What I Wish I Knew As a First Time Mom
You can read all the books and blogs in the world, but nothing quite prepares you for motherhood until your amazing little one is here. We've teamed up with some fantastic veteran mamas to compile this great list of advice for first time moms. We hope this wisdom helps you feel even the smallest bit more confident and prepared as you anticipate motherhood. We hope you laugh, cry, and find joy in these amazing nuggets of wisdom.
"It's ok to cry and call for help, hormones will drive you crazy the first months!"
"It always works out...when things feels stressful or you're tired, or the baby is crying and things feel overwhelming...I always tell myself that it all works out, and nothing lasts forever. This too shall pass!"
"It’s ok not to fall in love with your baby the first time you see her/him, sometimes it takes a few weeks, but when it comes, you cannot imagine loving another being any more."
"Rest, ask for help, rely on others, don’t try to be superhuman...you need time to recover."
"Listen to your gut, even when others around you give you contradicting advice."
"You are everything your baby needs, more than enough, whatever that means for your baby/family. Don’t stress that the way you get them to sleep or the way you get through a feeding or a meal will impact their future outcome in life as a grown child or adult. Wear your baby, get outside, soak up the sun, surround yourself with other mommas that have been there. Seek breastfeeding support if that’s the route you’re taking!"
"It's ok that your partner might have a different way of doing things. If it works, then more power to them. And remember, the house won't burn down and the baby will be ok if you leave them with your partner to get some sanity."
"Take home EVERYTHING the hospital will let you!! It will be a lifesaver more than you think! I literally took every pad, diaper, peribottle, and pair of panties they would give me!"
"YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE IF THINGS DO NOT GO AS PLANNED! I wanted to breastfeed longer than I did, but it was a struggle for me."
"What every kid wants is to know that you light up when they walk in the room. See them and love them for who they are."
"More than likely, you will wear maternity clothes home from the hospital. You don't magically lose all that weight when you have the baby and won't be fitting into regular clothes quite yet. Give yourself grace."
"There is no 'perfect/right' swing, bouncer, playpen, crib. Don't stress about that stuff and just get what you like."
"You might poop during labor. No one will judge you or even tell you if it happens. You are pushing with the other side of the same muscles you poop with, so it's totally normal."
"No one prepared me for how much I was going to sweat in the couple of weeks after giving birth. I was drenched in the middle of the night, and I ended up putting towels down so I could cut down on washing my sheets what felt like continuously."
"Prepare frozen meals ahead of time that can be thrown in the crock pot easily, especially if your partner cannot cook well."
"This is especially true after your next baby, but it might be worth noting for your first! Your uterus tries to go back down to place really fast, and you'll subsequently have mini contractions after birth. They are more uncomfortable every time but with a Tylenol and a heating pad, they are manageable."
"Don't take castor oil. Just don't."
"Remember to just enjoy them, the dishes and laundy can wait. Our time with them is precious and so little, so get down and play with them. Love them when they stress you out and never think you are alone, because you have a village who can guide you."
"I was not prepared for all the swelling post c-section. I did a lot of research but never knew about the swelling. Totally normal but freaky if you're not expecting it. Also, it takes a long time to feel 'normal' in your abdominal area after the surgery. Don't overdo, it even if you have been cleared at six weeks."
"It's ok to not like the newborn stage. It's not fun sometimes and is harder than most people let on."
"Splurge on photos -- you’ll want to remember these moments forever!"
"Buy the mattress protector. Not just for the crib, but for your bed, too."
"Follow baby's lead. Whether it's nursing again and omg AGAIN?! Or sleeping habits, or any other nuances."
"Prepare to be judged as a parent, and learn to be ok with it. Someone will judge you no matter what: breast of formula, cloth or disposable diapers, co-sleeping or crib in a nursery, pacifiers or no pacifiers. Do what works for you, and don’t feel bad if one mother’s advice doesn’t work for you -- all babies are a little different. And the night sweats eventually end!"
"GET A NOISE MACHINE. And wine. And Motrin."
"It's okay for you to cry. It's okay to feel resentment or not bond with your baby immediately. These things aren't always rainbows and butterflies."
"Every difficult moment will come to an end. Baby will stop crying, physical pain during recovery or breastfeeding will go away, the feeling of isolation and exhaustion as a new mother will also subside."
"Tucks and Dermoplast!"
"Buy a few pairs of the expensive Depends (more underwear like) for the Hospital after giving birth. They are so much more comfortable than the giant bulk pads, and no leaks."
"Skip the cutsie pajamas and stick to the pajama gowns/sacks. It is a life saver for changing diapers in the night when they are newborns!"
"The 'hands-free' breastfeeding pump tube top is a lifesaver. I wish I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself when it came to the difficulties of breastfeeding. If I get the chance to become a mom again, I just want to be softer and kinder to myself through it all."
"Witch hazel was my best friend."
"Everything is temporary, and there will be a ‘last time’ for everything. It’s the hardest job you’ll ever have, but also the most rewarding. Soak it up."
"Get in pictures with your baby. You won't feel up to it, but do it anyway. These are their memories."
"All the mesh panties."
"Have TONS of handy snacks you can eat with one hand. Especially if breastfeeding. Making milk makes you so hungry and thirsty."
"Say YES to help. Have a written list of things that can be done when people visit. For example, wash clothes, load/unload dishwasher, fold clothes, wash bottles, hold babies so I can shower, etc."
"It's ok to think, 'this sucks.' It doesn't make you a bad mom."
"Swaddling and white noise make miracles."
"If you're nursing, use the gel pads. They're a lifesaver!"
"Early on -- make noise while they are sleeping. You’ll be thankful for this as they get older and don’t wake at the slightest sound."
"Download the Wonder Weeks app. It’s great for cluster feeding, fussy babies at bedtime, and teaches you the great things they’re learning in that leap or growth spurt."
"Don't forget to take videos. I took so many pictures, but I wish I had more videos."
"If it's a boy, when changing the diaper, remember to always point it down."
"Know that you are enough."
What do you think, mamas-to-be? Did you enjoy these top tips from veteran moms?