11 Tips and Truths No One Tells New Moms

Yes! Totally agree. I wish I knew all of these when I was pregnant. Great tips for first time moms.

So you grilled all your mommy friends and read those what to expect books and those definitely hit on the key points of what it’s like to have a baby but what about the other stuff? Over the last year and a half there have been a bunch of times that I’ve though “Why didn’t anyone tell me that!?”

UPDATE: After receiving such a great response (and more tips and tricks) I’ve written a follow up to this post read Part 2: MORE things people forget to tell new moms and dads next!

So I thought I’d share for those of you expecting your first kid. If you knew a new mommy-to-be send her this post.

tricks for battling gas and infant tummy problems

1. Gas and Tummy Issues Are Real and There Are Things You Can Do

When Teddy was new he would get these gas pains and crunch his little tummy. I knew he was uncomfortable and I even knew the problem but while bicycling his legs and placing a warm pack on him did help a little it wasn’t until someone mentioned Little Remedies® Gas Drops and Gripe Water to me that we saw a change. We’re really strict about what we give Teddy (and even more so when he was an infant but we got the green light from his doctor and saw the gas drops and gripe water give our little guy relief after just a few minutes). This statement has not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. But as our doctor put it if we saw a positive difference that’s what mattered to us.

So of course I thought they were magic so I started talking about them and tons of friends said stuff like “oh yeah we used those” and “gas drops were practically a part of our nightly ritual in our house”. And I thought WHAT THE HECK people you could have told me this weeks ago when I came to you wondering how to help my baby. So there, do the the leg exercises, rub their tummies, give them a warm heat pack, be mindful of what you/they are eating but for goodness sakes try those gas drops. We had many months where gripe water was a part of Teddy’s bedtime routine and I carried the gas drops in my purse for on the go.

2. Drink LOTS of Water

Okay, okay, so I know they do tell new moms this but if you’re like me you’ve heard “drink your water” all through your life. But really moms need water SOOOOO much more than the average person. Especially nursing moms, a well hydrated mom will have a way easier time nursing, I mean those little beasts are literally sucking us dry. Not just the nursing though, the water does wonders for energy level. If yours doesn’t sleep like mind (he still doesn’t) making sure to have enough water can really help with that zombie mommy feeling.

Baby tip and public changing tables

3. Check the Handicap Stall for Changing Tables

Okay I know this one is really specific but no one told me! It was only after many sink-side and gasp floor (at least I had a changing pad) diaper changes that I realized that lots of public restrooms have changing tables in the handicap accessible stalls at the end since they are so much bigger.

11 things no one thinks to tell first time moms

4. Lots of Babies Have Fussier Times

We called 6-8pm Auntie time. Teddy was just way way crankier than any other time and the only thing that could kind of help was my sister coming over and taking a turn with him. Little Remedies® has an Advance Colic Relief that I wish I had it when Teddy was an infant because I totally would have given it a try. I don’t think Teddy technically had colic but he definitely had a crying spell most days around the same time and it would have been nice to have something to try besides waiting it out and waiting for my sister to get off of work and come over.

5. You’ll Need Food that You can Prep One Handed and Fast

There was a time period that I lived off of my Lactation Chocolate Chip Cookies and Curry Puffs because they were so easy to make a big batch and then I could just grab them and eat with one hand. Before Teddy was around I never realized how long I took to decide what to eat. But making sure to eat was really really hard for me at first. I didn’t have the time or energy or arms to prep stuff. I recommend before you babe arrives (or if baby is already here while someone else is on baby duty) to make a list of foods you like that are easy to prep and easy to eat. Note, hot soup is not easy to eat with a baby.

6. If You Are Nursing Don’t Sleep on Your Tummy

Sleeping on my tummy and taking a scalding hot bath were two of the things I looked forward to most about no longer being pregnant. Oh and that whole holding the baby, snuggling the baby thing. But really tummy sleeping and baths were right up there for me. But I had no idea that sleeping on your tummy can actually cause plugged ducts. That and too tight clothing. Crazy right? I shared all about my miserable plugged duct experience and tips and trips to avoid and live through it but I wish someone had told me before hand to ditch the tighter sleep shirt and to be careful about sleeping on my tummy. Hopefully you won’t be prone to plugged ducts and can tummy sleep, but if you find yourself dealing with them you might want to check you sleeping position.

