Congratulations! You are going to be a mommy! Becoming a mom is one of those things that is really exciting and really nervewracking at the same time. Afterall, now you have to keep yourself and a tiny human happy and alive! It is also one of those things that no matter how many people tell you how you will change and what to expect you will still end up surprised. An experience that is truly different for each person but life-changing for all of us.
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Today, I am going to keep things simple. I want to share with you 9 things that I think are must know’s for new moms. Some of the things that surprised me the most and some of the things that I knew to expect but didn’t know the full weight of. Just a short list to help you feel a little more prepared for what kind of life to expect when baby arrives.
- The car seat has to be installed and will be checked before you can leave with your baby. I did not know this until we were getting ready to leave with our first born. I mean, of course, we had the car seat. Our little one came early and we were not prepared. I planned to go out and install the car seat myself but as it turns out childbirth takes a lot out of you! A nurse that is car seat certified will actually come out to the car with you and inspect that you have it installed correctly and ensure that you know how to buckle your child properly as well. I really appreciated this but it was just a surprise I did not expect. Would have been good to know!
- Baby’s don’t get a real birth certificate unless you order it. You get a noncertified keepsake birth certificate. If you want the real thing then you actually have to order one on your own through your county. Our hospital sent us home from the hospital with the form to order one. Just another little tidbit that I assumed wrong about and good to know for new mommies!
- You will still look pregnant after giving birth. People told me this but I expected it was a bit exaggerated. Well, It wasn’t! You will still look prego! Bring the maternity pants and yoga pants. You are not going home in your cute regular clothes( I know bummer, right?). : ( Soon enough you will be back to regular clothes but it definitely takes time!
- You will be an emotional train wreck for a while. The hormones in your body through pregnancy and after birth are much different from the normal you. Expect to cry, laugh, love, yell, and everything else in between. And expect them all to be very strong emotions! Learn the signs of postpartum depression and try keeping a journal to record how you are feeling for better insight. It can sneak up on you and is very common! It took me a few months to start feeling like my normal self. Well, my new mom normal self. Try to reign in the mean stuff and remember to apologize if you were over the top.
- The baby will sleep A LOT!(learn more about what to expect and a newborn schedule here) Everyone says how you get no sleep with a new baby. And you don’t but that is after the first 6-8 weeks. That first period of time will seem so great! You have the sweetest baby! Great sleeper! Oh, just you wait it is coming… so enjoy those nice and peaceful first weeks! I should say the baby will still wake to feed often of course, but usually go right back to sleep easily. So lots of waking and going back to sleep but I remember the days feeling long because my first would just sleep the day away(and I would just enjoy and watch).
- Babies are born with a natural set of reflexes. The one you will know very quickly is called the Moro reflex. Baby’s arms will jolt up and startle itself and wake up, usually crying and screaming. Poor things little arms just won’t hold still for her/him to sleep! The reflex doesn’t go away for 4-6 months or so. Which is why there is the ancient tradition of swaddling babies to help them feel secure, soothed, and let them sleep. Check out 5 swaddle blankets that will actually get your baby to sleep through the night! And don’t forget to add them to your registry(here are the must haves for your registry).
- Breastfeeding is hard at first. It is also 100% worth the effort you will have to put in. I think I expected breastfeeding to come naturally. I mean it is how babies have eaten forever… can’t be that hard right? Wrong. It takes work and practice but you CAN make it through those first few months! I promise! Here are the benefits of breastfeeding in plain English so you can see why breastfeeding is such a great choice for your baby. And here are 8 ways to make breastfeeding easier to help you work through those first months.
- Most men are overwhelmed by babies. I expected my husband to feel that instant bond that I felt with our first born. Men are not wired the same way as women. The need to protect you and a new baby can be a lot for a new dad. So take it easy on him and give him time to create a bond with your baby. Once they are able to interact and talk more than the dads really start to shine and get excited! It is fun to watch! Give him some grace, it’s new territory for him too.
- A baby carrier will make your life sooooooooooooooo much easier! I know that is a lot of o’s but I can’t tell you how much easier life is with a baby carrier. Tiny babies need the warmth and comfort to soothe them. But, your arms get tired and doing things one handed can be hard. I used the baby carrier all the time for chore around the house, grocery shopping, outings, nap time on the go, just to soothe a cranky baby at night. The Ergo 360 is my absolute favorite!
Well there we go momma’s, the nine must know’s! Short sweet and to the point. Hopefully, these will help you to be better prepared for baby than I was. And even better make your life a little bit easier. Being a new mom is tough! Remember to hang in there and use your support system. You can still be super mom and have help, really!
I would love to hear any questions you have about being a new mommy! Even if you never leave comments, I would LOVE if you left on here! I want this to be a place for women to connect! And my other momma’s out there leave a comment adding to my list…what did you wish you knew before you had your little one?