Some advice for a young, not so ready mom to be?

Samantha - posted on 05/21/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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I'm only 20 and almost 7 months pregnant. I've never even really held a child before. Can I get some general advice like what to expect? What do I do if she starts crying? When should I put her to bed? How much in a day should I keep her in her crib? Ect...

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Danielle - posted on 05/21/2011

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I agree with Karla.
There should be options for parenting classes in or near your area. Also, invest in some books and read up on temperments, as well as what to expect.
There are a lot of things to consider and learn before a baby is born. I am not sure if an internet forum can properly cover all general aspects of parenting.

One thing thats guaranteed is you should expect to be tired.

Marsha - posted on 05/24/2011

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My advice to you dear, is let your instincts kick in.

I've had 3 children, starting at 18..now i'm almost 27. We can give you all the advice in the world, but there is no one way to do anything. it's what works for you and baby.

Swaddling is an age old method of soothing and putting a baby to sleep as it simulates the being in the womb. Making a rhythmic shooshing noise in her ear sounds like a heart beat in the womb.
From day one, try to set in a routine for you and baby so that way you can fit in some you time. With my last one, our routine was to the "T". 7am up and feeding time. Get the girls ready for school. Come home from walking them in, feeding time. Naptime til about 11:30. Feeding. mommy's shower and lunch. A little cleaning. Baby's after noon feeding..another nap til daddy got home from work. girls came home. homework then dinner time for all. family time, kids bedtime around 8. Baby's pre bed time bottle and adult time. bed time for baby, mommy and daddy. Up around 2 or 3am for feeding. And the cycle starts again the next day..around the same times every day.

I did all that but it took 2 prior times to figure it out. My ex mother in law's best advice to me was set up a routine. Even newborn babies can be put on one.
Be patient with yourself first of all. You'll make mistakes. No mother is perfect and so long as your willing to accept that, you'll start out fine. Don't be afraid to ask for help either. And if things get too heavy, put the baby in a safe place, like her crib or bassinet, shut the door..even if she's crying..and walk away for a few minutes to calm down. i remember one of my old best friends who had serious anxiety issues with her newborn son..and she's called me in tears with him screaming in the back ground..not knowing what to do. Her problem was, she couldn't step away from the situation, she felt she was being a bad mother by doing that. And Gripe water!! That stuff is amazing!!! Great for colicky, gassy babies. It's herbal so it's very safe.

I learned with my children, that babies don't like being in the same spot all the time. They want to move around like we do..and see what we do.

And remember, though we moms here at Circle of Moms have different opinions on different subjects, don't be afraid to ask us anything!! We're here to support each other and share the wealth of motherhood. There are some up here that can be very imposing and nasty. Ignore them. Don't even give their comments a second thought.

And finally. good luck.

Firebird - posted on 05/21/2011

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On top of the book suggestion, relax! You have instincts and they will kick in. A parenting class is a really good idea, is it possible for you to save up for one over the next few months?

Mrs. - posted on 05/21/2011

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What to Expect When Your Expecting scared the living crap out of me. My doctor actually reco'd I don't read it if I at all am prone to anxiety or perfectionism.

I agree with a parenting class or just the pre-natal class. In mine, they had us do the basics, diaper a baby, talking about comforting them, feeding options and resources for post pregnancy. They weren't super expensive and they really helped.

There is also a book called, Be Prepared. It is written for guys and is full of humour. However, I found because it was written for an expecting father, it gave you the bare basics of baby care...nothing fancy and no anxiety about meeting some expectation that some school of thought is pushing.

Another option is hooking up with a friend who has a newborn or young child and actually doing some hands on babysitting.

Most of all, trust your instincts! Believe that you are going to eventually catch on. It is trial by fire no matter what, no one is EVER prepared fully.

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Rochelle - posted on 05/27/2011

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My daughter was the same way, take it slow and trust when you have your baby everything will fall into place or visit a friend with a small baby and get in some practice

Bridgette - posted on 05/27/2011

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Best advice I can give is to understand that you are normal, no one really knows what to expect or what to do! Even those who are older (I was 32 when I had my first) and who had been around for other births still dont really know it all!! Read some books as others mentioned, keep asking questions and reading up on what others are finding out online for tips, and remember that your pediatrician will be on call 24-7 to answer questions if you really are not sure what to do.