7. Your Body Will Feel Foreign After You Give Birth

If you thought your body felt weird while growing a little human just wait until you kick him out. I remember just touching my belly skin and having it feel so foreign. Thankfully my tummy feels like mine now. And not go TMI-ish but toilet I swear going number two is totally different for me now. It’s freaking weird but what can you do your body did some major crazy magic housing and growing a little person for nine months.

Tricks for how to shop with infants and toddlers

8. Use Your Stroller

Whether you’re juggling a sleeping baby in an infant car seat or wild toddler I find shopping with my stroller to be SO much more successful than trying to use a shopping cart. For one the infant seat fits the stroller and the ride is more smooth. For toddlers those little “restraint” belts on shopping carts are like a silly joke. They can Houdini out of them in a snap. I’ve found that Teddy will last WAY WAY WAY longer in the stroller than in the shopping cart. The other day I saw a mom pushing her kid in the stroller and pulling a shopping cart at the same time (she said for the same reasons her kid just does so much better in the stroller). Thankfully I picked a stroller with a very large storage area.

9.  Nursing is Totally Learned and Often Hurts at First

Nursing can down right HURT at first. Yes hurt. But if you’re doing it right it will get better BUT it might take some time. Like not just the few days in the hospital and you might want to visit a lactation specialist a few times. Yes it is natural and for some people and some babies it can just click right away but for LOTS of us it was quite a while (like weeks) before it started to feel normal. If you have your heart set on nursing and it seems really rough at first you might just not have the hang of it, things might still need to kick in, or you might benefit from getting some outside help.

10. Lots of People Have to Supplement Formula in the Hospital and Still Nurse Exclusively After

I was a wreck when they wanted to supplement formula in the hospital. I had imagined exclusively nursing my baby. It was really really important to me and I was extremely upset when they pretty much forced me to give Teddy formula. Granted after talking to my pediatrician after I left the hospital I still don’t think it was NECESSARY and I wish the nurses had encouraged me to drink a ton of water (which they didn’t) as well as try some other things, but I realize now that it wasn’t that big of a deal and many people who are even hardcore nursing advocates have a little kick start with a tiny bit of formula. For me this was less than a week of very minimal supplementing. This might seem like a weird one but I was really upset and confused when the hospital staff threatened to release me WITHOUT my baby. Yes I think I had some crappy nurses and visiting doctors but I wish I had known that lots of people supplement before their milk comes in and then they are able to nurse exclusively afterwards.

great tips and truths that no one tells moms to be. passing to my pregnant friends and first time moms.

11. It’s Really Hard and You’ll Feel Like a Failure But That’s Okay

Having kids is hard work. You have to be delusional not to know that but no one tells you that it’s just not hard but super duper crazy hard some times. Like so hard you think there has to be something wrong with yourself because even those totally incompetent acquaintances of yours have been able to raise children and keep them alive. I believe it’s a conspiracy since if we all had known it going in we wouldn’t do it, or maybe people did say as much but we just thought they were being dramatic. But when sleep deprivation compounds with gas, and crying fits, and your own hunger it can be a struggle. But that’s normal and just when you think you cannot possibly do it any longer your baby will do something magical like give you the sweetest gassy smile and you’ll agree with those who have gone before you that it’s totally worth it.

Going to share this with all my pregnant friends. I wish people told me these before I had my first baby.

