Top 5 Best Little Known Tips for New Moms

Nicole Yontz is a parenting writer for WhatToExpect.com and the one-woman show behind TheBetterHalfBlogs.com.

Nothing is scarier than taking your first steps out of the hospital with a brand new baby. What do I do if he cries? What if she doesn’t sleep? What now? We all know babies don’t come with handbooks and while everyone that’s ever birthed a baby will be giving you advice left and right (not all of it good), here are a few little known tips that I pass along to my friends when they are getting ready to welcome baby into the home. (Only when asked, of course. Usually. Except #5, I tell EVERYONE #5 because it’s that good.)

1. Let people help

Nobody is expecting super mom, certainly not super mom in the form of a new mom so don’t be afraid to either ask for help or accepts the offers given to you. I’ll be honest, people can say “sleep when the baby sleeps” all day but in reality we all know that’s not going to happen, ever. When baby is awake, you’re awake, when baby is asleep, you’re awake doing all the things you didn’t get to do while baby was awake…life still goes on. So when you do get those kind and considerate offers, jump on those as fast as you can and use those precious moments for that much needed nap.

2. Easy eating
But aren’t I trying to get all that baby weight off? Well, sure you are, but you are also no use to anyone if you’re Captain GrumpyPants because your blood sugar has dropped to the point of comatose. Nursing your little bundle of joy burns anywhere in the range of 500-800 calories per day. That’s the equivalent of a 2-3 mile run depending on your speed. While I was nursing my daughter, I noticed that I was the most ravenous when nursing in the middle of the night. I found that keeping small finger foods, like mini muffins, cheese, granola, etc, on hand would help tame the hunger pangs and keep my blood sugar up. Special note: Stick with snacks and containers that can be opened with one hand quietly as so not to disturb the little person having their own mid-night snack. It’s easiest to keep a flip top plastic container by your rocker with small snacks and a bottle of water for quick and easy access.

3. Get yourself some noise…white noise

You will hear plenty of advice ranging from make noise to not make noise when it comes to baby’s nap time environment. But as we all know the volume in our home is something that can rarely be controlled. It never fails; nap time is when the gardener decides to show up, or the garbage man, or if your husband is anything like mine, he only knows one way to close a cabinet–with a giant slam. If leaving your husband and moving to deserted island is not an option, the next best thing is to help drown out the outside world for your little napper in the form of some sort of white noise. I recommend using this for every nap, and at bedtime, from day one. As a bonus, your child will come to associate this noise with sleeping and they will then be able to sleep anywhere. Some companies make small portable white noise machines in the form of stuffed animals that are extremely helpful on long car trips or naps in an unfamiliar environment.

4. Organize the easy way

Babies grow at amazing speeds and yesterday’s pants are today’s capris. It seems when your kids are young you are constantly having to clean out the closets and drawers. I have a simple solution on how to keep the closet clean and tidy with little to no effort. All you have to do is keep a large plastic storage container at the bottom of babies closet at all times. As you come across items that no longer fit during your daily routine, pop it off the hanger and drop it in the box at your feet! Once the box it full, stick the lid on, label and off into storage it goes. If you want to go all advanced Martha 101, you can do what I do: once the box is full I make sure the sizes are all the same before I put them in storage. I have boxed labeled 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12…and so on. Think of how easy getting hand-me-downs or donations will be with this system.

5. Triple up!

There you are, it’s 3am and your child has created a Picasso of poop in the absolute hardest and most awkward place to clean–the crib. Awesome. Yes there are companies out there who sell special zip up sheets for just such an occasion but even those can be a pain when you’re blurry eyed and have only one free hand. I will now let you in on my number one best and most handy tip ever. The first time you do this the heavens will open up and the angels will sing; it will be glorious and you will thank me. Ready? Here you go: next time you change the sheets triple up. What I mean by this is put more than one sheet on the bed at a time. In between the sheets use large disposable changing table liners to protect the next sheet in line. The next time you are faced with a soaked bed simply grab a corner through the bars, remove the sheet, toss the changing pad and, ta-da!, a perfectly clean crib!

Do you have any tips of your own to add? Let us know in the comments!

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