The best advice you can give a new or expectant mother!

Nadine - posted on 11/26/2010 ( 58 moms have responded )

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Hi there,
My Brother and his wife are about to have their first baby and I have written down every piece of advice I can think of including things that no one seems to tell you. I was wondering if everyone else can tell me their best piece of advice for a NEW or EXPECTANT mother so I can add it to the list. I thank everyone in advance for helping.
Nadine

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Anita - posted on 03/17/2013

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I need advice I am having my first in Aug and I am scared crazy and not sure what to expect. But for your brother that is awesome Congrats to them and you the anutie. And tell them that one you will be up about every two hours and tell the mother that her body is not going to return back to normal right after the baby is born it will take until after breast feeding. :)

Angie - posted on 11/27/2010

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All of these are great!! I wish someone would have told me this stuff before I had a baby. My best advice would be not to compare your baby to others or what the experts say your baby should be doing at a certain age. IT WILL DRIVE YOU CRAZY!! Every baby develops at a different stage.

Jessica - posted on 11/27/2010

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buy a series like "desperate housewives" or something so in the middle of the night wen ur doin the feeds u have something to watch on tv other then infomercials :) makes it easier
gud luck to your brother and his wife

Stifler's - posted on 11/26/2010

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SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS! coz they never seem to want to sleep at night when you do before they can tell they difference between day and night. But you've probably written that down, it's the advice every single person who's had kids told me when I had my baby. Oh and buy an electric steamer. and forget about doing heaps of housework until the baby is at least 8 weeks old.

Laura - posted on 12/10/2010

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Circle the date on the calander when the baby turns 6 weeks old. (well for me it was 10 weeks) Things get so much easier after that date. Dont get too fixated on the bonding with brestfeeding notion, Sometimes that doesnt happen. Actually be preparded that bonding may not happen for a long time. (I didnt bond with my son until he was 3 months old even though he was a long sought after pregnancy, really wanted child and I brestfed. I felt horrible that I didnt bond when everyone was telling me that I would fall in love instantly) Give everything time. Also, always turn on a timer when you turn on the stove or burners. Many times I wold heat a put of water to sanitize something, baby would cry and I would completely forget that I had turned the stove on

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Tamera - posted on 12/10/2010

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When at hospital, let staff help with baby as much as possible and sleep! When baby sleeps, you sleep.

Trish - posted on 12/01/2010

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Like everyone says...sleep when the baby sleeps. REST IS IMPORTANT...I think without it you go bonkers. Heaps of rest...don't worry about housework...Only worry about the baby.

Follow your instincts...people can give you all the advice in the world...but no one will truly know your baby but you. Follow your gut...and don't doubt yourself.

Make sure to burp your baby after every feed...that's important. Or else it'll upset their lil tummies.

Babies are like clock work...set up a routine. She'll know when baby comes. Babies wake up every 3 hours or so for a feed....A good indication of how many times baby will wake up in the middle of the night...is how many times your sis-in-law wakes up in the night to go to the toilet. Weird I know...it's like practice before baby comes.

If breast feeding be careful eating foods that will make your baby gassy and stuff e.g. onions and oranges

And enjoy your baby...the year will go fast and next minute your lil bundle of joy is walking and talking.

All the best

[deleted account]

When people ask you if they can do anything for you, like bring food or clean the house... take them up on it. Trust me neither you or your husband are going to want to or even be able to clean or cook for at least the first 48 hours home.

Ashley - posted on 11/30/2010

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I think motherhood can be harder, messier, even disgusting at times then anyone realizes utill they go through it just remember you can do it dont feel bad for feeling like you cant get through it, you will and dont compare your self to other moms realize you are a great or will be a great mom and nobody is perfect dont hold your self to the perfect image you will only feel bad because nobody is. Baby's are awesome when you get a chance to realize it generally a few years later lol. Also buy a good breastfeeding pillow if your breastfeeding because u will use it more than most things.

