When you're becoming a mother for the first time, you wish there were an official mom manual. The experience of facing motherhood is both frightening and exciting. You feel that the unknowns are way too many. You want to be the best mom possible and do what is best for your baby, but knowing what is the right thing to do isn't simple. However, you must believe in your heart. Although you will start out as a novice, you are going to get the hang of it very soon. You might end up calling your own mom in the middle of the night a couple of times. Relax, it’s normal, and your mom probably expects the calls.
Parenting is a tough job, but it is also extremely fulfilling. It is a crazy joyride where you must keep reminding yourself that you will soon reach the end of the sleep-deprived tunnel. Are there any tips to make the road smoother for you? Turns out there are, and they are quite simple and effective, too. You're sure to save yourself some time, effort, and stress by using these hacks, focusing more time on those cuddles you adore.
10 Keep It Dry With Almond Oil
You can find out if your baby is wet or dry even without removing their diaper. It’s usually possible to tell just by feeling the outside of a disposable diaper as it will be more ‘plump’ when wet, and one sniff can tell you if the baby has pooped. With cloth diapers, a visual inspection is all that’s necessary.
Don't get scared if the first few poops look like tar. This is meconium. You can prevent it from sticking to your baby by using coconut or almond oil on the baby's bottom. This will moisturize your baby, and you can wipe off the poop easily; otherwise, it gets difficult to clean it.
A simple diaper changing trick is to put a clean diaper under your baby before unfastening the dirty one. You can then clean your baby's bottom, place dirty wipes on top of the mess and wrap it all up together, and there's a clean one in place ready to go.
9 Decide Who Sleeps When
Work out a sleeping arrangement with your partner even before the baby is born. Study your sleeping pattern and figure out what will work best for the both of you. If you wake up early naturally but have trouble falling asleep once you're up, take the early morning shift. If your partner can go back to sleep easily, they will be better at the midnight shift. Take turns in taking care of the baby so that you're both not completely sleep deprived.
8 Large Baby Clothes
Your baby is likely to outgrow clothing very quickly in the initial months. Don't stress too much over the clothes. Just buy some larger sizes than what you need. The baby is not going to mind being in oversized clothes and you will not have to run around for new clothes every time the baby grows taller.
7 Poop Explosions
Babies can have poop explosions. You’ll know when it happens. There are likely to be occasions when the diaper can’t hold all the poo and it gets on your baby's clothing. That's when the tabs at the top of baby jumpers come in handy. They are on the shoulder to make the opening wide enough for you to take the jumper off downwards instead of over your baby’s head. You may not be able to avoid getting it in a lot of places, but, at least, it won’t be on your baby’s face.
6 Pacifiers for Medicine
Hospital pacifiers are the perfect tool for stubborn babies who refuse to take medicine. These pacifiers are given to you at the hospital, but you can also purchase them. They have a hollow opening you can use to place the medicine dropper. Although the flow through the tiny hole in the pacifier will be quite slow, making this a long process for you, at least, your baby will get the medicine they need while being duped into feeling better about it.
5 Stay Close With Slings
The first month of your baby is often referred to as the 4th trimester of pregnancy. This is because the baby still needs to be as close to the mother as possible. You will notice your baby can sleep for hours at a stretch without crying, or calms down instantly when they nestle against your body. If you need to run a few urgent errands, it makes sense to carry your little one in a sling. You will see they love being close to you and listening to your heartbeat.
4 Swaddle or Sleeper?
Your baby is most likely to scream if it gets chilly for them. A zip, Velcro, or button sleeper is a good investment that will save you time from the complex folds of swaddling. It will also save you the worry of staying up to ensure your baby is not coming undone.
However, if you want to do it the traditional way, you can swaddle the right way with a few handy steps. Place the swaddle blanket in the shape of a diamond in the crib. Fold the top corner towards the middle and lay your baby on the blanket in such a way that the flat edge is at the back of their neck. You will then need to put your baby's arms against their body, bring a corner across the body and tuck underneath, leaving the other arm free. The bottom corner needs to be folded up, over the shoulder of the free arm. Finally, the remaining corner is to be folded over the flat arm, across the body, and then tucked under.
3 You Sleep, I Sleep
A newborn baby will sleep a lot, but not for long stretches. It can be tempting for first-time moms to try and keep the baby awake so they sleep through the night, but it doesn't work that way. If anything, it will make your baby really crabby. Ideally, babies cannot stay up for longer than an hour and a half, and their sleep cycle should not be tampered with until they are a bit older.
Instead, why not try and sleep when your baby is sleeping? This way you can get some rest and you don't have to worry about the baby for a short while. Don't stay up fretting, try to work out a schedule that matches with your little one.
2 Tiptoe Near the Baby's Crib
A simple but very effective way of earning some additional time of peace and quiet is to not rush into your baby's room at the first cry. Babies let out a cry even when they're slightly startled, and if you swoop in, they will become aware of movement around them and wake up. You will never know if they really finished sleeping. Babies often fall asleep again after crying a bit in their sleep. It will help to observe them from a distance for a minute to check if they need you. If you go in and pick them up immediately, they will wake up fully.
1 Clean Up to Wake Them Up
Babies often tend to fall asleep in the middle of a feeding. If you feel that the baby absolutely needs to be fed more, you should try to wake them up. You can pat their backs or shake them very slightly. If nothing works, a sure shot way to wake them is to change their diaper. When some cool air hits your baby's bare skin, they are sure to wake up with a cry. This way you can kill two birds with one stone; change their dirty diaper and wake them up for feeding.
Remember, a new mom is like a magnet to people who love giving unsolicited, but well-meaning advice. This can often result in stress or confusion, and it ends up overwhelming you. But you should know that everyone has their own right way of doing things when it comes to pregnancy or giving birth. It is, therefore, important to focus on doing your own research. Have the confidence in your ability to be a great mom to your child. If a particular piece of advice doesn't resonate with you, simply ignore it. Don't worry if others judge you; you don't need to match up to their standards of perfection, but simply your own. Surround yourself with people who tell you that you can do it.
Your baby really doesn't expect you to be perfect. They need love from you and you have a lot of that within you. As a mother, your most important asset is your intuition. Don't let others talk you into something that doesn't feel right in your gut. Listen to your inner voice before making decisions and the rest is sure to work out. At the same time, accept that you don’t know everything. You will need help or advice once in a while. Appreciate the intention if someone genuinely wants to share what worked for them. If it sounds right or sparks an interest, dig deeper to understand it better. Ultimately, you need to live and parent your kids on your own terms.