As for books, if you are not as much of a reader and just want the basics, I like the book "Baby 411". It is not as comprehensive as some other books but it is broken up into bullet points so you can find the info about exactly what you are looking to learn quickly, which can be helpful wtih a crying baby! I still reference the book sometimes.

Good luck, dont worry about being scared, and knowing that you care enough to start asking for help says that you are going to work hard to be a good mom!

Natasha - posted on 05/27/2011

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First off I want to say congrats on the pregnancy. I can first hand say that I know exactly what you are going through since I had my first when I was 15. I totally freaked out the entire pregnancy thinking I wasn't going to be able to take care of her but the minute she was born my instincts kicked right in. It was like I had been doing it for ever. None of us can tell you what to do when your baby crys because only you and the Daddy will know this. Hang in there you will do great.

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i to had know idea what to do with a baby!! lol. it does come naturally and to be honest every baby is different.
you and baby will get into some routine at some point. just don't expect it to happen straight away. there will be tears along the way. but go with the flow. if the baby's hungry....feed him. if he has a dirty nappy...change him. as long as hes clean and healthy don't panic. we have all been there. just give little one lots and lots of huggles and love :)

Sarah - posted on 05/26/2011

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having your first child is scary, but as soon as u hold your little one it will come naturally to you, its natural to feel nervous your giving birth to a human bein, u will b an amazing mom xx

Jessica - posted on 05/25/2011

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I was 20 when I had my daughter as well (although she was planned and I had quite a bit of experience with children prior). I see a lot of people suggesting the book 'What to expect when you're expecting', which is fantastic, also 'What to expect the first year' is a really good one too. Your motherly instincts WILL kick in after your baby is born. It's kind of a like a 6th sense. After a while you KNOW why they're crying. But, you can go through all the options :
Baby's crying. Is he/she:
-cold?
-wet?
-hungry?
If no, then they probably just want some cuddles/rocking.
As for bed times, you find something that works with your lifestyle, ,and your family. I have a friend who puts her kid to bed at 8. My daughter's not in bed til 10. It just works for us. There are so many different websites you can visit to do your own research and find out what type of parenting style you're comfortable with. Because 100 different people will tell you 100 different things ;) lol

Jocelyn - posted on 05/25/2011

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Don't worry so much! Take a baby class, read a book (there have been many good books already listed), let your instincts kick it :) I was 19 when I gave birth to my oldest. Before then I had held exactly ONE baby; and it was awkward! I was sitting there and they just kinda placed the baby in my arms and then left! (to go make supper, but still!) I don't think I moved even an inch for 30 mins for fear of waking the baby LOL. (I was 18 when this happened :P )
Now my kids are 4.5 years and 19 months, and I'm still figuring out what to do! Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it ♥

Katelyn - posted on 05/25/2011

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hi Samanthat. Im Katie I just turned 20 in feb. I am a mother of two children. a two year old and a 8 month old. I had my first daughter when i was 17. I can understand how worried you are and such, but the best advice is learn with your baby. You two are a team and will have to work together. Every baby is different and every baby will have their own schedule. Just breath relax and work with your child. It honestly is all just about team work. :) best of luck to you !! :)

Tina - posted on 05/25/2011

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My best advice that came from one of the best moms I know was my own mom. Hell she made it threw me and my sister. I now ask my mother in law as well. I love to look on line for advice but I Love even more talking to someone in person who has been there done that and maybe can show me hands on or help me out in person if I need it. Build your group of friends that have kiddos already. I will say this DON'T believe everything you hear. What works for one may not work for you and yours. Being a parent takes a lot of trial and error. We are not perfect Nor our our kids but our kids are perfect for us. Good luck with all the tears of joy and sadness that you are in for and the tears for no Reason at all. You will make it threw.

Christy - posted on 05/25/2011

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Besides the recommended books, it's important to remember that the baby can sense your emotions. So if you are starting to freak out or are getting stressed out, the baby will react to that. At that point, put the baby to bed for a few minutes, and take a break. It's totally okay to let the baby cry for awhile so you can relax and regroup.

