45 Useful Tips First Time Moms Need to Know

June 07, 2022 7 min read

What do first time moms and meatloaf have in common? If you follow a recipe, you’ll have a better idea of where you’re going.


If you start making meatloaf without a recipe on-hand, youmight wind up with a fantastic dinner. But you also might wind up with a mound of meat that was an epic waste of time. Worst case scenario, you’re headed for take-out.


The same rule applies to first time moms. Sometimes, winging it works! At the same time, if that’s your best strategy, you could be wasting time on tactics that don’t work and losing more sleep in the process. 


But even if you’ve read all the books and think you know what to expect, your baby canstillfind ways to throw you off your game.


Lucky for us, there are sooo many moms who have battled the sleepless nights and the exhausting days before us. And they’re more than willing to share their experiences and offer their tips on making it through.


We've polled our mom community and have gathered their best tips for before and after baby arrives. From organization tips, to building a baby registry, taking baby photos, sleep, feeding, baby-care, self-care, parenting, time management, and more, this village has you covered.

 

Let’s dive into the lessons other moms have learned, so we can shortcut some of our parenting woes:


Tips for First Time Moms


Tips on Prep & Organization

First time mom tips on prep

  1. Have a labor and delivery plan ready that you can share with your partner, doctors, and other family members if needed.
  2. Make and freeze dinners for yourself, before baby arrives. There isn’t a magic number, but larger batches can buy you a few days before you need to thaw a new one, or cook.
  3. Make and freeze breakfasts too. These could be smoothies that you thaw, single-serve sandwiches or burritos, or egg muffins.
  4. Stash diapers and wipes in various locations throughout your home so you don’t have to run all over creation to find them, or for when you’re too tired to move.
  5. Baby proof your home well in advance of when you think you should. Your baby might surprise you with just how quickly they start exploring their new home.

Baby Registry Tips for Expecting Moms

  1. Diapers can go on a registry too! Some stores will even let you exchange unopened packs for different sizes.
  2. Opt for gender-neutral when it comes to bigger ticket items like high chairs, strollers, or pack-n-plays, you'll get more use out of them with any future siblings.
  3. Phone a friend. Check with your mom-friends on their favorite items, and things they could have skipped. Getting the perspective of people you trust can go a long way. And if you’re lucky enough to have that friend who researches absolutely everything, ask to pick their brain.
  4. Think outside the box and add unique finds with more personality. Personalized items like our milestone blocks make great gifts on your registry. If you’re sharing baby’s name, your friends and family will feel like you're letting them in on a well-kept secret. And it makes them feel like their gift is a thoughtful one, more so than that pack of diapers.
  5. Add items that fill a variety of price points, so there are options regardless of someone's budget.

Baby Photo Tips for First Time Moms

  1. Newborn photos look best at about the two-week mark, when their hormones have calmed down a bit, but they’re still spending most of their time asleep.
  2. Professionals can be booked far in advance, so if you want to go this route, do your research early.
  3. A newborn photographer will take photos of your baby. A lifestyle photographer will take photos of your baby, and of you, doing everyday things like snuggling or rocking in your home or nursery. Not all photographers do all styles.
  4. Get yourself in the photos too. It truly doesn’t matter if your hair’s a mess, if you could pack your whole closet in the bags under your tired eyes, or if you haven’t showered in days. You won’t regret it.
  5. Take more than you think you’ll need. This time we get with our little ones only happens once, and once that first tooth pops through, or they start sitting up, there’s no going back to the gummy smile or the first roll. Take advantage of the tips I’ve gathered in our Moments to Memories At-Home Photography workshop that you can fly through during naptime.

Sleep Tips for New Moms

First time mom tips on sleep-

  1. Make a consistent routine that your baby can start to count on. For example, it could start with a calming bath, lotion, jammies, a bedtime book, and lead to one last feeding.
  2. Keep your baby close, but in their own space. Especially during those first few days and weeks, sleep can be hard to come by. Having baby in your room makes caring for them so much easier. 
  3. Give your baby time to self-soothe. It can be heartbreaking to listen to, but letting your baby develop the skills to put themself back to sleep will help you both in the long run.
  4. White noise machines are magical! You can find shushing noises, sounds that mimic the womb, rain, ocean waves, the list goes on. They work wonders when you don’t want to disturb a sleeping baby with noise coming from other parts of your home. Or from you creeping in and out of their nursery. ;)
  5. Keep the nursery dark for late-night feedings and diaper changes so they stay in sleepy mode.


