Hey mama! I see you!
Being a first time mom can be overwhelming, and I hear the second or third time around isn’t a walk in the park either. So if you are feeling overwhelmed, or if you feel like you don’t know what to do, take a step back, breathe, and know that it’s totally ok.
Motherhood is fun, fulfilling, and… exhausting. For all new mamas out there, here are my best new mom tips to love and thrive in motherhood.
These first time mom tips are based on my personal experience, and although it is based on personal experience, I do believe you will find value in this and be able to implement some of these things in your life so you can be the best mom you can be to your little bub!
You might cry all the time after having your baby, and that’s okay.
All those hormones raging through your body right after giving birth will do this to you. Add that to the fact that your life has changed forever (you’re a mom now, afterall!) and this will definitely bring tears to your eyes!
Although this is totally normal, and you may find yourself having a case of postpartum anxiety, you should definitely check in with yourself constantly because you don’t want this to turn into postpartum depression.
What I’ve found really helps to keep your emotions at bay and not go into postpartum depression territory is to find a purpose, or something else to keep your mind occupied, instead of just having your world revolve around your baby. For example, for me, I was able to keep feeling fulfilled after having my baby because I found the Seint Artist Program.
Leave some time for yourself
I know it seems like a difficult ask, but hear me out here. I just mean don’t overbook yourself. With grandparents constantly wanting to see the baby, and all the family members, close friends, and siblings wanting to visit, it’s easy to overbook yourself. This is especially true in the newborn stage when everyone wants to see the new baby. But establish your boundaries and learn to say no if you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t want to see anyone for a few days. Trust me, they will understand!
Ask for help
When they say “it takes a village”, it is absolutely true. Don’t try to keep everything to yourself, or try to be a superwoman and do everything yourself. I know it seems harder than it seems, especially if you’re the only one staying at home with your baby day in and day out. But if you have relatives close by, or even close friends you can count on, ask them for help: whether it’s taking care of your baby for a couple of hours, or maybe accepting food that your family is giving you because they cooked extra, don’t be too proud to accept these things because these little things do help sustain your mental health!
Have a diaper caddy
This is one of my top new mom tips: have a diaper caddy. This was truly something I didn’t think about before I gave birth. My mom was actually the one who put together my diaper caddy for me, and after she did, I was so thankful and I ended up using it everyday.
Soon after having my baby, I soon realized that my diaper changing mat was, to put it lightly, pretty much useless. Maybe because our baby’s room is upstairs and we are usually in the living room downstairs, but we probably used our diaper changing mat once. When we do have to change our baby’s diapers, it’s usually on the couch downstairs, or on our bed when we’re upstairs. That’s why a diaper caddy is so useful because it has all the things you need to change your baby’s diapers no matter where you are in your home.
Here are the things to put in your diaper caddy:
- Diaper rash cream
- Diaper mat
- Baby lotion
- Vitamin D drops (if breastfeeding)
If breastfeeding: have a breastfeeding caddy or station
The first few weeks breastfeeding can be so difficult: not only does it HURT, but it also seems like it’s all you do. This is especially true if you are trying to increase supply. For me, my daily routine during the first few weeks breastfeeding basically looked like this: feed, pump, repeat. It was so hard.
What made things easier for me is having a breastfeeding caddy that has everything I need to breastfeed. These are the things I had in it:
- Hydrogel pads
- Extra nursing pads
- Lactation snacks
- Nipple cream
- Portable breast pump
- Phone charger
Speaking of… if you are going to breastfeed, your going to need a…
Portable breast pump
The number one first time mom tips I have if you are breastfeeding is definitely to invest in a portable breast pump. I’ve tried using a plug in breast pump, and honestly it was fine for the first month because I had my mom stay with me. She basically did everything around the house for me so I was able to sit in a corner tied to a plug in breast pump. But when she left, I quickly found out how limiting a plug in breast pump is. The days literally flew by with me sitting in the couch tied to the breast pump. I thought, there must be another way. And so I searched everywhere for an affordable breast pump. Luckily, I found momcozy portable breast pumps which are a fraction of the cost of the leading portable breast pumps out there. It’s so much more convenient because you can literally pump wherever you are!
Newborn mom tips: Get a baby carrier
This one is so essential especially if your baby won’t stop crying if you put them down. It was thanks to my baby carrieds that I was able to get anything done around the house – especially on the days when my baby is extra clingy!
Leave baby with someone you trust for a few hours
If you can, leave your baby with someone you trust so they can take care of your baby for a few hours. Not only is it good for your mental health, but you can get so much done when you have a few hours to yourself! Get laundry, cooking, cleaning done and off your list! Or if you don’t want to do chores, you can at least nap for a few hours without interruption, or take a nice long bath!
It’s ok to let baby cry
I know it’s hard not to pick up your baby when he/she is crying incessantly, but I promise you, it’s ok to let them cry, especially if they are just crying so you’d pick them up. Obviously, I know I don’t have to mention this, but make sure they don’t have a soiled diaper and make sure they’re not hungry first.
Do chores when baby is awake
If you are scrambling to do chores while your baby is sleeping, let me tell you, you don’t have to do this. I used to feed my baby, very carefully put her down onto the baby swing to sleep, and then run around the house trying to finish all the chores I can while she’s asleep. This left me so exhausted, because when she woke up, I had to play with her and carry her, and next thing you know, the whole day’s done and I felt exhausted.
