleep a lot faster.
You can also warm your baby’s blankets in the dryer before wrapping your child in them for added coziness.
Mymilkybaby.com has some good literature on baby sleeping safety that you may want to check out if that’s a concern of yours.
6. Entice Your Baby to Enjoy Full Feedings
Do you notice your child falling asleep while nursing or drinking a bottle? Rather than allowing them to do so and laying them down for a nap, wake them up by gently stroking their cheek or rubbing the back of their neck.
If you can keep them feeding until they’re full, they’ll have a much lower chance of waking up in the middle of the night multiple times.
7. Consider Asking Your Partner to Take Time Off Work
Mothers in the US typically receive some paid time off of work after the birth of a child.
Their partners, however, may or may not receive any time off. If paternity leave is possible or if your partner can take some time off of work to help out, that is very beneficial. It also allows them to bond with the baby.
8. Accept Help
As a new mom, it may be hard for you to not be directly involved with everything that goes into taking care of your baby. Putting that pressure on yourself though isn’t good for you or good for the quality of care that your baby is getting.
Accept help from others when it’s offered.
If grandma wants to care for your child for the evening, let her. If a friend wants to come over and cook for you, let him/her.
Anything that can give you a little bit of breathing room can go a long way.
9. Remember That You’re The Parent
When you bring home your first child, you’re going to be getting a lot of advice. Be polite when you receive it but also feel comfortable doing your own thing.
You and the child’s father are your baby’s parent. Grandma isn’t, grandpa isn’t, your friend isn’t, etc.
Do what makes you comfortable and feel good in your role.
Wrapping Up Baby Care Tips For New Moms
We hope that our baby care tips for new moms have you feeling more confident than ever in your role as a parent.
Remember, everyone makes mistakes, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you commit your fair share.
If you’d like more helpful lifestyle advice, be sure to browse more of our content on Blonde & Balanced today!
Rachel Slifka is a freelance writer and human resources professional. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials find success with their finances and careers. Read more by checking out her website at RachelSlifka.com.