Sure, you’ve heard some really great advice already about expecting your new bundle of joy –don’t forget to sleep, accept a helping hand, remember to date your husband, and make some time for yourself. But what about those bits no one tells you? Here’s some great new mother advice you might not have heard.
- Take pictures even if you look frumpy. You will hate those pictures in the moment, but when you look back in a year, you will cherish them. As your child grows up, he or she will want to see you in the pictures as well.
- Keep an emergency kit in the car. It doesn’t have to be a big one but it should have the essentials in case you run out of something or the weather changes.
- Invest in a quality baby monitor, preferably one with video. Quality baby monitors offer better sound and extra features such as being able to place multiple monitors around the house, which is especially helpful in the toddler years.
- Use your phone’s notepad. When your baby reaches a milestone jot it down. Then, when you have time, you can mark the milestone in your baby book.
- That being said, don’t stress over milestones. Schedule regular checkups to verify that your baby is in the healthy range for weight, social skills and motor development. Otherwise, don’t fret over missed or delayed milestones such as crawling.
- Plug bath toys with a hot glue gun. If you don’t, water will seep in through the hole in the bottom and grow mold.
- Teach your baby to self soothe. Lay your baby down for a nap when he or she is awake but sleepy and give them an item that comforts them. This is recommended only once your baby understands that you will return–typically age 6 months and up.
- Invest in a quality thermometer. Top-of-the line thermometers such as those from Braun are fast, accurate and more comfortable for your baby.
- Buy an inexpensive breathable bumper. A breathable bumper is lightweight and machine washable. It lets you see your baby at a glance, and lets your baby breathe through it.
- Establish a bedtime routine. Start your routine at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Often, this is when your baby is the calmest. A bath will help relax them even more. If they do not need a bath, rub them down with bedtime lotion and sing or talk to them calmly. Use dim lighting to help your baby distinguish bedtime from daytime.
- Tape record your baby. Remembering that adorable coo and that precious laugh is hard to remember when by looking at a photograph.
- Swaddle your baby. Babies like feeling secure. Make sure your post-partum nurse shows you how to swaddle or purchase a swaddler. When nothing else seems to make your newborn happy, swaddle them. Sleep sacks also work as an alternative.
- Buy an electric swing. Automatic swings will soothe your baby and free up a bit of your time. The electric powered ones are best since you won’t be constantly running out of batteries.
- Keep your favorite moms on speed dial. Your own mom and other new moms can often give priceless advice on what works for them as well as tips on current baby-raising techniques. If you don’t know any moms, there are plenty of support groups in your community or online for new moms or breastfeeding moms.
- When posting your baby’s pictures to Facebook, place a date at the bottom that it was taken. This helps in keeping up with images and your baby book.
- Take an infant care class. Even the most intelligent people require help when it comes to baby basics. Plus, your partner will learn a lot as well!
- Don’t beat yourself up if breastfeeding is not for you. If it’s taking too much out of you, you are NOT a bad mom if you use formula.
Enjoy getting to know your baby. While it may seem that the busy feeding schedule and late nights will last forever, they really won’t! Bask in the glow of motherhood. You have brought a new life into the world, and every day you contribute to your baby’s future well-being and sense of self. So relax and enjoy your great achievement!
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com