Experienced mothers are great sources of advice. A new survey has identified the Top 10 Tips they want to share with expectant parents.
Whether they have months or years of experience under their belts, these mothers know what you’re going through.
They have been knee deep in the trenches of motherhood and have lived to tell the tale. Now they want to share their top tips with parents just about to embark on the same journey.
Motherhood is such a huge change. In some ways, it’s impossible to prepare for it.
It doesn’t matter how much time you spend organising your nappy station, looking up breastfeeding positions, or tirelessly reading parenting books, it’s inevitable you’ll still feel overwhelmed at some point.
And it’s only natural. Becoming a mother is a huge step and it will take time to find your footing in your new role.
Top 10 Tips Mothers Want To Share With Expectant Parents
A survey, carried out by The Baby Show, asked 1,000 parents what advice they would like to share with expectant parents.
Here are the results:
#1: Ask For Help
Almost one in five participants highlighted this as their number one tip. It’s no surprise, because it is an invaluable piece of advice.
Whether it’s pride, self-image or social expectation, or just sheer bloodymindedness, new parents often try to do everything themselves, without any help or support.
But there’s need to go it alone. In the end, there are no prizes for parents who don’t ask for help. The early years of parenting are relentless, and there’s nothing wrong with asking for support.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family when you need a hand.
Not used to asking for help? 6 Ways To Build Your Support Network After Having A Baby will give you a start.
#2: Sleep While The Baby Sleeps
Newborn babies sleep a lot (just not usually when you want them to), and it can be tempting to try to maintain your normal waking hours so you can get things done.
As many new mamas do, you might fall into the trap of trying to use baby’s nap time to be as productive as possible. You end up cleaning the kitchen, prepping dinner and sorting laundry. All it does is add to your exhaustion. Instead, try to catch up on some sleep when your baby is asleep.
And as for the daily chores, see Tip #1 above.
#3: Listen To Your Instincts
This is really good advice. The baby industry generates big money and it can be daunting to be surrounded by expensive baby products you supposedly ‘need’.
There are hundreds of books telling you how to be good a good parent, and they all seem to contradict each other. It’s easy to feel lost.
The important thing to remember is you know your baby better than anybody. You are the expert. If anyone were to write a best-selling book about taking care of your baby, it would be you.
Trust your instincts. You’ve got this, mama!
#4: Limit Visitors
As soon as you post the birth announcement to social media you’ll be inundated with messages from people asking when they can come to visit. And, of course, you’ll be desperate to show off your new baby.
Many new parents end up overwhelmed with visitors and feel burnt out and exhausted. Visitors can wait. Your baby will be just as adorable, beautiful and amazing in a couple of weeks.
In the early days, focus on yourself, your partner and your baby. Get to know each other. Bond. Fall in love. There’s no rush to put your baby on public display.
Find out more in Why You Should Have A Post-Natal Month After The Birth.
#5: Seek Professional Help If You Are Worried Or Struggling
Maternal mental health concerns are a growing problem. Postnatal depression affects about one in seven new mothers. Many women delay getting help because they are worried about what people will think of them.
If you have concerns about your mental health, seek help as soon as possible. The sooner you get help, the more quickly you’ll recover, and the sooner you will be able to enjoy motherhood.
You don’t have to battle on alone. There is plenty of help available; all you have to do is ask for it.
To be prepared for the changes after birth, Mood Changes After Birth: The Blues Or Depression? will help.
#6: Get Out And About
It’s not easy to get out when you have a new baby. For starters, you need to carry a ridiculous amount of stuff with you each time you leave the house. It might seem impossible to make it out of the front door some days because your baby will be intent on feeding, pooping, or puking as soon as you think you’re ready to go.
And then you have to think about where you’re going. Do they have baby-changing facilities? Will you be able to find somewhere to sit and breastfeed?
Push all of those worries out of your head and force yourself out of the house. Find a local baby group or a quiet cafe where you can meet up with friends. Spending some time out of the house is a good way to break up the day and will help you feel a little bit more like you.
#7: Cook Batches Of Meals Before The Baby Arrives
This is pretty much the gold standard of what to do before your baby is born. Make lasagnes, curries, casseroles … anything that can be frozen and reheated later. Fill your freezer with homemade meals so you’ll be able to eat well (without the hassle of cooking) once the baby arrives.
There’s no such thing as too many frozen meals, so make sure you have plenty, in preparation for the baby’s arrival. You won’t regret that making that extra lasagne.
#8: Join Groups To Meet New Parents
You need to find your tribe. Motherhood will be a lonely place without it. Find local baby groups to attend and, if you’re breastfeeding, head down to your local breastfeeding support group.
Motherhood is a lot easier when you’re surrounded by people who are going through the same sleepless nights, teething pains and explosive nappies.
Check out The 7 Types Of Mama Friends You Need In Your Life for more reasons why you need to find your tribe.
#9: Get A Cleaner
If you can afford one, a cleaner will make your life a lot easier, but this advice arguably comes from a place of privilege. Not everybody can afford a cleaner. Better advice might be to relinquish your obsession with a perfectly tidy home – just temporarily.
Yes, it’s good when the house is tidy, but it’s also great when you are well-rested and enjoying baby cuddles.
Prioritise yourself and your baby, and, if you have time, try to do a bit of tidying up. And remember Tip #1; get some help when you need it. Ask your parents to help out with the washing up when they visit, and when your in-laws come to see the baby, point them in the direction of the vacuum cleaner.
#10: Get A Good Selection Of Takeaway Menus
This was the final piece of advice to make it into the Top 10. New parents are short of time (and energy) and many find themselves turning to takeaway food for their evening meal. But is it the best advice?
Takeaway food tends to be high in sugar, salt and calories, which means it’s not great for your health. Unhealthy food choices can actually leave you feeling worse.
Besides, if you follow Tip #7, you will have a freezer full of meals just waiting to be reheated. If not, there are plenty of meals that can be prepared quickly at home. The occasional takeaway is ok, but try to opt for the healthier options.
What do you think about the Top 10 Tips mothers want to share with expectant parents?
What would you like to add to the list?