5 Tips First Time Moms Should Know

The moment you find out your pregnant, you’re flooded with emotions. Fear, excitement, anticipation, worry, happiness and love overwhelm you. It is a lot to take in, but you do it one day at a time.

Pregnancy is tough, but the thought of being a first time mom is even tougher.

What if you’re a bad parent? What if you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing? What if you’re kid turns out to be a horrible person? What do you do?

The first step is to just breathe. Every first time mother goes through these racing thoughts and they always come out stronger than they could have imagined. Mother’s intuition is a real thing, and once your baby comes you will get the hang of what to do. You will be a great mother.

However, just to ease your mind a little bit, we’ve put together a list of our top 5 tips to prepare you for being a first time mom.

1. Prevent SIDS

The biggest tip that you will want to hear revolves around preventing SIDS in your newborn. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is a terrifying occurrence where a child under the age of one suddenly passes away without explanation. There are roughly 2,500 cases per year in the US alone, but the numbers have been declining1.

The exact reason why this occurs is unknown, but there are a few risk factors and pieces of advice to be aware of1:

  • Always put your newborn down in their crib on their backs. In addition, use firm mattresses and never any pillows whenever you put your baby to sleep.
  • Never keep big blankets or plush toys in your baby’s crib. If they happen to move their face during the night into one of these, they could suffocate.
  • Whenever you put your baby to sleep, double (even triple) check that there is nothing near their heads and that their head is always uncovered.
  • Sleeping close to your baby has been linked to lowering the likelihood of SIDS1. However, never sleep with your baby in the same bed. Instead, consider a bedside bassinet or crib in your room.

2. Prepare Yourself

Preparation is key in everything. This is especially true in becoming a first time mom. When you’re baby gets here, you will be overwhelmed and (sorry to have to be the one to say this) extremely exhausted. That’s why doing every thing you should ahead of time will give you a huge advantage.

The preparation that will help you the most is learning the ins and outs of the car seat you purchase. Since it is actually required by law to have a car seat properly installed in order to take your newborn home from the hospital, this is a step that shouldn’t be overlooked.

If you’re having trouble with installing the car seat, you will always be able to find certified installation experts. You will find exhaustive information about the do’s and don’ts for each make and model online.

Always, always test out the car seat before you buckle in your bundle of joy. The seat should never move more than a teensy bit when it is properly installed1.

A few other tips to know when you take your baby home are:

  • The car seat clip should be parallel with your baby’s armpits1
  • The harness should not be too tight near hips and shoulders, but you should make sure that it is secure1
  • When it is colder outside, you want to make sure that their clothes are not causing the car seat to fit improperly. Put your baby in with fewer clothes and cover them with blankets so that they are warm1

Some other ways to get prepared are knowing how to change a diaper, making sure you have installed and set up all of your baby’s new gadgets, and purchasing a breast pump (and learning how to use it).

One thing we advise you not to do is to read too much into everything that could possibly go wrong2. This involves during pregnancy and into your baby’s first years. Books will scare you and turn you into an obsessed, overly protective mother. It’s not worth it. Instead, stick to mom blogs and talk to friends and family about a few important things.

3. Create a Routine

Babies love routine. It helps them learn what to anticipate at different times of the day and creates a little bit of peace for you. When you are creating your routine, try and work on feeding times, bedtimes and bath time.

These routines help to create consistency and thus decrease the amount of fuss that a baby will have as he or she grows older. It will help them to subconsciously know the routine, thus lead to fewer tantrums (hopefully).

In order to help establish a bedtime routine, consider soothing activities prior to putting them to bed. These will be anything from baths to lullabies or rocking and reading. Whatever seems to work for your baby, stick to it!

Other routines could include taking naps when your baby naps and taking baths or showers whenever dad is home3. Taking naps with your little one will help you get much needed rest without interruption – if only in 20 minute intervals. Don’t try and get other things done, as you really do need to save your energy! Taking baths or showers when dad is home will also help you actually have time to get clean and even relax a bit!

4. Know Your Rights

Breastfeeding has become increasingly confusing in an overly sexualized world. People are disrespectful and sometimes even go lengths to shame mothers whom publically breastfeed.

However, you need to remember that you are feeding your child and it is a completely natural process. That is why it is important to know exactly what your legal rights are. If it is legal (as it is in most, if not all, states) then be brave. Never let other people dictate how or where you choose to feed your child.

Remember that you have the right to breastfeed for as long as you see fit! In the US, on average, women stop breastfeeding at around 6 months but everywhere else in the world continues until around two years old1. It is your right to choose.

5. Take Space

Finally, it is completely understandable if you need space after giving birth to your first child. While friends and family will be overly excited to meet the new addition to your family, don’t be afraid to set boundaries1.

Take your personal time alone and not feel bad about it. Whatever reason you have, just make sure to communicate with people. It could even be more beneficial to you and your baby’s new bond. Right when your baby is born, it is a crucial time to learn about nursing, latching and make lots of eye contact and connect.

If you do have friends and family visit the hospital, consider giving them some tips on how you’d like them to act during their visit.

Conclusion

Whether or not you take these tips or form your own list from other’s advice, remember never to be so hard on yourself. You’re a first time mom and it will be a learning process, but you will master the art of parenting in no time. If you have any other great tips that you wish you would have known prior to motherhood, comment on our Facebook page! We always love hearing what you have to say.

In addition, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, expectant mothers are eligible to receive an electric breast pump covered by their insurance provider! Just head over to our page and browse our selection.

 

SOURCES:

1https://www.bunmaternity.com/blogs/news/5-tips-to-prepare-you-for-being-a-first-time-mom
2https://www.babble.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-tips-first-time-moms-expecting-woman/
3https://solveyourproblem.com/pregnancy/first-time-mom-tips.shtml

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