What Every New Mom Needs To Know


There is no doubt that becoming a mother for the first time can be an absolutely nerve wracking time filled with a lot of big emotions. Before your due date you may even hear a horror story or two that  have you questioning why you even conceived in the first place (why do people do that?!) but at the same time you may hear some beautiful stories that have those butterflies in your stomach fluttering. While at times parenting can be hard, like anything else in life, we feel that with a little (or a lot) of preparedness becoming a mom for the first time can be the most amazing time in a woman's life. To help all of our soon-to-be mamas out there (and even the seasoned moms) we asked some of our friends what they wish they knew before becoming a mom for the first time and the responses - well, we will let you read them for yourself, but we think they are everything you need to survive this next stage in your life. 
  • Take some time for yourself everyday, even if just a few minutes. It was months with my first before I took an hour for me to shower, paint my nails, do my makeup before leaving the house, etc. I was always cleaning or cooking or doing laundry or rushing to wash my hair if baby was asleep, putting everything before myself. When I had my second I realized that I needed some me time, even if only 20 minutes a day. The messes will still be there and you’ll still be sleep deprived the next day but there is no shame in choosing to take a bubble bath over doing dishes or taking a nap.

  • Postpartum depression can come & go by the hour, the day, or even the week, know the signs and be prepared to ask for help.

  • Everything will change for you when your baby is born. Everything will change for your husband as well, but it won't be the same kind of changes. Knowing and accepting this can prevent resentment.

  • Don't let motherhood completely consume you. It's easy to do, but you're still a person with valid needs and desires that are worth paying attention to, too.

  • Your newborn may not sleep as much as you thought they would or they may sleep more. There is no right or wrong here, don't compare your experience to others. 

  • When it comes to toddlers, pick your battles. Some stuff I found I was wanting to control and it ended up driving me insane. As long as it's not unsafe, it's all good

  • The first six weeks may be a blur. Take pictures, videos and even more videos to remember those moments. 

  • Remember to enjoy having a baby even through the hard times. They grow up so fast. Take as much time as you can with your kids now while they are little.

  • Don't stress over decisions or transitions because they are over before you know it and have very little long term consequences. When do you go down to two naps? One nap? Get rid of the bottle? Offer food? Move to a sippy cup? Let them use a spoon? These things feel SO BIG at the time but it's much easier to just roll with it and stick to what works for your family.

  • You don’t need all this fancy stuff! No wipe warmer, no stroller air conditioner, no to the 5 bouncers. Only spend on the essentials. 

  • Take everything people tell you with a grain of salt and do what works best for you.

  • Don’t be so hard on yourself, sleep when they sleep as often as you can (it’s not always possible), your milk may not come in for 5 days (don’t give up on breastfeeding if it’s important to you, seek help from a lactation consultant) BUT don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work for you. FED IS BEST!

  • Make sure you communicate your needs to your husband, partner or baby daddy, they won’t always instinctively pick up on them!

  • The period between 12-24 months may be harder than 0-12 months, especially if you stay at home.

  • You may need time to adjust to the love and fierce need you feel to protect your child. It can be overwhelming and a little terrifying at the beginning to feel that kind of responsibility.

  • Onesies are made for pulling down, not over the head after a poo-catastrophe.

  • Layer your crib mattress with a waterproof sheet, crib sheet, waterproof sheet and crib sheet. In the middle of the night, if you approach a blow out situation, all you need to do is strip the bed. You won't have to wrangle dressing the mattress again while half asleep. 

  • That for the first few weeks some babies may only sleep when they are being held. While it may be a hard time for you, enjoy those moments. Before you know it they will be a teenager not wanting anything to do with you.

  • Enjoy the nighttime feedings as much as possible.

  • Sleep isn't a luxury - it's actually a necessity. Yes, we can go with varying amounts of sleep, but you need to get sleep to function and survive. So ask for help. It takes a village, which many of us don't have anymore. Don't put yourself or baby in danger because you're sleep deprived (driving for example). Don't be a martyr. Yes, parenting is a lot of sacrifice - but you still have to take care of yourself.

  • Plan to not plan at all. By that I mean reality will almost always be different than your expectations. just go with it or you will go insane.

  • Never say never. You will do a lot of things you can't imagine before you're a parent.

  • I didn't realize with early bed times comes a lack of social life. If going out in the evenings, even just a dinner with your husband, is important to you plan and budget for babysitters now. 

  • Know that your body is freaking amazing and is way stronger than any man you'll ever meet. 

