Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Mom Advice

I have gotten a ton of advice from other parents before and since we had Reese. Some of it we've loved, some of it we've researched and some of it we've totally ignored. I know when my sister told me it's 10 months up and 10 months down when I worried about weight, I ate at Yogurt Time twice that day more than gladly took it. I've shared this post a few times around the interwebs and  I thought I would share all the best advice I have gotten as a new mom here today!

Wait Ten Months To Worry About Your Weight

It takes you 10 months to gain your baby weight, but boy aren't we surprised when it doesn't just drop off the minute we have that baby. As my sister says "Ten months up, ten months down". I didn't obsess over the weight while I was pregnant. To be honest, I gained 50 incredibly delicious pounds. But not all at once. I slowly, pound by pound, month by month, gained the weight in a healthy manner. Now that I am 10 months out I am itching to get back into my pre-baby clothes.Truth is, it will probably take me another 5 months to lose the weight I gained. But that's totally ok.

Do it- it's a healthy mindset to have.

Write A Love Note To Your Child

I'm a sap for love letters. Hubby and I went out and immediately bought a journal the day after we found out we were pregnant. I love the verse on the cover. We started writing Reese that day. We told her how we found out about her, wrote to her after her ultrasound, wrote about her baby showers, the plans we had for her, how much we loved her, what our hopes and dreams were, everything we could think to say. When she finally arrived, we wrote her birth story in it. We continue to write her as she continues to amaze us. As life goes on, we will write her on her birthdays, on special occasions, and about wonderful moments we wish to capture. We plan on giving it to her the day she graduates high school. Your letter doesn't have to be as involved as that. You can make it your own, but plan ahead for their future.

Do it- its important to invest in them emotionally.

Go Out With Your Baby

I know going out in public seems like the last thing you want to do when you have a new baby. But let me tell you, if you take the right safety precautions, it can make your life so much easier. You don't have to go anywhere fancy. As anyone who's had a baby can tell you you can barely walk because everything still hurts like a mammajamma you don't necessarily feel like walking all over town right after you deliver. But you can, and should, do simple things. My mom took Hubby and I to the park and to eat at Outback about a week after Reese was born. Once you get out in the real world you'll realize its not as hard as you thought it would be. When they are still so young like that, they have no idea where they are anyways, so you might as well get them used to doing things. That first time I needed a ton of help and a diaper bag full of unnecessary items. Now I can just grab Reese on my own and go just about anywhere on with only a few things.

Do it- its good for your body.

Go On Dates

I was exclusively breastfeeding Reese so it was really hard for me to leave her for the first time. There was crying, screaming, and separation anxiety but I calmed down eventually. Hubby and I had a wonderful day where we sipped champagne, read grown up books, talked about things other than diapers and ate an uninterrupted dinner. True, we didn't go very far. True, we checked on Reese 4 times. True, although unfortunately, I had to pump in a public bathroom. But we got to feel like people again rather than just parents. We got to be us again and it was romantic.

Do it- it's good for your marriage

Set Up A Sleep Routine

We moved Reese to her room at about 8 weeks. I wasn't sure I was ready but Hubby pushed it and I'm glad he did. We all slept better. To be fair, I did spend that entire first night staring at Reese through the video monitor, but eventually I learned to sleep without her right next to me. We also used a sound machine that plays rolling ocean waves. Buy one. Like, yesterday. She has slept "through the night" since then. It acts as a sleep cue when we lay her down (awake and on her back- no matter what) and also helps her self soothe when she wakes up in the middle of the night. We also have a simple bedtime routine to help her know it is time to go to sleep. Bath-Baby Massage-Book-Breastfeeding- Bed. Do it- it's good for your sleep.

Set Up A Schedule

It doesn't have to be super complicated. It doesn't have to be exact. But it does have to exist. On Mondays, we do grocery shopping and our play group. Tuesdays, I work on my ministry and we have small group. Wednesdays we spend time as a family . Thursdays, Hubby and Reese have daddy/daughter time at a gym and we usually have dinner with friends. Sundays, we go to church. One Saturday a month I have book club. Some weeks we do all of these things. Some weeks we miss a few. But routines are a positive thing for us and for our babies.

Do it- its good for your family.

Do Something For You

It is easy to get wrapped up in being a mom. I am blessed to be able to be a stay at home mom and make faces at my sweet little one all day. But sometimes I need contact with other grown ups. I wasn't getting any so I started a book club that meets one Saturday a month. I am a part of a girls night in order to build friendships and accountability. I go to a Mommy & Me group to pick other mom's brains. I learned to make cake pops and my mother in law's chicken and dumplings because they are delicious and more fun than working out. In March, I am going to the Creative Estates Retreat It doesn't matter what it is you do that's just for you, it just matters that there is something you do that is just for you.

Do it- it's good for your mental health.

Ask For Help

Babies don't come with manuals. And just because you get advice from someone, doesn't mean you have to take it. Talk to friends and family members who are parents. Call your doctor. Get on twitter (follow me) and ask other mom's for advice. Poll your instagram friends. Talk to your spouse. Blog about it. Whatever you have to do.

Just do it. It's important.


  1. I've never had a child but these are awesome tips to keep in the back of my mind for when I do! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I think I would definitely give all the same advice. Especially the setting a schedule one!! Which goes hand in hand with sleeping on their own and on a routine. Sleep training/scheduling saved my life because my son never took a bottle! Once I had his body trained that he ate and slept the same time everyday, I finally had freedom. It was a wonderful thing! And now I know to start even earlier with the next one ;)

  3. What a great post, even though I'm not a mom this is GREAT advice!!

  4. What an awesome post! I love reading about this....even though I am not a momma! I will need all the advice I can get for the day I do! :) You are an awesome mother!

  5. wow! i totally agree with you about all these points! i think we will be fast friends at CE! :)

  6. This was a good post to recycle-- I LOVE the advice you give! :)

  7. Thats so good advice. I really need to get on a schedule.

  8. geat advice! i'm not nearly a momma yet but you are so wise and i'm taking mental notes :) XO

  9. I'm not a mom yet, but excited to be one someday hopefully! Thanks for the advice and super sweet post! I really liked the journal idea. How fun and what a special gift you can give her someday.
    Alesha <3

  10. This is such great advice... I don't even know where to start.

    1. Is that wine in a can?
    2. I journal to my son, but how sweet that you did it while you were pregnant.
    3. You couldn't be more correct about the sleep routine!
    4. Can't wait to hang out at Creative Estates!!!!

  11. These are some sweet tipes. I just love this post! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  12. we are talking, crying, anxiously deciding if its "time for a baby" and I still don't know if it is! we've been together for 5 years and I'm still not ready to give up our alone time... but another part of me wants a baby so bad :) thanks for the advice for the future.

  13. New follower! Everything on here is so true!!

  14. i am a new mommy and i love this post!

  15. Thank you for posts like this one Miss Ashley!! I am so thankful for moms like you who are HONEST and available for new mamas-to-be like me who have NO idea what to do! I so appreciate how important family time and you time are for you..