Feeding Tips for New Moms

First time mom tips on feeding

  1. Get comfortable, and find a position that works for you, whether baby is in your arms, wrapped around your side, or being held in another way. Feedings can stretch on for what feels like forever, so you’ll want to be comfortable to avoid kinks or aches in your own body.
  2. Learn your baby’s schedule. Newborns have smaller stomachs, so they need to eat smaller amounts, more frequently. As your baby grows, they start to eat more at once, and can go longer stretches in between feedings.
  3. Don’t forget to feed yourself! If you’re nursing, be aware that the foods you eat can make their way into your baby too. Some of your choices may be more off-putting than others. Side note, I’m convinced this is why my boys are such big fans of garlic; they’ve been trained since they were newborns. :)
  4. Breast vs. bottle will always be a hot button for some people, but only you get to decide what’s best for your baby. And whatever you decide, remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can.
  5. Don’t go crazy buying bottles or pacifiers. Babies can be notoriously picky, so before you buy a bunch, start with one, and be ready to introduce the next one if your baby isn’t a fan.


Baby Care Tips for Moms

First time mom tips on baby care

  1. Cradle cap is totally normal (scaley looking flakes on your baby’s scalp), and treatable.
  2. Your baby might develop pimples, as hormones work their way out of baby’s system. Resist the urge to pick and scratch them off.
  3. Spit-up can collect in neck creases, and in armpits, so make sure you keep them clean to avoid irritated skin.
  4. Diaper rash remedies can vary from fresh air (if you’re feeling brave), to more frequent changes, to ointments and creams. Keep those wipes handy for any creams. They can be ridiculously difficult to wash off after you apply.
  5. Nail trimming works best on a sleepy(or sleeping) baby who is relaxed and calm, or after bath when they’re softer. I know you’ll feel horrible if you knick your baby, but know it happens! Be ready with some gauze just in case, and remind yourself that one little nicked finger is better than ten fingers that are scratching the heck out of their cheeks.

Self-Care Tips for First Time Moms

First time mom tips on self-care

  1. Give yourself space to make mistakes, and to learn from them, without kicking yourself for them.  
  2. Be kind to yourself, just think of the amazing feat your body has accomplished. If you need a stronger push to understand why this is important, read this post about giving yourself grace.
  3. Know it is normal to feel unsure or even a little scared. Acknowledge those emotions to begin to understand how to move past them.
  4. Don’t be afraid to limit visitors or guests, or to ask them to adapt to your rules (like hand washing, removing shoes, etc.).
  5. Your hormones will be crazy, mentally prepare yourself and those around you.

Time Management Tips for Soon-to-be-Moms

First time mom tips on time management

  1. Time spent staring at, or studying your baby’s face is time well spent
  2. Use your village and ask for help. Trust me, your support system is just waiting to be useful. Whether it’s laundry, dishes, errands, meal prep, or a coffee run, letting them in will truly make life easier.
  3. Hire help if you worry about burdening your loved ones
  4. Remember that this new role is a marathon, not a sprint. Take a breath and let things soak in.
  5. Make time for cuddles and snuggles, because there will be a day in your future when they won’t want to, and you’ll be so grateful for those bonding moments.

Parenting Tips for First Time Moms

First time mom tips on parenting

  1. You make the rules, figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you.
  2. Remember that no two babies are the same. Just like their personality and their characteristics, their rate of development can be unique to them, so don’t go overboard with comparisons.
  3. Trust your gut, that ‘mama intuition’ is real! Or at the very least, search for answers to what makes you uneasy.
  4. You are your baby’s advocate for care, and their voice until they learn to use their own. Whether with your partner or a doctor, speak up and ask questions when you need a deeper understanding of something.
  5. Throw perfection out the window, your baby will someday appreciate knowing that you’re human too.


We hope you enjoyed our post with tips for first time moms. But we’d love to hear from you too: what has worked, and what hasn’t? Did we leave anything out?*



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