Written by Chelsea Spooner,
We all wish we would have been told what to avoid, what to do and what do expect when we had kids. This list below is your shortcut to some important information about your new baby. This is especially important if this is your first time being a parent. You may think these are simple and obvious but trust us, when you throw in a baby into the mix, all rules go out the window. Survival is and just getting by is often the goal. So, here you go, here’s our list of things we would’ve known earlier.
- Write things down. Keep a journal during the first year of their life, it goes so fast and you won't remember it! You WILL remember what you take pictures of, tell other people, so don't forget to record and share the bright spots.
- Get "ready" (brush teeth, skin care, brush hair, get dressed) every day WILL escape you if you don't make it happen. The first time you're up to feed a baby after 5am, take 15 minutes for yourself to reset and refresh for the day. It will make your day feel better. On that same note, prioritize self-care - Taking time for yourself is important for your mental and physical health. Schedule regular breaks for yourself to relax and recharge.
- Set yourself up for success and accept help. Don't try to do it all on your own. Ask family and friends for help with chores, childcare, and other tasks. Help yourself recover by truly taking the necessary steps to heal. That means not lifting more than advised and not overdoing it. It can be really helpful to create a plan or schedule that allows others to serve and help you as you need.
- Postpartum looks different for everyone, don't compare. You might be surprised at how much you love your first postpartum experience! You have heard about the hard things, and the struggles, but you may just feel happy, joyous, excited, at peace, and content in your new phase of life. Postpartum looks different for everyone and can be different with every baby. Try your very hardest to not compare you or your baby to anyone else!! All babies and moms are different and perfect in their own way. Parenting is mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. If you are aware and can make these things well known it will make you feel better.
- Know that your job for the next 6 months is primarily to take care of this infant. A lot of your time, energy, focus, and brainpower will be going to this tiny human! It's 6 months, and sometimes it can feel like the "new normal" but babies grow up so quick, you'll be in the next phase before you know it. Remember, in the hard times this won’t last forever.
Hey Partner, here’s how you can help support!
- Communicate with your partner. This is key to staying in sync. Regularly talk with your partner about your needs and expectations. It's important to stay on the same page and work together as a team. You are entering into a whole new phase of life and your relationship. Work together and over communicate to help smooth the transition.
- You're in charge of restocking everything. Go WAY over the top with your help. They may not ask for the help but they absolutely need it. You are in charge of restocking (pads, diapers, wipes, trash cans, her water mug). Stay vigilant on that. You're also in charge of meals. Have them ALL (breakfast, lunch, AND dinner) prepped or prepared for at least the first 4 weeks. Shop and mealtime. :) Be patient, and listen to what mom is needing. She's focused on the baby, and you should be focused on her.
- Massages. Your partner's body has just been through the ringer. They are working overtime to recover and take care of the baby and themselves. Offering and giving massages can be a great way to make them feel loved and ease those aches and pains. Focus on lower back, feet, legs and shoulder massages. These areas hold tension and stress.
- Diaper changes. This is a task any dad can master and take total responsibility for. This means morning, noon and night (when possible). While you are changing diapers that frees up time for your significant other to rest, shower, eat and drink, etc.
- Take turns during night feeds and prioritize mom daytime sleep. If possible, get up at night with them to help. This “help” will vary depending on what type of feeding your family has chosen but if you are exclusively breastfeeding your partner can help with burping the baby and changing diapers. If your family has chosen to do bottle feeding, a partner can take turns feeding, washing bottles, etc. Make sure mom is sleeping during the day. Whatever needs to happen to make this happen do it! That might mean reaching out to get help with your other kids or asking someone else for help with the new baby. In the end, allow mom to sleep as much as possible.
Normal newborn stuff
- Diaper rashes happen. Babies will be having lots of dirty diapers. With that being said their skin might get a little bit irritated. Here is what you can do to help.
- Change their diapers frequently. You will want to minimize contact with the skin and baby’s poop.
- Avoid using wipes, sometimes wipes spread the bacteria around. Try rinsing with warm water and mild soap when cleaning off their poop. If you have to use wipes we love Winks All Purpose Water Wipes. They are probioitc infused and very gentle on the skin.
- Give babies bottom a break from their diaper. Expose bum to air as much as possible, dryness reduces the risk of yeast infections.
- Using a bum cream can be helpful as well. Be sure to wash skin before applying. Using Bum Balm creates a moisture barrier between their skin and whatever is in thier diaper. It also makes diaper changes a breeze.
