If you are struggling with a newborn or getting ready for the big arrival, one of the best sources of baby tips and tricks for new moms are other moms!
This article contains lots of baby care tips for new moms including some things you might not have thought of!
Surviving the fourth trimester is all about expectations and knowing that the lack of sleep and newborn worries don’t last forever, even though it may feel like it!
What do experienced moms wish they had known before having a baby? Read on for all the details and lots of baby tips that you will be grateful for down the road!
And here’s a tip to get you started – babies can be expensive.
Make sure to take advantage of every baby freebie you can get your hands on. Companies throw free stuff at new moms because they know you will (hopefully) be a loyal customer for the next few years.
To get free diaper bags, free car seat covers and tons of samples, make sure to sign up for all the freebies on my list of Free Baby Stuff for New & Expecting Moms.
In Canada? Here is your list of Canadian Baby Freebies.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full Disclosure for more details.
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In the list below are over 50 baby tips and tricks for staying sane with a newborn in those first few weeks as well as the real things that moms wish they had known before their baby was born!
What are the do’s and don’ts for a newborn baby?
One thing that is true about having a baby is that everyone will have advice for you.
From your baby shower to the first few days, you might find yourself wishing for less advice, not more!
Everyone thinks they know best when it comes to looking after babies but remember that some advice, while well-meaning, can be outdated and even dangerous.
Here are my top 10 dos and don’t for looking after your newborn baby
1. Do remember that all babies are different and your baby is unique.
Just because something worked for Aunt Mabel’s cousin’s coworkers baby, doesn’t mean it will work for you or that you should feel bad if it doesn’t work.
2. Don’t compare your baby to others.
Meeting new mommies at playgroups is part of new mom life but sometimes you can get caught up in the comparisons and wondering if your/your baby are doing something wrong.
3. Do understand that babies aren’t supposed to sleep through the night.
Yes, the odd one is a miracle and is sleeping all night after 2 weeks but that is the exception and not the rule.
4. Don’t stress if breastfeeding is hard at first.
It might hurt. Babies don’t naturally know how to latch. Remember they are learning too.
5. Do feel free to use formula
If formula is what works for your baby and your family or breastfeeding doesn’t work out, don’t beat yourself up with guilt. A healthy baby is a fed baby.
6. Don’t try to be everything to everyone in the first few weeks.
The housework might slide. Chores might not get done. You just had a baby and are helping them find their way in the world. That’s your job now.
7. Do spend time bonding your baby
One of the best things about newborn life is just enjoying the skin to skin contact.
It can be hard to let go for the to-do list and just ” do nothing”.
Remember that spending time bonding with your baby is the most important thing you can do in the first few weeks.
8. Don’t forget to sanitize your hands
And make sure to ask guests to wash their hands before touching your baby.
Their immune system is fragile in the early days. Even a common cold can cause issues to a brand new baby.
9. Do get out of the house.
I have met so many new moms who were afraid to go to baby and me groups because they were worried about being judged.
Don’t be afraid to be in public with a crying baby. Anyone judging you has either never had a baby or it was so long ago that they can’t remember how hard the first few weeks are.
10. Don’t overlook the pacifier.
Lots of people try and avoid using a pacifier but they can really be a lifesaver. Both my kids used pacifiers and it wasn’t anywhere near as hard as I thought to cut it when they were around 3 years old.
Here is a trick that we use in my family (my parents actually did this with me).
On Christmas Eve we leave the pacifiers out for Santa to pick up and take to a new baby who needs them.
Santa then leaves a special gift to say thank you.
My 7 year old still talks about the toy she got from Santa for giving up her pacifiers – such a big day for her!
How can I be a good mother to my newborn?
1.The best advice to be a good mother is to not stress. Just go with the flow. Babies can sense stress. The more laid back you are the more “go with the flow” your babe will be.
2. Don’t expect anything. No two babies are alike.
3. One thing that really helped me was to realize that my baby was new to this too. They are suddenly thrown into a whole new World with strange people and new sensations and tastes. It takes them some time to adapt.
4. When you realize that you are both learning together, it all seems a bit easier.
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5. If you plan on having more than one child, don’t buy pink or blue equipment but rather gender neutral.
