First Time Mom Survival Tips

by - November 27, 2018

Way to go mama! You gave birth to a beautiful baby and you're ready to bring them home! Up until now you've had endless nurses and hospital staff give you some pointers about breastfeeding, how to bathe your baby, and loads of other helpful things. This will be greatly appreciated by any first time mother.

But once you've come home, you'll notice within a few days how much more difficult it can be to take care of this new person in your life, along with taking care of yourself.

There really are two sides to what makes that first month with your baby a challenge. Firstly is to meet his or her needs. At first it may seem like all baby does is sleep and eat, but they quickly start developing interests and a personality. One that can be fussy and difficult to read.

The second part that makes it a challenge, mostly at the beginning, is mommy's physical recovery. Nothing is more frustrating than when your baby is crying and you are in so much physical pain and soreness you can't respond to it as quickly as you would like.

Therefore, I need two blog posts to cover everything! Today we start with what you need for baby. Also, here some never shared before shots of Laurie's first day home from the hospital! Enjoy.

Every first time mother goes through this crazy first month. Not only do I strongly believe in a mother's intuition (which you will develop quickly as you bond with your baby) but there are so many sources of help for mothers out there!

Before I get into my own personal tips of what helped me a great deal in my first month as a mother, here are some other sources you should consider tapping into for help and guidance.

* The following contains affiliate links which help support the running of this blog!

1 . Other Moms

Yes, all mothers parent differently and not all babies are the same. But it will be so comforting to hear other moms say, "I know what you're going through" and actually mean it. They may share some wisdom or tricks they learned themselves that could help you out, or simply affirm that your baby's poo colour is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

2. Your Registered Nurse

If you live in Canada, you might have hired a midwife or doula. If you didn't, not to worry. You have access to your registered nurse, who will meet with you sometime during your first week after giving birth. Not only is the home visit a great chance to go over some basics again or ask questions you didn't have while you were still at the hospital, your registered nurse is available to talk to during the weekdays. This is great, because you're talking to someone you've met in person, who has seen your baby and has all the medical records of any issues you've encountered.

What You Need to Survive First Month - For Baby

A Pacifier

Laurie was born a REALLY strong sucker. She had no problems latching and loves her paci. Sometimes she cries simply because she wants to comfort suckle. Sometimes it helps her go to sleep. If your baby, however, is struggling to latch, wait at least a couple of weeks before introducing a pacifier. Make sure that you buy pacifiers in a couple of sizes, as some are meant for younger or older babies.

Swaddle Blankets

I don't know why a nurse at the hospital told us that they do not recommend swaddling. Laurie would not be able to sleep as well and as long without one! Her startle reflex is quite strong, so when she's bundled up, she can't wake herself up by accident. Also, it makes babies a lot easier to hold and carry if you're a new and nervous parent! We love the Aden & Anais swaddle blankets! So, so, so soft, they never stain, and are multi-functional.

Gas Drops

Nothing will break your heart faster than your baby crying from gas pain. Especially if it disrupts their sleep. We recommend the brand Ovol (apparently it's Canadian!). Our doctor and many others recommend gas drops over gripe water, but if you find that the gas drops don't help, you can try gripe too. Just be sure you are doing proper burping too!
Proper Bottle

I didn't know there were quite a few things to consider when it comes to getting a bottle that best suits your baby. Because Laurie had bad gas problems, we first used the Munchkin Latch bottle. It was alright, but not great. Then we switched to Dr. Brown's and definitely saw an improvement. I still wonder if we should have gotten the narrow nipple instead (would be compatible with our medela pump!) but the regular/wide base nipple seems to be fine.
Baby Wrap/Carrier

Sometimes your baby just wants to be held. That's fine, since it can really help you bond! But it can be exhausting and maybe even frustrating to feel immobile and unable to do anything. I love using my Moby baby wrap, because Laurie feels so snug and safe against my chest, my arms, shoulders and back feel a million times betters AND I can use two hands to get things done! As she got older, I started using the Ergo carrier. If I had the cash, I would totally buy the 360 Ergo carrier, and I thik I will for future babies!
Electric Pump

If you've seen my stories on Instagram, you know I struggle with my milk supply. I don't know if I would have seen any improvement at all without the Medela electric pump. I likely would have given up a long time ago! Also, with how sore my hands and wrists get from carrying and bouncing Laurie (more so in the second month from all her baby weight gain!) that I can imagine a manual one would drive me crazy! The electric one is easy, convenient and makes just another major aspect of baby rearing that much easier.
Besides the obvious basics (diapers, crib, etc), these are the things I'm super glad we had when Laurie was born, or went quickly to buy them within the first week! They all helped take care of our baby girl and meet her needs. Click on any of the products above to order them on Amazon!

In a follow up post, we will look at the products that mommy needs to deal with the healing and challenges we face in the first month with baby.

What did you find to be super essential in your first month postpartum? Did you use any or all of these items mentioned above? Share in the comments below!

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