Becoming a new mum is one of the most amazing and challenging experiences in life. You may feel a mix of emotions, from joy and love, to anxiety and doubt. You may have many questions and concerns about how to care for your baby, yourself, and your family. You may also face some difficulties and pressures, such as sleep deprivation, breastfeeding issues, postnatal depression, or isolation.
But don’t worry, you are not alone. There are many sources of support and guidance that can help you through this journey. In this article, we will share some of the best new mum advice from experts and other parents who have been there and done that. These tips will help you to cope with the challenges, enjoy the moments, and thrive as a new mum.
1. Trust your instincts
One of the most common new mum advice is to trust your instincts. You know your baby better than anyone else, so you should listen to your gut feeling and do what works for you and your baby. Don’t let other people’s opinions or advice overwhelm or confuse you. Every baby is different, and every parent is different. There is no one right way to do things, only what feels right for you.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore professional advice or medical guidance. If you have any concerns or questions about your baby’s health or development, you should always consult your doctor, midwife, or health visitor. They are there to help you and support you.
2. Ask for help
Another important new mum advice is to ask for help when you need it. Being a new mum can be exhausting and overwhelming, and you don’t have to do it all by yourself. There are many people who can help you, such as your partner, family, friends, neighbours, or community groups. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out and ask for help with practical tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, or babysitting. Or just ask for some emotional support, such as a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or a hug.
3. Take care of yourself
One of the most overlooked new mum advice is to take care of yourself. It may seem like your baby is your top priority, but you also need to look after your own physical and mental health. If you are not well, you won’t be able to care for your baby properly.
So make sure you eat well, drink plenty of water, rest when you can, and get some exercise. Try to do something that makes you happy every day, such as reading a book, listening to music, watching a show, or having a bath. And don’t forget to pamper yourself once in a while, such as getting a massage, a manicure, or a haircut.
You should also be aware of the signs of postnatal depression, which is a common condition that affects many new mums. It can cause feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, anxiety, or anger. If you think you may have postnatal depression, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to someone you trust, such as your partner, family member, friend, or health professional. There is help available for you.
4. Enjoy the moments
One of the most precious new mum advice is to enjoy the moments with your baby. They grow up so fast, and before you know it they will be crawling, walking, talking, and going to school. So try to savour every moment with them while they are still small and cuddly.
Take lots of photos and videos of them doing cute things or reaching milestones. Write down their funny words or expressions in a journal or a diary. Make memories with them by doing fun activities together or going on outings. And most importantly, tell them how much you love them every day.
Being a new mum is not easy, but it is also rewarding and fulfilling. By following these new mum advice tips from experts and other parents who have been there before you can survive and thrive in the first year of parenthood.
5. Connect with other parents
One of the most helpful new mum advice is to connect with other parents who are going through the same thing as you. Being a new mum can be lonely and isolating, especially if you don’t have many friends or family nearby. But you don’t have to do it alone. There are many ways to meet and bond with other parents, such as joining a local parent and baby group, attending a baby class, signing up for an online forum, or using an app like Mush or Peanut.
Connecting with other parents can provide you with many benefits, such as:
- Sharing your experiences, feelings, and tips with people who understand and empathise with you.
- Learning from other parents who have different perspectives and approaches to parenting.
- Making new friends who can support you and have fun with you.
- Finding playmates for your baby who can stimulate their social and cognitive development.
6. Be flexible and adaptable
One of the most realistic new mum advice is to be flexible and adaptable to your baby’s needs and preferences. Babies are unpredictable and constantly changing, so you need to be ready to adjust your plans and routines accordingly. What works one day may not work the next day, or even the next hour. You may have to try different things until you find what suits your baby best.
For example, you may have to experiment with different feeding methods, sleeping arrangements, nappy brands, toys, or activities. You may also have to change your expectations and goals, such as how much work you can do, how clean your house can be, or how much time you can spend on yourself. The key is to be flexible and adaptable, not rigid and fixed.
7. Celebrate your achievements
One of the most encouraging new mum advice is to celebrate your achievements, no matter how big or small they are. Being a new mum can be hard and stressful, and you may feel like you are not doing enough or doing it right. But you are doing an amazing job, and you deserve to recognise and appreciate that.
So celebrate your achievements, such as:
- Surviving the first night at home with your baby.
