No doubt as soon as you discovered that you were pregnant, you started reading up on anything pregnancy and baby related. That is completely natural as moms to be want to learn more about what is going on in their body, what to expect as pregnancy progresses, and of course what to expect after their baby has arrived.
As you prepare for your new parent life, It’s also natural to wonder if there are any baby hacks to make life easier.
How Can I Make Life Easier With A Newborn?
There is lots of great information out there but sometimes the best advice isn’t in those parenting books. Sometimes you need perspective from a mom who’s been there! Here are some of the best tips and tricks that every new mom should know.
The Truth About Parenting Hacks
Every baby is different and when it comes to parenting, there’s no ONE right way to do anything. You might find that some of these tips for first time moms work for you and some of them don’t.
There’s nothing wrong with YOU or your baby if they don’t work.
The thing about parenting hacks is that they are not one size fits all! Experiment with these fun tips for new moms. And hey, if they do work be sure to return to the favor and pass along this mom to be advice.
Baby Care Tips For New Moms
Mom hacks are great and I believe the best mom advice comes from trial and error! I’m sharing all the newborn tips and facts that I’ve learned along the way.
1. Don’t Keep Them Awake too Long
Many new moms just assume that babies will fall asleep when they are tired, and many babies will. However, if they get overtired or overstimulated they may not be able to fall asleep easily on their own. Try not to let your baby be awake for any longer than an hour and a half for those first few months.
Within a few weeks of having my own baby, I got to know how long my baby could stay awake for. It was very helpful in planning outings and figuring out how to grocery shop with a new baby.
2. Onesies can be Pulled Down
Do you know those little envelope type flaps around the shoulders of the onesies? Most moms, this one included, think that they are so the garment will be stretchy and accommodate babies with different sized heads.
While that does work, the little flaps at the shoulders are so that you can pull the onesie down from the shoulders and not over their head. This is most convenient when your baby has a poop explosion that leaks out of the diaper, and there will be many of those, you don’t have to pull a poop covered onesie over baby’s head.
3. Use an App for Tracking, Feeding & Changing
New moms may not know this but pediatricians ask lots of questions about how much and how often your baby is eating, and how often they have wet diapers and bowel movements.
Lack of sleep can make it hard to remember what you ate for breakfast, much less how many times your baby pooped yesterday!
There are several apps available, some of them are even free. Use these new mom apps to track everything from feedings and diaper changes, to which breast you nursed from first last feeding, and how long your little one naps.
These are super convenient because you can just pull it up on your phone when the pediatrician asks.
Speaking of tracking…these days will all blend together, don’t forget to document! Head on over here to grab my free baby milestone cards so you can capture your baby’s first year!
4. Don’t Rush In
Many new parents rush in to check on their babies at the slightest sound or movement. You don’t have to do that. You will honestly be surprised how many sounds your little baby can make while sleeping.
Ask me how I know? I spent lots of days AND nights sometimes just staring at my newborn sleep at the expense of my OWN sleep.
Even if your baby cries out, wait at least 30 seconds to a minute before going in to check on them. Many times they will put themselves right back to sleep, or even just lie in the crib and look around to explore their world.
I felt relief when I FINALLY got a baby monitor so that I could check it as soon as my daughter began moving and making noises. Imagine my new mom surprise when seeing that she would slip right back into sleep.
You want your baby to be able to self soothe as much as possible, so even if they whimper or cry out, give them at least 30 seconds to a minute before going in.
5. Swaddle Baby for the Best Sleep
Think about it, your baby has been snug and cozy in your womb for the last nine months, so it makes sense that they would sleep better snuggly swaddled now that they are out.
They have also been cozily napping in the fetal position and now you are trying to get them to sleep on their back. Add to that the Moro reflex, the reflex that causes babies to flail their arms and wake themselves up, and why wouldn’t you want to swaddle them?
Swaddling can have a slight learning curve, but the good news is you will probably get lots of practice!
You can buy blankets specifically made for swaddling and many moms swear by them. You don’t have to buy a special blanket though, there are lots of videos online that will show you how to properly swaddle your baby with a receiving blanket.
If you don’t know which one to use, be sure to check out my post all about receiving blanket vs. swaddle.
If your baby hates being swaddled (some do!), then make sure you know what to dress your baby in at night for sleep, so they still stay snug and comfortable.
6. Have Options for Holding Your Baby
As much as you will want to snuggle with your baby and hold them in your arms, sometimes you have to put them down for a bit.
For this, you will need some safe options to put your baby down in. A bouncy seat, baby swing, an infant swing, or a baby wrap are all good options. This may seem like a lot of baby gear, and you don’t have to get all of it, but you will want more than one option.
We used a Dock A Tot baby lounger for the first months of my daughter’s life. If you’ve heard the hype about this or any other baby lounger, you know that they can be pretty pricey.
If you’re interested in a baby lounger, be sure to check out my comparison post about budget friendly Doc A Tot alternatives so you can consider all your options.
7. Use White Noise
If you don’t want to have to tiptoe around the house every time your baby falls asleep then consider using white noise to help soothe them when you lay them down.
You can purchase a white noise machine for nurseries that play lullabies, heartbeat sounds, rain sounds, and more, or you can simply turn a fan on in the room where the baby is sleeping.
We used a simple white noise machine in my daughter’s nursery during the early months. Many parents swear by this one, but some reviews say it randomly went out on them.
Well, I was one of those parents! I reported the problem to Amazon and they sent me a brand new one and a refund!
Teaching your baby to fall asleep with white noise can help them to fall asleep on their own, and also to self soothe themselves back to sleep.
8. Layer the Crib
Remember those diaper blowouts mentioned earlier? Well, sometimes those blowouts happen in the middle of the night.
No one wants to fight with a crib sheet or bassinet sheet in the middle of the night, you just want to get your baby settled back down quickly. That’s where the layered sheets come in!
Start from the mattress and work your way up. Place a mattress protector or pad on top of the crib mattress, then put on a crib sheet, now add another mattress pad, and another crib sheet.
You can do this as many times as you like, though 3 to 4 layers is usually sufficient. Now if your baby has a blowout in the middle of the night you simply have to change the baby and pull off the dirty layer of sheets. You already have clean, fresh sheets ready to go!
Are There More Baby Hacks To Make Life Easier?
You may have noticed I didn’t share anything here about how to make feeding your baby easier. That’s because I have an entire post on baby bottle and formula feeding hacks to simplify your life!
I’ve done both exclusive pumping to relactate after my milk dried up and also formula feeding so I can let you know what helped in both instances.
What Is The Best Advice For A New Mom?
Everyone has advice for new moms and they are quick to share it, whether you have asked for it or not. The great thing about your new parenting skills is that while you can take in all of these tips, your journey is totally unique to you.
The baby hacks that make life easier for one new mom and her baby may not work at all for you and your baby. At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for you and your new baby.
Soon enough you will have plenty of new mom tips and tricks of your own!