The joy of becoming a mother is an overwhelming emotion. The first time you kiss that tiny face will be an experience unlike any other. To help with transition into motherhood, you may want to consider a few tips collected from other moms who have kindly agreed to share their thoughts and advice on caring for baby and for themselves.
Napping is Nice
The first week at home with your new bundle of joy is literally an eye opener. Dozing with one eye open has become the new routine as you wait for soft, squeaking sounds coming from the crib or bassinet beside your bed. Sleep deprivation is the most common complaint shared by new moms. A great piece of advice is to sleep when the baby is sleeping. Taking naps throughout the day for those first few weeks at home will make mommy a happier person. Those middle of the night feedings can be a time of contentment and bonding for your and your baby if you’re getting enough rest, so catch a few winks whenever you.
If your mother-in-law offers to help with the laundry or housecleaning, consider it a gift to you and your baby. A neighbor may want to cook a meal for your family, or a friend may offer to pick up some groceries or run errands for you. These offers won’t last forever, so take advantage of them when you can. Remember, getting to know your new baby and settling into a stress free routine should be the focus in the first few weeks at home. If someone offers a helping hand, take it, and don’t feel guilty about it.
Trust Your Instincts
It is normal to be nervous when you consider that you are responsible for the safety and well-being of this tiny miracle you hold in your arms. Your baby will help guide you, if you can relax and listen. Get to know your baby. She will let you know when she is hungry, wet, or uncomfortable. Sometimes all she needs when she is frantically screaming is your loving touch and the comforting sound of your voice. Well-meaning family, friends and even strangers will offer advice and try to tell you exactly how you need to do things. Just remember, no two babies are the same. Take the advice you think you need, and disregard the rest.
Take Care of Yourself
This is the hardest, yet most important thing you can do for you and your baby. Treat yourself to a bubble bath when the baby is sleeping. Be sure you are not only eating, but eating well. Good nutrition is important to your speedy recovery. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water and try to actually sit down and enjoy a meal. You may want to sneak away for an hour or two to get a haircut or a manicure and pedicure. Trust Dad or your mother with the baby, and come home feeling like a new woman!
Before you know it, you will be wondering what your life was like before the birth of your baby. You’ll be a pro at multi-tasking, talking on the phone or making a pot of coffee with one hand, and soothing the sobbing baby with pride and confidence that only a mother understands.