6. If you can’t make it to a prenatal class, you can take one online for free. This FREE course is taught by a labour and delivery nurse and is packed with useful tips and tricks for you and baby!
7. Do not go crazy on baby products. I had a bunch of stuff ready for when he was born and never used most of it. Then the things I needed I didn’t have.
If you are planning on having your baby on a budget, make sure to not go overboard. There are only a few newborn essentials you really need.
8. Female babies can bleed from the vagina a few days after birth for up to 7 days and they can leak milk from their breast.
9. For boys, make sure you point the penis downward when you fold the diaper over or he will pee out the top of the diaper every time! Wet onesies!!
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10. Labour as long as possible at home if you’re not keen on medical interventions
11. When you pee, lean forward. No one told me how much it burns right after giving birth
12. When you’re pushing… the moment you’re saying (or screaming) “I can’t do it!!!” You are SO close to meeting your baby. Have your partner remind you of this. It’s always when you feel the most excruciating that something amazing is about to happen.
13. Don’t go in with a birth plan because usually that never works out. The best plan to have is just to have baby out and safe.
14. Worried about labour? READ: How To Calm Your Anxiety About Labor And Delivery
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15. There is a fourth trimester. It’s a time for baby and YOU to get used to your new World.
16. In-laws and family are not entitled to grab, hold, even see your baby until YOU are ready.
17. Don’t be afraid to tell people off. Babies are cute and for some reason people like touching baby cheeks or hands. Mostly strangers. Don’t be afraid to say NO
18. Feed on demand, sleep in demand and go with the flow.
19. Prep for the first few weeks by stocking your freezer with these meals for new moms
20. Don’t have any pre-conceived notions on how things will go when you get home because that won’t happen—let baby dictate and go with the flow.
21. If you have a main floor bathroom… get yourself a garbage can WITH A LID ( a swinging one is perfect!).When you have people over, you don’t want them seeing your giant size pads in the garbage when they use the restroom.
22. Layer the crib with sheets so that if your baby has a diaper blowout or upset tummy in the middle of the night, you can just whip the top layer off and put baby to sleep again with minimal fuss.
23. I used a pack and play on the main floor with some diapers, wipes and outfits ready so I’d have less running up and down the stairs during the first few days.
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24. ALWAYS remember that FED is best, don’t worry about the insanity of breast vs. Formula debate!
25. The nurse might help you massage your boobs at the hospital to get your milk flowing.
26. Breastfeeding is hard work. Latching, milk supply, engorged breasts, bleeding nipples. I wish I had been told in advance so I wasn’t surprised. The first few weeks are so tough but also so magical.
Make sure to check out these 15 Best Online Breastfeeding Courses (Including Free Classes!)
27. If you need to pump, here are 12 Breast Pumping Tips For More Milk
28. Cold cabbage leaves will help your breasts feel better when you get engorged.
29. If you’re breastfeeding, feed on demand and trust yourself and your baby. The half hour every 2-3 hrs thing doesn’t usually happen.
30. Breastfeeding is incredibly emotional even if you’re not an emotional person because of the hormones released during a feeding.
31. If you are breastfeeding the doctors and nurses will tell you it’s not supposed to hurt, but it will for a week or two because of the frequency of nursing!
32. Book in to see a lactation consultant to help if you are breastfeeding.
33. If you are worried about breastfeeding try to go for a class before you give birth.
34. Nursing in the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping can be very lonely.
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35. I wish someone had told me that I might not feel like me.
I spent weeks just trying to “feel normal”, if that makes sense.
When I asked my sister when things would go back to normal, she said “They won’t; this is a new normal.”
I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about that, but I didn’t and it was a shock to the system.
36. Be kind to yourself.
37. I wish I had been more insistent on postpartum time being private.
38. Get yourself a Postpartum Survival Kit before you have your baby. Stock it with everything you need for those first few weeks.
39. The baby blues are REAL. They appear around days 5-7. All your hormones are changing. I cried for 3 days straight. Having the support of your loved ones really helps.
39. I used the disposable underwear after delivering my babies.
40. You will bleed for weeks. I didn’t realize that.. have lots of big pads ready.
41. My feet hardly were swollen my pregnancy, and the night after giving birth I almost had a heart attack because no one told me that your feet can swell after. It’ll be worse if you receive IV fluids. Compression stockings helped me.
