Advice for new moms

This was part of my gift to McStreamy.  If you have any other advice, add it in the comments!

TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT
Advice from a mom of two who knows significantly less now than she did before

1. The only person who wants to hear your baby’s age in weeks is the pediatrician. To everyone else, it’s simply, “4 months.”

2. Do not change diapers between the hours of 9PM and 5AM unless you can actually see poop oozing out of the diaper somewhere. Your baby will be fine.

3. Hold your baby.

4. Stash binkies, diapers, and wet wipes everywhere—in the glove compartment, in your purse, at Grandma’s house. You will think you are a genius when you are having a diaper or binky emergency and remember they are there.  Then you will remember it’s really me that’s the genius because I told you to stock them.

5. If baby gets out of his swaddle, it’s not because “he wants to be out.” It’s just because you suck at swaddling. Add this advice to anything else you’ve read:
     a. Pin his arms down at his sides
     b. Use two blankets (double wrap)

6. If anyone tells you that you’re spoiling the baby by feeding him too often or picking him up too much, look the baby firmly in the eye and say, “No, you can’t have a pony.” Look back at the person who thought you were spoiling him and say, “There, that ought to fix it.” Then pick your baby up and feed him.

7. Hold your baby.

8. Take lots of pictures of your newborn with your hands next to his head, your hands next to his hands, and your hands next to his feet—you’ll love seeing how tiny he started out. (Having your hands in the picture is a good relative-size indicator.)

9. Skip the baby shoes—unless they’re Robeez. I’ve seen moms who somehow get shoes to stay on their babies’ feet, but none of them have ever told me the secret.

10. If you do learn how to make shoes stay on your baby’s feet, call me.

11. Sleep is going to become a very big deal for you. Read a bunch of books about how to get baby to sleep through the night, then put them away and do what works for you. If you all get more sleep by just nursing him, go for it. If you are going to FRIGGIN’ SHOOT SOMEBODY if you have to get up and nurse one more time, then close the door to the nursery and let the baby cry it out. Never discuss sleep strategies between the hours of 1AM and 5AM; start out the night knowing your plan and try to stick to it. If you do choose to let your baby cry it out, I’ve found it’s best to spend those nights watching TV or reading or doing anything other than trying to sleep. It’s impossible to sleep if your baby cries, then stops for a few seconds, then starts, then gets loud, then stops for a minute, then starts again…

12. Hold your baby.

13. Whenever you get together with other moms-of-babies, be sure to tell them all the latest accomplishments your baby has made and have your baby demonstrate all these accomplishments in front of the other moms. Unless, of course, you want to be friends with them.

14. Never buy anything at Gymboree or The Children’s Place for full price. There will be a 20% off coupon in the mail next week.

15. Hold your baby.

16. It’s okay to skip Santa pictures and the porcelain handprints and the bronzed shoes if you think they’re tacky. Not that I think they’re tacky or anything…

17. If you are having a rough time with baby (and you will have rough times with the baby), repeat to yourself, “This too shall pass.” Have the nursery wallpapered with phrase.

18. Hold your baby.

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7 thoughts on “Advice for new moms

  1. Husbands/partners think they are helping, but they aren’t helping as much as they think they are. Don’t hint, tell ’em what you want. Don’t be afraid to cry to get it.

    Take videos, take photos, take 100s or 1000s, because you will be so sleep deprived for the next two-four years that you’ll forget everything. Know that your friends don’t want to see them.

    Sleep when the baby sleeps- seriously, don’t feel obligated to “get things done”.

    If you do everything that Mouthy mentions, which is a fantastic list BTW, and are still having a rough time, DO NOT FEEL GUILTY for asking for a baby break. Find a sitter, friend, family member, whatever, and take a half day, day, weekend for yourself. Whatever it takes to feel better.

    If you try the above, and still spend most of your day weeping, talk to your OBGYN and if they don’t listen shake them until they do.

  2. I wish I would have written more down each month in the early days. I did a quick summary when my daughter was a bit older, like when she started bringing us books to read or the first time she laughed at the dog, but the funny things that got us through those first weeks would be nice to remember (instead of thinking about all the screaming). Like we used to tell her “no red faces!” which I had forgotten about until my nephew reminded me. I want to remember that when she has a baby!

  3. Funny….one of my favorite sayings…”This to shall pass” and it has. My kiddos are so grown. My oldest is driving around in his very own car. My youngest is thinking he can drive around in his very own car. It goes by faster than you can imagine.

  4. I like to tell new moms to pick a song they like singing, and then learn all the words. Even if they don’t think they can sing. There’s nothing better than being a mom, singing a lullaby (even if that lullaby is hungry like a wolf) and having that lullaby actually put the kid to sleep. It feels like magic.

    My other favorite thing to tell new moms is that being a mom is only as hard as you make it. Plus just a little bit more than that.

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