Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an amazing journey known as motherhood. There’s nothing quite a rewarding, strange, grounding, and frightening as becoming a mother for the first time.
While the fear is healthy, it does help to educate yourself a little bit on what becoming a mother for the first time entails.
We put together a guide of five super healthy tips for first time moms to help take some of the guesswork out of motherhood.
Check out this helpful first time mom guide below!
Some of these first time mom tips might surprise you.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Keep The Fans Waiting
Immediately after the birth, your family and friends are probably bursting at the seems to meet the baby.
Just because you’re a first time mom doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to set boundaries with people and there are some things new mamas want visitors to know.
You and your partner may want to spend some personal time alone with your first ever child. That’s perfectly fine. It may even be beneficial to the baby. Maybe there are reasons beyond just being alone that you want to avoid visitors right away.
Right after birth is also important if you are nursing and you will want to establish that latch and begin understanding this new nursing relationship in the first few days.
Newborns are very alert immediately after they are born. This could be the right time to talk to them, make eye contact, and start skin to skin care. This is a special bonding, as well as learning time for all of you.
4. Remember That You Have A Right To Breastfeed Just About Anywhere You Want
It’s a sad and unfortunate thing that our society sees breasts as strictly sexual objects that should be hidden away, rather than something that literally feeds our children.
This strange culture hatred of public breastfeeding has led to horror stories from moms about being shamed publicly for feeding their child.
As a first time mom, it’s important to be brave. Sure, you can breastfeed your baby in a gross public bathroom stall, surrounded by germs and isolation because some people are uncomfortable at the sight of a boob. But if you wouldn’t want to eat in a toilet stall, do you think your baby would?
Whether you’re dealing with unsupportive family and friends or are afraid of being shamed in public for feeding your baby when they are hungry, stay strong. You have a right to breastfeed your hungry newborn anywhere you might be.
It’s also important to know that children up to six years old can benefit from breastfeeding. Whether you or your child is willing to go that long is up to you. However, Western countries seem to have the greatest taboos about how long one should breastfeed compared to the rest of the world. While US mothers stop breastfeeding around six months, the rest of the world’s mothers continue to breastfeed until around two years on average.
3. Set Baby Bedtime Rituals
It may seem better to let things happen naturally and organically. There is even the concept of “free range” parenting where things just go with the flow. However, sleep times should remain consistent, and if you can get this down, you may be thanking yourself later.
Committing to a schedule and sticking to it will help your baby learn to expect things to happen. If your baby is really having a hard time with sleeping on a routine schedule, try doing a few “cool down” activities before bed.
These can include any of the following:
- Lullabies and soft songs
- Prayer time
- Rocking chair lulling
- Nursing baby to sleep
Doing these activities consistently before bed can help your baby associate them with sleepiness.
Sleeping close to your baby is also a great way to help them regulate their heart rate and stress levels.
2. Car Seat 101
Most first time moms go through the classes and spend hours on Google learning about the nooks and crannies of being a mom. This includes everything from how to use a breast pump, how to establish milk supply, to how to change a diaper.
However, one baby device tends to be forgotten– the car seat. This can be a huge pain when you’re ready to come home from the hospital with baby and realize you have no idea how to set the thing up.
Here’s a quick guide:
- If baby was born in colder months, all the clothes they are wearing may not allow the car seat harness to fit right. Put your baby in the car seat with fewer clothes and cover with blankets afterward.
- The car seat clip should be parallel with baby’s armpits.
- The car seat harness should be secure but not too tight around baby’s hips and shoulders.
- Install the seat at approximately a forty-five-degree angle. We want the baby’s head to tilt back, not flop forward and hurt their neck.
- Always test the seat before putting baby inside. Punch it, push it hard, jiggle it. The seat shouldn’t move more than a few centimeters when properly installed.
There! Not so hard, right? If you’re still concerned, you can have a certified safety expert evaluate proper installation.
1. Prevent SIDS
SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is a terrifying and heartbreaking syndrome that affects 2,500 families every year in the US.
Thankfully, SIDS has declined dramatically. But that probably doesn’t ease the mind of a first time mom and we totally understand.
- There are many things linked to the prevention of SIDS that you can do as a first time mom:
- Sleeping close to your baby has been linked to preventing SIDS. Sleeping with you baby is ill-advised– try investing in a bedside bassinet so baby can be close to you at night.
- When in the crib, always put your baby on their back on firm padding. Over-plush mattresses, couches, and pillows should always been avoided, no matter when or where your baby sleeps.
- Don’t keep super fluffy blankets or stuffed soft toys in your baby’s crib.
- Always make sure your baby’s head is uncovered while they sleep.
- Talk to your physician to learn more and get real expert advice on what you should be doing
In summary, keep going mama and know you are doing an amazing job! Stay consistent and don’t worry if you can’t get it all done. In addition, create a third trimester checklist to get a few more things done in preparation for baby. Little by little it will all come together as you start this new beautiful and learning journey of motherhood.