As you and baby get to know each other, pay close attention to what signs the baby gives when s/he is getting tired. It might be helpful to keep a log of when s/he has eaten and napped. This will help you create a daily routine. Then as you see the symptoms of "I'm tired but not crying yet" you can get baby ready for nap time or bedtime without frustration. After awhile you'll get to know your baby's cries. Things like, "I need a diaper change," or "I'm hungry," or "I'm tired," or "I'm bored."

Newborns sleep A LOT. My best advice to you is to sleep as much as you can while s/he is asleep. Your body needs recovery time from giving birth. Babies like to be near momma, so plan on having baby nearby while you're doing household chores and such. If baby is fussy and wants to be held all the time, put him/her in a front carrier or baby sling and continue doing whatever you need to get accomplished.

Samantha - posted on 05/25/2011

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Thank you. I've gotten a lot of good advice from you guys....still nervous, but I appreciate the help. I'm sure I'll be asking many more questions in the near future :)

Kelly - posted on 05/24/2011

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Well Samantha, Hi my name is Kelly im 19 and I had my son last year at 18, Mother hood will kick in if she starts to cry it should be for a reason either she has a dirty diaper , she is hungry, or wants to feel close to you. Once you check those things and you have done all of them, if she is still crying do a bundle rape im not sure how to explain it over the computer but im sure someone you know could show you, bunddle rapes makes the baby feel as if he or she is in the womb again and that feels safe to them it also puts them rite to sleep. Now dont get me wrong some babies cry just to cry and holding nothing will help just let them cry thats mean to say but I promise there is nothing wrong. When you feed her keep her head a little tillted up so she doesnt get an ear infection no matter what when your feeding her feed her for a certian amount of time that is conveniant for you then take the bottle from her and burp her this will help prevent gas bubbles and tummy aches, then let her finish eating and burb as needed. Be careful with baby powder because the particales can get in her oxygen space, if you use it wich personaly I waited till it was necessary, put it in your hand and rub it in the spot its needed in.ALWAYS remember to sleep when the baby sleeps, For now thats all I can think of but if you need more advise please feel free to contact me back(:
Sincerly; Kelly Pomb
kelly.pomb1992@yahoo.com

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I don't think it matters about your age every first time mum gets nervous about how they are going to cope and what to do with a new baby - even those of us who have been around children all our lives. The biggest thing I can tell you is to listen to your instincts - if you feel that baby needs picking up pick baby up, if you feel that baby should go to bed when you do but baby to bed with you but if you. Listen to YOUR instncts not what everyone else tells you to do because if you get stressed because your trying to follow what your mum told you and what your partners mum told you, as well as what grammy told you and they all contradict each other that isn't going to help you or baby - listen to others but if it doesn't sound or feel right don't do it - what works for one family won't work for another.

Also go to the library and get some books on parenting so you can brush up on the basics. Also the libraries will be able to tell you of any groups in your area that you could attend - baby groups help because you can see that ALL new mums feel the same and you'll all have similar issues.

Finally try not to stress, if you really are worried speak with your doctor/ midwife who will be able to give you some advice on what is best to do - but again listen to your instincts when speaking with them.

Congratulations and good luck with your pregnancy :-)

Shannon - posted on 05/24/2011

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Check with you local libraries...many of them offer childcare and/or babysitting classes that are usually FREE! Mine just had one a week ago.

Also, check out Meetup.com or MomsLikeMe.com and find other moms in your area. You might be able to talk with or even meet someone your age who has kids and can tell you their tips and tricks for parenting. I am a member of both groups in my hometown, and i have to say it has been really helpful.

Also, i got pregnant before i was ready to be a mom too. But i looked at it this way:"I have 9 months to get ready. I can totally do that!" I realize its a lot closer for you, but its amazing what you can accomplish with the right mindset!

