Adjusting to life as a new Mama is beautiful and messy and everything in between! You may find some things come more naturally than others while topics you never thought you would question may suddenly be at the forefront of your mind. As you navigate this new terrain, we wanted to share some tips that may help to ease your transition into Motherhood. Grab a warm drink, find a comfortable spot to rest and join us as we share our top tips for new mothers!
Finding support as a new Mama is so important! Join a local mom's group at church, reach out to a neighborhood mom friend or strike up a conversation with a mother of a baby at the park. However you find that support, connection with other mothers in your stage of life is so helpful. While there is so much to be learned from moms with many children and moms with older children (more on that later!), there is something so vital about being able to connect with another human who is facing the exact same experiences you are. With a newborn, you are likely to have sleepless nights, questions about deciphering cries and wonder in general how to settle into life with a new baby! Having a friend to relate to who is in the same realm of life is key for knowing you are not in this alone.
The internet can be a wonderful way to find resources on anything and everything. While that can be a blessing, it can also lead a tired new Mama to panic! If you have a pressing question about your baby, especially in regards to their health, reach out to your pediatrician. While there is nothing wrong with reading up on a topic of concern in regards to your little one to be more informed, don't allow strangers on the internet to give you medical related advice on your precious newborn. Always bring those kinds of questions straight to the baby's care provider. If you still feel unsure after that, consider seeking out a second opinion from a different health care provider until your questions are answered.
When your baby is born, you may find your loved ones offering to help. While some moms prefer help with the baby, others may prefer help with other tasks so that they can tend to the baby themselves. Consider whether it would be helpful to have someone there to comfort the baby while you enjoy a hot shower, or perhaps having an extra set of hands fold laundry or drop off a nourishing meal may be more beneficial to you. Decide what would be most helpful to you at this time and always remember, those needs may change depending on the day! Be open and honest with those around you who are willing to help.
If you do not have access to support from those around you, try to find ways to delegate tasks to professionals so that you can have some help. Maybe that means using a grocery delivery service for some time, or possibly you could hire a professional house cleaner to tend to your home in those early weeks and months with a newborn. Have a friend who is also a new mom? Reach out to see if the two of you could swap favors from time to time! While it can be tough to fathom where to begin when you are not surrounded by a strong support group, be assertive and try to brainstorm different avenues of assistance to lighten your own load.
There is much to be learned from mothers in various stages of life and their perspectives can be so enlightening! While we mentioned the importance of having other friends who are also new to motherhood in tip #1, we think it is equally important to look to mothers who have been in your shoes and made it out on the other side! Don't be afraid to approach another Mama you trust with questions or for suggestions. Likely, if you are trying to navigate a new scenario with your little one, chances are she has been in that exact same position before as well.
We know how tough it can be to actually leave the house when you are in this phase, but don't underestimate the power of getting up and getting out! It can do wonders for your mind. Being in the house 24/7 and catering to the needs of an infant can feel demanding on even the most patient of people. That is why we want to encourage you to leave your house, even if it is for a short walk around the neighborhood. Weather permitting, place the baby in their stroller and enjoy some fresh air. Perhaps a trip to a local coffee shop or store where you can walk around and interact with those outside of your home would be great places to try as well. As daunting as it may feel the first couple of times you leave, trust that your instincts coupled with practice will have you feeling way more confident in this area in no time.
Being at home with your child is truly a gift of time! We know firsthand however that caring for a little one who is just not capable of interacting on an adult level can leave a mom feeling a little isolated at times. So often, mothers reach for their phones to connect with the outside world when they are in their homes and feeling disconnected. While this is not inherently bad (we all need connection, it's a strong human need!) do not allow this habit to take priority over connecting with your small child who is sitting right in front of you. Babies, toddlers and school aged children can feel a strong disconnect when their caregiver is constantly distracted. Maybe you can give yourself 10 minutes once or twice a day while your little one is napping to connect with others on your phone. Aside from that, we urge you to put it away when your child is awake and enjoy a little uninterrupted connection!
While it can feel so overwhelming to have your baby sleep soundly one night only to wake every hour the next, understand that babies are not robots. Human beings of all ages may experience more wake times or more sleep times at various stages of life! Newborns may wake more often to seek comfort, while a toddler may wake often due to teething pain or fear of the dark. Take a deep breath and give yourself the grace to find ways that best suit your baby's needs at any given time. Some babies prefer to be worn in a baby wrap and this can be a very helpful tool for parents to utilize. Other babies prefer to sleep in a pack-n-play versus a crib or in your room opposed to their own for a time. While consistency is key in establishing healthy sleep patterns for little ones, do your best to understand that there will be times that you need to adjust those habits. For more on our tips for mastering healthy sleep patterns, visit the articles below:
You may find that your individual journey to and through motherhood is nothing like you imagined. On the flip slide, this experience may be all you envisioned and more. Whatever your feelings, they are OK! Let go of the ideals you hold if they are not serving your family's unique situation well. Maybe you envision having full course meals ready every single evening when in reality, you can only manage to do so on occasion and you more readily rely on healthy but quick recipes. That is OK. Perhaps you hoped to breastfeed from the start but need to use formula instead. That too is OK. Maybe those other moms around you appear to have it all together while you feel that it is a struggle just to cross off your to-do list each day. That is OK. The thing is, there is no magic schedule or tips that will make this stage perfect. It is all about trial and error and tuning into what works best for you and your child. That alone will free you to enjoy the perfectly imperfect reality of life as a Mama!
As you make your way through the many changes brought on by motherhood, know that you were made to be your baby's Mama! Noone else but you could have been hand picked to be a more perfect fit, especially for the child in your care. Trust your motherly instincts as you get to know your baby and settle into this new role. If you don't agree with a certain practice or view you have read about in a book or saw on social media, don't feel bad about ditching it! You know exactly what your baby needs and following your own gut instincts will empower you in ways you never imagined! For more on our take in regards to topic specific issues, see the links below:
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