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  1. I 100% agree with you that there are so many things no one tells other moms-to-be that would actually be useful. Labor and delivery hurting? Yeah I get it, it’s painful, let’s move on. How about telling me how it isn’t easy and those first couple months of crazy hours of non-stop screaming doesn’t mean something is wrong with me or my baby? I think you’re right about that if we all knew just how hard it really was we might not have kids! lol

  2. Seriously! Why don’t people tell each other these things BEFORE we have our babies! I had forgotten a lot of these between baby #3 and Baby #4! Man, I had a shock reminder the last 2 weeks! Especially with the gassy baby. Little Remedies to the rescue for us! #client

  3. This is all great information. There was nothing in the world that could have prepared me for the hormones and the lows of the newborn period. But it would have been helpful to have tips like this. I’ll definitely keep them in mind for baby # 2!

    I stopped by from Inspire Me Monday!

  4. this was great. i just had #3 and it’s SO MUCH EASIER because of all the little tips and tricks you learn. and amen, amen, amen to #11. it IS hard. and just bc it’s hard doesn’t mean you’re a failure. i tell all my new mom friends, yes, it’s hard. yes, it gets better. yes, you’re an amazing mommy.

  5. These are seriously true. The first few months (not week) being a new mom can be challenging and very overwhelming. We need a lot and lots of encouragement.
    I personally agree with #5,8,9,11. I’ll definitely remember this for baby #3!

  6. Great advice! I always said that I wish I would have gotten an owner’s manual when we had our son!! ha/ha Love these tips for new Mom’s! Thank you for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty

  7. Great tips! You are right, most first-time moms have to figure this stuff out on their own :)
    I have selected your post as my Editor’s Pick from the blog hop. Congrats ♥ It will be featured this week on Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop on Ducks ‘n a Row.

  8. Thank you for linking up last week!
    Your post has been featured :)

  9. What you wrote made me smile…oh those were the days! The thing I’ve learnt (and still learning!) is that no matter what, a mother would always figure it out! :)

  10. Totally wish I found this before having a baby! This little nugget is giving me a run for my money! The crying fits are exhausting and some people mentioned it before, but I always assumed that was just their baby and every baby is different right? It seems silly now to think that my baby wouldn’t cry. Better luck next time I guess! Now I know!

  11. Do you have info about co-sleeping. Yae experts say not to sleep while holding baby or sleeping in bed with baby but I am exhausted all the time because he really wants me. Help! I want to be the best mom.

    • I don’t have info. It freaked me out too but by the time mine outgrew his bassinet about 3 months he was in our bed the second half of the night/morning. I have no professional experience just mom experience. I do know that you have to be very careful about the pillows and blankets. You probably don’t want to take any sleep advice from me though Teddy has always been and is still a terrible sleeper. He’s almost 2 and ends up in our bed most nights. I feel you though I really do. Sleep deprivation is no joke. I feel like it’s the tyrant of my life. I say read up on all the different options and give a few a try. I do have to say I wish I had given crying it out a try earlier. We eventually tried it twice (each time a week of screaming for over an hour each night) but I think Teddy’s personality is just not suited to that approach or possibly he wasn’t a great age for it. THe only thing I can say is that I bought this strange suit on amazon after he kept breaking out of the swaddle and I honestly wish that I had bought it sooner. It was worth every penny. It’s this one http://amzn.to/1mDoEG0

  12. Thank you so much for sharing, and warning against crazy hospital staff :/

  13. Thank you so much! I’m about to become a mom for the first time and I found this article not only informative, but humorous and comforting. I’m trying to prepare myself the best I can, so this was a fantastic article for me.

  14. Not every mother can nurse. I had a very difficult time nursing and my son was losing weight rapidly. Turns out I didn’t get any milk until day 7 (my poor son was screaming because he was so hungry). Even after seeing a doctor and visiting an AMAZING lactation consultant once a week, I never got a full milk supply (tried every food, supplement, pumping marathon out there). We did formula and breast milk until month 4 when my milk (the little I had) completely dried up.

    I learned that lots of moms struggle way more with low supply than I realized. I had friends that didn’t get a full supply until 2 weeks or even 2 months. Hang in there and do what is best. You aren’t a failure if you give your baby formula.

    The same lactation consultant told me “Being a mom is about so much more than breast feeding.”

