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4 ½ years ago I couldn’t wait to become a mom! I thought of all the sweet snuggles, giggles and fun times ahead. I got my nursery decorated and adorable. I took extra naps here and there. I packed a hospital bag and a diaper bag. I felt totally prepared.
But the moment we got in our car with that little man to leave the hospital, was the moment the panic set in. We were on our own. We had no idea what we were doing. And frankly it was two of the hardest months of my life.
Right now, I’m going through this whole experience again, except with twins! I know what’s coming this time, at least to a degree, and since I’m doing this whole rodeo again, I thought I’d encourage some other new moms out there on how to survive the first 2 months with a newborn baby.
1. Recognize That It’s Just a Season-
First and foremost, understand that the first 2-3 months are the toughest. You feel like all you do is feed baby, quiet baby, and change baby’s diaper. Your sleep deprived brain will even tell you that THIS is your new way of life. That this is how it’s going to be FOREVER. But it won’t!
Once your baby starts sleeping more than 6 hours a night, you’ll find your sanity again. Life will start to slowly feel normal and then before you know it, they will be sleeping 10 hours a night and you’re back to a new, normal adult life groove.
2. Don’t Stress Over Feeding Your Baby-
I believe that feeding newborns may be the most stressful parts of the job. People are in constant debate over what’s the right and wrong way to feed a baby. What I figured out was that THE MOST IMPORTANT thing was making sure my baby was well fed. When your baby is comfortable and well fed, you’ll be much happier too.
The feeding route that worked best for me was nursing and supplementing with baby formula like Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula. It’s designed for moms like me who want to nurse and supplement.
I had lots of supply issues and rather than lose my mind over it, I just supplemented and moved on with my life. It gave me peace of mind knowing that I was doing the best I could each day and that my child was getting the nutrition they needed either way.
Depending on feeding route you plan to take, you can check out the whole line of options that Gerber offers by going to Gerber’s website! Recently, Gerber switched many of their products to be Non-GMO products since their customers were asking for it. I’ve been grabbing my containers of Gerber® Good Start® from Target on grocery day shopping trips so I’m ready with a solid supply of formula when they arrive! Gerber also sent me some samples to use, but I know where to find it when I need it.
3. Ask For Help and Accept Help-
One thing I did a terrible job of the first go round was asking for help or accepting help. I was a confident stay at home mom who could manage on her own. But really I was stressed out, on the brink of depression and just wished I could have a break to sleep peacefully!
With the twins, I had help lined up and was ready to go. My mom was one of my biggest assets. When people say they want to help I write their name down, ask what they would like to do and schedule it!
If I have needed help with something, I’ve simply asked and my friends and family have been super helpful!
You will need help. It’s one of the biggest life transitions you will experience and the more open you are to having others help you, the better off you’ll be mentally and physically.
With my son I didn’t take people seriously when they said, “Sleep when your baby sleeps.” As soon as baby went to sleep, I was running around doing housework, running errands or doing something to feel productive.
However the most productive thing a new parent can do in the first 2-3 months is to sleep as much as possible until baby is sleeping through the night. Sleep deprivation is a very serious thing. Sleep is vital to your brain and body so don’t deny it when it needs it.
5. Know That It’s Okay To Cry-
One of the most bizarre parts of being a new mom is the random emotional breakdowns. For me it happened everyday at 5pm like clockwork. One random thought and I would seriously break down in tears and have no idea why I was crying.
Your body and your hormones are ALL OVER THE PLACE for a short while. But don’t let it worry you. It’s normal to cry and feel emotional while your body, brain and life adjusts to your new little bundle of joy. This is another thing that will pass, so just embrace it until does!
If you are a new mom or soon to be mom, I hope that you have found this post encouraging. Most importantly, know that you CAN do this. Everything will be okay. You will sleep again. Life will return to a NEW normal and it won’t be crazy FOREVER. Just take it one season at a time and try to enjoy all the little things that make this part of your life so amazing!
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Kim Anderson is the organized chaos loving author behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. She helps other people who thrive in organized chaos to stress less, remember more and feel in control of their time, money, and home. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and more!