- Breastfeeding your baby for the first time or for a certain period of time.
- Getting your baby to sleep through the night or for a longer stretch of time.
- Taking your baby out for the first time or to a new place.
- Getting back into shape or fitting into your pre-pregnancy clothes.
- Returning to work or starting a new project.
You can celebrate your achievements by rewarding yourself with something that makes you happy, such as a treat, a gift, a compliment, or a thank you note. You can also share your achievements with your partner, family, friends, or online community, and receive their praise and support.
8. Don’t compare yourself to others
One of the most liberating new mum advice is to don’t compare yourself to others. It can be tempting to look at other parents and see how they are doing things differently or better than you. You may feel like you are not good enough or that you are missing out on something. But comparing yourself to others is not helpful or healthy. It can only make you feel insecure, inadequate, or jealous.
Remember that every parent has their own strengths and weaknesses, their own challenges and opportunities, their own choices and preferences. What works for them may not work for you, and vice versa. You don’t know what they are going through behind the scenes, or what they are sacrificing or compromising on. You only see what they want you to see.
So focus on yourself and your baby, not on others. Be proud of who you are and what you do. Be grateful for what you have and what you achieve. Be happy for others and their successes.
Being a new mum is an incredible journey that will change your life forever. It will bring you joy and love like never before, but it will also bring you challenges and difficulties like never before. You will learn new things every day, but you will also make mistakes every day. You will grow as a person, but you will also struggle as a person.
But don’t worry, you are not alone in this journey. There are many sources of support and guidance that can help you along the way. And there are many tips and tricks that can make your life easier and more enjoyable.
In this article, we have shared some of the best new mum advice from experts and other parents who have been there before:
- Trust your instincts
- Ask for help
- Take care of yourself
- Enjoy the moments
- Connect with other parents
- Be flexible and adaptable
- Celebrate your achievements
- Don’t compare yourself to others
We hope these tips will help you survive and thrive in the first year of parenthood. Remember, you are doing a great job, and you are the best mum for your baby.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about new mum advice:
Q: How do I cope with sleep deprivation?
A: Sleep deprivation is one of the most common and difficult challenges for new mums. It can affect your mood, energy, concentration, memory, and health. Here are some tips to cope with sleep deprivation:
- Sleep when your baby sleeps. Try to nap during the day when your baby naps, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Don’t worry about the chores or other tasks, they can wait.
- Go to bed early. Try to go to bed as soon as possible after your baby goes to sleep at night. Don’t stay up late watching TV, browsing the internet, or doing other things that can keep you awake.
- Share the night duties. If you have a partner, ask them to help you with the night feeds, changes, or soothing. You can take turns or split the night into shifts. If you are breastfeeding, you can express some milk and store it in the fridge or freezer for your partner to feed your baby with a bottle.
- Ask for help. If you have family or friends who can help you, ask them to look after your baby for a few hours or overnight so you can catch up on some sleep. You can also hire a babysitter, a nanny, or a night nurse if you can afford it.
- Be gentle with yourself. Don’t expect too much from yourself or put too much pressure on yourself. Accept that you will be tired and less productive for a while, and that it’s normal and okay. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed for needing some rest.
Q: How do I deal with breastfeeding problems?
A: Breastfeeding is a natural and beneficial way to feed your baby, but it can also be challenging and painful at times. You may encounter problems such as sore nipples, engorged breasts, mastitis, low milk supply, or latch issues. Here are some tips to deal with breastfeeding problems:
- Seek professional help. If you have any problems or questions about breastfeeding, you should consult a lactation consultant, a breastfeeding counsellor, or your doctor. They can assess your situation, give you advice, and offer you support.
- Use nipple cream. If you have sore or cracked nipples, you can use a nipple cream that is safe for your baby to soothe and heal them. You can also use breast pads to protect your nipples from rubbing against your clothes.
- Apply heat or cold. If you have engorged breasts, you can apply a warm compress or a hot shower before feeding to help the milk flow. You can also apply a cold compress or a bag of frozen peas after feeding to reduce the swelling and pain.
- Massage your breasts. If you have blocked ducts or mastitis, you can massage your breasts gently with your fingers or a soft brush to loosen the clogs and improve circulation. You can also use an electric breast pump to express some milk and relieve the pressure.
