7 Best Bits of New Mother Advice
We asked some mothers, “What was the best new mother advice you received when you had your first baby?” While one might assume that the majority of the advice would be practical baby care tips, the advice that made the greatest impression on most of these mothers had nothing to do with the baby. The best advice was directed toward the mother and how she treated herself.
Here’s a break down of the advice by category, and then the personal testimony from one of the mothers:
Get plenty of sleep/Rest
“When I became a first time Mother, the best piece of new mother advice that I received was to sleep when the baby slept. That way, I would be able to get as much rest as possible, considering newborns generally don't sleep through the night for the first few weeks, or even months.
The advice given to me really helped- even though I was tired, I would catch naps here and there when my daughter slept. It would give me just enough energy to make it through a night full of feedings and also helped keep the baby blues away!”
“It would be from my Lamaze teacher who said ‘just relax and trust yourself and your instincts after all who has been closer and more intimate with your baby than you’.”
Take Care of Yourself
When I became a mother for the first time, the best piece of new mother
advice I was given came from a friend’s mother. She reminded me that
while I would be anxious to provide the best care for my baby, I should
be just as anxious to provide the best care for myself. She said that I
would only be the best mother possible if I was also taking care of
me; which in some cases might be setting limits on when, where and with
whom to share my time and attention.
I received a lot of new mother advice, but the best piece of advice I got was to
accept any help that was offered. Since I am a very private person, I
didn't accept all the help I was offered, but I did let my mother watch
the baby for a little every day so that I could get some sleep.
The best piece of advice that I received as a first time mother was to
not worry! Babies all have so many ranges as to what is "normal" in
their development. You must definitely educate yourself on the stages and
make sure your baby is following the guidelines of developmental
stages. However, don't assume just because another child walks at 12 months
that yours should be doing the same.
Let Your Baby Teach You
I think the best advice I heard was “let your baby set its own
schedule.” There are so many books out there that tell you how to schedule your
baby, but if you give your baby a couple weeks it will schedule
itself. Keeping the baby on the schedule they set is important. Since they
know what to expect, it sets a routine that makes them feel secure.
Choose the Advice that Suits You
“The doctor told me not to listen to everyone else! Best piece of
new mother advice I got. He said that it was OK for my baby to sleep with me until 4
months. But at that point he should be in another room so as not to make
it a habit. The other thing he said was that “you can't spoil a baby!’”
EXTRA: Specific Tips
Gowns are Invaluable: When my children were newborns, my mother in law
suggested that I use gowns because by using them, it was easier to
change their diapers and change their clothing (if they should spit up).
She was right, especially when you first come home from the hospital and
you're extremely tired and have to take care of a newborn with very
little help. Now I buy gowns for the baby when someone I know is having
Rock-a-bye Baby: The best piece of advice I received, was how to get a
new baby to go to sleep. It works like a charm. When you put your baby
to bed, put a light cloth over his eyes (not the nose) and the cloth
will work to eliminate visual stimulation. Most of the time, this is what
prevents new babies from falling asleep. Once you baby falls asleep,
remove the cloth. Works every time.
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