Friday, November 1, 2013

New Mom Advice

I'm a new mom and I have an adorable 5 month old little girl named Olive.  She's a sweet baby but we both have a lot to learn about this whole parenting thing.  The learning curve is steep, there's always something new to handle and parenting is a challenge.  We are both feeling pretty good about our new roles five months in and we are excited to share some tips with you.  Obviously, I'm no expert in parenting but I feel like I can give some helpful advice to NEW MOMS since that is my current role.

12 New Mom Tips

1. Let Other People Help You 
Let them bring you dinners, hold the baby, run errands for you, grocery shop for you, do laundry, clean your house, come visit, etc.  I was hesitant to accept offers when people would insist on bringing me meals.  I didn't want to bother them and I felt a little bad accepting their offer.  I felt like I should still be able to fix dinner and take care of my family after I had the baby but I didn't realize that I would be exhausted and not have time to grocery shop & cook.  Plus, your family and friends really do want to HELP YOU!  I ended up saying yes and was so thankful for the meals.  Cooking was the last thing that I wanted to think about and it was amazing to have friends stop by for a quick visit and leave your family a mini feast.

2. Shower & Get Ready 
It seems like showering and taking care of yourself quickly falls very low on the priority list and that it's nearly impossible to have time to shower.  It really is amazing how good a nice, warm shower will make you feel.  Plus putting on a -stretchy, comfy- outfit & a little make-up somehow makes you feel like you can handle anything that comes your way.

3. Tell Your Husband how He can Help You and Ask Him for Help
Most guys aren't mind readers. They are eager to help their wife but they don't know exactly what you need.  Tell him you'd like to go to the grocery store alone, you need him to watch the baby while you go get a haircut, you'd love to sleep in one morning or take a nap and it would be the perfect time for him to be on baby duty, you'd like him to run an errand for you or that you use some help with things around the house.  Be sure to talk to him because he's likely feeling overwhelmed too.  It's comforting to know that you have his support and that you are learning how to be parents together.

4. Tell People THANK YOU! 
Write a thank you note, send a quick e-mail or text to let those who are helping you know that you really appreciate their help.  They'll be more likely to offer to help you again if they feel like you appreciated it and that they were really helping you out.  Remember to keep it simple; you don't have to do anything elaborate to say thank you.

5. Take LOTS of Pictures 
Your baby will grow SO quickly and you'll love to look back through all of those photos as your baby gets older.  I take a ton of pictures on my iPhone and make a conscious effort to take out my real camera several times a week to capture some sweet moments.  Your family and friends will likely want to see your little one so post pictures on Instagram, Facebook or on your blog frequently.  I live several hours away from family so I am always texting or emailing cute videos and pictures to them.  It helps me feel like they are getting to know my daughter and they like to see all of her and her newest tricks.

6. Don't Put too Much Pressure on Yourself to get Things Done 
Your to do list should include taking good care of yourself and your baby and just a few other things.  Try to keep your to do lists short early on and focus on being a mom.  You can easily overwhelm yourself or beat yourself up when you come to the end of the day and realize that you weren't able to tackle all the items on your giant to do list.

7. Be Nice to Yourself.
You are going through so many changes - basically your whole world has changed for the better but it's a lot to take in.  You've got physical issues to deal with as your body heals, you are on an emotional roller coaster, your baby is trying to figure out life and there's a lot of baby idiosyncrasies to get under control. Ease back into your routines and set small goals for yourself.

8. Get Out and About
Go for walks, visit friends, set up lunch/coffee dates, walk at the mall and even head out to dinner.  Babies are the best dinner dates when they are tiny because they like to sleep so much.  Pack up the stroller and walk around your neighborhood.  My husband and I have even taken several road trips with our baby - 6,000 miles worth actually - and it has helped us to feel like we are adjusting well to our new normal.

9. Plan Date Nights at Home
It's tricky to find childcare if you don't have family nearby and oftentimes you won't want to leave you baby.  Plan a fun meal, get take out, cook a meal together, fix a fun dessert, watch a movie or sporting event at home once your baby naps or heads to bed for the night.  It can be stressful to eat out with a baby so I'm learning that take out is an amazing option.  It's stress free, we don't have to worry about the baby being quiet and we don't have to rush through our dinners.

10. Be Intentional about ENJOYING Your Baby 
Start  reading to them, introducing them to new toys, talking to them, practice mimicking sounds, smiling, peek a boo and tummy time.  It's easy to forget to do fun things with your baby when you are exhausted so be sure to make a conscious effort to spend quality time with your little one.  I downloaded a free app to my phone called - Knoala - you set up a profile, enter in your child's age and then it suggests TONS of fun, age-appropriate learning activities to do with your child.  They are easy to do and are really quick.

11. Don't Try to Remember Everything & Be an Expert on Everything
Make lists, get an app on your phone to remind you of diapers/feedings/etc - my favorite is Baby Connect - and write events/social functions in your planner.  It's amazing what sleep deprivation will do to your brain so make sure to set yourself up for success.  I have a couple of running lists on my phone - one for Olive's pediatrician, a shopping list for Babies R Us and a few other random ones that help keep me sane. 
There's a lot to learn about babies and life as a new mom so do some research, ask trusted friends for advice and trust your instincts if something seems wrong with you or your baby.  You can always check in with their pediatrician/your doctor - I'd rather be safe than sorry plus they are there to help you and be a good resource for you.  Take advantage of it!

12. Make Mom Friends
It's nice to have other moms to talk to and share kid stories with.  Plus, other moms can recommend doctors, baby products, family friendly events, church activities and more.  I have some mom friends but I'd really like to make a few new friends.  We just moved to Little Rock and I'm a SAHM this year.  I was a teacher in Salt Lake City for the last 9 years so I've never been in this situation where I'm looking to make friends in a completely new setting.  Slowly but surely, I know it'll happen if I put some effort into it.

Since I'm a newbie at this whole parenting thing, did I forget anything or do you have any more tips for me??  I'd love to hear them and would enjoy finding new mom blogger friends.


  1. You have listed so many good ideas - sounds like you have
    "life" going your way!

  2. Those are all very good tips!

  3. Yay! These are all good, realistic tips. Well done. P.S. You are looking fabulous as ever. XOXO


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