Jessie - posted on 11/30/2010

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also, be prepared during labor for things to go differently than you imagined. I had back labor, zero contractions in my stomach. I spent most of my 29 hours labor walking around or in the 'knees, chest position' with someone doing counter pressure on my lower back. I totally thought I would get an epidural right away but it ended up that I couldn't I had to move around to get my baby to turn his face the right way (he was facing up instead of down) and I didn't get an epidural until about 25 hours into it. I can't imagine having been stuck in a bed that whole time, it would have been awful!

Jessie - posted on 11/30/2010

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*sleep when the baby sleeps. I tried to do too much after we came home and be super hostess/home maker. bad idea.
*take you own soft toilet paper to the hospital with you. I didn't have any tears or stitches but it's still tender down there after pushing out a baby and hospital TP doesn't help it!
*nurse on demand, not on schedule. do not listen to the advice of people who did not successfully breastfeed. they don't have any idea how to feed a breastfed baby, it is NOT the same (this would be mostly my mother, ugh)
*baby boys can pee a great distance. Cover that thing up and save your nursery curtains...
*listen to your own instincts. You are almost always going to be right. I can not tell you how many times I suspected something was off with my son and got told I was being a paranoid 1st time mother, only to be right. This began with the nurses at the hospital not believing I was in labor. (my water had already broken and I was 4 cm dilated. they were going to send me home, apparently they couldn't tell these things, but the doctor came to check on me first since I was scheduled for an appointment that day anyway) Trust yourself. You will know what to do.
*I recorded my fav shows on the DVR to watch in the middle of the night while breastfeeding. Helped me stay awake and gave me an extra incentive to be up at all hours of the night. I sometimes even snuck a bowl of 3 a.m. ice cream :) whatever helps!
*always get a second opinion if you don't agree with what your doctor tells you. even if your significant other is happy with their diagnosis or you normally trust the doctors judgement. sometimes things need another set of eyes. ie, my sons good allergies needed a specialist to pinpoint and no one else took me seriously (including my mother and my boyfriend)
all stressful phases will pass. they will sleep throuh the night at some point (mine was 10 months old) they will stop teething some day, they will eventually use that spoon and not fling food with it... etc.

Jasmine - posted on 11/30/2010

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Aside from all the other good tips that were mentioned....the biggest tip I would give a new parent is to trust in yourself that you are and going to be a good parent to your child. Just because you may not do things as someone else does not make you a bad parent. Only YOU know what is best for your child.

Taylor - posted on 11/30/2010

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definitely get your baby on a seriously consistent schedule ASAP. i worked really hard at getting my daughter on a schedule and everyone acted like i was crazy for not letting her grandparents watch her for the first few months or not going out, but she just turned 9 months and has been sleeping through the night since she was about 3 months and i've been able to put her in her bed to fall asleep without rocking her or anything since about 5 months.
our best friends' baby is 10 days older, they've never had her on a schedule and let different people watch her 3+times a week and she STILL rarely sleeps through the night. and even then she doesnt go to bed until midnight.

ALSO- whatever crazy advice your in-laws try to give you or whatever things they try to blow off doing when taking care of your baby because they "enver did that". remember its your baby. so dont take their crazy advice, dont pay any attention to what they did or did not do with their kids, and let them know you want things done your way with your baby. don't be shy about it. they get over it.

congrats and good luck!

Meredith - posted on 11/30/2010

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oh yeah,and TUMMY TIME! I started tummy time a few days outta the hospital ((not long just a few minutes)) and she could hold her head up by week four, sit by month three, crawl by month 5 and walk ((completely by herself)) by month 10.. Everyone said I was crazy, but I'll do again with the next baby! Plus, if you do it early they don't hate it as much when they get older.. LOL..Plus, no flat heads.. tehe

Meredith - posted on 11/30/2010

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the only advice I ever give new moms is: sometimes crying babies need to be put down somewhere safe so you can walk away and breathe.. you're not a bad mom, in fact it'll make you a better mom! your baby crying for 5 minutes is not going to hurt them.. Also, ((and I know I'll prolly get bashed for this one)).. don't respond to every whimper they make.. give them a few seconds to decide what they want.. I have a friend who picked up their kid every time he made a peep and now he's HORRIBLE!! No one likes being around him becuse all he does is scream and throw fits! lol.. I don't even like my daughter wround him that much because he's such a terror.. Anyways, you know what's best.. so when people try to give you advice, or tell you you're doing something wrong, just smile and nod and keep doing what you're doing! :)

Nicole - posted on 11/30/2010

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The best advice I got was from the nurse. "The best habits to have are none." meaning don't start something you may regret like letting your child fall asleep in a swing all the time or letting your child sleep with you-which is dangerous anyway etc. I wish them the best of luck.

