Welcome to motherhood (or welcome to motherhood of more then 1 child)!!! You rocked your pregnancy and delivery and now it’s time to rock this new adventure with your baby! Surviving your baby’s first year is not easy for some and can be extremely overwhelming and tiring. I am here to offer you support and ways to help you survive your baby’s first year!
When I had my first baby (Who is now 10! Not sure how that happened) I was extremely overwhelmed at first. I had my family around me but I still found the adjustment into motherhood more difficult than I expected. So I have been where you are and I can tell you IT WILL GET BETTER! I promise that! I now have 3 children (one of who is 10 months) and I am still standing! Haha!
In this post, I am going to break down this first year into 3 parts. The first part is obviously the most difficult because you are still in the adjusting phase. Also, read my post about What to Expect During Your Baby’s First Year to get more helpful tips onto what your little one will be doing within this first year!
The First 2 Months
As I mentioned earlier, the first 2 months are the hardest. You are not only adjusting to motherhood but you are also recovering from delivery. The #1 thing you can do now is take care of yourself! If you don’t do this, you will be in no condition to take care of your baby. Take this time to rest. Remember, you are still recovering from childbirth!
Ask for help if you need it and accept help when offered! This is one thing I wish I did with my older 2! If someone offers to help you or you feel extremely overwhelmed, ask for help! Don’t be ashamed that you can’t do it all yourself. Amazing moms have help! You are no less of a mom if you accept and ask for help! It takes a strong person to ask for help! Remember that!
Get to know your baby during these first 2 months! Learn his/her cries. This will save your sanity in the future! Spend quality time with your baby! The best way to do this in the beginning is by having skin-to-skin. This stage goes by so fast and your little love will be moving around before you know it so take all the snuggles you can now!
If you are nursing, take this time to build up your milk supply by either pumping or exclusively pumping. Don’t stress if you are not producing enough milk now (I went through this with my last 2). If you do have to supplement with formula, that is perfectly okay! You are not less of a mother because you couldn’t exclusively breastfeed your baby. A lot of moms feel this way.
Watch out for signs of the baby blues or postpartum depression. Some of these symptoms could include hopelessness, feeling sad all the time, not wanting to get out of bed, uncontrollable crying, and finding it hard to take care of yourself or your baby (to name a few) please call your OB or your PCP. Many new mothers go through this and need professional help. It is normal to have a slight case of the baby blues after delivery because your hormones are trying to go back to normal so everything is out of whack.
You have survived your first 2 months of motherhood! Woohoo! These next few months should be much easier then the first 2. You should hopefully be somewhat adjusted into your new role with your beautiful baby!
Still accept and ask for help if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed! Don’t feel like you need to do everything yourself. Even though you are feeling better physically, you should still ask others to help with little things, like cooking and cleaning.
The best thing you can do during months 2-6 is getting your baby on a routine. Up until now (and maybe until your little one is about 4-5 months old) they will be on an on demand feeding schedule meaning they eat whenever they are hungry typically every 2-3 hours. Once your little one starts eating baby food, it will get easier to get them on a schedule, which in turn will save your sanity! A typical infant schedule will look similar to this: Breakfast, snack (bottle/breast), lunch, snack (bottle/breast), and dinner. Now depending on your baby, the times maybe different, which is why I didn’t include that. By having your baby on a schedule you will be able to plan out your days accordingly. So you will know when is the best time to run errands or do some housework.
You still need to take time for yourself! The best thing a mom can do is take care of herself! You aren’t any good to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself first! I have to keep reminding myself of this one. I tend to put my kids way before myself.
By this time, you should be well adjusted to motherhood. Your baby should be on a schedule and sleeping through the night (for the most part). However, your baby is mobile now! So you have to learn how to get things done with a mobile baby!
During this time if you haven’t done this before, baby proof everything!!! You don’t want to take any chances of your little one getting into things they shouldn’t. This becomes more difficult if you have older kids since you have to worry about keeping their toys (especially ones with small parts) out of baby’s reach.
Relax when you can! This maybe easier said then done. If you can take a few minutes to relax when your baby is sleeping do it! Also, don’t stress over the little things. This is another piece of advice I have to constantly remind myself of!
Just remember that you are doing an AMAZING job! Being a mother is the most important job in the world! You WILL survive this first year and hopefully love every minute of it! Please comment or email me if you need any support, advice, or just need to vent. I have been there more than once! Please don’t forget to check out What to Expect During Your Baby’s First Year to find out what your little one will be up to! Also, sign up to my blog for the latest updates and promotions (you also get access to my Exclusive Resource Library full of printables, checklists, and my favorite things)!