The Ultimate List of Advice for New Moms According to Experienced Parents
They say that hindsight is 20/20 and, when it comes to parenting, that can be true. Experienced moms and grandmothers share their advice for new parents and what they wish they could tell themselves now.
It's OK if Your Baby Seems Like a Stranger
For some reason, we expect every first-time mom to fall madly in love with their newborns which just adds to the stresses of new motherhood. When that new baby is placed into your arms, don't worry if you feel like they're a stranger because they are and that's okay! Where else would you be expected to fall in love with someone you've never met before?
Kate, a mom of two shares, "It's OK if you don't love your baby right away. You will eventually." Be easy on yourself. Building a relationship takes time and this applies to your new baby too.
Ignore Social Media
Stop scrolling through a million perfect parent posts online! Nothing makes you as a new mom feel worse than seeing picture perfect lives when you haven't washed your hair in a few days. Add to that the early days of postpartum, breastfeeding, and sleepless nights which makes social media scrolling not the best idea for your mental health.
Instead, focus on real life like snuggles with your baby, and getting to know this newest little person in your life. Trust us, behind every seemingly perfect Instagram post of an influencer with a baby or young child is an army of help and people making each post look like life is all perfection.
Each Baby Is Different
If this is not your first child, it's important to know that each baby has their own unique traits, temperament, and personality. If your first baby was easy and the second one is fussy, that's no reflection on you as a parent.
Claire, mother of two and grandmother of three has this advice for new parents: "Each baby is different, some more needy than others. It isn't your fault or the fault of your parenting if your baby cries a lot. If your baby is demanding, make use of all the help offered to give yourself time to rest and recoup." If this isn't your first rodeo as a parent reassure yourself that you've been there and done that.
With the world seemingly offering pieces of advice at every turn, follow your gut. You know your child best and you need to trust your own inner voice and tune out anything that isn't helpful to your situation.
Christine, mom of two says, "I would absolutely tell myself to take it easy on ME! There is no 'perfect' way of parenting. Follow your heart and trust in the love you have for your child."
Lisa, mom of three agrees: "Trust yourself. As a mom, we know what's best for our children and trust the process. The little things (we think are big things) will pass."
Every Stage is Temporary
Many new parents find the first days, weeks and months of parenting hugely challenging. Whether it's trying to breastfeed or dealing with a year-old child screaming at the door when you're trying to use the bathroom, reminding yourself that this too shall pass is key.
Sarah, mom of three reiterates this, "Know that everything is just a phase! Literally everything. The younger the kid, the shorter the phase (usually). This too shall pass should be every parent's mantra."
Another mom, Erin, who has two children wants new parents to know, "Nothing lasts forever! Whenever my baby/toddler would start a new hard stage, I would panic and think 'This is it! He is going to cry forever/tantrum forever/be a picky eater forever/reject washing his hair forever....etc.' then I would furiously Google what to do. I wish I had known to take a deep breath and WAIT. Every stage is temporary!"
Olga, mom of three also learned this advice in hindsight, "I wish I knew not to worry so much. Also, throw away the parenting books. All of them." If you do have questions or concerns about anything you can always ask your pediatrician.
Don't Feel Pressure to Enjoy Every Minute
Let's face it, there's tremendous pressure on new parents to savor every second. You'll hear this parenting advice from mom friends and maybe the occasional in-law; even people at the grocery store. The pressure is real! The problem is that most of these people don't have newborns anymore and don't recall the hard times to be had in those early stages especially during the first year. When sleep deprivation from endless sleepless nights make feeding yourself a chore, it's time to take this one off of your plate.
As Erica a mom of one shares, "Tune the 'Oh you must enjoy every minute, they grow up so fast, soon she'll be out the door' rhetoric out. It's depressing and unhelpful. Replace it with 'every age is fantastic.'"
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