10.02.2012

6 Tips for New Mommies


Being a new mommy is wonderful. 

Most of the time. 

Sometimes being a new mommy is down right exhausting. 
Sometimes you feel like you are going crazy. 

I wish someone had told me how much work being a new mommy would be. I know. I know. I should have known better.

For example, today I haven't showered. Last night, I slept in our little girl's room because she refused to go back to sleep after her midnight feeding. I just finished eating a snack with one hand. Right now, I'm wearing my pajamas from last night, my hair is piled on the top of my head in a messy bun, and I've got my sweet love snuggled up in her Moby wrap.

Some days this is my life.

Luckily, I have some pretty great friends who aren't afraid of using Facebook messenger at all hours of the night and early morning. 

They. Have. Been. My. Saving. Grace. 

I have learned some things during this first month and a half of mommy-hood that I feel a need, an obligation rather, to share with you future mommies out there. If you are reading this and you are a new mommy yourself, I am sure that you can relate.

6 Tips for New Mommies

1. Realize that you cannot do it all. There are some days that I wake up with a to-do list that takes more minutes to read than there is in the day. Before baby, I might could have gotten at least half of it done. After baby, I'm doing good to complete one or two things. At first this was really hard for me, especially recovering from a c-section, being so limited on what I could do at home as it was. I quickly learned to ask for my husband's help. Get as much help as you can. Ask family and friends to cook, clean, do your laundry, and run errands for you. As a new mommy you will already be exhausted just from taking care of your baby. Anything else that you accomplish will seem like you have just climbed Mt. Everest. 

2. Don't keep track of day and night. Rocking your sweet baby in the middle of the night might sound lovely, but wait until you are sleep deprived and you look at the clock and it reads 3:45 am. I quickly learned that in order to keep my sanity, I had to start thinking about things in terms of commitments. For example, I am committed to eating dinner with my husband at 7:00 tonight, or I have to be at the doctor's office at 1:30. The day seems much more easy going this way, and I feel much less sleep deprived. 

3. Take advantage of all opportunities to take a nap. Currently, I think of my sleeping habits in terms of naps. Today I napped from 2:55 in the morning until 5:55. I napped again from 7:45 until 9:57. Yes. Every minute counts. When my mom and dad are here, I nap. When my husband is home, I nap. You get the idea. 

4. Track your little one's feeding, sleeping, and diaper changes. Start looking for patterns. Over the course of about 2 weeks you will most likely start noticing that you are logging approximately the same times every day. With my little one, not every day is the same, but I have learned that I can count on getting a nap in between the hours of 2:00 am and 5:00 am every morning. I also know that she is going to wake up between 12:30 am and 1:30 am every morning. Figuring these things out has helped me start building a routine, which bring us to the fifth tip. 

5. Build a routine. Now, at a very young age time dictated routines are no good. New babies can't handle them, and you will go crazy trying to get them on a schedule. I'm not talking about a schedule though. I'm just talking about a routine way of doing things. Every time our little one wakes up from a nap, the first thing I do is nurse. Then I burp her and change her diaper. If it's night time, I rock or bounce on a yoga ball with her pacifier in her mouth until she falls asleep. Then we put her in her swing. If it is day-time, we play first and then follow the last steps. After many nights of a fussy baby during diaper changes, we finally found a routine that she responds to. When it stops working, we will try something else.

This last one is going to seem kind of silly.

6. Keep up your personal hygiene and heath. Learn what works best for you to make sure that you get a shower worked into every day and plenty of water and good food in your tummy. Right now, what works for me is to shower at night, go to bed with my hair wet, and rock a pony tail the next day. I make my breakfast at night and store it in a plastic container in the fridge. Whenever baby girl wakes up for her early morning feeding I eat my breakfast. I try to drink a glass of water every time she eats. Keeping healthy snacks around also helps, but I am guilty of grabbing an Oreo or two!

Being a new mommy can be a hard job, but it's the best job in the world.

New mommies out there, what tips would you add to the list?

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