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The Best Advice That Helped Me Survive As A New Mom

Forget all the old-school advice you’ve heard about becoming a mom. Here is the best advice for new moms, really! This is the new-mom advice that gave me confidence and encouragement and helped get me through those difficult newborn days.

Photo of newborn baby and advice for new moms
Photo by Dana Gualco Photography

As soon as I became a new mom I experienced more self doubt than I ever had in my life.

With all the advice for new moms about newborn sleeping habits, breastfeeding tips, and everything in between, it’s easy to doubt yourself and worry that you’re screwing this whole parenting thing up. (Spoiler alert: you’re not!)

So take all the new mom advice you get with a grain of salt and remember this advice for new moms instead. This is some of the best advice that I heard in those early days that stuck with me. It helped give me confidence and got me through some of those hard times. (And there were many!)

What New Moms Need the Most

For the most part new moms don’t need advice on feeding, sleeping or caring for their baby. Newborns are hard! What they really need is to know that they are doing a good job and that this phase will get better.

If you have a new mom friend, check on her to make sure she isn’t in need of any postpartum necessities. Then, offer her these words of wisdom. Let her know she is a great mama and that the fourth trimester will pass!

The Best Pieces of Advice I heard as a new Mom

Whatever You are Doing is Right

Want to put your baby on a sleep schedule at an early age? Breastfeed then supplement? Co sleep? Baby wear for every nap? Give your baby all the pacifiers? Guess, what? Those are your choices and they are all fine! Your baby, your rules.

Whatever you decide to do for your baby is probably what’s best for your baby (and for you). You don’t have to second guess your choices or worry that you’re messing up, because “whatever you are doing is right.” Repeat this piece of advice again and again when those insecurities pop up.

I’ve never seen a 12 year old…(insert obnoxious newborn behavior Here)

Whenever my friend Cori had to wake up in the middle of the night to rock her twin boys back to sleep, she would remind herself that she didn’t know any 12 year olds who required being rocked to sleep. These days feel sooo long, but they really won’t last forever. I promise!

I quickly learned to apply the 12-year old rule to the frustrating scenarios I found myself in:

I’ve never seen a 12 year old only take their naps in a baby swing.

I’ve never seen a 12 year old who needed to be nursed to sleep.

I’ve never seen a 12 year old wake up for multiple night feeds.

I’ve never seen a 12 year old who can’t handle their own blowouts.

I still tell myself this advice when my two-year old proves to be challenging.

In fact, I told my husband the other day, “I’ve never seen a 12 year old eat dinner on their mom’s lap.”

Mom snuggling her newborn

This is Survival Mode

The first three to four months of having a newborn are purely survival mode. And there are no rules in survival mode. Don’t you dare judge yourself if you haven’t cleaned your bathroom, made an actual meal, or put on real pants during that time.

Babies don’t even seem human, like at all, in the beginning. So those first few months are all about learning how to care for this wonderful new creature. If you order takeout or wear the same skirt every single day, it’s fine! Life won’t always be this way. You’ll figure things out as the days roll on and be out of survival mode eventually.

Everything Is Just A Phase

I swear if my daughter was perfect for 10 days in a row and then fussy for one, I would panic and think she was turning on me. I had to remind myself over and over again that everything was a phase.

Cluster feeding? Only a phase.

Baby sleeps for 20 minutes at a time? Only a phase.

You boobs are leaking? Only a phase.

Bottle strike? Only a phase.

Those sweet newborn snuggles, super-soft baby skin, and how your baby fits in the crook of your arm is only a phase too. Try to enjoy the good stuff and remember that the bad stuff will pass soon enough.

Take Lots of Videos

Everyone tells you to take lots of photos, but my best friend told me to take plenty of videos as well. Videos capture the little newborn nuances that you can’t see in a photo: their sweet coos, the way they grab their toes, even their precious breathing patterns. You might forget all those tender moments, so record away so you can re-live them later.

mom recording baby on phone

It Might Take Time to Bond with Your Baby

It seemed like all I ever heard was how moms had an instant connection and deep love for their baby the second it entered the world. I was expecting that and didn’t really feel that way.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my daughter, but at the time it felt more like an overwhelming responsibility to care for this fragile being. Mix that with crazy hormones and postpartum recovery, and I just didn’t have that instant surge of lovey dovey feelings.

I realized how I felt wasn’t uncommon. Many friends told me it took time to adapt to their role as a new mom and for them to begin to know and love their baby. It’s okay and normal if you don’t feel that love instantaneously. You’ll get there! I promise again!

Get Baby on A Good Routine

This was some of the more practical advice I received as a new mom. It’s not something that you need to start right away, but following an EASY baby schedule saved my sanity as a new mom, I loved that I could put my baby to sleep around 7 pm and have my evening free. Eventually, she extended her stretches more and more and getting solid rest made me a better mom!

What about you? What was some of the best advice for new moms that helped you? Leave it in the comments below to help for other new moms!

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Forget all the old-school advice you've heard about becoming a mom. Here is the best advice for new moms, really! This is the new-mom advice that gave me confidence and encouragement and helped get me through those newborn days.

 

Amy Motroni
Latest posts by Amy Motroni (see all)

7 GREAT blogs for New Mums! - Smart Mama Smart Kids

Sunday 10th of November 2019

[…] ‘The Actual Best Advice for New Moms’ by Amy from The Postpartum […]

Asia Rosario

Wednesday 21st of August 2019

Such good, encouraging (and a little humorous) truth! Great post, mama!

Amy

Saturday 31st of August 2019

Thanks Asia! Gotta have some humor to get through the newborn phase :)

Kristal Espanola

Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

"Silence is Golden but if you have kids it's just suspicious" Always when my kids are silent they are doing something interesting that just shock me every time.

Christiana

Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

Hahaaa I remind myself daily that #itsonlyaphase when my son starts acting up. These mantras are so true, this was a great read 👍🏾

Marcela Alcaine

Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

Oh Amy, you got it all right! And your baby is so cute btw. It's funny you have the mantra about the 12-year-old, I have a similar one but its more like: No kid goes to college and still sleeping with their parents hahaha. The first year of the baby is the hardest one, but also, the one that goes by fast. Thank you :)

Amy

Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

Aw thank you :) Haha yes! I've never seen a college kid with a pacifier ;)