If these tips are not helping baby, contact your pediatrician for possible further evaluation.
- Babies cry and it's ok. It can be overwhelming and tiring but understand that it is normal for babies to cry as that is their way of communicating with you. Your job is to determine why they are crying and if there is anything they need. Sometimes they just cry for no reason. If you ever get the point of frustration that you need to step away, just put your baby in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes.
- Worry less. Don't worry about tracking your newborn's sleeping habits, diapers, and if they fall asleep eating so much. Let them guide you! Do what feels best to you. (Of course be aware if they need extra nutrition or are at risk).
- When to size up diapers. Once they're having several blowouts and/or their belly sticks over their diaper, SIZE UP! More comfy for the baby, less messy for you. Win win.
Pull out the leg things on diapers too this can reduce blow outs.
- Babies change frequently. Babies change a lot and very quickly. They might sleep perfectly one day and night and be totally different the next. This is normal! Learn to adapt and go with the flow.
Products we love and recommend
- Llama Lotion. Babies scratch their face, their skin can get pimply as it stretches and grows, and you'll be looking right at it! Llama Lotion to the rescue. Safe and helps with everything. Llama Lotion is a skin moisturizer made with natural ingredients. With its light scent of pure lavender and citrus essential oils, you can soothe dry, itchy skin without harsh chemical fragrances or other unnecessary ingredients.
- Bum Balm. This Bum Balm is the last ointment you will ever need. When used as a diaper cream, it creates a water barrier between the skin and the diaper. This protects sensitive skin from rashes and irritation. It coats the skin with a layer of protective and nourishing ingredients but it comes off easily with a wet wipe for a fast diaper change. As a topical ointment for bug bites, irritation, blemishes, minor cuts, the Non-Nanoparticle Zinc Oxide protects the skin while repairing it with a botanical blend of natural ingredients. The Lanolin and Shea Butter help to moisturize your skin when it needs it most. Their first poop is so sticky, like tar. If you have something like Wink's Bum Balm already on their bum, it wipes off easily and makes diaper changes a breeze.
- All Purpose Water Wipes. These all-purpose water wipes are tender enough for sensitive skin and tough enough for the nastiest messes or toughest makeup. They are derived from probiotics to help protect important skin properties and functions, and without any unnecessary ingredients. An added bonus is the cucumber extract which is amazing for skin and smells great. We guarantee you will use less wipes due to the texture and toughness of these wipes.
- Pure Sleep and Breathe Chest Rub. Our Pure Sleep & Breathe Chest Rub is like a breath of fresh air. This unique Chest Rub contains safely diluted amounts of eucalyptus radiata and sweet sweet lavender to promote calmness, relaxation and cozy sleep. You won’t find petroleum, fragrances or harsh alcohols in this gentle formula! You’re welcome. This natural rub is great for the entire family starting with babies (2 months+). Promote healthy sleep habits by adding Pure Sleep & Breathe Chest Rub to your nighttime routine. Sweet dreams!
- Foaming Oil Body Wash. Our Foaming Oil Bath wash is tear-free and gentle on sensitive skin. Our essential oil blend not only smells like sweet dreams, but it helps naturally cleanse and clean that summertime grime from between those cute piggy toes. This formula is free from fragrances, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, parabens and harsh surfactants so you can know your child’s skin is safe and protected! For the perfect, bubbly bubble bath, add 5-10 pumps to running bath water.
- A wrap can go a long way if you need to be up and doing things with your newborn! It's called the fourth trimester for a reason, and they feel a part of you. When they're not by you, they'll want you and search for you. So keep them close whenever you can, you'll both feel better that way. We love the Solly Baby wrap specifically.
- Hatch sound machine. We love the sound machine for naps and nighttime. It is a great way to create a soothing sleeping situation and block out any excessive noises.
- Docatot or snuggle me. Both of these can be a life saver in those early days. They are perfect to keep the baby in a safe spot and make them comfortable.
- ComoTomo Bottles. Our favorite bottles! These bottles are cute, silicone and easy to clean, mix formula in and easy for the baby to hold.
- Baby Bath Tub. https://www.target.com/p/angelcare-baby-bath-support-gray/-/A-52972601
Take it one day at a time - It's easy to feel overwhelmed as a new mom. Try to stay focused on the present and take it one day at a time. It goes by quickly! Trust your instinct. You know your baby best, so don't be afraid to follow your gut. You may feel under qualified but no one is better than you to be their mom. Listen to your instincts, mom intuition, and stress less.
Still have questions? Let us know!