To the new mum, hungry, sore, and overwhelmed with a combination of love and exhaustion, we have something for you.
It’s not a cute baby outfit, a pre-cooked casserole or a card of congratulations.
It’s something that you might not need straight away, but you will probably need at some stage during the first few months of motherhood.
What is it? It’s a collection of our very best new mum advice, crafted with love and experience, gifted to all the new mums out there and ready for you to read when you need to hear it the most.
New Mum Advice For Those Extra Bad Days
Motherhood is an insane journey and the first few months tend to be the trickiest. To get you through those long days and even longer nights, here are some pearls of parenting wisdom to keep in mind.
It’s okay to ugly cry
Let those tears/emotions run free, baby. It’s healthier to let it all out rather than keep it bundled inside, causing you to eventually explode.
It’s also okay to ask for help!
Find your ‘hood’ in motherhood. Swallow your pride and let others into your safe space and messy home. They’re not judging you – they just want to help.
Every child is different
What works for one may not work for the next.
Ignore the ‘good baby/good sleeper’ nonsense
Don’t worry if your baby isn’t the best sleeper or feeder. It’s not indicative of your parenting skills or your baby’s behaviour. Even babies that sleep perfectly can grow up to be little arseholes.
Get rid of the notion of being ‘perfect’
Perfection in motherhood doesn’t really exist.
Try to slooow down
There’s nothing that NEEDS to be done this moment. The chores can wait. You now operate on ‘baby time’, which basically involves feeding, settling and cuddling.
Don’t stress about the not sleeping thing
Sure, you’re tired, but try not to ruin your day by stressing about how bad of a night you’ve had.
You know best, even if you’re pretty sure you’re screwing it up. Nothing like a bit of mother’s guilt!
Not every day needs to ‘count’
Some days it’s just about making it to the next one. And that counts too.
Get in the photos
Even if you look like crap, snap those selfies and ask others to take pics with you in them! You’ll look back on them with fond memories, I promise.
Invest in equipment to help you
My favourite baby purchase ever is the Haakaa. It attaches to your breasts and catches excess milk. The Mumasil breast milk catcher is great too. Plus other things worth investing in include nipple cream, heating packs and stretch mark oil!
Things seem worse at night
Nights can be dark, lonely and overwhelming. Particularly when baby wakes up crying. Hang on in there – it’ll be daylight soon and things won’t seem quite as bad.
Take other mums’ stories in your stride
Same with advice. It’s nice to hear what works for others in a similar situation but remember, just because it works for them – it might not work for you and your baby.
Get out of the house (or at least your PJs)
You’d be surprised how much a bit of fresh air can help. Why not even start planning for a mumcation. A bit of me-time or a weekend away with girlfriends will give you a whole new lease on life. Plus, the clever folk say it’s good for mum and beneficial for our kids. Win-win!
You do you
Co-sleep, try formula, use dummies, even if others think it’s a ‘problem’. It’s only a problem if it’s a problem for you.
Stop with the ‘shoulds’
They ‘should’ be sleeping through, they ‘should’ be able to self-settle, they ‘should’ be feeding every three hours. Not every baby will do these things at certain times. We ‘shouldn’t’ expect them to.
It’s not possible to ‘enjoy every moment’
Some days well and truly suck. And some days require extra coffee for you and extra cuddles for baby. Tomorrow will be better!
Buy a baby carrier!
Babies NEED to be held a lot. So give your hands and back a break and wear baby instead.
Try to see things from the baby’s perspective
WHY is she crying, WHY won’t she stay asleep in her cot, WHY is she acting hungry when I just fed her? Because she’s brand new, confused and in need of comfort. Trying to see things from her perspective can give you a better understanding and sense of empathy for her needs.
It’s okay to walk (or run) away
Letting baby cry in her cot for a few minutes while you hide in the pantry and decompress is perfectly fine. She won’t remember it anyway.
Don’t get too caught up on plans
Plans change. A lot. What works one week may not work the next.
You’re doing great, new mums!
And if you’re ever in doubt, stop and have a look at your baby. Cuddle her, play with her, smile at her, love her. She’s all the proof you need that you’re doing everything right.
What to Read Next
- Want more help from your hubby during the first months of motherhood? Read: Hey Dads, We Could Use Some Support Here! How Husbands Can Help New Mums
- Confused about Wonder Weeks? Check out: Baby Leaps: Okay, New Mums, What the Hell Does This Even Mean?
- Got more than one? Have a look at: The Reality of Coping With a Newborn and a Toddler at The Same Time #MUMLIFE
- Looking for sleep advice? Head over to: How to Convince Your Baby It’s Cool to Sleep in a Cot, Not Your Arms