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From the blog:

POST:

Parenting Hacks for New Moms | Happy Parents Have Realistic Expectations

CATEGORY:

Babies

Date:

September 19, 2018

I see a lot of parents-to-be in my office and they have a lot of questions. They also have a variety of expectations when it comes to having a new baby.

Most of their questions are about sleep and breastfeeding. Often, though, there a lot of questions about how to preserve some sense of normalcy, about how to keep things as easy and fun as possible. To be honest, I get the most nervous for the parents looking for things to stay the same. I encourage them to, instead, consider this a moment in time that will soon be over but that tends to go best when expectations are in check.

You will have fun again, I tell them, you will have date nights, you will at some point (kind of) get back to who you were before you became mommy or daddy. Right now, though, it’s time to dig in your heels and expect there will be a lot of tough days and nights. There will be moments of complete bliss, to be sure, but being a parent can be, well, annoying at times. You don’t have your freedom, you lose control of your schedule, you get lost in a sea of feeding and pooping and sleeping, then doing it again (if you’re looking for a free new mom guide to help you along, click here). 

Setting Realistic Expectations

Is it worth it? Absolutely. Is it hard? You betcha. Turns out it’s better to be mentally prepared for a period of awkward transition than to expect smooth sailing from the get-go. Becoming a parent, just like starting any new and challenging job, usually involves a steep learning curve at the beginning.

Dealing With a Tough Baby

Now, maybe you’ve already had a new baby and that baby is TOUGH—one with colic or who is just straight up a lot of work (If you have an easy baby, congratulations. Now, stop telling other parents how easy your baby is. They will only go home and cry in private.).

If you have a “hands-on” baby, first remember this: it will get better, believe me. I’ve been there and I know it does. But, while you wait till that magic day, do this as much as possible:

Talk about it. That is the only way to get the support you need. Call your mom or your sister, get to a mommy support group, call Baby Blues Connection, meet up with a friend. Better yet, have the friend come to you.

Expectations vs. Reality

If you are struggling with a baby under the age of four months that you think has colic, talk to your provider. Dealing with a colicky baby all day and all night can cause discord between parents, maternal depression, and anxiety. Your pediatrician can help by doing a thorough history and physical to make sure there isn’t a more serious medical condition and can offer support and resources to help you cope with the stress of a baby that doesn’t give you a break.

Colic is a real, difficult, confusing thing to go through with your baby. The good news: it does end. Your baby will not fuss and cry forever. But while you’re waiting for that magic day to arrive, reach out for help if you need it and take as much care of yourself as possible.

Wanting More Parenting Help?

Want more information about how to parent and cope when you’re a new mom? Check out our book, The Newborn Baby Blueprint: Preparing to Care For Your Infant and Yourself.

new mom, breastfeeding, parenting hacks, new mom hacks

Looking for baby registry or baby shower gifts? You’ll love our Newborn Gift Boxes (in Baby Boy, Baby Girl, and Gender Neutral). They’re full of information, inspiration, and a little love for all the mamas and mamas-to-be in your life (including you!).

new mom advice, top tips for new moms, breastfeeding advice, baby gear, baby gift, baby registry

expecting mom, first time moms, when you're expecting, breastfeeding moms

POST:

Parenting Hacks for Early Motherhood | Why Experienced Parents Are So Confident & How to Handle Baby Advice

CATEGORY:

Babies

Date:

September 13, 2018

When I first entered motherhood, I kept watching my seasoned mom friends with almost jealousy. I felt like I must be doing something wrong because it wasn’t as easy for me. Turns out, that’s not true at all. They just had this secret weapon up their sleeves: they knew what to expect.  Not in that, “Oh yeah, babies are hard, I remember this” kind of way. More in a concrete, “I understand that this stage takes exactly two days to pass. I believe it will pass because there was a time three years ago that the very same thing happened and it passed” kind of way.

They have things etched into their memories from early parenting. Things like:

Baby’s initial sleepy stage: 24 hours

Body screaming out in pain as baby learns to latch: 1 week

Breasts engorged and throbbing: 72-90 hours

Fussy period: 2 weeks old – 3 months

Toddler tantrums: 2 years – 3 years

You know, that type of thing.

Now, have people written these estimates of time all over the internet? Of course. But if your baby arrives and you feel like none of that information made a difference, there’s a reason why: it’s because it’s hard to believe those stages really are just a stage until you’ve lived through them. Yep, motherhood is a learn by doing kind of experience.

