As a new mom, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the new experiences and challenges of being a parent. It’s equally challenging to know how to handle each situation since everyone seems to have advice, even when they don’t have children.
There’s no way to avoid the challenges that come with being a new mom, so here are some tips to help you get through the big ones.
1. Consult with a lactation specialist
A lactation specialist will be especially helpful during the first few weeks after your baby is born. There are several common issues where a lactation consultant can help and breastfeeding tips they can offer. For example, painful nipples, breastfeeding positions, milk supply, and other nursing problems you may be facing.
You might be able to get advice from friends and family, but their advice may not fully apply to your situation. It’s best to consult with a professional to make sure you find the right solution for your specific situation.
2. Tell yourself, “it’s just a phase”
Kids will do things that will make you wonder if they’re ever going to stop. Thankfully, most things are just a phase, and they will grow out of them. For example, eventually, they’ll stop waking up several times during the night and they’ll learn to use utensils to eat.
For some kids, it takes longer to stop doing things like sucking their thumb or carrying around a blanket, but they will eventually move through their phases.
When you’re concerned about something like this, the key is to remind yourself that it’s just a phase and will pass. Don’t try to rush your children through their phases because that can have a negative effect on them.
3. Disconnect nursing from sleeping
If your baby struggles to sleep without milk, disconnect nursing from sleeping. All people, including babies, are hard-wired to create associations between activities that take place together. When a routine of nursing right before bedtime becomes comfortable for a baby, they’ll associate both together and may struggle when either component is absent.
Try creating a different routine. One mom told Brides.com her favorite routine is “bath, cuddle, milk, book, brush, jammies, sleep sack, song, bed.”
4. Use your vacuum
This piece of advice may sound strange, but from the beginning, start using your vacuum while your baby sleeps to get them used to sleeping through noise. This way, you won’t have to tiptoe around the house when your baby is asleep.
This might not work for everyone, especially if your baby is highly sensitive to sound. However, it does work for many people, and it’s worth trying out. If you can get your baby to sleep while you vacuum your living room, you won’t have to wait for them to wake up to make some lunch.
5. Ask for help
Asking for help is important. There’s nothing shameful about not having all the answers, especially as a new mom. When you need help or advice, ask someone you trust. That doesn’t mean you need to take their advice. You can always consider their input and reject what doesn’t feel right for you. However, don’t be embarrassed to ask in the first place.
As a new mom, you’re not going to know all of the answers, and that’s okay. Each new experience will bring new challenges and solutions. Be willing to stay open to solutions and input, but always trust your instinct.
6. Be patient with yourself
If you’re extremely busy and stressed out much of the time, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. Tend to your needs and don’t let self-care fall to the wayside.
Take notice if you start to feel postpartum depression as well. It’s very common, and depression can sneak up on you. Be aware of the possibility and look for the signs. If you think you might be experiencing postnatal depression, reach out to someone for support.
Prioritize your mental, emotional, and physical health. After all, you need to be on top of your game and at your best to take care of your baby.
Take life one day at a time
When you take life one day at a time, challenges don’t seem so difficult. Deal with what’s directly in front of you today, and don’t worry about things you can’t deal with right now.
Focus on what you can manage, and you’ll get to the rest when you get there.