Becoming a mom is one of the greatest moments in your life. As one of those rare and blessed events, it is important to prepare yourself before the baby comes. For many, reality hits soon before they are prepared. What you need to know is that becoming a mom is not for the faint-hearted.
You need to be prepared for a lot of screaming and crying. Also, prepare for several sleepless nights, dirty diapers and unexpected illness. The good news is that we have compiled 10 tips every first-time mom should know. These tips will help to prepare you for the worst but also the best moments in your life as a mom.
#1. Make plans
One of the most important things a first-time mom should learn is that planning makes life easier. As a new mom, plan bath times, bedtimes, meal times and others. Doing this makes your life simpler. For instance, before feeding your baby, make sure that you have everything you need. Such items include clean clothes, diaper, and baby wipes.
When it comes to bath times, you also need to have bottom cream diapers, clean clothes, and a towel. Planning on taking the baby out? Well, you don’t want to be stranded in the ladies bathroom asking every lady if they have spare diapers or wipes. Prepare yourself and pack spare clothes, nappy sacks, bottom cream, wipes and diapers among others.
As you can see, planning your day beforehand makes your life easy.
#2.Maintain high standards of hygiene
Newborns don’t have a strong immune system. As such, they are prone to infections if exposed to bacteria and other germs. If your baby gets sick even at night, you and your partner have to cut short your sleep and take your baby to the hospital. To avoid this, maintain high standards of hygiene.
For starters, buy hand sanitizers. Check the seal of approval to ensure it’s baby safe. Washing your hands with the hand sanitizer before preparing meals or handling the baby will lower chances of infection. It is important to ensure everyone handling the baby sanitizes their hands.
Something else to watch out for is signs of diseases among family members. Since they will be spending more time around the baby, it is important to ensure no one has a fever, a cold or any other health condition.
#3.Handling your baby with care
As a first time mom, supporting your baby’s neck and the head is very important. Whether you are laying your baby down or cradling him or her. Supporting the baby’s neck and head prevents injuries. As you already know, the bones around the head and neck are yet to mature. Also, it promotes proper growth and development.
As part of handling your baby, it is important to avoid shaking your newborn. Shaking your baby can cause bleeding in the brain. If you shake the baby in frustration, it can lead to death. Want to wake up your baby? Do not shake the baby. Instead, tickle the baby’s feet or blow the baby’s cheek gently.
Remember, your newborn is not ready for rough playing.
#4.Soothing and bonding with your baby
Earlier, we said that becoming a mom is the greatest moment in your life. Well, that moment starts with bonding. During the first hours and days after giving birth, it is important to maintain contact with your baby. Bonding gives babies a sense of self-esteem and security. It also helps parents to feel connected with their babies.
One thing you need to remember is that bonding between you and your newborn can be instant or it can take time. If the magical moment of bonding does not happen immediately, don’t worry. It’s normal. Be patient and your baby will build a relationship with you.
Remember, it is not a competition. To bond with your baby, make plenty of skin to skin contact, respond to all the baby’s needs and make lots of eye contact.
#5. Never obsess over germs
New moms are protective of their newborns and that is great. Actually, it is highly encouraged. As a new mom, you don’t want your newborn to get sick. That is why you have hand sanitizers for everyone to use before handling the baby. We understand that hygiene is of importance but to avoid being germophobic, you need to relax a little. Try not to get obsessive about germs. Why? You will drive yourself crazy. Instead, maintain high standards of hygiene.
Speaking of germs and infections, we highly advise you never to make a baby’s appointment on a Monday. Why? This is the day everyone who got sick during the weekend visits the doctor’s office. That means plenty of germs all around if you visit the doctor’s office. To avoid this, choose a convenient time.
#6.Soothing your baby
Babies cry a lot and it can be for different reasons. For instance, the baby is hungry, wet or has a fever. If the baby is crying, there are ways to soothe him or her. Start by rocking or jiggling the baby. You can also try the pat/shhh method. This works great as it imitates the sound of a heartbeat. Also, patting the baby on the back helps to burp the newborn more quickly. As such, the baby will relax.
Another technique to try out is to swaddle or swing the baby gently. To do this successfully, buy a swaddling blanket. You need to watch out for over stimulation. Overstimulation can make it hard for your baby to sleep. If the newborn gets overtired, he or she will scream, cry and get stressed. If the baby gets overstimulated, use the pat/shhh technique to calm him or her.
#7.Teach your baby nighttime is for sleep
A lot of new moms make the mistake of letting their babies sleep all day. This makes it hard for the baby to sleep at night. As a new mom, teaching your baby that nighttime is for sleep will make your work easier. To succeed, create a bedtime routine. That means bathing, feeding and cuddling the baby. The best setting for this is the baby’s room and not the living room where it’s noisy.
As you cuddle the baby, you can listen to your favorite music playlist using wireless headphones. Make sure outside noise is minimal as possible. Also, use heavy curtains to make the room dark. Whisper if you need to speak.
When you have a newborn, your home will have plenty of visitors. They will come accompanied with gifts and keep you company as they take turns to hold the newborn. As time goes by, the number of visitors will drop. If you don’t want to feel isolated and alone, make an effort to meet friends. New moms can socialize with other new moms or invite family members to visit at home.
Social isolation can lead to stress and anxiety. If it persists, it can bring feelings of depression. This is not good at all now that you have a baby to take care.
The internet together with smart devices has made it easy for us to access information even on the go. As a new mom, you will be tempted to search the internet for those strange symptoms. Don’t do this. Instead, make an appointment with a licensed doctor, gynecologist or pediatrician. The doctor is skilled and experienced to diagnose you or your new baby.
After the checkup, the doctor will inform you of the results. If any issue presents itself, the doctor will prescribe medication. Also, chat with your doctor about your weight and related issues. Doing so eliminates chances of obsessing over weight gain.
#10. Take care of yourself
Postpartum is a health condition that happens to a lot of people. To avoid this, take care of yourself. How? Get plenty of rest. When your baby sleeps, take nap too. If you are feeling down, step outside and socialize. If things are getting worse, get help.
When it comes to grooming yourself, you need to have a hairdresser on your speed dial. Getting your hair done will make you feel good. You should also treat yourself to new things such as a new dress, or a pair of shoes. Don’t forget to exercise and eat a healthy diet.
As a new mom, you will be constantly learning new things about your baby and being a parent. One thing you need to keep in mind is that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Mistakes can happen and it’s always important to keep an open mind. Never judge others, don’t obsess over things and always consult a doctor in case of anything.