Being a first-time mom is a transition that is completely different for each person. Even if you’ve made the perfect plan, becoming a parent will always be totally unpredictable. While newfound parenthood comes with its challenges, it also comes with lots of wins. Let’s take a look at 10 things that all first-time moms need to know!
1. Fed is Best
You’ll be inundated with opinions about how you should feed your baby. Before your new baby even makes its grand debut on the earth side, you would have heard it all — and that can be incredibly overwhelming. However, it’s important to remember one important thing: fed is best! Point, blank, period.
Whether you decide to breastfeed your baby, go the infant formula route, or a mixture of both — the choice is yours. If you decide to breastfeed and it doesn’t work out, you’re not a failure. If you decide to formula feed and it doesn’t work out, that’s okay too! Take it easy and always do what’s best for you and your baby.
2. Self Entertainment is Okay
The reality is, when a baby is born, the world is still spinning. Place your baby on an infant play mat within eye view while you cook or clean. Or, place older infants or toddlers in a high chair while you work in the same room. Even if you have loads of support and you’re enjoying maternity leave, you won’t be able to hold your baby all day long. Having your baby safely entertain themselves so you can get a few things done is okay. You don’t need to feel guilty about this at all.
3. Family Play Time
Piggybacking from our self-entertaining tip, we also want to mention family playtime. Enjoy playing with your baby! Notice how your baby interacts with age-appropriate toys and have fun bonding. Your baby will love the time being spent with you and the stimulation, and prevent your baby from feeling bored and cranky.
4. Less is More
Believe it or not, but when it comes to babies, less is usually more. Don’t spend a lot of time stressing about shopping for your little one. The most important things to them are warmth, comfort, and food. And most importantly, you!
Babies are totally content being with mommy and getting to know you more every single day. If you don’t have tons of the latest gadgets or millions of onesies, don’t sweat it. At the end of the day, you really don’t need much to make your baby happy.
5. Follow Your Instincts
You’ll receive a lot of advice and you’ll read even more articles. But you should never be afraid to follow your own motherly instincts. More often than not, when it comes to your baby, your instinct will always be right. Don’t let outside voices cloud your judgment. Unapologetically do what you feel is best for you, your baby, and your household.
6. Plans May Not Work Out
It’s okay to make spreadsheets and lists, but it’s also important to accept that plans may not work out. An even more important note is that plans not working out are not a reflection of your strength as a mother. Plans not working out simply means that life is taking a normal unpredictable course.
The sleep schedule you planned may be taking a turn for the worst. Your baby may not be a fan of the meal plan you created. Your baby may be spending more time in your bed than their crib. All of this is okay, and everything is going to be fine. Just take everything one day at a time!
7. It’s Hard and That’s Okay
If you’re struggling with low moods, low energy, and low motivation, that’s totally normal. Over 70% of new moms experience postpartum depression. Sometimes, adjusting takes a little time for both your body and your mind. If you’re ever really concerned, never hesitate to reach out to your doctor or therapist for a professional opinion.
8. Ask for Support
The more support, the better. If there are people around you who are trustworthy and loving, reach out to them for support. Laundry, cleaning, meal planning, babysitting, or anything in between? Let them know exactly what you need and when you need it. Being a mom does not mean that you’re supposed to be a one-man-band.
9. Your Relationship May Change
Adding a baby to the family adds a totally new dynamic. Your relationship with your partner may change in a lot of ways and it’s okay. Take time to love one another, support one another, and understand one another. Things may not be the same but that does not mean that your relationship is ruined.
10. Give Yourself Time
We see a lot of “snap back” pictures all over our timelines and it adds so much unhealthy pressure to us. It can take several months for your body to change after birth. And even if you get back down to your pre-baby weight, your body may not physically look the same.
Our last and final point is to give yourself time and grace. You’re doing great, mama! Continue to love yourself and your baby. Follow your instincts and always remember: moms are not perfect. Moms are simply human!