Kids & Parenting

Tips for new moms

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Time management and abandoning your quest for perfection is the key to surviving your child's first year of life
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Tips to help new moms manage time, sleep and relationships

Being a new mother is the most exhausting and exhilarating time in a woman's life. After the baby shower, setting up the crib and the cute baby clothes, there's trials and tribulations. For the first 9 weeks of my son's life, I dealt with a serious lack of sleep, food and adult interaction. There are several tips for new moms you can apply to make your first time on the mommy train a smoother ride. You will find that sleep will become the most valuable and precious of all commodities in your life. Money, clothes, hair styles and even personal hygiene will take a backseat to your new little bundle of joy. Take heart though, because after the first few weeks of learning, crying and sleep deprivation, you'll be able to develop a routine by sticking to the tips for new moms outlined in this article.

During the end of my pregnancy, I started reading a lot of books and talking to a lot of seasoned moms. A lot of people told me to "sleep now, because once your baby arrives, you won't sleep for a while!" This frightened me beyond words. I love's my favorite thing in the world. I had to be the only person in the universe who actually napped for fun, now I'm being told that I'm going to be in an unending cloud of sleep deprivation? What a nightmare! It helped, however, to know that the sacrifice was for my baby and that the exhaustion would only be temporary. Now that I have a healthy and very vibrant 8 month old, I feel like a veteran. Here are tips for new moms that I, as an older new mom, can offer:

- Cook and freeze ahead of time. The best thing I did during my last month of pregnancy was cook casseroles and freeze them. I knew that the last thing my husband and I wanted to do right after bringing our baby home from the hospital was stand over a hot stove, cooking. We also knew that the second to last thing we wanted to do was spend extra money on unhealthy take out. Cooking dishes that freeze easily such as lasagna or veggie casseroles will allow you to simply pull them out of the freezer and pop them into the microwave or oven when you're ready.

- Sleep when baby sleeps. This is the holy grail of tips for new moms. It's simple, easy and so important! When I say "Sleep when baby sleeps", I mean it literally. Do not stay up an extra thirty minutes to start laundry or do the dishes. Put the baby down, make sure the monitor is on, then lay down immediately. When you're as sleep deprived as you will be when you have a newborn, you'll realize that every single second of sleep is vital and important. If you're breastfeeding, you can't depend on caffeine a lot because what the coffee does to you, it will also do to your baby, so it's very important that you try to get as much sleep as possible.

- Slack on the housework. The main issue I had during my first weeks home with my son was the housework. Dishes and clothes kept piling up and my husband and I were too exhausted to effectively catch up on any of the housework. First, try to perform a deep cleaning on the house before your due date. Secondly, stock up on paper plates, plastic cutlery and paper cups. This will keep dishes from piling up. Get an extra hamper for clean clothes. By getting this hamper, you can just take clothes out of the dryer and place them in the hamper without having to fold clothes immediately or having them pile up in the laundry room or on the floor.

- Accept help! Whether or not you get along with your in laws, mom or sister, now is the perfect time to put all personal feelings aside and let them help with the new arrival. New babies require a lot of love, care, attention and time and you'll find that many people (especially veteran moms) will offer help. Whether its dropping off food or volunteering to babysit while you take a nap, accept the help that is offered! They don't say, "It takes a village" for nothin'!

These simple tips for new moms will help you get more sleep and make the most of the time you spend with your new baby.

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