Are you a new mom? Let me tell you, being a new mama is not for the faint of heart. It is hard and you need people by your side! I wrote this post, 5 Tips and Encouragement Every New Mom Needs to Know, hoping it would help just even one mama awake at 2 am feeding her baby.
I can’t believe my sweet baby is 1!
This past year taught me that God gives mothers a special instinct. It is as if the umbilical cord is still present, sending signals to your heart and brain about your baby.
I learned that mothers have some kind of primal instinct to know what her baby needs, why she needs it, and when.
Sometimes it might feel like your baby is crying and you just don’t know why. But magically, when a stranger asks why your baby is crying, you’d most likely be able to give an answer from some deep spot in your subconscious.
That answer seemingly comes out of nowhere, like a small whisper.
I’ve learned to really listen to that small whisper in my heart.
99.9% of the time that small whisper was exactly what Caroline needed.
Once I realized to listen to my gut and not everyone else’s opinions around me, little problems became easy to solve.
Listen to your Gut
Some moments when I listened
When Caroline first arrived, she was losing weight fast, jaundiced, and was not breastfeeding properly.
In my gut, I knew something was wrong. But the medical staff at the hospital couldn’t give me a reason why she was not breastfeeding.
So it was left up to me and my husband to begin the process of figuring it out. After consulting specialists, we learned she had a posterior tongue tie and needed feeding therapy. And after many trips to therapy and doctor visits (including a pediatric dentist even though she had no teeth), she was able to breastfeed at 3 months old and still continues to this day! (I am actually beginning the weaning process now.)
I also learned to listen to my gut when I thought she was sick, tired, needed a new bedtime/nap time, dropped a nap, needed more food, less food, or just wanted to stay home and play or get out and see the world.
Those are some of the moments and they happen every day.
Learn to trust yourself and listen to your gut, mama!
Sleep Routines are so Important
Listen, sleep means a lot to me!
As my husband was driving me to the hospital to give birth, I was crying. The reason? I was so afraid of losing sleep!
I know, that sounds crazy and selfish, but I was truly worried. And Caroline’s first couple of weeks were pretty hard on the sleeping front.
Caroline’s feeding issues were part of the problem, so she was not getting the nutrition she needed and was hungry. But the other part of the problem was our lack of gameplan for sleep routines.
Let’s just say we were up a lot and I was exhausted.
Unfortunately, when I was pregnant, I did not read any books about what to expect for sleeping after the baby was born. It was weird that I didn’t because I’m usually overprepared.
As a result of our sleepless nights, I was downloading all kinds of sleep-help books (not self-help, lol, sleep-help) from the library app, Libby, onto my Kindle, and reading all the time. I finally came up with our own little sleep routines and habits, which work wonderfully now.
Is Caroline a perfect sleeper? No, but she does a pretty good job of putting herself to sleep and sleeping through the night.
My suggestion: read sleep books for babies and get your baby on a routine.
And if you want, contact a sleep specialist. I highly recommend doing so. We ended up doing this down the road and she was worth every minute.
Here is a contact for the sleep specialist we worked with and still do.
My suggestion: read sleep books for babies and get your baby on a routine. I will have a post on my favorite books soon!
Enjoy the moment you are in with your Baby
Time goes so fast!
I can’t believe Caroline is a year old already!
When I was pregnant, one of the best pieces of advice I was given was to really enjoy the time with my infant.
The woman who gave me that advice told me that, with her first child, she tried to get back to doing things around the house soon after birth, but with her second baby, she laid around and relaxed more for the first 3 months. She regretted not taking that time with her first.
I took her advice and it was so wonderful to spend time cuddling with Caroline, enjoying the sweet sleepy moments with her instead of worrying about getting projects done or having a perfectly cleaned house.
I learned to just relax, heal, enjoy my little bundle of joy, and finish a Netflix series or two. 😉
I am so happy my friend shared her insight with me. And I’m even more thankful that I planned to relax during those first 3 months.
Don’t be afraid of ashamed to reach our and ask for help
Motherhood has taught me to be vulnerable and honest in asking for help/advice from my friends and family. It is hard to do this, but it is so important.
In the beginning of Caroline’s life, I was on the phone with my mom multiple times a day asking questions, telling her about everything, and, yes, crying to her.
I also was texting a lot with a sweet friend of mine, Kristen. She has two older children and one Caroline’s age (also named Caroline!). She was one of my greatest supporters because she was in the trenches herself and had been there twice before.
She was so kind and reached out to me when I didn’t know I needed it. I honestly asked her a million and one questions and I couldn’t be more grateful for her 2 a.m. text replies! She’s the best!
I can’t emphasize it enough! Let people in and reach out to pull them in.
The first weeks of being a new mom are so beautiful yet so hard. Please don’t let them go by without asking for help and advice.
And by the way, it doesn’t end.
I still remind myself to pick up the phone and call or text a friend to ask questions—and lots of them!
Your girlfriends and female family members have a lot of wisdom to give, so ask for it.
Even if you don’t follow it right away, it might be useful for the next crazy motherhood moment, which is probably right around the corner.
And last but not least for my 5 Tips and Encouragement Every New Mom Needs to Know….
be patient and don’t compare
We all know that life isn’t perfect. And that goes for your baby, too.
There are so many books and statistics about the first few years of life that it is overwhelming.
I think it is important to read books and articles about your baby’s growth and development, but you have to remind yourself that your baby is a human, not a robot. They will do their own thing.
Yes, there will be a lot of things they do within the normal statistics and growth patterns, but your baby may do something before or after the statistically “normal” time for milestones. And that’s okay.
Be open to how your baby is growing and developing.
Stay abreast with what is healthy and normal, but know that your baby will grow, change and develop as their little body allows.
Listen to your pediatrician and your maternal instincts.
But just remember that no two babies are the same.
So if there is anything I could say to new mamas out there, here it is:
5 Tips and Encouragement Every New Mom Needs to Know:
- Listen to your gut
- Sleep routines are amazing
- Enjoy the moment
- Ask for help
- Be patient and don’t compare
This journey of motherhood is amazing!
I think it is one of the best, most exhausting gifts God has given me, and I am forever grateful for it!
It has every emotion in it and I know it only gets better and crazier!
So here’s to all you first time moms like me; let’s enjoy it!