Tips for new moms…everyone has them but what is really worth listening to?
I never want to be “that mom” who gives unsolicited tips to other moms on how to survive motherhood or raise their little ones but since I get asked often what my best tips for new moms would be, I thought it would be helpful to round up some of my top questions in one easy to find spot.
The biggest thing I have learned after having three babies is that YOU know your baby best and while there are tips that might make things a little easier along the way, every baby and every situation is unique.
And for this reason, don’t fret about things not going exactly as you expected!
Thanks to unrealistic expectations of what you see on social media, you’ll quickly learn that most things in motherhood never go as planned.
So try to relax and enjoy the ride because while I don’t promise much, I do promise that motherhood is one wild and crazy ride!
Without further ado, here are my top 33 Tips for moms
Tips for Moms in the first few weeks with baby
The first few weeks with a newborn can feel blissful but also overwhelming.
Here are my top tips for the first few weeks with a newborn.
Start a Routines Immediately
Kids thrive on routines and so will you!
The sooner you can establish routines with your family, the better and less stressful things will be later!
Use a newborn feeding tracker, sleep tracker, diaper tracker even tracking their fussy times will help you have better predictability in your days.
And Your pediatrician will most likely ask all these questions.
Your baby will have natural rhythms and routines in their days. Watching for routines will help you have more sense of control over what may feel completely out of control.
Don’t Be Hesitant To Ask For Help
For many, this is definitely easier said than done.
However, asking for help doesn’t make you less capable of taking care of your baby.
It just makes you human!
Related: Newborn Basics Online Class
Get Some Sunlight and Fresh Air
The first few weeks with a newborn can feel extremely blissful but also very constricting and overwhelming.
Adjusting to a life where someone relies on you 24-7 can be overwhelming.
The fresh air and sunlight works wonders for your mood and your babies.
And walking can help you build your postpartum strength back but just don’t overdo it.
Self Care Tips for New Moms
Self-care is not a luxury, it is an absolute necessity.
NEVER feel guilty for taking care of yourself, you will be a better mom for it!
Make Healthy Food Choices
As tempting as it may seem, now is not the time to drastically start cutting calories to lose weight, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Eating nutrient dense foods is not just about losing the baby weight, it will also give you more energy, help with postpartum recovery and if you are breastfeeding, what you eat is what you feed your baby!
Stock up on healthy snacks that can be eaten with one hand like string cheese, almonds, protein bars, protein shakes or smoothies.
Protein shakes were my go-to after I had my babies because I could add almost anything to it and make it a complete meal.
Related: The Breastfeeding Cookbook- Easy Recipes For Nursing Moms
Avoid the Comparison Trap
Social media can make it tough not to compare your home, life or baby to others.
But this is only a recipe for disaster!
For example, if you are struggling to lose weight or make enough milk and see other moms finding success in these things, you are likely to beat yourself up.
Everyone’s journey is different and for that reason, I promise you are doing the absolute BEST for you and your family.
Make Moving Your Body and Healing a Priority
You are likely not going to love everything about your postpartum body.
You will love what it has done for you but you may not be confident in how it looks but more importantly, how it feels and functions.
Pelvic pain, incontinence, back pain and abdominal separation do not help much with feeling strong and confident.
Taking the time to reconnect your core and pelvic floor will help you feel much stronger, physically AND mentally.
Exercise is also the absolute best thing we can do to cope with stress, depression and anxiety, all of which are very common in the postpartum period.
It is amazing what even just 10 minutes of movement can do for your body and mind.
Related: 22 Fun Babywearing Exercises That Work Your Entire Body
Be Mindful of Your Mental Health
I had debilitating postpartum anxiety after my first was born.
I couldn’t even get in the car without crying because I was so terrified something was going to happen to me, my husband or my baby.
I knew I didn’t have postpartum depression but didnt know what was wrong with me. The anxiety was debilitating.
It took a year before I learned that I had postpartum anxiety. I had never heard of this before.