  • Falling in love with your baby is way deeper and faster than anyone you’ve ever fell in love with before. And if you don't feel it right away that's OK too. It will come, give it time.

  • I didn't know what it was like to consistently put the needs of another person before mine before becoming a parent and for that I now respect my Mom so much more. 

  • You'll be tired but you WILL adapt. As humans we are very resilient and can adapt to just about anything.

  • Trust your instincts.

  • You will love that baby more than air, more than yourself, and more than life. However, a little time for yourself is critical!

  • That everything will be ok. It'll all work out. You are stronger and more capable than you realized.

  • You'll obsess about them starting to talk for 18 months and about them never stopping for the next 18 years.

  • Parenting heightens every emotion: your joys will be greater and your stressors/sadness may be greater.

  • Give yourself lots of grace! You don't have to be perfect. You just need to love your kid and be good enough.

  • Ask for and accept help. Especially of you struggle with postpartum depression.

  • Parenting is constantly learning how to adapt. SO MANY different phases. Nothing lasts forever.

  • Nobody knows what they're doing. Everyone is winging it, just like you.

  • The love between a mother and child is the greatest love that exists. 

  • Other mom's want to help you and know that you are never alone.

  • Even though there may be days you are exhausted and don't want to play with blocks anymore, one look in that munchkins eyes makes you realize how much you were missing before they came among. It's pretty much the best thing ever.

  • Join a mommy and me club or class. It'll be great for your sanity, and baby.

  • Your hormones may be crazy postpartum, you'll cry for no apparent reason. That is OK.

  • That the first few weeks/months with a newborn would have been much easier if I had just done exactly what my baby needed (i.e., letting her latch as long as she wanted or holding her while she slept) instead of trying to control every single thing. I wish I just let go and did what was natural. 

  • Motherhood can be a very lonely place. But in the end it’s those moments with just you and your baby that you’d rather have above any level of company or companionship. Embrace it! They aren’t kidding when they say it goes fast. You will blink and your baby will be getting teeth and turning human walking up right! It’s crazy!

  • "Underbook" or underschedule everything. Basically plan nothing for a while so you don't feel guilty or dissappointed if you don't get to it. 

  • No one tells you that breastfeeding can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Do your research and know what is ahead so you can adjust your expectations. 

  • Hire a lactation consultant right away in the hospital. It may be the best $200 you spend.

  • If breast feeding doesn't work, formula is OK! Do not beat yourself up.

  • Mom guilt doesn't ever go away you just learn how to cope with it. 

  • Ask for the help you actually need, not what people think you need. There's a pretty big difference.

  • Accept help when people offer. 
    Q: Can I bring anything?
    A: That would be great?
    Q: Can I do anything to help?
    A: yes! (Hold the baby and chat with me while I do the dishes, etc.)
    Q: Can we give the baby a bottle while you go rest?
    A: Yes!

  • It will be alright you got this!

  • Trust your instincts and don't let others sway your parenting decisions if you feel it is right for you and your child.

  • All of your “musts” will likely go out the window. I was adamant on not co-sleeping and no pacifiers. That lasted about 4 seconds.

  • Let go of all expectations of your husband to be that "perfect" dad you read about.

  • Things do become more normal again.

  • At some point I was so jealous of people who didn't have kids or had older kids that slept through the night and didn't have to nurse all day. Now I couldn't imagine being jealous of anyone who doesn't have a kid, it's the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. 

  • Learn to love all of the moments, even the tough ones.

  • I wish I knew how much pressure and stress others will put on you and your mothering ability/skills, including significant others. Had to learn on my own to tune them out and do what you know is best for your baby.

  • I disliked pregnancy, all of it, and that's ok. 

  • Let go of all expectations of how life would be with a new baby. Whether its your relationship with your husband or significant other, how your child will behave or sleep, how you will handle things, and just overall. Life with a baby will never go as planned, you need to learn to go with the flow. 

  • You may struggle with your identity, your relationship with your spouse and friends and family. Pay attention so you know when you need to make an adjustment. That adjustment may not come right away, but don't let yourself slip away. 

  • You and your house may not be perfect all of the time but motherhood is awesome in all its imperfections.

  • Embrace the small moments because they truly grow up so fast and grow up before your eyes. 

  • Your husband may annoy you, like more than before, and that is normal. If it doesn't go away soon after postpartum know that it's time to nourish the relationship. Healthy, happy parents = healthy, happy baby.

