Congratulations mama! You're about to become a mummy or you've just become a mum!
Motherhood really is the most incredible experience we go through in life, from the moment you hold your little human you've created, your whole world changes.
The first 3 months of motherhood is amazing and beautiful but also crazy and scary at times. This tiny person is completely reliant on you, so it's important to take care of yourself as well so you can be the best mummy you want to be.
1. Go with the flow!
Don't put extra pressure on yourself to follow that step by step guide you found, stress that bub needs to feed at set times, or has to sleep at that exact time. Babies will change things up on you EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Especially in those first few months, they grow and learn so quickly so it's completely normal to not have a set routine. All babies are different and what may work for one baby, doesn't for another. So let your little one guide you and go by their cues, just roll with it. It's stressful enough as it is so don't add to your stress mama, you will do an amazing job however your day goes.
2. Accept help & food offerings
If you have family and friends offering to cook you dinner or bake you some food, totally take them up on the offer! It will save you so much time and worries about organising food for yourselves and trying to cook a meal as it quite often will be the last thing on your mind. Bubs becomes your priority and often we forget about ourselves and don't end up eating or snacking on crap all day. If you can have a delicious hot meal delivered, enjoy! I also reccommend if someone offers to pop around and watch bubs while they nap so you can take a hot shower, please do! You will feel much better having those little moments and breaks to yourself. Happy mama, happy bubba.
3. Laugh it off
There will be plenty of times when bub might make bit of a mess. A lovely projectile spew whilst sitting at the table having a cuppa, or an explosive nappy situation that goes all over the couch. Newborns will catch you off guard, but don't worry, it does get better! Having a sense of humour and positive take on situations will help your overall mood and mindset. Try to think happy thoughts and take every chance to have a giggle at all the weird and wonderful things newborns do.
4. Find your mama squad
Find out if there is a local mums group in your area. Sometimes these groups are suggested to you when you are in hospital after the birth of your bub, or if not, ask your midwives. I was extremely lucky to find a place in the local CaHFS group in my hometown and met some amazing mums and bubs all going through the same stages of our motherhood journey and we quickly became friends and still all keep in touch now, over a year later! Having a group of mum friends in a group chat is super helpful, if you have any questions or need help, or just want to vent, us mums will always support one another. Something I experienced unfortunately was that a lot of my pre-baby friends dissappeared or make no effort anymore, and from what I have seen and heard, sadly this does happen a lot of the time and it's often because they just don't understand what it is like until they have their own children. This is why I am so grateful to have a beautiful group of mummy friends that understand and support me but also for my little one as well - future besties!
5. Get that Vitamin D!
Pop bubs in the pram and go for a stroll. It's amazing how much better just going for a walk and getting outside in some sunshine can lift your mood and spirit. It's not only good for you but good for your little one to get some sunshine, especially if your bubba had jaundice.
6. Don't compare yourself or your baby
Don't compare yourself to that "perfect" Insta aesthetic mum and bub that looks like nothing ever goes wrong, because what you see if only a fraction of their world. All babies are different and WE are all different, as long as your baby is happy and healthy, that is all that matters. If they are warm, loved and fed then you are doing amazing and your little one loves you just the way you are! Babies also grow at completely different paces so don't compare their milestones with others, they all learn in their own time.
7. Get a white noise machine
Babies are used to noise when they are in our tummy, they would hear constant noise. A white noise machine 'mimics' that constant noise and find it soothing and comforting and may help them falling asleep and sleep for longer. It certainly helped us with my little ones naps and bedtime sleep, she would eventually associate that noise as part of her bedtime routine and sleep became more successful. It's not only helpful for baby but rather soothing for mum and dad too!
8. Take a nap when you need one
I'm sure you have already heard people say "sleep when the baby sleeps" and in those early days and weeks, often we would. It's during the first few months nothing else really matters as your household is adapting to the new normal and finding a new routine that works for you all, so taking a few naps here and there is totally normal and you will always feel better when you've had more sleep. Don't worry about the house work, it will eventually all begin to fall into place, but I also know that sometimes we won't "sleep when the baby sleeps" as that is also our alone time to shower and eat, so please make sure you do that too! Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.
9. Let your partner take over
It's important for bubs to build their relationship with their daddy as well so let your partner take over some of the daily routine stuff. Whether that be bath time, bedtime book, afternoon tummy time, set some activities for dad to do with your baby, I'm sure he wants to help out more and this is a great way they can. Not only is it bonding time for them but gives you a break as well.
10. Live in the moment!
Ahh it honestly goes so fast! Take regular moments to just stop in your thoughts and gaze at your baby and just take in that moment of cuddling their tiny little body. Look at their cheeky little grin, blowing bubbles or whatever random thing they do that is the cutest thing ever. They grow and learn quicker then anything you've ever experienced and it will be over in a blink of an eye. Really embrace those early months and try to enjoy all of it.
- Mel, Me & Mini Me