I only wish I had reached out for professional help sooner.
Between lack of sleep and raging hormones, everything becomes thrown off.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help so you can enjoy motherhood the way you had imagined!
Feeding and Sleeping Tips For New Moms
Remember Fed Is Best
Nothing really prepares you for the challenges of breastfeeding.
Unrealistic expectations may leave you feeling very frustrated and defeated.
There is so much pressure on moms these days to breastfeed that some moms develop postpartum depression or anxiety over breastfeeding.
Let me tell you that it’s not worth it!
Breastfeeding my second baby was so hard, emotionally and physically.
I eventually stopped around 5 months which was the best thing I could have done for both of us.
Do what feels best for both you and your baby!
Day and Night Confusion
Most babies will have their days and night mixed up when they are first born which means they want to party all night and sleep all day.
After the first week or so, you can work to correct this by trying to keep them awake for longer periods of time during the day.
But aim for awake times of only about 45 minutes at most. You don’t want them to get overly tired.
Try feeding and playing with your baby in a very bright lit room during the day, then make sure it’s very dark when they sleep at night.
I know it feels a little mean to keep them awake but you definitely want them to get their days right!
Your baby’s sleep habits may be brag worthy and then bam, around four months they hit a huge sleep regression that throws you for a loop.
Your baby will go through several sleep regressions so be prepared.
Taking a newborn sleep course can help you understand how to teach your baby to sleep without many tears…from both of you!
Babies need to learn how to sleep and we need to help them.
Organizing and Cleaning Tips For New Moms
Create a Cleaning Schedule
The thought of trying to clean your entire house at one time is most likely going to be too overwhelming.
Instead, make a cleaning schedule that breaks the job up into smaller, more manageable tasks.
For example, designate Monday’s to cleaning just the floors.
On Tuesdays, do just the bathrooms but only do the showers every other Tuesday’s.
Using a weekly cleaning rotation will help you stay on top of the mess
Use the Tidy in 10 Rule
Take at least 10 minutes a day to tidy up a room.
Set your timer for 10 minutes and speed clean as fast as you can.
I personally try to keep my house in such a way that none of the rooms should take more than 10-20 minutes to tidy up.
Staying on top of the messes by doing quick tidy sessions will prevent a lot of stress and overwhelm later.
Contain the Clutter
Invest in a variety of storage containers to organize toys, clothes, keepsakes and various other things.
Each container should have it’s own category.
This helps put things back where they belong.
This is a huge time saver because everything has a home.
This may seem impossible with the sheer amount of stuff babies need but less really is best.
Since becoming a mom, I’ve really learned to embrace minimalism.
The less stuff we own, the less stress I feel in trying to maintain “things” instead of enjoying time with my family.
Getting rid of things is tough for many, especially baby stuff, but so is the stress of having too much stuff that never gets used.
Make it a goal to declutter once a month or once every couple months.
And using the “One in, One out” rule will prevent things from getting to a point where you feel completely paralized by clutter.
Getting Things Done Tips For Moms
Wear Your Baby!
If you are anything like me, it is hard to sit and relax when all I see is mess.
Learning to wear my baby became a lifesaver and I felt much more productive which was great for my mental health too.
It may take some time and practice for you and your baby to get used to babywearing but don’t give up.
And starting early is the best way for them to get used to it.
You may need to start with 5-10 minutes increments throughout the day and work your way up to as long as both you and your baby can tolerate it.
My third baby lived in the carrier and at 27 pounds, she still loves it.
Encourage Independent Play
Independent play is good for both you AND your baby.
Studies show that independent play for kids allows to foster their imagination, build problem solving skills and even helps teach patience and resiliency.
While finding the balance between making sure your little ones get enough one-on-one time and encouraging independent play can be challenging, know that it will help you get a few things done around the house while also teaching them important life skills.
It’s amazing what you can get done in 15-30 minutes!
