A few years ago if you were to tell me that I’d have my first baby at 23 years old I’d tell you to get out of here. I had a set plan for myself that included school and getting situated first. I actually got pregnant, I was actually just starting my field placement in a special education school with preschoolers. It was a dream. God had other plans for me.
Throughout this first year of motherhood, I’ve learned many things about myself and one of those things is that I was meant to be a mommy. It took some getting used to and still not everything is perfect but I found my flow. Here are the tips I’ve come up with that helped me get through the first year.
1. Try and keep track of everything
I know it sounds hard especially with a newborn but using the Baby Tracker app made everything so much easier. This app tracks diaper changes, feedings, sleep times, and practically everything else you should keep track of. This has done wonders for me when I needed to give specifics to the doctor. I know how many diapers he goes through each day and what kind of business he does. It’s an easier way for me to keep track of when he gets any type of medication and when he can get it again. The best part is that it’s all done on one app on your phone. My mom and boyfriend also have the app so they can update it as well while Isaiah is in their care. Yes, I get all notifications. It’s just better for everyone.
2. Make your bottles in advance
Do yourself a favor and pre-make your baby’s bottles!!! It is so convenient just going into the fridge and grabbing the bottle instead of having to make it first. Especially if you already have a screaming baby in your arms. Throughout the day I tried to wash as many bottles as possible because I hated seeing the bottles pile up by the sink.
3. Ask for help
For me, becoming a new mom meant a whole different responsibility. I tried to prepare myself for the many obstacles that were to come. I wanted to do everything on my own to prove that I was the best mom I can be. But I couldn’t do everything and I knew I needed help. If someone offers, accept it. I put my pride aside and got the help I needed and it always took some weight off my shoulder.
4. Create a routine and stick to it
Having a routine is so important. Isaiah has his routine so down packed that anything out of the ordinary is odd for him. A routine is good for him because it provides him with emotional security and stability. I’m a planner, so this is equally as good for me because I always have some sort of idea of how things will play out.
5. Do what makes you happy
They told me to prepare to hear everyone’s uncalled for opinions but I didn’t expect it from so many people all the time. Whether that be in person, over the phone, or online. One of the most annoying things as a new mother was feeling the pressure of not doing what others wanted me to do with MY baby. Emphasis on my because he’s exactly that. My baby. Stick to your beliefs and do what makes you happy because if not, it will eat you alive. You as a mom know your baby best.
6. Get sleep
Sleep deprivation is the mother of all evils. The beginning stages were absolutely horrible due to lack of sleep. Not getting sleep can ruin a lot of things. It can cause stress which can affect your milk flow. It can make you angry which can affect relationships and so on. Make sure you find time to sleep even if that means asking dad or grandma to please help give you a break. I can’t say I’m a fan of the saying “sleep when the baby sleeps” because it just wasn’t like that for me. When Isaiah went to sleep that was time for me to eat, relax, clean, and do whatever it was I needed to get done.
7. Take advantage of your friends and family
*Oh what I’d give to take a nice long relaxing hot shower.* My thoughts almost every evening. Whenever I have my family or close friends over and I still need to do something for myself like shower, I’ll politely ask if they would mind keeping an eye on Isaiah while I clean up. I promise you they won’t mind, who wouldn’t want to spend time with a cute baby.
8. Time management
I’ve gotten compliments on how I manage my time and I must say, I was flattered. A big part of that comes from planning and organizing every little thing. There’s only a certain amount of time each day and if I want to get things done the proper way I have to make sure I’ll have enough time to do it.
9. Don’t compare
This is one of the worse things you can do. These days it can be easy to compare yourself to another mom or your baby to someone else’s kids due to seeing everything online. God made us all individually. Embrace your skills and way of living. Commend yourself for being a great mom. All babies move and grow at different speeds so don’t beat yourself up if little bebe (Moira’s voice) isn’t doing something exactly when little Alfie or the book says.
10. Listen to your instincts
Always go with your gut. I always find myself checking in on Isaiah while he’s sleeping multiple times. If there is any slight concern I’ll call the doctor immediately. I just rather have instant relief than to think what if.
11. Find time to be alone
Alone time is another important thing! Getting out and just getting to be my own company was always and still is a treat for me. It can be something as little as driving around the block, taking a walk, or going food shopping which is my personal favorite.
12. Don’t forget about your relationship
Having a new addition added to the family can take away from your relationship. We try to find as much time possible to just talk to each other and communicate and when we can we like to have date nights.
I hope some of these tips can be helpful. I still can’t believe I’ve been a mom for a year. Sounds like such little time but it feels like forever. Make sure you let us know in the comments what tips I might have missed or what worked for you!
As always, thanks so much for reading! Questions, comments, and feedback are always welcome. If you enjoyed this post, please comment, like and share! Make sure to check out my Instagram; @tianiangela_ and my latest video on YouTube💋