Bonnie - posted on 11/30/2010

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Don't try to be a hero. If you need help, ask for it. If people are willing to help you, let them.

Tiffany - posted on 11/29/2010

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The best thing I did was to get my daughter on a schedule. IMO, it's such an important thing to do from the beginning. My daughter sleeps through the night and has since she was 4 weeks old. Also, sleep when the baby sleeps! You may want that 'me' time, but you'll appreciate the sleep more lol. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Also, if she plans on BFing...tell her even if she feels like giving up to just hold out on it. I breastfed for 3 months and it was hard, but I wish I had stuck with it. Other than that, just tell her to enjoy every single second because it goes by so quick!

September - posted on 11/29/2010

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Sleep when baby sleeps! No doing chores!!! :) Congrats to you and your family ♥

Sarah - posted on 11/29/2010

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Everyone has moments when they just want to cry or scream with frusteration and thats ok too! You are probably hormonal, sleep deprived and feel like you just can't handle one more moment of your baby crying. It's ok put the baby in the crib, pack-n-play, swing...some place safe go into the other room, shut the door and collect yourself it is ok to leave your baby alone to cry for a few moments for your own sanity! Much better than yelling at the baby shaking them or hitting them like some people I've seen on the news who couldn't take it and just snapped. There is lots of good but there will be bad too so just try to focus on the good and make time for yourself.

Nicole - posted on 11/29/2010

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Don't let anyone visit you who doesn't bring anything positive to the interaction. You have enough to worry about, if people are coming to visit they should bring some food, or help with the dishes, or hold the baby while you shower. Curious or nosy people can wait until you have had a decent amount of sleep and some peace and quiet.

Sherry - posted on 11/29/2010

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I would probably say the most important ones would be:

1. Sleep when the baby sleeps, otherwise you get no sleep at all.
2. Clean the baby thoroughly
3. Make sure to soak the nipples of the bottle and the bottles themselves in hot water and wash in hot water to prevent thrush in there mouth.
4. The best detergent to use for washing baby clothes is Dreft.
5. Do not use dryer sheets on baby clothes
6. If you get too frustrated with your baby lay him or her down in there bed and walk away for a few and regain your sanity :D!!!!
7. Yes you can hold your baby as much as you want, it's a tiny baby but my advice to you is to slowly and gradualy wean him or her off holdings all the time by 6 months.
8. Your baby may have allergic reactions to certains soaps, lotions, etc. Just have to keep searching around for the right ones.. Thats what happened to me!

To me those are the most important

[deleted account]

Have family members prepare meals for you before and after the baby comes and freeze them so you don't have to cook for a couple weeks!! its easy for your husband to unthaw and cook rather then you dealing with lack of sleep and a newborn and cooking! ooh and take ALL the help people offer!! friends and family! its hard when your a first time mom so don't feel bad

Kim - posted on 11/28/2010

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one thing I wish someone would have told me was not to rock my son to sleep cuz it was hell to get him out of that habit...

take lots and lots of pictures and cherish every moment cuz it goes by waayy too fast...

let them spend a little time each day playing in there playpen cuz when you need to get stuff done you can put them in there and they will play and not throw a fit

Stacey - posted on 11/28/2010

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I wish someone would have told me that the moms with newborns are exagerating when they say that everything is perfect, because most of the time it's not. Having a baby is a huge adjustment and it is normal to feel overwhelmed and frustrated at times especially in the first few weeks.

Lexie - posted on 11/28/2010

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Imagination Library! A free, age appropriate book a month until baby turns 5 years old.
Remember to trust yourself. You may not always get it right, but babies are resilient and will have faith in mommy if she has faith in herself.
Also, breastfeeding is tops (for mom and baby), but it can be really hard to get into the swing of things. Make sure you have lots of support.
And something that no one ever told me (which surprises me still) is that your baby is going to be so much more fun than you could have ever imagined.
Good luck to your brother and his wife! And to you, auntie!

