This advice is my advice. I became a mom at the very young age of 36 (I was referred to as having a geriatric pregnancy). I feel there are plus and minuses to having a baby later in life. However, I state my age of becoming a mom only because people can be at such different stages in their lives even within just a few years. I feel as I am getting older, that I care less about what others think and making them happy. I am only concerned with mine and my family’s happiness.
So here it goes new moms:
- You are going to be tired/exhausted like you have never felt before. Which in turn may make you cranky. Do not apologize for being cranky. What your body has gone through creating this little human, the hormones, and caring for someone other than yourself 100% of the time, entitles you to be cranky!
- If you want to stay in your yoga pants and t-shirt all day even with spit up all over them, go for it! That baby to whom you are spending every second with, he/she doesn’t mind one bit!
- If anyone offers to help or asks if you need anything, speak up. Do not feel bad asking for someone to do something for you. Dinner was my favorite gift when I came home from the hospital. My husband doesn’t cook and I wasn’t feeling it, so when I had a few friends come by and they brought dinner, it was awesome. Also, if you ran out of baby wipes or anything for that matter, have someone pick them up for you. It is so much easier for them, then it is for you.
- Babies cry, a lot! For me, it sometimes felt like nails on a chalk board! If it is getting to be too much, put yourself in time out. You have already fed the baby, changed that dirty diaper, and made sure all of his/her needs have been met… The baby is fine, there is nothing wrong. Babies just cry sometimes and it can really start to make you crazy. I’m not saying let the baby “cry it out” (you can figure out if that method is what you want to do later on) however put the baby in the crib, go outside or somewhere quiet, even if it is only for 2-3 minutes it helps you re-group. Do not feel like a bad mom who can’t “fix” or soothe her baby. Babies can just be very difficult at times, you are still getting to know one another. Just remember (unlike a breakup) it’s them, it’s not you!
- My first born was a baby who never seemed to stop crying. Everyone would ask me “is he colicy?” Does a baby that screams for 7 hours straight every day have colic? I didn’t know, I really didn’t even know what colic meant, even after Googling it. Colic is a mystery ailment for babies to drive you to the brink of insanity with their crying. My advice, trust your mommy instincts. If you feel like the baby is crying more than he/she should be, tell your pediatrician. I would first ask about acid reflux, many babies experience this and it can really bother them. I was told especially in boys because their bodies do not develop/mature as quickly as girls (however many girls experience it as well). If you are formula feeding (aaahhhhh GASP, formula) sometimes a baby has an intolerance or allergy to cow’s milk protein found in most formulas. I would start there, with your pediatrician.
- You are formula feeding. You go girlfriend! No reason at all to feel bad! I am not knocking breast feeding by any means however, it isn’t always as easy as it seems. Or maybe you just never saw yourself breastfeeding, no problem! That is why there are a ton of formulas to choose from. Do not let anyone shame you because either you choose not to breastfeed, or just were not able to do it! Both of my boys were formula fed (not because I didn’t try to breastfeed) and still seem to be pretty smart, healthy, and have pretty good immune systems. Formula fed babies will love their moms just as much, don’t you worry.
- Do not be afraid to tell people NO! No, I do not want to go here or there to show off the baby. No, I just do not want anyone visiting right now. No, please do not hold the baby until you have washed your hands. No, please come visit when you are feeling better. No, I don’t want Auntie Jane’s, sister’s daughter’s friend, coming to visit the baby. No, I just can’t make it to your Tupperware party this time. If you just aren’t feeling it, don’t be afraid to say no. This is such a short time in your and your baby’s life right now, do what you want to do. Don’t be guilted into doing something you are not up for.
- Finally… Love yourself. Treat yourself. Take care of yourself. Take time for yourself. Trust yourself. Do things for yourself. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, because that little baby loves YOU already more than you know!
***On a less serious note. For anyone gives you advice to “sleep when the baby sleeps”, punch them right in the nose. UNLESS they have offered to come over and do your dishes, laundry, clean and make bottles, clean your house (including bathrooms), make breakfast, lunch, & dinner, and shop for groceries, “when the baby sleeps!”