Preparing For The Challenges of Motherhood

by Sarah
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A Field of Flowers

If you type into google “First-time mom tips” there are 805 million results. Mothers are always looking for ways to prepare themselves for when their bundle of joy enters this world.

The challenging part is actually finding new mom advice that you haven’t heard before and that is actually relevant to your needs.

Do you want to be prepared for the challenges of motherhood? If so look below! <3

RELATED: How to Throw a Dr. Suess Birthday Party

Newborn Mom Tips ♡

Living life with a newborn is definitely something that takes adjusting too. One day all you have to worry about is yourself and then BAM you give birth, and now there is this newborn that you are 100% accountable for.

 Lets Dive Right Into My Top Newborn Mom Tips 

1. Sleep when the baby is sleeping  

I’m Just Kidding! This is impossible if you have a fully functioning brain that can’t just turn off at the drop of a hat. I recommend sleeping when you can sleep or taking turns with your husband. My husband and I took three-hour shifts. This worked out the best for us because it was just enough to feel well-rested!

2. Keep diapers and wipes in the most utilized places of your home.

Babies go through a crap-ton of diapers. I thought that was a nice play on words. Am I Right? This makes life easier on you, so you aren’t having to go back and forth to the changing table a bazillion times a day.

3. If you are needing help adjusting to being a new mom reach out to family and friends!

They are not mind-readers. You might think that since you had a baby that they know what you want and need, BUT everyone is different. Some parents don’t want help from anyone, while others will take all the help they can get.

4. Newborns don’t need much, but sometimes it is hard figuring out why they are crying.

Go through this list ->☑︎ Is Diaper Clean? ☑︎ Baby Fed? ☑︎ Is it gas pains? ☑︎ Is baby Overtired? □ UNKNOWN. If you landed on the unknown, here are some ideas for you to try □ Go walk around outside with your baby, sometimes the fresh air is just enough to calm them down. □ Swaddle that baby! □ Give Your Baby A Bath □ Lay them on your chest so that they can listen to your heartbeat, it was their constant in the womb. Taking care of a newborn can be a doozy sometimes.

5. Have snacks in easily accessible areas of the house where you will be!

I swear that I lived on the couch, in the living room, for the first few months of my sons’ life. When my son was sleeping on my chest, which was always, it was easier to grab a snack from the end table next to me than to try and lay my son down without waking him up.

Moving on. . ..

Breastfeeding Advice for the New Mom

newborn with mom

Breastfeeding is not easy in the beginning. It is hard. No one tells you this. You believe that it will be this natural beautiful process, but it is anything but. Dedication is key. I am currently on month twenty-one -> still want to lose it half of the time. #momtruth

♡ The first month of breastfeeding is the hardestand it does get better! 

♡ Prepare yourself mentally for nipple pain

♡ Count The Wet Diapers, that is how you are going to be able to tell that your baby is getting enough! Now if you want to pump to see how much your baby is getting BE CAREFUL because if you pump too early you can cause an oversupply since your body has not regulated and that can lead to mastitis.

♡Keeping Track of Your Babies Day Has Never Been Easier! This is my favorite daily baby log.

♡ Research -> Cluster Feeding, Mastitis, Fore Milk, Hind Milk

To Co-Sleep or Not To Co-Sleep

Picture of a bedside basinet to show new moms about co sleeping

There are so many different opinions out there on co-sleeping. I am going to let you in on a secret, you should do what is best for you and your family. There are pros and cons to both, but it is no one’s place to tell you what to do with your child. Well, unless you are beating them. *shrugs*

Here are the Pros and cons, from my eyes!

PROS -> You will get more sleep, your baby will get more sleep, your family will get more sleep. Did I mention all the sleep you are going to get? Also, if you are breastfeeding this is such an amazing thing to take advantage of. Baby wants boob, whip it out.

CONS -> You might get kicked, poked in the eye, and it might be very hard to get them out of your bed as they get older. My son is almost two and he still loves sleeping with mommy and daddy. And yes, we get kicked, poked, slapped, and sometimes you wake up to the occasional baby butt in the face.

If you are wanting to co-sleep and want to know how to do it safely check out what kelly mom has to say! Her site was a lifesaver for me.

Mental Health for the New Mom

New Mom Mental Health

There is this side to motherhood that is hidden from the world because being a mom is supposed to be this amazing, glamorous, radical thing that should be cherished and there are no bad sides.

No one tells you that you will be faced with loneliness, or that you won’t have the energy to do simple activities, like shower. Also, you will be faced with losing your freedom.