Kerry - posted on 05/24/2011

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Hi i was pregnant with my first at nineteen and was in same situation as you never really had any experience with children before.But i found when i had my baby it came quite naturally.Make sure u get the bab into a routine asap.When ur bab is awake try and keep them entertained trust me the more u tire them out the better they will sleep

Tina - posted on 05/21/2011

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You'll be fine. There are book guides and so on which will help and and you'll more than likely get plenty of advice from relatives and midwives. No one can be fully prepared for a child even if they've had experience with kids because they're all different. You soon work out what different cries mean, motherly instinct kicks in. You work out your childs patterns how much they sleep and so on. You can't really plan for it. Just don't panic. And congratulations on expecting your first child.

Amanda - posted on 05/21/2011

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There are plenty of great websites out there as well which are great about sending weekly emails on pregnancy progression and then weekly emails to help you to know where your baby should be developmentally at any given time. I agree with everyone else read read read there are great books about everything from pregnancy to babies and breastfeeding. You can never read to much even after the baby is born
Our 365 has a great site with weekly emails
another great site is
http://www.babycenter.com/?scid=mileston...

Mel - posted on 05/21/2011

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congrats on the pregnancy, being a first time mum is hard. If youve never been around a child before it is a little scary, first time mums especially young mums often find them selves havign trouble attching to the baby like I did she would cry for an hour across the room and I coudlnt bring myself to pick her up, this al passes and you learn to interact with your baby. Not saying you will be the same but just be prepared and remember everything they do is because they are new to the world innocent beautiful littles babies who need thier mum for love and attention :) comfort her love her and when shes upset try to eliminate what might be wrong with her check if shes hungry , needing a nappy change etc. You will work it out because a mother knows her child best, and definately most important like Loureen said you have to trust your instincts because a parent knows thier baby best even if every health professioal in the world is telling, your wrong. Most doctors when you have an issue as a young mother will dismiss it as you being a paranoid young mother, so dont make my mistake and believe everything told to you...my duaghte rwas on an unnecessary feeding tube until 19 months of age because I listened to doctors as a 19 yr old mother and not doing research for myself...this time she cannever get back and never change the miserable time she had for her first almost 2 yrs because of this and preventable too the amount of times I kick myself...trust your instincts with anything to do with your baby. Spend lots of time playing with your baby but at the same time giving her, her space, she needs time by herself on the floor to learn her indepedance as she gets too a few months old, this is very important. Always put her down when shes tired but DONT feed her or hold her to sleep because its not a great pattern for her to get into (your child nurse will tell you all of this though :)). The more you give her attention and play with her the more it will tire her out and make her not fight her sleep at naap tme :). Ever need any help or advice even now you are welcome to look me up on facebook or send me a PM

Blackwood - posted on 05/21/2011

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Prenatel classes are great. I have taken care of children all my life, but learned alot. They give you the basics of how to feed a child and when too start things like cereal. They are medically trained so you don't have to worry about old wives tales and the info is up to date with newer research. And you will be suprised how much will naturally come too you.

Samantha - posted on 05/21/2011

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Thank you. I've looked into classes but they're either expensive or birthing classes. Thats not what I want. I'll look into the book though :)

JuLeah - posted on 05/21/2011

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I suggest you take a parenting class, get some books, and educate yourself. You will feel better with more knowledge under your belt. All kids are different, so giving exact answers can be hard.
But, in general, new borns cry when hungry, tired, or needing a change. The baby will sleep when she is tired, and you can put her in the crib when she is asleep.

Tara - posted on 05/21/2011

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Get the book What to expect the !st year and Dr. Spocks book they both have answers to many questions new Moms have. I wouldn't worry too much because the internal motherly instinct that most all of us women are equipt with will kick in when your beautiful gift comes into the world. Your baby will give you cues as to what they need and in no time you will be able to figure out the difference between them. It is natural to be afraid hell I helped raise my niece from birth and when I was on the way home from the hospital from having my first born (have 4 now) I started to freak out but I figured it all out and I enjoyed every second of it and now like I said I have 4 children and it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life!! GOD Bless you and your unborn baby!!

Jodi - posted on 05/21/2011

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That book was my bible when I had my first.... Definitely get that book. But also, parenting classes are a good idea. And don't worry, most of us just "wing it" with the first one...(heck, I think I winged it with all of them to be honest). You'll be fine.

Karla - posted on 05/21/2011

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I would suggest a basic childcare class. Ask your Dr about if there are any in your area.

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