Attention Moms! Remembering being a first time mom? With so many questions, there could never be too many answers! This is the place to share your advice, tips and suggestions to new moms. Think about the questions, concerns, and advice you wanted as a first time mother. Share and inform!

Tags: firsttimemomadvice, newmomadvice, tipstonewmoms

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I am a first time mom, and I would love to share some advice to new mothers, as a new mother myself who didn't have a new mother to ask questions to or seek advice from. And I had, like I'm sure many new mothers have, PLENTY of questions. I ended up getting a lot of answers from experience alone.

Here are a few suggestions/tips/pieces of advice that I have to offer to new moms:

1. Share your bed with your newborn
My mom bought us a co-sleeper because I was unsure about the idea of bed-sharing, but my daughter hasn't slept in it overnight once! I found sleeping with her so easy and comfortable for both of us when it came to middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. When Ella gets hungry, her food source (my breast) is right there for her, and every night after her feedings, she falls asleep. We fall asleep together. Due to this setup, I've been able to get much more sleep per night, simply because I haven't had to get up and go to another room to get her or put her back down. The other benefit other than more sleep is the fact that we have bonded so closely. I remember getting to know her so well just in the first few days while studying her night time behavior. Another plus-skin to skin contact. It regulates and increases baby's blood flow/circulation and encourages steady breathing and heart rate. If you are worried about the risks associated with bed-sharing, I suggest doing some research. Bed-sharing can be dangerous if you sleep with your baby while intoxicated, are overly exhausted, or if there are too many pillows and heavy blankets on the bed. Also make sure that if your bed is pushed up against a wall that baby sleeps on the inside rather than risking the change of baby slipping between the bed and the wall. In our case, the co-sleeper is against the wall and the bed is up against it, and if Ella were to roll away from me, she would simply roll into the co-sleeper, which is just slightly lower than our mattress. (the co-sleeper is also strapped to the mattress so it can't separate, a provided part of the co-sleeper's safety)

2. A newborn babies needs few things: food, clean diapers and clothes, and the warmth of being held
When my due date was approaching, I felt panicked about not having what I needed to take care of my baby around the home. I asked my doula, "what do I need to buy?" She told me newborn babies don't need much. "Mama's milk, blankets and arms to hold her, fresh diapers and clean clothes." She was so right. So much time is spend cuddling, feeding and staring at each other. Other than all that, I was would say stock up on receiving blankets, cuddly warm blankets, burp cloths, onsies, socks, baby fingernail clippers, a booger bulb :), thermometer, hats, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol for cord care, a wrap/sling, baby lotion...and LOVE!!

3.Buy Cloth Diapers
The first month and a half of Ella's life, we got our diapers from a local diaper service. Then a good friend out west sent me a package full of All-in-one diapers, a brand called Knicker Nappies. They are fleece lined diapers with an opening in the back where you insert at "absorbent diaper insert." They are awesome. I canceled the diaper service (that we were going to have to pay for each and every month until potty-training) and bought Knicker Nappies and inserts that I wash myself that adjust in size with snaps. (visit www.knickernappies.com) Doesn't it make sense to buy your own cloth diapers (no matter what kind, of course) and pay one large lump sum rather than spend double, triple, or quadruple that cost over the span of two to three years?

4. Try to find a way to stay at home, or at least work part-time
I love being a stay-at-home mom. I think if possible, it's the right thing to do for at least the first year or two. It's too bad our government doesn't feel the same way. Try to figure out a way. It's so worth it. She really has transformed before me very eyes each and every day. I would hate to have missed this precious time.

Those are a few of my thoughts! I hope you find my suggestions helpful, new moms! Enjoy your baby.

<3, Kaitlin
1. Breastfeed immediately in the hospital, do NOT allow them to push formula. Your milk can take up to 5 days to come in, do NOT supplement in those 5 days. Babies can lose 10 percent of their birth weight when leaving the hospital. It's normal. Also, your body produces colostrum which is very important for the baby to get. So nurse, nurse nurse! :) Avoid artificial nipples for the first couple months to avoid nipple confusion as well! Oh, breastfeeding can hurt. Get some lansinoh cream, don't wash nipples with soap, get reusable breastpads (cloth pads are AWESOME and comfy), and contact your local Le Leche League and see a lactation consultant for help and support!