Lacye - posted on 11/27/2010

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When the child gets old enough to walk around and get into things, HIDE THE SCISSORS! In my dad's wedding picture to my step mother, I look like a little boy in a dress because I had gotten ahold of the scissors when nobody was looking. Yikes!

Ashley - posted on 11/27/2010

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patience, patience, patienc...& when all else fails go with ur gut--mommy instinct is hardly EVER wrong Oh, & take TONS, & TONS of pictures--u never get those memories back:) & most important have fun!!!

Chrystal - posted on 11/27/2010

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Sleep when baby sleeps! That is the best advice I was given when baby was born. And also you have to work as a team when it comes to having a newborn. All things can't be put on mom, Dad needs to help out too or it will just cause stress between the both of you. Baby can feel that and it will just make things worse for everybody.

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I agree also with the whole, its ok that you dont bond right away....i did...because of the antisipation of waiting to see her for 2 hours while i was in recovery, breastfeeding makes it a lot quicker and easier to bond, some of my friends said they felt like they were just given a little stranger and didnt know what to think of it....so dont feel bad if you dont get all full of emotion and choked up and fall right in love, sometimes it doesnt happen that way.

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cassy, people tried to make me feel like i wasnt strong enough because i had to have a section, and acted like i didnt go through any pain.....i was in labour for 23 frickin hours...thats not pain???? She was lodged on her way out! so i still had to experience that "ring of fire" everyone talks about on top of that i had to recover from a major operation!!!! so yea...100% agree with what she said!! dont let anyone make you feel your any less of a woman because of a section.....if anything, we go through more...i still have pain sometimes and i had her 11months ago....yea...no pain my ass...

[deleted account]

Lol the best advice i can give you is DONT LISTEN TO ANYONE!!!!! hahaha

actually it would be look into a midwife being present, it just might save your life!

http://www.truththeory.org/the-business-...


watch this video, it will change your idea of labour, you wont feel scared anymore..you will be empowered by who you are and what you will go through.

Cassie - posted on 11/27/2010

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If you have to have a c-section.. Don't let anyone make you feel that your NOT a real mother... Once it comes time to start standing. Stand up slowly..... Trust me!!!!

Kristy - posted on 11/27/2010

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Don't be afraid to ask for help. The first week at home with a newborn is hard. Ask parents, inlaws and friends to help you out at home, or make you a meal that will last a couple of nights.

Katherine - posted on 11/27/2010

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Cherish every moment and be patient you will have sleepless nights and sleep when they sleep and don't beat yourself up if things don't go excatly how you think they should there will be alot of caous at times but most important don't loose sight of the goal family make sure you make time for you and your spouse without baby not at first but soon and just be happy no one can tell you how to raise your baby everyone has there own style that works just for them you may not know imediatly but you will find your groove!! congrats and best of luck!

[deleted account]

DON"T READ ANYTHING!!!! Especially the "What to expect..." books. They will only make you fearful and doubtful of your own ability to parent. Just trust yourself to know the right thing to do. Also, get ye a doula and a lactation consultant! They will really help you both during delivery and in those first hard weeks.

Marie-Pier - posted on 11/27/2010

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Thrust your instinct and be confident in yourself your the only one who knows what is best for your kid!!

Maria - posted on 11/26/2010

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Remember the most expensive is not always the best! (wish I'd learned that a little sooner, lol) And always keep a diaper bag w/ you even when you're only going into the store for "just a minute" b/c you never do after having a baby.

Kyla - posted on 11/26/2010

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Sleep as much as you can when you can..

I agree with taking lots of pictures.. but don't forget to have them printed out as well. Digital cameras are great as long as you actually get the pictures printed.

And I know everyone says this and you don't really believe it until its happening to you. But LOVE every moment of being a new mom even the sleepless nights and the crying baby. It goes by way to fast not to enjoy it. And it really does go WAY too fast.

