The first three months of motherhood can be both exciting and challenging, especially for first-time moms. It is a little tough to navigate the new mom life because you are taking care of a newborn baby who requires ‘round-the-clock attention.
Between the constant crying of the baby and wrapping your head around the responsibility of taking care of a tiny human, everything is overwhelming. To make things less terrifying and more manageable, here are 20 tips and tricks that can help you in the first three months.
Do not be afraid to ask for help
Do not do everything alone because you cannot. You can try, but it would be physically and mentally exhausting. You need time for self-care so that you can take care of your baby. You can ask mom, grandma, a friend, or a helper to do the cooking, house cleaning, or shopping while you do the baby stuff.
Use a warm compress to help breast milk flow
Sometimes nursing moms can have blocked ducts, and their breasts become engorged. The heat will help the milk flow better.
Boost milk supply
Breastfeeding can be tough when milk is running low. You can boost your milk supply by eating lactation granola. It also gives you the needed energy to keep up with the baby duties.
Eat nutrient-dense food
If you are breastfeeding, you have to eat a variety of food that are rich in nutrients. Include fish, seafood, meat, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables in your diet. Avoid highly processed snacks or food rich in sugar.
Take turns taking care of the baby
Breastfeeding moms usually get the lion’s share of the baby-rearing, but it is fair for dads to do their share. Taking shifts is recommended so that one parent can sleep in while the other looks after the baby. Pump out a bottle and let Dad take over a feed while you rest.
Nap when baby naps
If you sleep when your baby is asleep, you will get the power nap that your body needs when your baby is fully awake. Read here for other tried-and-tested sleep saving tips.
Mimic life inside the womb
If you want to soothe a fussy newborn baby, you have to recreate life inside the womb. You can do this by swaddling and swinging them. You can add shushing noise so that it mimics the sound of your blood flow that your baby heard when he was still in the womb.
Take a warm bath together
Taking a warm bath, always relaxes. It is also a way to soothe the fussy baby if other methods don’t work.
Not all fussy babies are the same. Try different types of music and see which one soothes and relaxes the baby.
Housework can wait
Cleaning is something that adds to the stress. In the first three months, cleaning the house should be the least of your worries. Focus on getting to know your baby and getting used to the new routine.
When somebody offers help, accept it
If you are allowed to have a “me” time even for just a few minutes, take it. Friends might offer to hold the baby while you take a shower or take a nap. Every little bit helps.
If you need something, be specific
Believe it or not, some people want to help you. If they ask if you need something, tell them precisely what you need.
Don’t isolate yourself
For the first three months, you might not have a lot of interaction with people you used to spend time with. Being with the baby 24/7 can make you feel a little detached from the world. Make an effort to go out by yourself or meet up with a friend while dad is on baby duty.
Go outside in nature
You can bring a baby as young as three months out in public. Bring your baby to the park so he could get fresh air and give him an energy boost. Just make sure that you limit his time under the sun. Or if it is cold, bundle up your baby before heading out.
Make sure the diaper bag is packed
Replenish the diapers and baby supplies. Always check if the diaper count is running low. Sometimes, moms forget to pack the diaper bag and go in panic mode.
Always keep a spare change of clothes
By this, we mean a change of clothes for mom. Baby drool, snot, and poop will find their way into your clothes. Keep adult garments at the ready in case of accidents.
Ignore confusing unsolicited advice
There will be people giving you all sorts of unsolicited advice. The worst part is that they are contradicting and confusing. As the mother, you know what is best for your baby. If the information makes sense and has merits, then take it. If they are dubious theories, ignore them.
Do not be afraid to set the baby down in the crib
If you need to take a moment or a breather, it is all right to put the baby in the cot. New mom life can make you feel tired or overwhelmed, so it is okay to let the baby stay in the crib even for just a few minutes, to take a break. You can drink water or eat a snack. You need to do self-care too.
Keep healthy snacks and water nearby when breastfeeding
Nursing mothers need at least 1500 calories daily. So always keep healthy snacks like lactation granola nearby so that you do not get hungry and you don’t go below the required daily calorie intake.
Diet and weight loss can wait
You may want to drop the excess weight fast, but it is not advisable to go on a diet in the first month. You must wait until your baby is older than two months before going on a diet. In two months, you can continue to have a healthy supply of milk even if you are eating fewer calories. Keep in mind that breastfeeding burns 200 to 500 calories per day, thus even if you are not on a diet, you are burning the extra calories.
Motherhood is fantastic despite the sleepless nights. Enjoy your endless cuddles with your baby. You got this, Mom!