  15. just a note too about tummy troubles and nursing…which I figured out after the 2nd kid.
    If you do nurse and produce excess milk and your baby is having tummy issues it may be he/she is getting too much foremilk and not enough hind milk.
    Dr put my 1st baby on reflux meds but with the second baby, same symptoms/issues, I realized he was drinking too much of the thin watery fore-milk which would make him gassy, his tummy full but not really satisfied so he would try to eat more and then throw up. When I started pumping for a minute or two prior to nursing him to relieve myself of the fore-milk it eliminated the problems almost instantly. He started getting more the fatty hind milk that has all the good stuff in it.

    you are going a good job moms

  16. So true. I especially identify with the nursing notes here. My baby totally got the hanging of nursing right away but OMG it HURT so bad. The lactation consultant kept telling me that if it hurt then we weren’t doing it right. I wanted to punch her. I ended up having to supplement with formula and pump in the hospital and I cried and cried. I was so worried nursing wouldn’t work out for us! It wasn’t until a few days later that a friend of mine who had 6 kids told me that it kills for the first two weeks but that if you can make it to day 14 you can do it forever. So I alternated between nursing, pumping, and formula – whatever it took to give my nipples time to adjust. And by day 14 I was nursing exclusively and never looked back. And you know what? With baby #2 it happened exactly the same way. I just wish someone had told me the 14-day rule BEFORE I had the baby!

  17. Had to comment on the supplementing in the hospital thing. If you and baby are in for the typical less than 3 days, do NOT accept supplementation if you intend to breastfeed. Your milk is not in and it’s normal and good for them to suck to get colostrum, for comfort and to stimulate your supply.

    • Yes I was SO frustrated. I knew all of that but they were threatening to release me and not the baby. I was so tired after the birth and no sleep with their constant bothering it was so so stressful. When we had our check up the week we got out my pediatrician thought they were being a little extreme too. That being said it wasn’t the end of the world (supplementing that is) but I have thought many times about filing a complaint about the nurses who tended to me because I felt like they were bullies and just doing things that made their life a little easier.

      • I would definitely file a complaint. That’s harassment and it’s likely other mothers have gone through the same thing from those same nurses. They have no right to make threats like that. Stories like these are yet another reason why I will never birth in a hospital unless absolutely medically necessary. I cannot stand it that so many mothers have to face harassment like this after they have just given birth and should be given nothing but rest, encouragement, and support from hospital staff. I’m so sorry that you had to endure that. It was wrong and unfair. When my brother and I were born, nurses gave use bottles of sugar water against our mother’s wishes, and then said that we’d get diabetes if she didn’t give us the sugar water. Utter nonsense.

  18. Great, its really very helpful thanks for share this it would be really helpful for new mom. Thanks a lot

  19. That was a nice read.

    We are expecting our first child and this list will be immensely helpful.

    Heard that sleep issues are horrible at times and there is little that you can do.

  20. These points are dead on! And I didn’t grasp a lot of them until my 2nd baby came around (thank God they were close together so I didn’t forget)! From gripe water, to stroller shopping, to formula supplementing in the hospital (this one broke my heart), your list is a must ready for any new mom!

  21. Darien Busane says:

    I’m pregnant with my first, and I have severe anxiety about being a new mom. #11 really made me feel like it’s all going to be okay and that I can do this. Thank you.

  22. One piece of advice I received and was amazed by and totally used was to feed baby breastmilk/formula from an eyedropper once a week. Just one “dose” so they get used to it. When it comes time that baby is sick or you need that Gripe Water, baby will be used to it right away and you will have a much easier time administering it and saving yourself from trying to struggle to get baby to take it while they are struggling and screaming. Worked like a charm for me and my baby happily takes meds when I need to administer them!

  23. So I like the post – it is really good – but what pram is that??

  24. Ashe Skyler says:

    What I wish I had known with my first is that all their dang skin falls off during those first two weeks. Like I had brought home either a leper or a snake! I was expecting it with my second.

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