- Increase your milk supply. If you have a low milk supply, you can increase it by feeding your baby more often and on demand, pumping after feeding, drinking plenty of water, eating healthy foods, taking supplements, or using herbs.
- Improve your latch. If your baby has trouble latching on or causes you pain when feeding, you can improve your latch by trying different positions, using a pillow or a sling to support your baby, shaping your breast with your hand, tickling your baby’s lips with your nipple, or using a nipple shield.
Q: How do I balance work and family?
A: Balancing work and family is one of the most common and difficult dilemmas for new mums. You may want to continue working for financial reasons, personal reasons, or both. But you may also want to spend more time with your baby and family. Here are some tips to balance work and family:
- Plan ahead. Before you go back to work, make sure you have a plan for childcare, feeding, pumping, commuting, and other logistics. You may need to find a reliable childcare provider, buy some bottles and storage bags, get a breast pump and a cooler bag, arrange flexible hours or work from home options with your employer, and so on.
- Communicate with your partner. If you have a partner, make sure you communicate with them about your expectations and needs regarding work and family. You may need to share the responsibilities and chores more evenly, adjust your schedules and routines accordingly, support your partner emotionally and practically, and make time for each other and your relationship.
- Seek support from others. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. You can seek support from your family, friends, colleagues, or other parents who are in the same situation as you. You can ask them for help with childcare, household chores, work projects, or emotional issues. You can also join a support group, a network, or an online community where you can share your experiences, challenges, and tips with others who understand and empathise with you.
- Set boundaries and priorities. You can’t be everything to everyone all the time. You need to set boundaries and priorities for yourself and others regarding your work and family. You need to decide what is important and urgent, and what is not. You need to learn to say no to things that are not essential or beneficial for you or your family. You need to delegate or outsource tasks that you don’t have to do yourself. You need to make time for yourself and your wellbeing.
- Be flexible and realistic. You may have to accept that things will not always go according to plan or expectation. You may have to deal with unexpected changes, delays, or problems at work or at home. You may have to compromise or negotiate with your employer, your partner, or your childcare provider. You may have to lower your standards or adjust your goals temporarily. The key is to be flexible and realistic, not rigid and perfectionist.
Q: How do I cope with mum guilt?
A: Mum guilt is a common and normal feeling that many new mums experience. It is the feeling that you are not doing enough or doing it right for your baby, yourself, or your family. It can be triggered by various factors, such as:
- Leaving your baby with someone else while you work or do other things.
- Not being able to breastfeed your baby or having problems with breastfeeding.
- Not spending enough time or attention on your baby or your older children.
- Not keeping up with the housework or other responsibilities.
- Not looking after yourself or your appearance.
- Comparing yourself to other mums who seem to have it all together.
Here are some tips to cope with mum guilt:
- Recognise and acknowledge your feelings. Don’t ignore or suppress your feelings of guilt, but don’t let them consume you either. Recognise and acknowledge that you are feeling guilty, and try to understand why and what triggers it. Then try to challenge and change your negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Forgive yourself and be kind to yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself or blame yourself for things that are not your fault or beyond your control. Forgive yourself for any mistakes or shortcomings that you may have made, and learn from them. Be kind to yourself and treat yourself with compassion and respect.
- Focus on the positives and celebrate the successes. Don’t dwell on the negatives or the failures, but focus on the positives and the successes. Think about all the things that you have done well or achieved for your baby, yourself, or your family. Think about all the things that you are grateful for or proud of in your life. Celebrate your achievements and appreciate your blessings.
- Seek support and reassurance from others. Don’t isolate yourself or suffer in silence, but seek support and reassurance from others who care about you and understand you. Talk to someone you trust, such as your partner, family member, friend, or health professional. They can listen to you, comfort you, advise you, or validate you. They can also help you with practical tasks, emotional issues, or self-care activities.
- Find a balance and a routine that works for you. Don’t try to do everything at once or please everyone all the time, but find a balance and a routine that works for you and your family. You may need to prioritise what is important and urgent, delegate what is not essential or beneficial, outsource what you can afford or access, and say no to what is unreasonable or unnecessary. You may also need to create a schedule that suits your needs and preferences, such as when to work, when to rest, when to play, when to socialise, etc.
We hope this article has provided you with some useful new mum advice that can help you survive and thrive in the first year of parenthood. Remember, you are doing a great job, and you are the best mum for your baby.
Thank you for reading! 😊