Yay! You made it to adulthood. You no longer have to listen to what your parents tell you! THEN you made a baby. That freedom you used to have gone in a blink of an eye. Now to go out, you need a baby sitter. Just stepping into another room you have to make sure that your baby is safe before you can!

Take Care Of Your Mental Health Mom

♡ Make sure to take time for yourself each day! Even if it is just 30 minutes. Ten minutes in the shower, ten minutes doing makeup, ten minutes scrolling Facebook to get that mental break.

♡ Here is a Guide to Self-Care

♡ Mom-Burn-Out Happens to the best of the mommas! We are human after all. . .

♡ Look Out For Postpartum Depression

Dealing with Unsolicited Advice from the “Veteran” Mom

How many of you Momma’s have received unwanted advice that you did not ask for? I am going to guess every single one of you that is reading this.

To the Karens and Susans of the world, we are the parent! We decide what we do with our kids. As long as my kid is happy, healthy, and thriving in this world that is what matters.

99% of the time I would tell the Veteran Mom thank you, and let the advice go out the other ear. Most of the time they are just trying to be helpful. There was usually on 1% of the time I would retort something back, and usually it was if what they said offended me.

Here are some examples of Unsolicited Advice

♡ S/he is just crying to manipulate you! 

  • Your baby is just a baby. It does not even know what manipulation is! Yes, there will come a time that they do know how to get what they want, BUT your newborn is just starting out in this world. They have only known you since conception. They only want you because it is natural.

♡ You should put socks on your baby or they will get sick

  • If you wanted to put socks on your baby, you would have done so. Am I right? There have been multiple instances where other mothers have reprimanded me on not putting socks on my kiddo. Guess what? My kid is now almost 2 years old and he is doing just fine.

♡ Oh! Your baby isn’t sleeping at night, you should put cereal in their bottle, that is what I did with my babies!

  • Every baby is different! If all babies were the same there would be no need to search google for help! Cereal in the bottle is old and outdated advice as it is now known to be a choking hazard! You should only put cereal in a babies bottle if it is Doctor ordered.

To read more bad advice check out 10 Bad Pieces of Advice Parents Have Heard But Shouldn’t Follow!

Preparing to-go Back to Work and Choosing Child-Care

Maternity leave in the United States of America is crap. I wish I lived in Switzerland when it comes to Maternity Leave. In the United States, there is no national law for new parents to get paid maternity leave.  You can apply for FMLA, which depended on the state you live in, can give you 12 weeks of UNPAID maternity leave.

I was lucky and had short term disability insurance and was able to take 6 weeks of paid maternity leave at 60% of my wages. BUT still crap. END RANT.

When preparing to go back to work new mothers are faced with the scary transition of choosing child care. My number one suggestion when looking for child care is to do your research on all the possible places.

Choosing Child Care Can Be Intimidating

♡ Read reviews of potential Child Care Facilities

♡ Drop by without an appointment to see what the facility actually looks like when they are not prepared for you to be there.

♡ Have a list of Questions Prepared That You Want To Ask

  1. What does a daily schedule look like for my baby?
  2. Do you provide diapers/wipes?
  3. What are the class size limits?
  4. What is the staff to child ratio? 1 to 4? 1 to 8? This matters because you want to make sure your child is going to get the attention they deserve.
  5. Do you provide meals/snacks?
  6. Do you follow a curriculum?

How Family and Friends Can Help a New Mom

First a message to the New Mom -> Please please please ask for help when you need it. Your family and your friends cannot read your mind. You may be screaming inside your head about how no one has come to help, no one has even offered, but when it comes down to it you have to be able to ask.

Now to Family and Friends ->

♡ Offer to come over and make dinner
♡ Offer to watch the baby while mom takes a shower, or gets some rest
♡ Text or Call and ask how everything is going with the new baby
♡ Offer to Run Errands for her, or even see if she would like to go with you so that she can get that one on one adult attention that she so desperately needs!

These are super easy requests. As a new mom, it confused me by how everyone seemed super excited about my pregnancy, and how supportive they were throughout my pregnancy. Then when the baby came it was like no one was there anymore.

Starting Your Journey to Motherhood

When you begin your journey to motherhood, you will always have questions. You will always want to know if you are doing everything right! There is no perfect step by step instruction manual on being a good mom, you honestly have to wing it! And if you are here looking up new mom tips than you are probably already off to a good start because that means that you want to be a good mom, which in turn makes you an amazing mom.

XOXO,

radically adorkable TRANSPARENT

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