2. Get a sling/wrap etc. It makes life so much easier! :) I couldn't have survived without my sling.

3. Remember that at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months a baby usually goes through growth spurts: eating more etc. Don't freak out about supply, it's normal and while it can get exhausting this too shall pass!

4. Have healthy snacks on hand, and bottles of water. I wasn't told how HUNGRY I would be while nursing! I loved having fruit salads, yogurt, etc on hand. It helped a lot! ;)

5. House cleaning can wait. Don't stress about the small stuff. A baby is only a baby for so long, enjoy it. Don't overwork yourself trying to keep the house spotless, and laundry caught up!
Great information! Thanks for sharing your advice and contributing to the cause of helping new moms!

Shanna said:
1. Breastfeed immediately in the hospital, do NOT allow them to push formula. Your milk can take up to 5 days to come in, do NOT supplement in those 5 days. Babies can lose 10 percent of their birth weight when leaving the hospital. It's normal. Also, your body produces colostrum which is very important for the baby to get. So nurse, nurse nurse! :) Avoid artificial nipples for the first couple months to avoid nipple confusion as well! Oh, breastfeeding can hurt. Get some lansinoh cream, don't wash nipples with soap, get reusable breastpads (cloth pads are AWESOME and comfy), and contact your local Le Leche League and see a lactation consultant for help and support!

2. Get a sling/wrap etc. It makes life so much easier! :) I couldn't have survived without my sling.

3. Remember that at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months a baby usually goes through growth spurts: eating more etc. Don't freak out about supply, it's normal and while it can get exhausting this too shall pass!

4. Have healthy snacks on hand, and bottles of water. I wasn't told how HUNGRY I would be while nursing! I loved having fruit salads, yogurt, etc on hand. It helped a lot! ;)

5. House cleaning can wait. Don't stress about the small stuff. A baby is only a baby for so long, enjoy it. Don't overwork yourself trying to keep the house spotless, and laundry caught up!
Being a new mom can be daunting! I hope the advice in this thread can help some people out! :)

I also want to add that allow advice to go through one year, out the other! Trust you instincts. New moms can be scared, and exhausted and vulnerable. So please, don't give into other people's unwanted advice, especially if it FEELS wrong! I was told to start cereal at like a month old to help Becka sleep through the night! It was tempting, because I was exhausted, but it felt wrong so it never happened!

Also: The Baby Book by dr sears is VERY helpful! :)
Absolutely, Shanna. The advice that we (the universal we) provide is personal to us, but not necessarily right for each mom! I bed-share, but I definitely do not have anything against moms who choose to lay down their little ones in a crib in their own room. Always trust your instincts, new moms.
My best advice is just to do what feels NATURAL to you. There are so many options out there and so many so-called experts shoving thier advice down your throat. You seem to think that things need to be done a certain way because they say so. If you feel good about sleeping with your baby, then do it. If you want to hold your baby or wear your baby, then do it. A baby who's needs are met, is a happier baby.
Whatever decision you feel you need to make, don't make it blindly. Look it up, research it and go with your gut. Don't think just because everyone you know does/did it makes it a GOOD choice.

Also, with anything you want to do, go into with the attitude that you can and WILL do it. Don't want an epidural, DON'T get one! Know that you can give birth to that baby without it!

Want to breastfeed? Then stop saying you'll 'TRY' say you'll 'DO IT!'

Just keeping positive and confident in your decisions will help you succeed and when others will see you know your stuff and are sticking to it, they'll be less likely to offer unsolicited advice.
I have to agree with sharing a family bed with your newborn. My baby has slept 4-6 hours at a time from birth and I think its because she has been sleeping in bed with me. She is now only waking up once or twice a night at 2 months old!
Maggie - I found the same thing! Ella is just now about 4 months old and has slept through the night without even waking to eat two or three times! :) It's been super easy ever since she was born, (bed-sharing the entire time) as she would wake up next to me, eat, and we'd both fall back asleep.

Jenn - I totally agree about the crying. It's a form of communication. Listen to your baby. Period.

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