The first 3 months of your new baby’s life are the craziest 3 months ever. One day you were very pregnant and the next you had a very new.. newborn. And you have literally no idea what to do. You carried this baby for 9 months and you’ve googled every pregnancy ache and pain several times over, but you somehow forgot to google “how to survive the first 3 months with baby.”
Don’t worry, you and your new baby will figure it out together. In the meantime, here are some of my most helpful tips for how to survive the first 3 months with your new baby.. spoken from someone who barely made it through those first 3 months.
How To Survive the First 3 Months with Your New Baby
You might already realize how important this one is if your baby’s birth didn’t go as you had planned. You can actually just remove the word “plan” from your vocabulary until further notice.
Babies have no concept of.. anything. They don’t understand “time.” They don’t understand “schedule.” And they certainly don’t understand “plan.” You can do little things to help teach them routines but they won’t understand the concept. Personal opinions ahead: Feed baby when baby is hungry and let baby sleep when baby is tired. You’ll drive yourself nuts reading all the different theories about how to get your baby to sleep through the night by 6 weeks old; or how you’re not supposed to feed baby sooner than every 2 hours. Sure, there is a time and place to help your baby sleep through the night and a time and place to establish healthy meal routine.. but it’s not during the first few weeks.
Just go with the flow. Baby and you will be happier if you just take things day by day. And remember, what worked yesterday might not work today. Your baby might want extra cuddles, eat every 3 hours and nap right after eating on Monday and by Wednesday all your baby wants to do is play alone on his play mat, eat every 2 hours and has only taken 3 naps for the whole day. Don’t worry, you and baby will fall into a routine naturally soon enough, don’t rush it.
Try To Sleep When Baby Sleeps
This one seems like a no brainer when you’re 9 months pregnant but once that little baby comes, you might feel the need to be super mom. You’ll want.. no feel the need to spend nap time doing dishes, laundry, putting on makeup, making dinner, etc. Just take a deep breath and stop. No matter the condition on your house or what’s on your dinner plates, you already are super mom. You just gave birth to a new life and nothing can top that. You need naps, take naps. Which leads me to…
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
I struggled and still do with this one. Sometimes I feel like such a failure that I can’t do it all and I think “what kind of person am I that I’m asking someone to do my laundry and watch my baby so I can take a quick nap??” I’ll tell you what kind of person you are, you’re a new mom and a brave one at that. You realize you need some help and you are asking for it. That’s a beautiful thing.
Find Mom’s To Connect With
Going out and trying to make new friends might seem like the last thing you want to do with a newborn, but it can be such a sigh of relief to chit chat with someone going through a very similar (if not exact same) experience as you. Most hospitals have breastfeeding support groups that you can physically go to and I’m even a member of a few virtual Facebook Moms Groups where the mom’s are way better than Google at 5 am. Seriously, there’s always a mom awake at the same time as you who can share her experience with you. Ask around, there are plenty of ways to connect with some other new mommies and you’ll never know when you’ll need advice at 5 am or a play date just to get out of the house!
Don’t Be Scared of your Emotions
A little science for you: Your hormones are at a super high level right before you give birth and then, poof, your baby is here and your body is just raging with hormones that it doesn’t know what to do with. I cried for literally no reason for weeks after giving birth. I felt like my life was over one minute and the next minute I couldn’t even picture what life was like before having my baby. I felt equal parts overwhelmed & inadequate and calm & collected. It’s all normal and please please please, talk about anything and everything you’re feeling. Please talk to your doctor if you think you might be experience postpartum depression.
White Noise and Swaddles
Adjusting to this new world is very hard for newborns. They were all squished and cozy and warm in your belly for 9+ months and now they are out in this great big world. A white noise machine and a good swaddle can make them feel more safe, which will help them be more relaxed which will make everything just a little bit easier.
Take Pictures AND Videos
Nothing is more fun than looking back at pictures of how small, fragile and innocent (?) your newborn was. But don’t forget to take little videos too. You will be amazed at how quickly they outgrow the grunts and snorts and newborn cries.
Take Time For Yourself
Taking time for yourself does not make you a bad mommy. I repeat: taking time for yourself does not make you a bad mommy. In fact, I personally think it makes you a better mommy! No one can do anything for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week let alone give something 100% of your effort for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You need time to recharge and relax. Plus it gives dad or grandma a chance to bond with baby without you. Even if the thought of leaving baby behind while you venture out into the world scares you beyond belief, you can still find time for yourself at home. Take a long shower or soak in a bath. Or take a nap knowing you don’t need to listen for baby’s cries over the monitor (dad or grandma has the baby and/or monitor). Go out for a walk. The possibilities are endless.
Remember You Cannot Spoil A Newborn
Remember how babies don’t understand the concept of time, schedules or plans? Well they don’t understand the concept of spoiling either. You cannot hold, love, kiss, stare at, take pictures of, talk to, count toes/fingers of your newborn enough. You just can’t. You want to spend the whole day on the couch going from nursing to napping to loving on baby and back again? Go for it. You won’t be able to do that in a few months when your baby is ready to start exploring the world through crawling and walking and touching and playing.
Buy Some “In Between” Clothes
At some point, you’re going to want to stop wearing your maternity clothes and start wanting to wear your old clothes again. But even if you’re back to your pre-pregnancy weight relatively quickly, your body is still going to wear your old clothes differently. Don’t freak out about it. Of course your body is different, you just gave birth and that’s beautiful! Take some time and buy a few staple pieces that make you feel like a million bucks in this body that you have right now! Don’t buy something that you think “this will look great on me when I lose 5 lbs.” FYI, I’m almost 8 months postpartum and I still wear my In Between clothes 90% of the time!
Know That Your Best Is Enough
Don’t judge yourself and don’t compare yourself other moms. You are going to have good days and you are going to have bad days.. and most days fall somewhere in between. Remember, your baby has never done this either so you’ll figure it all out together. Your baby isn’t expecting you to be perfect; he is just expecting you to be the be mommy you can be.
*Please remember I am not an expert, so please do your own research & only do what you feel is best for you and your family <3