Amanda - posted on 11/26/2010

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Enjoy the new baby!! First and foremost! Because most people will scare the crap out of you with advice and others will tell you what to do and what not to do! I always tell new moms to ENJOY the baby!! :) Sleep when babe sleeps, and get into a ROUTINE!! Routines that are started at a young age will help when baby #2 comes or when mom goes back to work! It also prepares baby for what's coming next! Much easier when they know what's going on!! :)

Isobel - posted on 11/26/2010

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EXACTLY what Heather said.

I didn't bond with my daughter until she was long home with me...and I felt like a jerk cause nobody ever told me that could happen. I honestly kept waiting for her "real" mother to come get her.

And cut yourself some slack, cause nobody's perfect :)

Jayde - posted on 11/26/2010

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When it comes to the "birth plan" as a FIRST time mum, i would write this plan loosely. You DON'T know what the pain is going to be like. Aim for natural but educate yourself with all things that can help you during your labour & birth. If you do choose pain relief don't feel like you failed. Everyones labour, birth & pain tolerance is DIFFERENT. :)

Also after a week or two try to start walking for light exercise it'll get you & bub some fresh air, help keep you feeling refreshed & help bub have some sleep :)

Shelley - posted on 11/26/2010

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Take an hour for yourself EVERY DAY. Especially if your child is colicky. Yes, you're a new mom and everything is amazing and awesome and you want to spend every moment with the baby, but when you need to get away, get away for a little while, even if it's just to have hubby watch the baby so you can take a much-needed soak in the tub. Just do it, and don't feel guilty about it. You need to be at your best so you can be the best for the ones you love. Lol, like the old saying goes, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." :D

Lady Heather - posted on 11/26/2010

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Don't feel like a horrible person if you don't feel like this loving mom right away. I didn't feel that connection for two whole weeks. Drove me crazy. No one ever told me that it's totally normal.

Try to breastfeed but if you happen to be in that small percentage of women who can't (I was), don't beat yourself up over it. I wasted a lot of time worrying about feeding my daughter when I could have been focused on just loving her.

Fill your freezer with food NOW! I made casseroles and muffins and stuff and there was lots to eat after! My mum came for two weeks and she did the same. We didn't have to cook for the first month!

Know that this too shall pass. I remember thinking I ruined my life for about half a day. Couldn't sleep, she couldn't feed, I had mastitis and couldn't even move. Suddenly I realized - hey, this time next year she'll be walking (which actually didn't turn out to be true, but close enough). I felt a whole lot better after that.

Carolyn - posted on 11/26/2010

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the idea of labour scared the living shit out of me, but once i read the following, it really helped me calm down about the whole thing and have faith in myself and my body and doing things naturally.

" for thousands of years women have been giving birth. If a woman can deliver a child in a field by herself and go back to cultivating, you can do it in the comfort of a hospital or your home, with help"

our bodies are made for this !!!!

oh and seriously, dont push until the doctor/nurse midwife says too. you can save alot of perineal and cevical harm by listening to your caregivers !!!!!!!

Brianna - posted on 11/26/2010

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take a couple extra parts of the comfy cheep underwear from the hospital home with you to use for the first couple days. they are comfy and if you leak its no big deal cuz ur just gonna throw them out anyways

Brianna - posted on 11/26/2010

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breastfeeding will be hard at first but dont give up. you and baby are both learning how to do it. Most moms cry and wanna give up the first few days but it will get better once you figure out what works for you and your baby!

Tabby - posted on 11/26/2010

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Nothing will work out like you plan! Just go with the flow and cherish every mess and moment :-) Good Luck to them and you!

Jessica - posted on 11/26/2010

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BREASTFEED!! Or at least give it a shot lol. Its free, you lose all the baby weight really fast and its a really good bonding experience. I seriously cried when I realized I wasn't going to be able to breastfeed anymore. My daughter is 7 months now and holds her own bottle though so I don't think she really noticed lol.

Definitely take lots of pictures. Make prints of them too, don't just save them on the computer. That way if it crashes or something you don't lose all the memories.

Nicole - posted on 11/26/2010

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Don't let your baby get over-tired, never wake a sleeping baby and sleep when your baby sleeps are all good ones.

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