Advice for New Moms

When you're in the throes of becoming a mom for the first time, people suddenly feel it is their responsibility to barrage you with advice.  Most of it is of the unsolicited variety.  I'm talking like 99% of it. That doesn't mean it's not good advice.  Some of it is.  But if you're like me, you prefer to figure things out on your own and you don't like advice unless you ask for it...which is usually only after trying your own way, doing an exhaustive amount of research, and still not coming to an acceptable solution. 

Here's what I've found - when it comes to kids, there's good advice and bad advice aplenty.  Good people often give bad advice.  No two children are alike, save for the fact that they're all sinners.  So, expecting the same methods to work on each and every child is, well, a little idyllic.  However, in the interest of finding what works, you need to collect as much advice as you possibly can, store it up in that brain of yours, and when the time comes to try something different, retrieve it and put it into practice.

At my first-ever baby shower, I received a little spiral-bound notebook full of anecdotes and snippets of advice from my mother-in-law's good friends.  At the time, I remember reading it, and because I was young and arrogant, thinking, "Psshhh, whatever."  I stowed it in a drawer in the nursery and forgot about it.

That was in 2003.

Last month, I was cleaning out the aforementioned drawers when I stumbled upon the aforementioned spiral-bound notebook.

It is now 2012, and I am a mother of four precious blessings.  Over the course of nearly nine years, I went from rejecting advice to craving it.  I moved from dismissing the old-fashioned way of doing things to embracing it.  And as I prepared to thumb through the little notebook, I excitedly anticipated what I would read inside.

It did not disappoint.


This one makes my heart smile...our kids have been exposed to books since birth, practically, and by golly, they love to read.

And my personal favorite - 

I never imagined it would be possible to enjoy those moments.  Nine years later, let me tell you...

It is.  

(Okay, so those are chalk prints on the window...but it's the same idea.  And I love them.)
And now it's time for my own advice for new moms, in case anyone cares. These are the things no one told me, and if they did, I sure don't remember.

1.  Plain old Gerber cloth diapers work best as burp cloths.  Those cute ones that feel soft?  Useless.
2.  Breastfeeding is God's gift to women.  Yes.  But it's hard.  To be one of the most natural things on the planet, it feels so incredibly unnatural to start with.  It does hurt at first (I don't care what the books and lactation consultants say).  But give it a month, and you'll be glad you toughed it out.  I can almost promise that.
3.  If you want to take your newborn to the grocery store and actually buy groceries, I recommend the Moby Wrap (or Boba Wrap).  If you're wearing your baby, you can fit groceries into your car without having to pile toilet paper, diapers, and fresh vegetables on top of the carseat carrier.  It sounds like that would be fun, but it's not.  Really.
4.  The singing advice above really works.  If your baby is screaming, sing to them.  If your baby is happy, sing to them.  If they look like they're somewhere between contentment and a fit of rage, sing to them.  Even if you're terrible at singing.  (Babies are tone deaf anyway.)
5.  Clean water in the eyes will not kill your baby.  If they hate bathtime, press on.  Getting them used to water in the face will only benefit you later on, and prevent you from having a seven year old who still refuses to get water in their eyes (not that I have personal experience with that or anything......).
6.  Stop looking sideways.  It does not matter what Janet or Kelly or Melissa is doing with their baby.  You are your child's mom.  And your baby is lucky to have you.
7.  Sleep is important, but you're not going to get a lot at first.  Even if you nap when baby naps (but let's face it, no one does).  It's okay to have a cup of coffee every once in a while if you need it.  This won't kill your baby either.

Because I'm so "wise" I'm sure I could give lots more unsolicited advice, but what would that make me?  Oh yes.  One of those people I used to complain about.  I've come full circle, haven't I?

What's your favorite bit of advice for new moms?  
You know you have some!  

For now, I'll spare new moms my list above, and just go with the jelly prints one.  That's the best advice ever got...


Emily said...

I so loved reading this list! I can't possibly agree more with the enjoy every moment .... I didn't really *get* that until baby number 3 came along and I realized holysmokes! My first baby is in 1st grade already! I was totally uptight with Brooklyn as a baby while anxiously awaying her to hit every. single. milestone.(sometimes like it was competition) vs enjoying the milestone she was currently in to it's fullest.

Post a Comment

Before you go, I'd love to hear from you! Let me know what's on your mind! (Please and thank you.)

Back to Top