August 19, 2013

New Mom Survival Tips

I remember being 38 weeks pregnant and just wanting to be being done. I was done waddling, done testing for GD, done not being to sleep, Many Waters 10 survival tips for expectant momsdone having to pee all the time, done with people asking me when the baby was coming...I could go on.  I was more than ready (so I thought) to meet my baby.  I was so excited to have her in my arms!  I won’t lie, there were a few times in the first few weeks that I wished I was still pregnant so I could get some “good” sleep.  So with those sleep deprived weeks in mind, here are my tips for surviving as a new mom.

1.  Have breastfeeding support

Breastfeeding is natural but it is not easy.  It can be hard and painful in the beginning.  If you’re planning on breastfeeding, line up your breastfeeding support before your baby arrives.  Attend a Le Leche League meeting, talk with your doula, your partner and whoever else will be around.  If you already know where to turn for questions/support, you’ll be more likely to succeed!  Two great resources for breastfeeding is Kellymom and Best for Babes.  I also highly recommend Nancy Holtzman of Isis parenting.  She’s great at answering questions on Twitter! 

It’s also a good idea to stock up on lanolin and the gel cooling pads as they will help your sore, tender nipples feel better.  If you have trouble once the baby is here, don’t hesitate to ask for help, especially from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.  You CAN reach for breastfeeding goal!  Again, don’t hesitate to reach out for help or for encouragement!  You don’t need to mommy alone!

2.  Your job is to take care of the baby

During the first 4-6 weeks, your job is to take care of the baby.  Don’t worry about cooking, doing dishes or laundry or any other chores.  Focus on the baby!  It’s ok if it feels like all you do is sit on your butt and feed the baby.  That’s your job Mama! By not trying to do all those other things, you’ll feel less stressed and will be able to enjoy this time more.  If people are coming by, they are coming to see you and the baby, not your house.  Seriously, don’t stress about chores!

3.  Sleep when you can

I know people say sleep when the baby sleeps and while that works sometimes, I know it doesn’t always.  If you can have someone watch the baby so you can sleep, do it!  3-4 hours of solid sleep will make most things better, I promise!  Don’t forget to shower too!  A shower can make you feel human again.  So sleep plus a shower will make you super Mama!

4.  Go with your gut

Trust your instinct Mama.  Even though you’re a new mom, you still know what is best for your baby.  Don’t give up if you feel like something is truly wrong, keep pushing.  YOU are your baby’s advocate!  Even if you feel like you’re overreacting, ask anyway!  Doctors are used to it and it will put your mind at ease!

5.  Feel free to ignore unasked for advice…and even some of the asked for advice too!

You probably noticed that everybody and their brother likes to give you advice when you’re pregnant.  It doesn’t stop once the baby arrives.  Feel free to let it go in one ear and out the other.  Or listen and try it but if it doesn’t work for you, stop doing it.  There’s no need to keep doing something that isn’t working and just causing you more stress! 

6.  Figure out what works for you and DO IT!

When you do figure out what works for you and your family, do it!  For us it was co-sleeping.  I heard so much against it but it works for us.  So that’s what we do.  When it stops working for us we’ll try something different.  Don’t be afraid of doing something different from your mommy friends!

You probably got lots of great things from your baby shower(s) too.  You might not use it all and that’s ok!  For me it was the Itzbeen timer.  I had several friends who loved it and I tried to use it, I really did.  I just didn’t need it.  So it sat, lonely and unused.  It’s also ok if your baby doesn’t wear all the clothes in each size.  Babies grow fast!

7.  Accept help

If you have people offer to help, ACCEPT IT!  People want to help (many have been where you now are) and it will make your life easier.  Swallow your pride and STOP thinking that YOU have to do it all.  You don’t!  Let people help by bringing you a meal, vacuuming your house, loading your dishwasher or doing a load of laundry (they aren’t going to be bothered by washing your underwear, I promise!)

