As a new mom, you’ve probably been scouring the Internet for first-time mom tips and any advice to a new mom you can find. After all, no one really ever teaches you how to be a mother. It’s inherently one of those things that you learn on the go.
Becoming a first-time mom can be one of the happiest yet scariest times of your life. You’re excited to welcome your new bundle of joy, yet still nervous that you won’t actually know what to do. It’s ok! I’ve been there.
But just in case you still need some reassurance, here are my best tips for new moms!
15 Essential first time mom tips
There are joys and struggles when it comes to motherhood, but you can cope easier with these new mom tips!
1. Trust your gut
The best advice to a new mom is to trust your gut. Considering you’ve never done this before, it's easy to second guess yourself as a new mom. However, I want to encourage you to trust your gut and mother’s intuition.
You were created with the tools necessary to be a mom. So that means that you should trust those internal nudges that you may have that tell you something isn’t quite right or that things are just fine. Don't second guess yourself! There’s a reason that they say, “moms know best!”
2. Give yourself grace to learn
Parenting consists of on-the-job training. Unlike learning how to drive a car or even starting a new job, there is no manual. This is one of those new mom tips you have to brace yourself for.
You will have to accept the reality that you won’t have it all figured out from day one—no matter how many books you’ve read.
In fact, you’ll never have it all figured out. Give yourself the grace to make mistakes and learn on the way. Your child doesn’t need a perfect parent. They just need a present parent who’s doing their best and getting better each day.
3. Ask for help
Although moms are often lauded as superwomen, the reality is that we aren’t. We were designed to be all things to everyone at all times. It’s physically impossible! That’s why our advice to a new mom is to ask for help.
Asking for help is particularly important in the early stages of motherhood when your body is healing, and you’re getting back into the groove of things. Things can get really busy for you as a mom.
Lean on your partner, your family, and other people that you trust during this time. It’s completely ok and normal to ask for help as you figure things out.
4. Allow others to help you
It’s one thing to ask for help, but another to actually accept the help that’s offered. Here’s the truth: not everyone is going to do things the way that you would. That’s ok.
Your home may not be cleaned the way you want it to be cleaned, but it will be clean. Allow others to help you in their own way to take a burden off of your hands.
If you’re able, consider hiring someone to help you. This can include meal delivery, cleaning services, laundry services, and more. So one of our top first time mom tips is to allow others to help you.
5. Don’t rush your recovery
Although you may think that your body can just bounce back to normal activities, it can’t. Even if you feel like you can conquer the world, listen to your doctor and rest instead.
You’ve just gone through one of the biggest miracles that exists. Your body needs time to recover. Don’t rush your recovery process or, worse, have a setback because you overextend yourself. Give yourself time to heal.
Every mom’s postpartum recovery is different, but here are a few things you can expect during recovery.
6. Take care of yourself
It may sound strange, but one of our best new mom tips is to take care of yourself. As crazy as it may sound to take time for yourself with a new baby, it’s necessary. You can’t give without, first, pouring into yourself.
Taking care of yourself as a new mom can be as simple as making sure you eat, taking a shower, or even stealing away for some alone time. Your health—physical, mental, and emotional— is just as important as your baby’s, so make it a priority.
7. Chart your own parenting path
Our advice to a new mom is to find your own parenting path that works best for you and your child. The reality is that everyone will have an opinion on how you should parent your child. You might want to go back to work or even need to work while on maternity leave. You might want to be a stay at home mom.
Your parents, your in-laws perhaps, and, of course, complete strangers will all have their own opinion. How you parent is up to you and your partner.
The important thing is that your child is healthy, nurtured, loved, and taught to be a productive and kind citizen of the world. So choose whatever parenting method works best for you.
8. Be ok with pivoting & things not being perfect
You may find yourself pivoting as a parent as early as labor and delivery. Things just don’t always go as planned. You have to be ok with pivoting.
Don’t be so committed to how something gets done that you forget the bigger picture. One of the biggest new mom tips is to roll with the punches. Everything won’t be perfect, and that’s ok.
9. Go at your own pace
Keep in mind that parenting and motherhood is a marathon and not a race. Don’t rush anything about it. Take the time that you need to heal, adjust, and get to the swing of your new normal.
If you have the privilege of maternity leave, consider taking all of your time and more if necessary. You shouldn’t feel bad about taking care of yourself and your newborn.
10. Don’t compare yourself to other moms
One of the biggest traps of motherhood is comparing yourself to other moms. From analyzing labor and delivery stories to how quickly you “bounce back” to your pre-baby weight. It’s all unnecessary and can really cause issues with self-esteem. This can all quickly lead to a mom funk.
Instead, remember that you are on your own journey, and no two will look the same. You should keep this mindset even beyond your new parent phase. Our advice to a new mom is to be confident in who you are and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
11. Don’t compare your child to other kids
Comparison for kids starts at birth. Their weight and growth are immediately charted against other children in their age range. This opens the door for comparing other aspects of your child’s development.
These comparisons are often perpetuated by well-meaning people asking if your child has reached certain milestones that other children have reached at their age.
Know that your child will develop at their own pace. Don’t rush them or feel the need to compare them to any other child. They will bloom in due time.
12. Don’t suffer in silence (My top advice to a new mom)
It’s important to mention that postpartum depression is a real thing. Your body experiences an excessive amount of hormonal changes after the birth of a child. This coupled with the stress of being a new parent, can leave you feeling depressed.
Don’t suffer in silence or think that you are alone. According to the CDC, at least 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. That means that is more common than you may think.
The great news is that there is help and support available if you need it. Start by speaking with your doctor. You can also find resources online if you feel like yourself struggling with motherhood.
Reaching out for help is one of the most important first time mom tips you should apply. (If you are a shy mom, here are some key tips)
13. Start preparing for your child’s future
Our most important advice to a new mom we can give is to prepare financially. You may think it’s too early to start thinking about your child’s future, but it isn’t! Now is the time to start planning for things like their college tuition and financial future.
Consider opening up an education savings account (ESA) or 529 account. These tax advantage accounts allow you to put money away for your child’s education. It’s also important that you think about their financial future if something were to happen to you.
14. Connect with a tribe
There is value in community, especially as a new mom. One of our best tips for new moms is to make an effort to find a tribe of moms that you can connect with, even before you have your child. You can usually find mom support groups online or in your local community.
Now is also a great time to stay connected with friends and family who have already gone through new parenthood. Use this network to ask questions, find resources, and just be a sounding board.
15. Find opportunities to rest
So this might be one of the most basic tips for new moms but it can be challenging as well. You may have heard that as a new parent, sleep is nonexistent.
Although you will be a bit sleep-deprived, the reality is that you have to make time for rest. You can’t operate on empty—it’s not sustainable.
Although you may not always be able to sleep while the baby is sleeping, you’ll need to do it eventually. That’s why asking for help is so important.
Perhaps it's trading shifts with your partner or having someone help during the day so that you can sleep. Remember, you’re recovering from a major medical event. You need to rest and recover.
Closing words of advice to a new mom
Try these first time mom tips to find balance in your life. But our final advice to a new mom is to cherish all of the moments. The times of sleepless nights and endless bottles will go by faster than you know it.
Embrace each moment, and don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll soon realize that we’re all just trying to figure it out. So enjoy your journey and grab lots of hugs and kisses along the way!
Now that you have another mouth to feed and more expenses to account for, learn how to create a custom budget that works for you with our completely free course! Don't forget to subscribe to the Clever Girls Know podcast and YouTube channel for more great mom financial tips!