Friday, March 21, 2014

Five Tips for New Moms!

So, you've found out your pregnant! Congratulations! Right now you are probably feeling an overwhelming amount of joy, fear, worry, or a mix of all three! Let me tell ya, you are not alone!!

I went through many phases of emotions during my pregnancy with Aria, and now that I'm 15 months into this motherhood thing, I feel like I need to share some of my tips with those of you who are currently where I was a year and a half ago!

1. Don't buy your baby every baby item known to man! They really don't need a lot!

     My "baby supply" list was about a mile long! Diapers, wipes, clothes, crib, bottles, bottle warmer, bottle washing thing for the dishwasher (no, I don't know what it's called ha), bottle drying rack, pacifiers, blankets, swings, mobiles, nursery decor, you name it...if it can be found at Babies R' Us, it was on my list! As time came to actually purchase these items, I narrowed it down to what my baby would actually need in her first few months of life and all of a sudden, having a baby in the house seemed like it would be a little less stressful! I am the type of person that gets stressed and a little depressed when I am surrounded with mess and clutter (which unfortunately happens too often in my home.) So the less baby stuff I had laying around waiting to be used, the better. Stick with the necessities and buy what your baby needs as your baby grows. Your wallet and sanity will thank you! (However, if you find an insanely good deal on something that you know your baby will need, get it asap and make sure you have a place to store it away out of sight until it's needed!)

2. Have a parenting plan, but be prepared and open to changing it daily!

     I decided while I was pregnant that I was not going to co-sleep. From what I read, it seemed unsafe and not practical for my families living situation. That plan flew out the door the first night home from the hospital! Co-sleeping ended up being the only way we could actually get any sleep around here on some nights! Now, I'm not saying that it will be like this with every plan you make, but you and your baby are about to go through a life long learning process, and it will be much less stressful for both of you if you are willing to make changes to your plans when necessary. It's just like they always say, "never say never!" I'm going to have Justin Bieber stuck in my head all day!

3. Trust your instincts! Mom knows best!

     You have probably heard this time and time again, but it really is true! You don't really understand the term 'motherly instincts' until you have a child. No matter what advice you are given (even in this very blog post,) whether it is solicited or not, always remember that no one knows your baby better than you! If you think your baby needs to go to bed by a certain time, then do it! Don't let any friend or family member or even parenting expert, tell you otherwise. My baby needed to be in bed between 6 and 6:30 pm, otherwise we couldn't get her down until closer to midnight! That makes for a tired baby, and two exhausted parents! Everyone said I was crazy, and said I should gently push her bedtime closer to 7 or 8. Nope! Not happening! I knew when my baby was ready for bed, and that was what worked best for us, so that's what we did! Just remember that as soon as you become pregnant, every person that's ever had, cared for, or even looked at a child will suddenly become an "expert." Just ignore when necessary!

4. Be prepared to take care of yourself physically and mentally, just as much as you are preparing to take care of your baby.

     This is one that I wish I would have focused on more while I was pregnant. You hear about postpartum depression and all the items you need to help your body heal, but you don't really think a whole lot about them. You are thinking about your baby and everything he/she needs and how much he/she will cry or how much he/she will eat and sleep etc etc. Rightfully so, the baby is the exciting part in all this! It's not fun to think about PPD, or tearing, or c-section scars, or nipple blisters and mastitis! The baby isn't the only one being born here. You are being reborn as a brand new mom. With that comes a lot of changes. Maybe physically, maybe mentally, but most likely both. When I wrote about the day Aria was born, I left out a lot of stuff that happened after her birth. Mainly because when I read that, I want to be reminded of all the happiness I felt that day! But I spent her whole first day of life in the hospital writhing in pain. I thought I had a UTI and my doctor didn't believe me. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't shower, I couldn't even really hold or enjoy my newborn baby! It wasn't until the next day they realized I was dealing with some very serious urinary retention (I never even thought of that as a possibility while I was pregnant) and I spent her second whole day/night of life attached to a catheter. I know, this is some really fun stuff to talk about, huh? I don't know how common that situation is, but it threw me for a loop and definitely put a damper on this exciting new chapter of my life. That, followed by another hospital stay for Aria's jaundice, accompanied with a few very frustrating doctors visits, and that threw me straight into some PPD. Ladies...I know it's not fun to think about these things, and you are probably saying "that wont happen to me" and I truly hope it doesn't! But just in case, do your research, get familiar with all possibilities, and be as prepared as possible for them.

5. Accept help when it is offered to you!
     This was another one that was difficult for me! I am a very independent person. I don't like help. I want to do anything and everything on my own. Especially when it came to baby! I brought this baby into the world, so now I need to do anything and everything on my own. Well, if you are blessed to have family and friends who want to help you out at all, let go of your independence for once in your life and let them in! Maybe they want to cook you dinner, or help clean your house, or maybe they want to snuggle your baby for a few minutes so you can go take a shower. Just say yes! You will have plenty of time for the rest of your life to be your independent self. Now is not the time! Enjoy that shower, honey! You deserve it...and let's be probably need it very badly haha!

Motherhood is definitely a change, but it doesn't have to be a scary one! Follow these tips, and I'm sure it will be a much better experience for you and your new baby!

Do you have any tips for a new mom?? Leave them in the comment section!


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