Hey Mama Friend! Looking for newborn tips? Are you a new mom, going to be a new mom, or friends with a new mom?
Are you trying to figure out how to take care of your newborn without going crazy?
Becoming a parent is interesting – it’s like jumping into the deep end of the pool, hoping you’ll float to the surface.
How do I take care of my newborn?
When my husband and I got home from the hospital, we were on our own. All of our family lives out of state and we no longer had the support of nurses at the hospital. I remember that first night home, clear as day.
I think I literally said, “What do we do now?!” It was a moment of definitely asking myself “How do I take care of my newborn?”
Even if you have read tons of books and blog posts on the subject, as soon as you’re in the middle of it, you may feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. I know I did!
Newborn Tips: What is most important for newborn care?
When you first get home from the hospital or birthing center, it’s important that you have a game plan with your partner. With a brand new baby, there are three main things you’ll be doing: feeding, changing diapers, and putting them down to sleep.
It’s also important for parents to take care of themselves. You’re in for the ride of your life, so make sure to grab every opportunity you may have to get rest. The hardest part of newborn life is the unpredictability and potential lack of sleep.
9 Best Newborn Tips for Brand New Moms
Here are 9 of the best newborn tips for first time moms.
Tip 1: Get a Baby Tracker App
As a brand new first time mom, I found having an app to track feedings, sleep, and diaper changes very helpful. I felt like it kept me on track versus just trying to remember off the top of my head. I really liked the Glow Baby Tracker, which has a free and paid plan; I only ever used the free plan. Glow also has apps for tracking your period, fertility, and pregnancy.
If you’re not into apps, I’d recommend having a notebook to keep a log of feedings, sleep, and diaper changes, at least for the first few weeks. If you have any tendency towards worrying about things, I believe that tracking and logging these activities helps.
Tip 2: Skip buttons and snaps, go for zippers
Here are some newborn tips for clothing. Whoever thought that buttons were a good idea on baby clothes in the 21st century, clearly never had a baby. To save your sanity, I recommend going for zippered sleepers and pajamas for baby. Snaps are okay, they are quick to open, but can be a pain to snap back up when you’re in a sleep-deprived stupor.
I noticed that Carter’s got smart and started designing baby sleeper pajamas with a two-way zipper. Now you can unzip the baby from the foot, keeping their chest warm during a diaper change. Genius!
Tip 3: Download the Wonder Weeks App
Maybe it’s just me, but I want to know what’s coming, if at all possible. I’m not a huge fan of crazy surprises (okay, birthday and Christmas gift surprises don’t count.) And when it comes to babies, when you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, having the Wonder Weeks App can help.
The Wonder Weeks App is based on the Wonder Weeks book about baby’s development. It tracks the baby week by week based on their due date, to predict behavior and development, called “leaps”, and can explain your baby’s fussiness when it shows up all of a sudden.
For me, I really liked having a resource like The Wonder Weeks App, to reassure me that my baby’s generally chill personality would return in a couple of days after he completed a developmental leap.
Tip 4: Swaddle and the Four Other S’s
When my son was a newborn, I read The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. In it, he talks about baby sleep (before babies learn to figure out sleep on their own) and he talks about the 5 S’s – swaddling, shooshing, swinging, side/stomach position, and sucking.
If you think about it, when babies are nearly full-term, they run out of space in your uterus. They are snug as a bug in a rug, so to speak. So it makes sense that swaddling can be comforting to them. They don’t know how to use their arms or have full control, either. Now, every baby is different and many parents can attest that their baby may hate being swaddled. But it’s worth a shot.
Plus, there are so many swaddle products on the market now that you can try them out and see which one works best for your baby. I advise not buying or registering for one kind of swaddle only. Buy a couple and see what your baby likes. It might be the zipper kind or the velcro kind. Or maybe your baby is one that likes the good, old-fashioned blanket swaddle.
Tip 5: Get outside and go for a walk
Fresh air is so good for the soul. Plus, your daily dose of Vitamin D is a great added benefit. Both exhaustion and lack of sunlight contribute to postpartum depression, so it’s important to get outdoors when you can.
Getting outside will also ease you into moving more easily, albeit slowly. Walks are a great addition to your routine and are beneficial to you and baby. You can practice using your travel system stroller or babywearing. Either way, it’s important to take care of yourself as you take care of your baby.
Tip 6: Always pack an extra outfit for baby and top for yourself
There was one time when I did not follow this advice. That was the last time I forgot an extra outfit. Thankfully, the mess was in the form of spit-up and we were on the way home, but I can imagine how much worse it would have been if it were a blowout.
Speaking of spit-up, babies do it wherever, whenever, and many times, it’ll be on you, Mom. If you’re going to be away from home for a few hours, it doesn’t hurt to pack yourself an extra top.
Tip 7: Use White Noise
We never used white noise as a sleep aid until our son was born. Now I can’t sleep without it. White noise resembles the sounds that the baby heard inside the womb, where they felt safe and snug before birth.
If you have a smart speaker, you can ask it to “play white noise” or there are several free apps that play white noise. If you’re looking for something that’s separate from your phone, check out the Marpac White Noise Machine, or the Hatch Baby. We have both. The Marpac is straightforward with an on/off switch. The Hatch Baby can be controlled by Bluetooth from your smartphone and has a variety of white noise and lamp colors that you can dim.
Tip 8: Use the Onesie Shoulder Flaps to Change Blowouts
It’s bound to happen, and it usually happens in those first several weeks of life. Did you know that onesies are designed with shoulder flaps so that you can pull the onesie down? This is great in the event of a blowout. You don’t want to have to take off a dirty onesie over your baby’s head when it’s covered in poop!
Tip 9: Ask for help and give yourself grace
I know as women, we have a tendency to want to do it all. Whether it’s a control thing, a perfectionist thing, or trust thing, know that as a brand new mom, you’re going to need help. Ask for help! Your spouse, partner, parent, sibling, or friend will be more than happy to help (or they should be!). The newborn stage is not the time for you to be trying to cook a fancy meal or do the laundry. Ask for help and take a nap instead. Asking for help doesn’t make you any less of a mom; in fact, I think it makes you a smart mom!
On that note, be gentle with yourself. You’re figuring out this whole “mom” thing for the first time. I remember I felt super stressed and like I was failing for the first couple of weeks. It wasn’t until about week 7 or 8 when my hormones started to balance out and I felt more confident about what I was doing. Give yourself some grace. Know that there are no “perfect” moms and you’re not expected to be one.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Newborn Tips
I hope these tips were helpful to you, Mama Friend! I know that the first several weeks of being a brand new mom can leave you frazzled and overwhelmed. It can sometimes feel like drinking from a firehose!
But here’s what is most important when it comes to newborn care: caring for your baby – making sure they are fed, have a clean diaper, and getting sleep. Next, your self-care and well-being is what’s most important. Give yourself grace and ask for help. Someone else can do the dishes, you can order out or have someone else cook, and someone else can do the laundry. Take every opportunity to rest when your newborn is sleeping.
Do you have any advice for newborn care? Every baby is different and not all tips and tricks work on every baby. Share your favorite tip in the comments!
If you are pregnant, check out these blog posts to help you through your pregnancy:
Check out my contributor posts for Collin County Moms: