Tips for new moms

New moms have it tough these days. There are high expectations to have the perfectly designed nursery like a celebrity, or constant pressure to fit back in your old clothes within a few weeks of giving birth. The reality is a new mom is facing a lot of sleepless nights, frustrating new challenges and whole lot of change.

First, there’s the sleep deprivation. There are a few ways to tackle this monumental obstacle. If you are breastfeeding, you do have some responsibilities at 2am, but it is okay to pump once in awhile and let your partner participate in a nighttime feeding. If you aren’t breastfeeding, you and your partner can trade off each feeding so neither of you are ridiculously exhausted.

The most common advice is to nap when the baby is napping. The laundry can wait, you can’t vacuum anyway, and you might as well keep your sanity rather than a clean house. If you are really desperate for some sleep, ask a relative or friend to come over and help take care of the baby while you take a nap.

Try to keep the changing table as organized as possible. You’ll be spending a lot of time there and the last thing you need is a baby screaming when you can’t find the diaper rash cream. Save yourself the aggravation and keep a basket of diapers, wipes, creams and an extra outfit ready and within reach before you even start.

If you have help, take advantage of it. If a grandparent wants to come over, give them a little time alone together while you take a walk. Husband wants to do a diaper change? Go for it. You don’t have to do everything.

You also must get out of the house with the baby at some point. This sounds scarier than it actually is but it must be done in order to keep some kind of normalcy in your life. This can seem intimidating, but both you and baby will quickly adjust to being out in the real world. You had a lot of help in the hospital, and your home is a wonderful place to hide from the world.

Practice packing up everything including diapers, extra clothes, bottles and pacifiers. Practice getting the stroller out of the trunk, and place your little baby in the car seat. You don’t need to be out for the whole day. Get coffee or go to the mall. The more you do it, the easier it is. Plus, you’ll be able to talk to real adult human beings who tell you how gorgeous your baby is.

Most importantly, go easy on yourself and your partner. Parenting is a huge change that requires selflessness, patience and an incredible amount of good organization. Most people are not born with these qualities. It will take time to adjust to the fact that a little person is completely dependent on you. As that bond grows, it will be easier to put your babies needs over your own. Be good to your baby and your partner. You are a new family with new challenges, and you are all on that road together.