8.  Let Dad be Dad

Many Waters Dad with baby By that I mean, let dad do stuff with the baby too!  If you’re breastfeeding he can’t feed the baby but he can change diapers, change clothes and do skin to skin.  And please, please, please don’t correct everything he does!  He’s new at this too and it’s going to take some time for him to get used to doing baby things.  However, there is more than one way to change a diaper or give the baby a bath.  Let him figure out his way to do it, even if you think your way is better.

9.  Enjoy.

I know it’s hard to enjoy every moment, and really, you can’t.  It’s hard to enjoy the screaming baby or the vomit.  But when you can just stop and breathe in.  Inhale that newborn baby scent and snuggle in close.  Revel in the newness of life.  

10. Nothing lasts forever

The first 12 weeks are the hardest.  Life will get easier.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.  You can do this Mama. 

As a new mom, you have so much joy ahead of you.  Each stage has the good and bad but each is full of joy.  Motherhood isn’t a sprint, it’s a very, very long marathon.  Enjoy each stage and don’t forget to ask for help when you need it.

One more thing Mama….hold that baby as much as you want, you’re not going to spoil them!

Linking up with:


  1. I love this post :) Lots of great advice!
    Shannon @ Mamamusing

  2. I love this!! Those are ALL great tips!

  3. Remembering that the house doesn't need to be spotless for visitors is one of the hardest things for me! I don't know why. But I think #9 is probably the most important. Great post!

  4. Hehe! We have a photo of my husband holding the baby and in the background is a bag of trash waiting to be taken downstairs. We just laugh cause our house was no where near spotless! I hope that you're getting enough rest Mama.
    And thanks:)

  5. I made a post like this when my daughter was 6 months old - our lists are almost identical!

  6. All good advice! Life with a newborn can be so challenging

  7. stopping by from mil-blogging buddies. I wanted to say that it took me three kids to figure a lot out. I wanted to be super mom and do it all. but i finally realized i just wanted to be a mom and thats the best super power ive got.

  8. This tips are well-said and so true. I think baby center outlined some tips but like you said at 38 weeks pregnant I was totally ready to be done too! Thanks for linking up with us at the Mommy Monday hop! :)

  9. Great post! Number 8 was the hardest for me. I had to step back and let my husband figure things out for himself and let him be the dad.

  10. I agree with all your points! I wish I'd listened to other people's advice, which was similar. But hindsight is 20/20 right?! When/if #2 comes along, at least I'll know better!

  11. Great list, I loved and agreed with all your tips. I especially loved tip #4 and the other ones about going with your instincts and doing what feels right to you. Only you know your baby, no one else. Thanks for linking up at The Blogger's Digest.

  12. Great tips! I second all of them! Thanks
    for linking up with the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have
    pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board!

  13. Great tips! "Letting dad be dad" is definitely one of my biggest struggles... it's so hard to not correct my husband's style of caring for baby! This was a great reminder :)

  14. These are great tips! I REALLY wanted to BF. I armed myself with tons of information. I spent a lot of time with a lactation consultant at the hospital. Sadly when we got home things became overwhelming and it all fell apart. I was crying. Emily was crying. My husband didn't know what to do. I still have alot of sadness about not trying harder but in the end Emily is healthy and happy. If I could do it again I would pick up the phone and get someone who knew how to help me over to the house ASAP.

  15. For something so natural, breastfeeding is HARD. I don't think there's any shame in having tried and deciding that for now it's not working for you. Now you know for next time! I hope that if you do have another you'll be successful! I do understand the sadness...I'm still sad over my c-section!

  16. Sometimes we just have to let things go and stop thinking about them ...BUT it's HARD! =)

  17. I LOVE this!!! This is all so important for women to hear and follow! I was very fortunate to have been told most of these things before my first baby came (and then reminded again the 2nd time) making those very difficult early days a little more manageable.


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