If this sounds like you, stop. Don’t wait until your baby is sleeping to do chores. It’s actually best to do your chores while your baby is awake and when they can see you so that they can also be inclined to join you to do the chores when they are a little older. Plus, if you do this, you will also be able to relax when your baby is taking a nap.
Bring baby to the bathroom so you can shower
If taking a shower is one o f the things you try to squeeze in your day while your baby is napping, I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way.
Truth be told, I never actually took a shower while my baby was taking a nap because I’m afraid the baby will wake up while I’m halfway through showering. So what I used to do was wait for my husband to come home before taking a shower. This also posed its own problems because he comes home late sometimes, so it makes for a very late bedtime all around.
What I’ve found works for me is to bring my baby in the washroom in her baby swing and let her sit there (with her seat belt on of course) while I shower. I talk to her here and there so she doesn’t think she’s alone, but for the most part, it’s worked really well and I’m able to take my time to shower.
Another option is to bring a mat in the washroom and let your baby lie on the floor to play by herself while you shower. Whichever option you go with, bringing your baby in the washroom will allow you to take your time in the shower!
Do your makeup
It seems so trivial, and you might be wondering why I added this to my list of mom tips. It might seem so silly especially if you’re going to stay at home all day with your baby. I mean your baby won’t judge you if you don’t have your makeup on, right?!
That’s true. Honestly though, just taking the time to get myself put together (ie. putting makeup on and getting dressed) actually helps me get up and going in the morning. This is one of the reasons why I am so grateful to have found the easiest makeup to put on! It makes getting ready in the morning so fun.
Go for a walk with baby
If the weather outside calls for it, take your baby outside in your baby carrier or stroller to get some fresh air. If you’ve been stuck inside for a few days you might find that you have cabin fever and are going crazy inside the house. So go outside and get fresh air! It’s good for the body and mind!
Cook enough for 2 to 3 days
I would say meal prep, but let’s be honest here, as new moms, it’s already so hard to get the days straight, let along plan meals for the whole week. Instead, take off a bit of pressure from having to figure out what’s going to be for dinner, by cooking in large batches and cooking enough to last for two to three days. For example, as a Filipino household, I usually cook enough rice for three days. Then. I make the main part of the meal (the ‘ulam’) in large batches so we can just warm up food for the next two days.
Ask your husband for help – his day off is your day off too
Establish a rule with your husband that when it’s his day off, it should be your day off too. This is what I do with my husband and it honestly helps a lot. Starting Friday nights, he’s on diaper duty. As a breastfeeding mom, I am still on feeding duty. But if you’re bottle feeding, you can also delegate this task to your partner when he’s off work. This is so helpful so you can have time off and relax from taking care of your baby.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself too, mama! Growing a baby is no joke, and after giving birth, you can be sure that your body is depleted of all the nutrients it needs in order to make baby. This is why I suggest you continue taking your prenatal vitamins a few months after giving birth. But if you are already well into your motherhood and your baby is no longer a newborn, I still suggest continuing to take your multivitamins. This is because taking care of a child is no joke! And at the end of the day, you still have to take care of you. It’s not selfish – it’s to ensure that you are able to continue to take care of your baby for years to come.
Do what you love – take up a hobby
This might seem like a huge ask. I mean, you’re taking care of your home, you might also be working already, and you have a baby to boot. I mean, you really are pressed for time.
But if you do find yourself with enough time to scroll through social media for a few hours a day, you can definitely take the time to take up a hobby.
This is what I did with the Seint Artist Program. I love beauty and makeup, and by signing up as a Seint Artist, I not only have an excuse to put on makeup everyday, but I get to make money off it too! And, I found that because I have a goal of posting a beauty/makeup content everyday, I actually am able to manage my time more efficiently. Because I want to be able to create and post content, I have a “purpose” other than taking care of baby. This ‘distraction’ honestly helps me have a balanced lifestyle, and I have never felt better.
Invite friends over so you can have adult conversations
Before my maternity leave, I was actually quite excited to have the time off and just focus on being a good mom. But that grows old very quickly and I quickly found myself in need of adult conversations. Don’t isolate yourself, mama! I know I said earlier not to overbook yourself, but if you don’t keep yourself in check, you might find yourself in the other extreme where your may isolate yourself from the world. After the newborn stage, people will inevitably get on with their day to day and might forget to check on you. Don’t be offended by this and just remember that everyone had their own lives to live. What I suggest you do instead is to be the one to reach out: invite friends over so they can play with baby and also so you can have some interactions with people other than your baby and your husband.
Be intentional with your time
It’s so easy to get carried away with the day to day and just go with the flow. Maybe you put Netflix on one day and you find that the day has flown by. Or maybe you find yourself playing with your baby, feeding, bathing, and now it’s dinner time. It happens to the best of us. But what you can do is to be intentional with your time so that at the end of the day you’re not wondering what you did the whole day.
Plan out your day
This goes hand in hand with being intentional with your time. When you get up in the morning, take out your notepad or your phone and note down your five to do’s today. That way you have a small blueprint of how you want to structure your day.
Dont forget to eat
Lastly, don’t forget to eat! With all the things you want to do and all the things on your to do list, you might find yourself looking at the clock at 3pm wondering where the time went. I know this has happened to me more than a few times. Sometimes I realize too late that I’ve pretty much missed my meals because I was so focused on the baby and what I had to do to keep my home clean. This is my reminder to you that you shouldn’t forget to eat, mama! Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, you need to have the energy to be able to take care of your household and take care of your child. So don’t skimp out on any meals.
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