Set Timers For Everything
You will likely get things done in record time when you only give yourself a certain amount of time to complete a task.
Using a timer helps prevent procrastination.
If you know you only have 15 minutes to get something done, it is amazing how quickly you can get it done!
I use a timer for everything from doing dishes, working and especially working out!
My goal is always to get as much done in the time I give myself and this has been especially amazing for losing weight after my babies!
Tips For Moms When You Feel Overwhelmed
Remember Each Stage is Only Temporary
Your baby is not going to have sleepless nights forever and eventually they will learn to pee in the potty on their own!
Eventually one hard stage will pass and you will likely hit a different stage with new challenges.
Reminding yourself that there is light at the end of the tunnel will help you be more patient in those very difficult times.
Ironically, sometimes I miss those sleepless newborn nights after I’ve spent 10 hours of my day arguing with a stubborn and defiant three year old!
In today’s society, moms seem to think we need to be doing so much for our kids which only leaves us burned out and overwhelmed.
I’ve learned this the hard way.
What kids need more than anything is a mom who is present, relaxed and engaged.
Not a mom who is constantly stressing out over preparing Pinterest worthy baby meals and crafts.
85% of my fancy crafts and meals end up a flop and I’ve realized how the simple things matter most to them.
Learning to just be in the moment and forget about trying to be a Pinterest mom takes a lot of pressure out of parenting.
Don’t Stress About Milestones
I promise you your toddler won’t go to college with a binki, they will eventually stop wetting the bed , and if they don’t walk as early as you think they should, I promise you they will learn to walk!
While children do have milestones they need to reach, having expectations of what your child “should” be doing compared to your friends little ones is only going to stress you out.
My first two babies didn’t walk until about 13-14 months and my oldest was 4.5 before she gave up her binki. But she did it on her terms and when she was ready.
Try not to rush your little ones through each stage because there is a good chance you will regret it.
I definitely didn’t want to push them to grow up faster than they already were!
Be Confident That You Know Your Child Best
Everyone, and I literally mean EVERYONE will have advice, tips and opinions on how to raise your baby.
However, YOU are the only expert your baby needs.
Trust your gut!
You know your baby better than anyone.
Take what you hear with a grain of salt and apply what you think would benefit you and your baby best.
More Random Tips For First Time Moms
- Get out of the house every day! Whether it’s just a walk or two around the block or a trip to the grocery store, getting out of the house does wonders for your sanity.
- Don’t tip-toe around a sleeping baby. The womb is loud and baby’s are used to noise.
- Keep your baby awake during feedings. Eating makes babies sleepy but it’s not a good habit for them to associate eating to go to sleep. This is a hard habit to break later.
- Babies get overstimulated easily. While it is good practice to get your baby out of the house so they can see the world around them, it is also very easy for them to get overstimulated. If your baby is more fussy than usual in a new environment, it could be because they are overstimulated.
- Resist the urge to Google every little thing, you will end up with more anxiety than it’s worth!
- Dawn dish soap is an excellent way to get remove blowout stains.
- Leaving the house will take FOREVER. Definitely plan ahead.
- Avoid button up PJ’s at all cost. They take forever to get on your little one.
- It’s okay if you let a baby cry a little bit. It isnt going to hurt them if you need a second to breath.
- Do not put rice cereal in your baby’s bottle to sleep better. It doesn’t help and it is not healthy or safe. It’s a choking hazard.
- Let dad help! It is easy for us to feel like we have to do everything but allowing dad to help will make him feel needed (which men love).
Final Thoughts On Tips For New Moms
Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, but also the most amazing blessing!
Somedays seem much easier than others but no matter what, know that you are doing any amazing job and you are NEVER alone!
Brooke is a certified Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Specialist with a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. She is also a mom of 3 girls with more than 15 years of experience in health and fitness. Brooke’s goal at Struggles of a Fit Mom is to help motivate, educate and inspire other busy mamas who struggle with finding time, energy and motivation to take care of themselves in the chaos of motherhood.