Being a mom is an amazing feeling. However, as a new mom, you may have a lot of apprehensions about motherhood and your new roles and responsibilities. To help you sail smoothly through this initial phase, we have combined several pieces of advice for new moms that you might find relatable.
While you may get valuable instructions and pieces of advice from your mother, mother-in-law, family members, or close friends, you might want to find some on your own too. As not all pieces of advice are for everyone, find some that you can relate to in this post. Read on and be inspired.
15 Best Advice or Tips For New Moms
1. Get sleep whenever you can
Most new moms are advised to sleep when their baby sleeps. Though this is one of the most prevalent pieces of advice given to new moms, it might not suit everyone. Sleep when you need rest or when you are tired. Timing your sleep with your baby can be difficult as babies sleep randomly and for an unpredictable number of hours that you cannot.
As a new mom, you need all the rest in the world, especially in the postpartum phase when your sleep pattern gets disrupted due to hormones (1). Seek help from your family, especially to watch over your baby when you are asleep.
2. Nurse your baby only on demand
As a new mom, you may have been told to nurse your baby often. Many people may advise you to feed your baby frequently to make them sleep for a longer time. However, this is not a good idea. You must always nurse your baby on demand (2). As a mother, use your instinct to determine when your baby is hungry and feed them.
3. Carry your newborn for as long as you want
Ever heard that carrying your newborn or holding them for long can spoil them? Well, this is a myth, and you need to steer clear of such advice. There’s no scientific or developmental evidence as well.
In fact, as a new mother, you can hold your baby for as long as you want as it helps establish a bond between the two of you. As your baby grows older, they will naturally want some independence, and excessive holding of a newborn does not change this behavior in the future. It is, however, okay to ask someone else to hold the baby when you need to rest.
4. Ask and take help
Though your baby is your responsibility, it is okay for you to seek help. Most new mamas feel the need to do everything for their little one, but this can get tiring at times. Hence, you must take help and support whenever you need it (3).
5. Take time out for yourself
A common belief regarding new moms is that they will have no time for themselves once the child is here. It may or may not be true. Though your baby is entirely dependent on you for food, comfort, safety, and more, you deserve your ‘me time.’
Even as a new mom, it is vital that you take time out for yourself–be it a long bath, relishing your favorite food, enjoying spa time, listening to uninterrupted music, or just strolling outdoors sans your newborn (4). Also, remember to put aside some time to spend with your partner who may be going through a similar phase. It helps to strengthen your relationship post the baby.
6. Trust your instincts
It is normal for most new mothers to doubt themselves. Also, no matter where you look, you will find lots of advice and opinions about taking care and raising your baby. But, as your baby’s mom, you know what’s best for them. You may not seem like an expert on babies but trust your instincts when it comes to your baby.
7. Don’t be alarmed with baby cries
Parents panic when their baby cries for hours on end. As a new mother, it is normal for you to believe that your baby is crying because you are doing something wrong. But this may not be true. Babies cry due to various, and as new moms, you need to figure out over time.
Try different methods such as singing, holding them close, placing them on your chest, or talking to them to calm down.
8. Find support in your tribe
Every new mother goes through a similar journey. If you are looking for support during this new phase in your life, who is better than other new moms experiencing something similar. Finding supportive women in your girl tribe is essential as it helps you share your experiences, seek advice, and even help another new mom in need.
9. Sail through this phase
As a new mom, you may find life a bit overwhelming at times, which is normal. Your life has taken a different turn with a baby who you love so dearly, yet the fact is that this phase is tiring. All you need to do is understand that this is ‘just a phase.’ As you and your baby get used to each other and develop a routine, things will seem easy. In fact, children grow up so fast that you might miss this phase a few years down the line.
10. Remember, you’ve got this
At times, many new mothers feel they are doing it all by themselves—from carrying the baby to childbirth and feeding them throughout the day, waking up in the night, changing diapers, and a lot more. The exhaustion can lead you to believe that you are not good enough. If you ever feel this way, remember that ‘you’ve got this.’ Connect with other new moms, and you will realize they feel the same. So, sail through it, believing that you can do it.
11. Disconnect nursing from sleeping
Many people will tell you that babies will sleep only if you feed them before their bedtime. However, this may not be a good practice. When your baby sleeps while drinking milk, the chances are that traces of milk may remain around their gum pads, giving them a bad oral odor. This habit can lead to cavities when their first teeth begin to erupt. Also, it is a good idea to disconnect their nursing from sleeping and create a better bedtime routine that can be followed in the future.
12. Ignoring the advice is okay
Whether it is your first time being a mom or not, you are sure to get plenty of advice—both solicited and unsolicited. Everyone around you will give you advice from their own experience or what they have heard, seen, or read. While it is a good idea to listen to these pieces of advice, it is completely up to your discretion as to which ones to implement and which to ignore. Also, it is okay to ignore advice and go with your instinct.
13. Get back to your fitness routine
Every new mom requires a few days after childbirth to relax, heal, and adjust to their new role. However, whenever your doctor clears you for exercises, begin with lighter exercises before increasing your pace and intensity (5). It helps you stay fit, relaxes your mind, and makes you feel good. Keep your fitness goals small and achievable.
14. Take pictures, make memories
Remember the time when your social media feed was filled with baby pictures? Well, it’s your turn now. As a new mother, a great part of your day goes into taking care of your newborn. But don’t forget to click pictures. Your baby will grow up quickly, so avoid the regret of not having clicked enough pictures—get your camera or phone and capture as many moments of your newborn as you like.
15. Don’t try to be a perfect mother
Every parent wants to be the perfect one for their child. Many new mothers do everything possible for their newborns. Motherhood is challenging, and more so in the earlier days when you are getting acquainted with your little one. Though you may feel you must do everything perfectly, don’t be hard on yourself, it is okay not to be a perfect mother as there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ mother (6).
Motherhood is beautiful though it comes with its own set of challenges. No matter what you are told or what pieces of advice you are given during your pregnancy and after childbirth, trust your instincts. It is okay to ignore the advice given by others when you don’t seem it is fitting your parenting style. And most important of all–live each moment with your little, adorable bundle of joy.
- Sleep Patterns and Fatigue in New Mothers and Fathers; Biological Research for Nursing (2004);
- Breastfeeding; World Health Organization;
- New Parents: Tips for Quality Rest; John Hopkins Medicine;
- The New Mother: Taking Care of Yourself After Birth; Stanford Children’s Health;
- Postnatal Exercise; Better Health Channel;
- Feeling Pressure to be a perfect mother relates to parental burnout and career ambitions; Frontiers in Psychology (2018);