It’s like running a long race. If you’ve run one before, even if it was years ago, it still feels somewhat attainable in the heat of it.  If you’re a race “virgin” it’s kind of hard to believe you will actually come out on the other side without collapsing. If you haven’t had a baby before, visualizing what’s ahead and asking others about their experiences, plus reading credible information from reliable sources can make those early days easier and can help you become a parenting pro, too. 

Now What About All That Baby Advice You’re Getting?

There is so much advice about babies out there. How to have a strong pregnancy, how to give birth and then, of course, how to take care of a baby in the first months to a year. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and, maybe, a little irritated, you’re not alone. It flustered me at first, too, when my mom would give me parenting advice. She hadn’t done the early motherhood thing in 30 plus years, what did she know? But the reality is, she had the ability to see things about my daughter that I could not. She also was not exhausted like I was. Same goes for friends with older kids – they can be a huge wealth of information.

Being a pediatrician made some aspects of baby care easier for me but not all of them, by any means (by the way, if you want some new mom pediatrician tips I DID learn along the way, click here to get our free guide). As my friend said when I was just four weeks into being a parent, “Don’t feel bad if you don’t always know what to do. You went to medical school, not mommy school! I imagine the things they teach in mommy school are much different than what they teach in anatomy class.”

The Key to Easing Into Motherhood?

Take everything as a suggestion and as an interesting perspective and then filter, filter, filter. Not everyone’s opinion is something you will use with your own child but, if you are open to others’ observations, you will be less frustrated and more successful (you can get our free guide to successful parenting in the baby and toddler years here).

Wanting More Parenting Help?

Want more information about how to parent and cope when you’re a new mom? Check out our book, The Newborn Baby Blueprint: Preparing to Care For Your Infant and Yourself.

new mom, breastfeeding, parenting hacks, new mom hacks

Looking for baby registry or baby shower gifts? You’ll love our Newborn Gift Boxes (in Baby Boy, Baby Girl, and Gender Neutral). They’re full of information, inspiration, and a little love for all the mamas and mamas-to-be in your life (including you!).

new mom advice, top tips for new moms, breastfeeding advice, baby gear, baby gift, baby registry

 

 

 

Baby gear essentials, Baby essentials, Pregnancy essentials, Find out you're pregnant, pregnancy, new mom, toddler, Baby products, Being pregnant, while pregnant, New parent

 

POST:

Parenting Hacks for New Moms | Why Prioritizing Self-Care Makes You a Better Parent

CATEGORY:

Babies

Date:

September 7, 2018

I remember a mom friend telling me she had booked a day of massages and pedicures for herself a month after her second daughter arrived. I felt slightly annoyed. She said she needed it. Really? What a seemingly selfish thing to do. But, in reality, she was doing herself and her family a huge favor. Taking small chunks of time for yourself as early on as possible is one of the best ways to keep yourself from feeling trapped as a new parent.

My Early Parenting Mistake

With my first child, I got myself so bogged down by month three that I stormed into my bedroom after a night of very interrupted sleep and announced that I was going on a week-long trip with or without my husband once my daughter turned one. It was a little drastic but, at the time, totally necessary for sanity. My first child was so colicky, I needed something to look forward to.

What I See Now

Looking back, I see that if I had taken small breaks earlier on – a little trip to the coffee shop, a night out to dinner – it would have made a huge difference in my ability to stay resilient for the long-term. We did take that trip and, when I came back, I remember getting on the phone with my mother-in-law, who was incredibly supportive during those dog days of infancy. I told her, “I just feel so free. Like, if I need to leave for an hour or even a night, it’s no big deal. She’ll be okay and so will I.” I wish I had realized that earlier on.

You Really Do Need Self-Care

Take it from me and from my patients’ parents: You have to take good care of yourself to take good care of the ones you love (including your kids). 

Wanting More Parenting Help?

Want more information about how to parent and cope when you’re a new mom? Check out our book, The Newborn Baby Blueprint: Preparing to Care For Your Infant and Yourself.

new mom, breastfeeding, parenting hacks, new mom hacks

Looking for baby registry or baby shower gifts? You’ll love our Newborn Gift Boxes (in Baby Boy, Baby Girl, and Gender Neutral). They’re full of information, inspiration, and a little love for all the mamas and mamas-to-be in your life (including you!).

new mom advice, top tips for new moms, breastfeeding advice, baby gear, baby gift, baby registry

 

 

tips for new moms, mommy self-care,hcks for breastfeeding

POST:

Parenting Hacks for New Moms: Getting Help In Ways That Are Actually Helpful

CATEGORY:

Babies

Date:

August 31, 2018

The Key to Newborn Parent Sanity? Getting Help In Ways That Are Actually Helpful

People always tell you when you have a new baby to get a lot of help. Take breaks, take turns with your partner, let others cook and clean for you, they say.  Great advice, except that it often means, in the end, a house full of well-meaning people giving unsolicited advice and observations for about three weeks while you hold a screaming baby and tried to not completely lose it. I see the same with many of the new moms that come to me in my pediatrics clinic.

