The emotions you feel when welcome your new little one into your arms are indescribably happy ones: joy, love, relief and pride in your accomplishment, followed pretty closely by a panicky, how-am-I-going-to-do-this feeling. The responsibility and the emotions can be overwhelming, so the moms at Pear Tree wanted to help relieve some of that stress by sharing their best tips for new moms. For bedtime, laundry days, play time, school days and much more, here are our favorite tips for new moms from 5 Pear Tree moms.
Michelle, mom of 1 little boy with baby #2 on the way, due in a few short months!
- Laundry Magic. Never have to match socks again! Use diaper pins, the ones with the plastic tops, to match socks before laundering. I liked it so much for my son’s socks that I actually do my own now too!
- Extra supply of “Liquid Gold.” Help Preemie Babies & Breast Cancer Research by donating if you have extra supply of breast milk. Learn more here.
- Food tip. Whole grapes can be dangerous to feed little kids. They can easily choke on them if they’re not cut in half. Use two plates to hold grapes and slide knife through. Cuts a lot all at once! (Here is a pin to help.)
- Handprint preservation. Use modeling clay to preserve their sweet little handprint! I started this when my baby was 3 months old and have made them up to 3 years old + counting. I love looking back at these! The other great part about it is, you bake them in the oven and they are non-breakable and flexible. Alex loves looking back to see how small his handprint was when he was a baby and playing with them! We even gave a few as presents. OR use an ink pad + paper – any way of preserving their handprint works for me!
Andrea, mom of 2 little boys.
- OxiClean powder. I put a scoop in every load of laundry. It keeps onesies white and cleans when your baby has a blowout diaper.
- Massage baby’s feet. This can work well to soothe a baby and, if you move their legs in bicycle fashion, that can help reduce gas.
- Put baby to bed earlier than later. It seems counter-intuitive but I’ve found that this has worked for a more well-rested baby and doesn’t impact their wake time.
- Extras! Always have extra diapers and wipes with you and even a change of clothes. Have extras both in a diaper bag and in your car. You never know when your baby will need a diaper or wardrobe change.
- JoJoba Oil and a fine tooth comb worked well for cradle cap. Massage some oil and let it sit, then gently run the comb through. Be careful not to overdue it, the hair can come out, causing a temporary bald spot.
- Nebulizer. During one of your baby’s initial respiratory illnesses, your doctor may suggest a Nebulizer to improve breathing. Buying such a machine seemed very strange to me as a new parent, but I took the advice and instead of renting one, I bought one. This has come in very handy over the years with multiple children.
Angela, mom of 4 active kids.
- Scrapbox. Get an archival scrapbox for keepsakes. This way you can preserve memories with little effort. In my scrapbox I have copies of every card sent featuring my kids.
- Order a few more. So that being said I always orders few extra birth announcements, holidays card, classroom valentines, etc., so I get to keep one for the scrapbox. When you are creating your perfect card you sometimes forget to save some for yourself.
- Research Photographers. Before you have your little one do some photographer research if you want professional photos taken.
- Clipboard. Purchase a clipboard so you have a portable desk for homework on the go, even in the car.
- School Pick-up. Having snacks and drinks at school pick-up makes everyone happy. We tend to get hangry in my family.
- Printed Photos. Have a few printed photos of your child and family on hand for different school projects. You always seem to need some during the school year.
Stephanie, mom of 3 sweet kids.
- Parenting books. While they are trying to be helpful, books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting will do nothing but scare you about every side-effect, disease, danger, risk, etc. there is. Be cautious of reading those and use your ‘mother’s intuition’.
- Watch The Business of Being Born. It’s really eye-opening on birth and completely changed everything for me as a mom. At first after watching it, I hardly knew what to think but I watched it a few more times and ended up going from ‘sign me up for a Cesarian’ to going full-out-natural! Who would’ve guessed! But for me, it was the first decision I really made as a Mom, to really OWN the birth experience and how I wanted it for my baby. There are tons of articles written about the benefits of natural birth and again, it was the first real ‘Mom’ decision. It sounds a bit cheesy perhaps, but it was such a pivotal thing for me.
- Wear your baby. We went through several different carriers but they either hurt our backs OR, if the baby fell asleep, you couldn’t get the baby out of the carrier and into the bed without her waking up. Until my husband got the Ergo, which I was totally mad he spent $120 on, but man, we ended up using that sucker for 3-6 hours a day every day for each of the kids! I highly recommend wearing your baby as much as possible!
- Breastfeed. It doesn’t work for everyone but if you can, really go for it. The health effects are really strong for baby’s development and even if it’s not always fun, especially in the beginning, it’s just really critical for you and baby. And heck, it’s great for losing weight after the birth! 🙂
- Picture frames. If you think you’re going to have a couple of kids, then buy the two of several frames that you like so that you’re ready with a matching set for when the next baby comes along.
- Diaper boxes – Keep those! They’re really great for storing the ‘too big’ clothes and the ‘too little’ clothes. I know that I had a box on one side of the dresser for clothes that were too big that I’d pull out and put in the drawers….then on the other side of the dresser was the box of too small clothes and I’d just plop them in as the kids grew up….especially when they’re little, you go through clothes like crazy! And I love the diaper boxes because they’re small enough to not be too cumbersome in the attic/closet and easy enough to label. I have 15 boxes in the attic right now from my 4 year old boy ready for my near-1 year old boy to use!
- Nuks/pacifiers. Our first was a thumb-sucker which I thought was great (because you can never lose it!) but then it was tough getting her to stop as she got older. For our boys, we were sure to give them Nuks in the first week they were born and always felt that it helped them sleep better and more consistently. THEN, when you’re ready to stop them on the Nuk (usually around a year), you just take it away, have a night of crying but then they’re done with it forever.
- Teamwork. When the baby is first born you’ll have a million nightly feeds where you (as the mom) have to be up to feed the baby. But the husband can get up, too, and do the diaper, change the clothes, get the baby out of the crib, etc. It’s not that you CANT do this stuff, it’s just a show of solidarity, teamwork between the two of you. I found it really helpful.
Brianna, mom to 3 darling girls.
- Routine. After the first week or so, try to get in a routine with feeding, sleeping, playing, etc. This was great for all of my girls, and made the transition into daycare way easier.
- Shout spray. This works great for getting stains out. Even if the stain had been sitting for a while (from daycare or something), the shout spray would usually do the trick.
- Sign language. All of my girls learned sign-language at daycare, and it was great for when they were 6-8 months old. They could sign to us what they wanted, but couldn’t verbally express it yet.
- Agree with baby massage suggestion. I went to a few classes with my youngest, and it did help to calm her down when fussy and can help with acid re-flux, etc. I even used this on my niece a few months ago and everyone was amazed by how she instantly calmed down.
We hope this list helps all of you new moms out there. If you have additional tips for new moms, please add them in the comments below!