  • I didn't have an instant connection with my daughter. I felt so guilty for weeks because I didn't feel like I loved her enough. In a weird way she didn't feel like mine, even though I watched her come out of my vagina. I wish I knew that I wasn't crazy and that now I have that deep heart wrenching love for her. 

  • Breastfeeding is hard, but was so worth it for my family. See a lactation consultant the first week. So, so helpful.

  • Try to get out of the house once a day -- my mom got us Panera gift cards so I would jet out in the morning to grab breakfast for my husband and I. Fresh air is important!

  • The love you feel for your baby is the most overwhelming feeling you'll ever have. 

  • Becoming a mom may not be as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I felt like all I heard was the horror stories and I was dreading the first few weeks, but it was a really beautiful time.

  • That there is no one right or best way to do anything. Aside from a few safety considerations, most ways of parenting are basically fine.

  • Don't compare your self to other moms. Everyone looses their shit at some point, some people are jusr better at hiding it than others. 

  • I wish I knew not to be so scared.

  • That it's okay to set boundaries and say "No, that doesn't work for us," "No, you cannot visit right now," "No, it's not a good time to hold my baby," (because I'm holding him right now is a good enough answer! It's my baby!)

  • It wasn't as difficult as a lot of people made it sound. My kids weren't sleeping through the night at three weeks or anything, but if you go into it expecting not to get much sleep, and you get a few hours, you can feel pretty good!

  • That everything is a phase and nothing lasts forever (in fact, most new phases last for only a few weeks and are over before you even realize it!).

  • To research everything, to question everything and anything and to not trust someone just because they are doctor. Trust your gut and always get a second opinion. 

  • That it's not only okay, but necessary to take care of yourself in order to be a better mom. No one can function well when their basic needs aren't being met. It's not selfish, it's the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.

  • That even if you don't officially have postpartum depression, that it is very common and OK to not feel like yourself for a few months afterward. Don't feel ashamed and don't be afraid to vocalize it to your loved ones.

  • I wish I didn’t put so much pressure on myself to be everyone else’s form for “perfect mom” and just let myself parent the way that was best for me.

  • I wish I could have just let the house go, laundry, dishes - they all can wait. With my first child I put so much pressure to keep the house perfect so I missed a lot of sleep that I desperately needed, and no one really came over anyway so I rushed and was a cranky over-tired exhausted mom with a clean house. NOT worth it. 

  • Take more videos of the day-to-day with your baby. Pictures are obvious but videos really capture the moments. 

  • I wish I had taken my husband up on the offer to sleep more, I always felt like between feedings, changings, and breast pumping (my babies wouldn’t latch) that I was a zombie and needed to do it all, including the feedings. I should have let my husband help more, but I felt guilty since he was working and I was on leave, I didn’t want him to get up.

  • My best advice is just do you momma, stop listening to everyone else, stop trying to be perfect, enjoy the moments, the smells, the cuddles, they go by so quick. You have the rest of your life to worry about money, family, friends, drama and be online. Put the phone down, focus on the baby, and enjoy the moment.

  • Don't let doctor google scare you, go with your gut, and if something seems off, take baby in to be seen. Don't google everything to death and worry yourself silly!
  • You might not feel like a "mom" right away. I thought I'd assume that identity the moment they put my 1st in my arms, but it took me a few weeks to feel like a mom.

  • You might grieve your "old self" for a while, while you are trying to learn about your new identity as "mom, that is OK.

  • That you may leave the hospital still looking pregnant, don't be packing your skinny jeans to go home in. 

  • To chill the hell out I was so high strung.

  • That we are animals of some sort and should trust our natural instinct more! 

  • That your relationship with your SO/husband may be completely different; take time to nurture that relationship while raising kids. A strong marriage benefits everyone.

  • Babies do not need shoes until they are crawling/walking, save your money. 
  • You have the best excuse for leaving early and getting somewhere late.

  • That it may take a few days before you feel connected and totally in love with your baby. That's OK - even though you carried them, they are still a stranger. 

  • Know that parenting is not always challenging and exhausting, most of the time it's really fun!

  • You will be in love with this tiny, hilarious, beautiful being and you won't want to be anywhere they aren't.

  • Motherhood can be hard and frustrating but I also think women like to scare each other sometimes and tell horror stories. Enjoy every minute, it has been more fun and easier than I anticipated!

  • Kids force you to have life balance and figure out what’s truly important, and it’s AWESOME.

  • You may actually look forward to waking up in the middle of the night (even when you have to get up at 5:45 to get everyone ready for work/Daycare) because you get to cuddle with your little miracle.