42. It’s totally normal to feel completely emotional. After my second baby everything made me cry.
43. Make aloe freezer pads! Get the recipe here.
44. Crying is normal, especially when your milk comes in!
45. I didn’t have any visitors for babies 2 and 3 and it helped immensely. With baby number 1, we had visitors like a rotating door and it was a circus. I couldn’t get skin to skin, I couldn’t rest.
46. I made my hubby buy me a rubber doughnut from the drug store so I could sit in an Epson salt bath every night.
Newborn Sleeping Tips
47. Don’t expect your baby to want to sleep or be content sleeping independently right off the bat.
48. Babies crave human contact and thrive from skin to skin touch. It helps them acclimate to this big scary world. Be patient with baby as they are just trying to figure things out.
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The most sought after baby tips and tricks that new moms want normally have to do with getting baby to sleep. After all, enjoying the newborn days is hard when you are exhausted.
Here are the top tips about getting baby to sleep:
49. Babies are normally calm their first night. Sleep as much as you can. The next night, and for the next few months you will be exhausted.
50. No one really told me just how exhausting the first few weeks/months really were.
51. Prepare yourself for little sleep and do sleep when baby sleeps. You will be tempted to do all the million things on your to do list but this is a special time and it will pass, so take it easy and do try to sleep whenever you can because the exhaustion is real.
52. Babies have their days and nights mixed up for a number of weeks at the beginning – sleep/nap during the day!
53. Put. Your. Phone. Down. If someone says- go and sleep. GO TO SLEEP. I spent SO much time on my phone at opportunities when I should have been sleeping.
Tips For Calming A Crying Baby
54. Out of all the baby tips and tricks I learned, this was the best!
Watch this video on the magic baby hold, practise it on a doll before your baby is born! It is great for soothing a crying baby.
55. The sound of running water can calm the baby along with knee bends while holding the baby. We expanded on this and found a CD that played water sounds to play while they were sleeping. Worked miracles.
56. Having trouble calming your newborn? Here are 31 Clever colic remedies that really work!
Newborn Tips For Dads
57. Make sure your partner has TONS of snuggle time with baby (this will help in the long run for all of you) they’ll feel completely comfortable with baby- you’ll get ‘you’ time to shower and baby will be content with your partner.
58. Have a pre-baby arriving discussion with your partner.
Who will do what and when. (relationships fall apart when a baby arrives because each partner expects things from the other but never voices those expectations)
59. If baby hasn’t been born yet, make sure to get the dad to be to download one of these Pregnancy Apps For Dads. They can really help him to feel involved in the process.
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What do you do with a newborn all day?
60. One mistake a lot of new moms make is to think that they have to actually “do” stuff with their baby in the first few months. You don’t need to start reading or doing literacy exercises with a newborn!
Here are some things you can do with your newborn baby:
- Take a walk in the stroller
- Bounce on a yoga ball with baby in your arms
- Do some Free Baby And Me Workouts On YouTube
- Snuggle on the couch and catch up with Netflix
- Put baby in the carrier and go for a walk
- Go for a drive
- Hang out with other moms and let the babies discover each other
- Take baby out to visit friends and relatives
- Put a blanket on the grass and let baby look up at the sky
- Host a A Baby Shower After Baby Is Born (a Sip and See) so that friends and neighbours can meet the baby in one go.
Final Baby Tips and Tricks For Looking After A Newborn
61. The newborn baby stage can be tough but it can also be really fun.
Accept the fact that you might not get much sleep, that things like breastfeeding and calming your baby might not go quite as you thought they would.
62. Take time to look after yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your partner, friends and family. People want to help new moms out.
Newborn Tips, Tricks, Hacks – Final Thoughts
For new parents, the first few weeks can be extremely challenging. Every day can feel overwhelming, bedtime gets crazy and the witching hour will have you pulling out your hair.
Just try and remember that it’s all temporary.
Your baby will change so fast and within a few short months everything will be much easier to handle.
You’ll be having fun out and about plus you will establish your own routine that works for you.
Good luck mama, you’ve got this!
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