Something that all new moms must contend with is advice from others. You don’t necessarily ask for it, or even want it, but people will offer it regardless. I think my biggest pet peeve is a random lady, presumably a mother, offering her advice on why my child is crying in the grocery store. There is nothing to do but smile and perhaps give a forced smile and a little chuckle. It’s practically impossible to politely decline advice, so moms take it all with a grain of salt and pretend it’s awesome and you’ve never heard it before.
People tell me all the time ‘you don’t have to shower everyday’ excuse me!?!?!?! No I shower multiple times a day, in the beginning it was all that made me feel like a real life human. Shave your legs too. It’s gross to be laid up and exhausted and feel those nasty oh hairy legs touching each other. Or your poor husband’s legs, he’s been through enough already.
‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’. Hmm in those first few weeks I did this, after that I just couldn’t. I have 2 dogs and a household to run, so scratch all this napping. Perhaps a couple times a week try to nap when the baby does. It’ll help you catch up on your sleep and the house won’t begin to grow hairy mold in the process.
Wake your baby every 3 hours for feedings. I disagree with this (unless your doctor says otherwise) babies are not stupid. They’re gonna wake up if they are hungry, it is basically they’re only purpose in life to eat sleep and poop.
‘Sleep out of your room away from your husband with the baby’. Why? Who wants to be out of their bed for no good reason? No one, I’m sure not sleeping in the guest bed or on the couch to not disturb my husband, he is a 50% partner in this little mess so he can sure help.
‘Don’t stock up on diapers you don’t know what size your baby will be’ ok E wore newborn size diapers for 3 months and then size 1s for 3 months. I didn’t buy newborn diapers because everyone said ‘she will grow out of them sooo fast’ HA she has a tiny butt like her mom, she didn’t have that ba-donk-a-donk to hold up a bigger diaper. I spent countless amounts and time going to the store to buy more newborn diapers. If worse comes to worse and you have too many re-gift them. You will surely know someone having a baby soon.
Then there is the advice that helped me and will probably help you too as a new mom.
‘ Take time for yourself’ ,really do. It’s hard to accept that your body and your whole world has just changed beyond cognition in a matter of days. The surge of hormones and lack thereof at this point cause bouts of depression commonly referred to as the baby blues. It is scary to feel so sad and wonder why you aren’t happier, you brought a new life into this world. Take a looong hot bubble bath, go get a haircut or massage or a mani/pedi and relax. I wish I would have taken this advice more seriously in the beginning.
‘Start a bedtime routine at or around 3 months’ this was magical for me. Knowing that baby will go down at X time gives you something to look forward to at the end of the day.
‘Don’t compare yourself to other moms (unless you think you are doing a better job of course)’. I think this speaks for itself pretty well, just because a friend’s baby is sleeping 11 hours through the night and yours is sleeping 5 doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. ‘Trust your instincts’ this one was easy enough for me. I couldn’t let her cry it out for months. I refused to, it was sad and I knew she was depending on me for comfort so I did just that. And then she began to advance more quickly than other babies I knew around the same age. The proof is in the pudding do what you know is right for you and baby.
‘Don’t buy tons of baby junk’ yup there is so much needless crap out there. Do you really want a diaper pail that swirls poop diapers around and then sits in your kid’s room. That is disgusting.
‘Keep calm’ yah the baby can totally sense your frustration or anxiety. So just breathe slowly and count to 10. You being calm helps her stay calm and comforted which makes life easier. The little nugget is sensitive to you and your frustrations and being pushed out into this cold world was hard enough on the little booger.
‘Don’t forget your husband’ while you’re bonding with baby, the hubs is being neglected. Most men are big babies, and they are used to getting your undivided attention and love. You are now focusing on this tiny helpless human more than anything else and that’s a big change for him. Make sure to have him feel included in this new family dynamic, invite him to help with things that he can do like bath time, rocking baby to sleep, or a diaper change. Don’t forget to nurture your marriage with some sexy time (after the doctor approves it of course, and you’re ready) and cuddle time. Remember when it was just 2 of you and there was snuggling and movie watching (sleeping until noon on the weekends) and quiet dinners. Try to find time for that after baby goes down, or have a sitter.