Dealing with anything new could be chaotic. So would the case be with being a momma, at least for the first time. You would have to keep awake a lot of nights, have meals at odd hours, and what not. But, you would eventually understand the baby and its daily routine. While you may not be a pro now, here’s how MomJunction can help you in the process of getting there!
Top Parenting Advice For New Moms:
From hearing the morning cries to the late night slumbers, here are some practical parenting tips for a smoother you.
1. Keeping Your Newborn Awake Through The Feeding Sessions:
The most common worry is that the newborns fall asleep and are not fed enough. They fall asleep just as you begin feeding them. If this happens frequently, it could be a cause for concern.
- Tickle your newborn’s toes while you are feeding to keep the little one awake.
- However, do not try this just to empty your filled breasts, as the baby may need sleep more than milk at that time.
2. Try The Bicycle Motion To Help Ease Colic:
Colic, which is a common occurrence in newborns, is a condition in which they will have some discomfort and pain in the stomach. As a result, the baby will go through bouts of crying, which could even last as long as three to five hours. In most cases, colic affects babies during the second half of the day, especially in the nights.
- An effective way to give your newborn some comfort from the pain is to stretch her legs and imitate a cycling motion.
- Once she has had her feed, pick her up and pat her back to help her burp.
- Now help her lie down on her back and gently start moving her legs in a cycle pedaling motion. It will ease out the gas from her system and reduce the pain and discomfort.
[ Read: Colic in Babies ]
3. Use The Elbow Water Temperature Test:
You may be worried about the water temperature while giving a bath to your baby. The best temperature for your newborn’s bath water is something which is between warm and hot.
- To find out if your baby’s bath water is having the right temperature, place your elbow to test.
- If it is too hot or cold, it would be the same for your baby. If you feel a nice and warm sensation on your elbow, then it is safe for your baby.
4. Do Not Force A Schedule:
Most people will tell you that if you want your baby to follow a routine, the best time to get them into one, is right after birth. However, during the first few weeks and months, it is best to let her follow her own routine. It is normal for your newborn to sleep at a stretch for nine hours a day, and wake up every two hours the next day. Do not be alarmed.
- Look at the cues that she gives to understand what will make her comfortable. Feed her when she wakes up and makes suckling motions. If she prefers sleeping, don’t wake her up forcibly just to feed her.
5. Less Exposure Is Alright:
Once your friends and family learn of your baby’s arrival, they would want to see her. Waiting it out for the first few weeks can be a good decision. Your baby will be extremely sensitive as her immune system would still be developing and she may pick infections from other people.
- Once you bring your newborn home from the hospital, it is good to keep her in one room of the house.
- The idea is to limit her exposure to the outside world for some weeks till she builds her resistance and her body becomes capable of warding off infections.
[ Read: Breastfeeding Tips For New Moms ]
6. Limit The Items In The Crib:
The number of things that you need for her might outnumber what you would require for an adult. If your baby sleeps in a crib, keeping her items in the crib may not be a very good idea, as it can often lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which is one of the leading causes of crib deaths in newborns.
- Instead of keeping everything in the crib, keep a designated dresser next to the crib to store all her essentials.
- While she is in the crib, whether awake or asleep, remove everything else from it to keep it clutter-free.
- Dress her in comfortable sleep clothes for sleep time, to keep her warm through the night. Do not keep any blankets, pillows, stuffed toys or anything that could lead to a potential risk of SIDS.
7. Keep Those Sanitary Pads Handy:
This is not related to your baby, but is a concern for you. Your menstrual cycle will go for a toss post delivery, and while some new moms do not start bleeding for as long as a few months or even a year after delivery, some almost never stop. Both the situations are normal and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
- Make sure you keep some sanitary pads handy, as your bleeding can often start without any prior sign.
8. Helping Your Baby Fall Asleep:
It is a good idea to let your baby sleep as much as she could, as it would help her become strong. The baby may not have a routine, due to which you might not have one too.
- Once your baby is about four months old, you can slowly start introducing her to a sleep pattern.
- Even if she is asleep, wake her up at a designated time each morning. While you may feel it is best to let her sleep as long as she wants, waking her up at the same time each day will add a routine to her days and nights.
- Also, her body clock will soon adjust to it, making it easier for her to wake up. Similarly, stick to a specific time each evening to put her to bed.
[ Read: Parenting Tips For Baby Care ]
9. Trust Your Gut:
A thousand people would give a thousand advices . These may be contradicting each other and would only add to your stress factor. And, even if your newborn is comfortable and her doctor is happy with her progress, you may end up questioning your parenting skills. It is natural for you to feel insecure, and wonder if, after all, what you are doing is right.
- One of the most important tips for handling your new mom status is to avoid all the advice that comes to you, except your baby’s doctor.
- Check if your baby is gaining enough weight and if her overall growth and development is fine. As long as your baby’s doctor is happy with her progress, give yourself a pat on the back!
10. Let Daddy Handle Baby:
It is natural that your motherly instincts are strong. but do not banish that daddy from taking care of the baby. You may feel that you are the only one who understands your baby’s cues, from feeding time to sleep patterns to nappy change and more. However, letting your partner take care of the baby, will help you rest and recuperate.
- You can ask your partner to change the baby’s diaper while you are around. That way, if your partner is not exactly sure of what to do, you can help, so that next time your partner can do it independently. You can also ask your partner to help you during feed times. If you are breastfeeding the baby, you can pump the milk and store it in bottles. Ask your partner to hold your baby and feed from the bottle when required. If you have switched to formula, you can show your partner how to prepare it.
- Use the free time to catch up on sleep or indulge in some ‘me’ time to ease your stress and tiredness.
As a mother, you will understand your baby best, and your natural instincts will always ensure you do what is right for your baby. Remember that it is perfectly natural to be stuck in a thankless and chaotic routine. Do not blame yourself up for feeling this way. Instead, try to take some time out for yourself to rest and do things that will help you beat the stress.
Moms, what was that one parenting advice or trick that you feel helped you as a new mom? Do let us know!
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