A potentially better plan?

Let family and friends come in smaller spurts. Order take out instead of having people cook every meal for you or, sometimes, have them just drop it off and then go home. Take some alone time so you can get the information you need and are really looking for (if you’re looking for expert information on how to do this whole newborn thing, check out our online course, The Newborn Baby Blueprint: Preparing to Care For Your Infant and Yourself, here).

Meaningful help might come from sources that seem less traditional, like a doula or a caregiver. We relied pretty heavily on our nanny when we had our second baby. She was someone I knew would be respectful of our family process, would provide continuity for our eldest and would not stress out easily. It’s not that your loved ones are not important, it’s that sometimes there is an extra layer of complexity to their constant involvement early on. Now that I’ve had two kids and commiserate on the daily with other seasoned mamas and new moms, I’ve realized that this is a pretty universal sentiment.

You’re an extrovert? It makes you depressed to not have a posse around you at all times?

Great. Let ’em help. But, if not, let the newborn period be your first lesson in exercising parenting boundaries: doing what will work the best for you and your family, even if it doesn’t please every single person you know.

Wanting More Parenting Help?

Want more information about how to parent and cope when you’re a new mom? Check out our book, The Newborn Baby Blueprint: Preparing to Care For Your Infant and Yourself.

new mom, breastfeeding, parenting hacks, new mom hacks

Looking for baby registry or baby shower gifts? You’ll love our Newborn Gift Boxes (in Baby Boy, Baby Girl, and Gender Neutral). They’re full of information, inspiration, and a little love for all the mamas and mamas-to-be in your life (including you!).

new mom advice, top tips for new moms, breastfeeding advice, baby gear, baby gift, baby registry

 

new moms, breastfeeding, lactation, help for new parents

 

POST:

Parenting Hacks for New Moms: How to Embrace the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Co-Parent

CATEGORY:

Babies

Date:

August 23, 2018

Struggling With How to Do the Whole Co-Parenting Thing?

Parenting is a balance of responsibilities and, if you’re doing this with a partner, one of you may have more skills or patience for some of those parenting tasks.

My spouse is wonderful at taking the reigns with our toddler. He can make a three-course dinner with grace. He could hold and change the baby deftly during the day when she was young. But, at night, especially once he went back to work after we had our firstborn, asking him to fully participate on an equal basis was like asking a slumbering bear to rouse himself from his cave in the middle of winter.

The choices I felt I had at the beginning? Yell at my partner (over and over) to please wake up OR do it all myself. Both made me resentful, to be honest. Instead, I settled on a more strengths-based plan: If he could just get our infant out of the bassinet and change her the first few times she woke (plus obviously stay up and problem-solve with me when we had a rough night), I would handle the rest of the night shift. In the day, he could do a little more baby holding while I rested and nursed (for more free tips on taking care of a newborn, click here for our free mini-course). Don’t worry, I made sure he did his part!

Why’d It Take Me So Long?

Why did it take me until my second child arrived to realize this was a more workable and, in the end, satisfying plan? Because the first time around, I was way too focused on precise equality and task-sharing, not considering that he would happily take the lead during the day if I would just let the man sleep a little more at night.

Second-time parenting brings its own challenges but at least you have the basics down. When you’re new at parenting, your first partner challenge is to divide and conquer, letting individual strengths drive responsibilities and contributions.

Wanting More Parenting Help?

Want more information about how to parent and cope when you’re a new mom? Check out our book, The Newborn Baby Blueprint: Preparing to Care For Your Infant and Yourself.

new mom, breastfeeding, parenting hacks, new mom hacks

Looking for baby registry or baby shower gifts? You’ll love our Newborn Gift Boxes (in Baby Boy, Baby Girl, and Gender Neutral). They’re full of information, inspiration, and a little love for all the mamas and mamas-to-be in your life (including you!).

new mom advice, top tips for new moms, breastfeeding advice, baby gear, baby gift, baby registry

 

parenting hacks for new moms, new mom advice, newborn sleep, newborns

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