10 Survival Tips for a New Mom

survival tips

Do not make sleep training decisions in the middle of the night. This is the best piece of advice I got when I was in the trenches with a newborn. You will be tempted one night when your child just won’t fall back asleep and you are beyond exhausted and just want a few hours of continuos sleep and suddenly the idea of sleep training sounds like heaven. Don’t do it. At the same time, don’t try to switch up the sleeping arrangement in the middle of the night whether that is co-sleeping or they are in their own room. The middle of the night is not the time to make these decisions.

It will be hard when you are trying to calm down a fussy baby while your husband snores peacefully next to you. Try not to smother him with your pillow – you’ll need him later.

You cannot spoil a newborn. Does he only sleep in his carseat? Or only in the swing? Or do you need to wear him in order to get him to nap? Whatever it takes, go ahead and do it. You cannot spoil a newborn and you will not set bad sleeping habits at 6, 8 or 12 weeks of age despite what all of the sleep books say and he will be ruined for the rest of his life and never sleep.

Take pictures – with you in them. I have tons of newborn pictures but rarely any with me in them and that’s because I would growl at my husband if he tried to take one of me in those early days. I hadn’t showered, my hair was a mess, no makeup and just looked awful and no way was he going to capture that in a picture. But the truth is, later on you’ll look back through these pictures and wonder where you were. Just take them – your kid will want to see you in his baby pictures. Also invest in newborn photography – your uterus will thank me later.

It’s okay if they are crying. I was so nervous taking my newborn anywhere in fear that he would start crying at the restaurant, grocery store or in the Target aisles and I would draw unwanted attention and glances from people judging me why I couldn’t calm my baby down. This is quite the opposite. For one, newborn cries are so mellow & quiet compared to the tantrum of a 2 year old as you are attempting some form of discipline (trust me on this one) that people barely notice. And chances are 75% of those people have kids and they understand. This also applies to flying with a newborn – just relax, if your baby starts crying it’s okay.

Bring extra clothes with you. You will get puked on, or have a diaper explode on your lap. This will happen – bring extra clothes for yourself and baby.

It will get lonely and repetitive. After the initial excitement of a new baby wears off and friends and relatives go back to their everyday lives, you will be doing this day in and day out for the next few years. It is repetitive: feed, burp, change a diaper, nap, and then rinse and repeat. Except sometimes you don’t get to rinse and it’s just repeat.

Remember to eat. In order to take care of your baby, you need to first take care of yourself. Feeding yourself is the first step then work on getting some rest and then try to set aside some time just for yourself. Even if that means browsing Target by yourself for 30 minutes.

It is a phase, and this too shall pass. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – I promise. Sleep will get easier, so will breastfeeding and they will stop shitting themselves in the middle of the night. It’ll get better and easier just try and make it through today and not worry that this will forever be your life. It’ll change in a week or two – or three.

Hire help. Get a maid.

Stop Googling. Also applies to reading sleep expert books, baby blogs (so guilty here) or following other moms on social media. You’ll oogle over their perfect pictures and spotless houses and moms who have showered and have pretty lipstick on. This is not normal. Also stop googling how to get your 3 week old to sleep through the night while rocking your baby at 3am on your iPhone and be oozing jealously over other moms posting that their babe was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks of age. Wonder where the mom is that has a 9 month old and he is not sleeping through the night? Probably still rocking her baby and is not posting on BabyCenter’s forum.

 

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Linkin’ up with Becky over at Mrs. to Mama on her 52 Weeks of Blogging series

Five on Friday : Random List

One.

I’ve been saving my pennies – well rather our Amex reward points – for an intro DSLR camera. I’ve been drooling over these for some time and decided that with another little one on the way, we wanted to upgrade our point ‘n shoot camera to something better and higher quality. So I’ve been deep into reviews and trying to figure out just what kind I want to get. I think I’ve narrowed it down to a Canon, but just not sure which one. Any recommendations?

Our last splurge was getting a Blendtec blender (the hubs’ choice) and we’ve been using that almost every day this summer making smoothies and I hopefully will get an equal amount of use out of the new camera.

canon2

 

Two.

BabyBird has officially grown up. Yup, he’s all grown up now. No more diapers, and now no more crib. We’ve officially moved him into his new big boy bedroom with a twin bed. I still have a few pictures to hang and some final touches before I reveal his new bedroom. But he’s been sleeping in it for the last 2 weeks or so and overall it has been going really good. We’ve definitely had nights & naps where he is getting up – but that’s to be expected as he is testing his boundaries and our patience.

Last night he woke up, and quietly sneaked into our bedroom and crawled into bed next to me. In my half sleepy daze, I thought it was the hubs and then realized it was a stinky little toddler laying next to me. We cuddled for a little bit and then I put him back in his bed – but boy did that melt my heart.

bed

Getting a special treat for staying in his big boy bed all night.

 

Three.

zoo

We went to the zoo this week. Yes, an 8 month pregnant momma and her 2.5 year old toddler tackled the Denver Zoo – we have a yearly membership and lately the mornings have been cooler so I thought why not. I packed us a picnic lunch and we drove down to the zoo for the morning. It was definitely tiring and exhausting pushing this guy around in the BOB stroller but we had a great time and he loved riding the carousel. I had the mindset that we would just stay for an hour, eat lunch and head home but a certain little guy wanted to see the giraffes, monkeys & elephants before we left. And just so conveniently those three animals are located on opposite ends of the zoo – so needless to say I got my workout in for the day.

 

Four. 

I’m in full on nesting mode lately. I’ve washed and organized all the itty bitty girl clothes and getting the nursery ready. Which I know is silly since she won’t be sleeping in there until she’s at least 3-4 months old (we are planning on co-sleeping for the first several months) but I think it’s just part of the preparation. Speaking of which, I can’t decide on curtains… it’s down to these three choices:

pink ruffle

Which one do you like? I was leaning towards the silk pink ones for the longest time – but now I’m doubting that choice. Maybe the white ruffles?

 

Five.

We just re-discovered story time at the library. I tried going to them back when he was younger, like 18 months or so, and he was just so squirmy and wouldn’t pay attention that it became more of a struggle to get him to sit still during it that I gave up on the idea until recently when a friend was going and sent an open invite out for anyone else that was interested in joining. One of her boys shares the exact same birthday as BabyBird. We stopped by one week after swim class and he loved it and sang the songs all week afterwards and he did so good sitting still and listening to the stories.

 

 


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Wordless Wednesday : Carousel Ride

boy

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Say What?

saywhatpic

at the dinner table one night

BabyBird: “I’m making a small mess”

Me: “What do you think momma is going to say about that?”

BabyBird: ::pauses:: “nothing”

 

after giving him his dinner

BabyBird: “I don’t like noodles” ::pauses:: “I still love you, momma”

 

Me: “What do you want momma to do?”

BabyBird: “Leave!”

Me: “Where is momma leaving to?”

BabyBird: “Leave over there!”

 

after a rough bedtime routine with a cranky toddler

Me: “What was your favorite part today?”

BabyBird: ::pouts:: “I don’t have a favorite part”

 

pointing at 3 flags in front of a rec center as we are walking up to the front entrance

BabyBird: “Fags over there!”

Me: ::blank look on my face::

BabyBird: “I see three fags”

Me: ::trying desperately to figure out what he is talking about:: “What do you see?”

BabyBird: “They are waving, one is on top”

Me: “Oh, the flags!” ::cue sigh of relief::

BabyBird: “They are going back & forth”

Me: “Yes, honey… Flllags”

 

BabyBird is 2yrs & 5 months old.

 


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