If you are celebrating this Mother’s Day as a first-time mom, I hope you find time amid the chaos to rest, relax, and feel the love of those around you. The first year of motherhood can be challenging–there is so much to learn, new things to discover, and a beautiful new little life that needs your constant attention.
And, tons of advice coming your way from pretty much everyone you know.
As a pediatrician, I like to help my patients sift through all the advice they receive and have come up with eight nuggets of parenting wisdom that seem to hold true for pretty much all parents and babies.
My top list for new moms
- Trust your instincts. You already know more than you think you do–listen to your gut and do what you think is best for you and your baby.
- Some days may be hard. When you’re pregnant, you always have visions of how beautiful motherhood will be and are often surprised when some of your days are filled with less than beautiful moments–diaper blowouts, spit up on shirts, sleepless nights, etc. Those less-than-perfect days do not mean you’re a bad mom–you’re a great mom who is doing a hard job.
- Divide and conquer. Parenting is a team sport, and whether your teammate is a spouse, family member, friend, or neighbor, don’t hesitate to ask for some help.
- Housework can wait. No one expects you to have a perfectly cleaned and organized house…and this is true throughout the entire parenthood journey. Use your downtime to take care of yourself–get some sleep, read a book, eat a healthy snack. Laundry and dishes can wait.
- Never say never. Seriously, don’t ever use this word as a parent. You never know what each new day will bring and–until you are living in the moment–you can’t predict how you, or your child, will respond.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Although there are certain milestones your doctor will want to see your baby hit, every baby and every parent is different. Spending time focused on what others are doing gives you less time to focus on what you are doing. It distracts you from the joy right in front of you.
- Ease into big changes. Breast to bottle? Bottle to solids? Whatever the transition, take your time and let your baby get used to the new sensory experiences before making it a complete switch.
- All babies get colds and stuffy noses. The best thing you can do is prepare for the inevitable. Invest in a humidifier, make sure your first aid kit is stocked, and purchase a quality nasal aspirator like mine, Dr. Rose’s Nasal Aspirator. Keeping your baby’s nose clean and healthy will allow her to sleep better even when she’s not feeling well.
Enjoy this first Mother’s Day and celebrate all that you’ve already accomplished–and all the joy that is to come. Happy Mother’s Day!