New Mom, New Baby,
New Learning Curves

Wishing your new baby came with an owner's manual? Don't worry about how to get comfortable with your new baby — follow these ideas from an experienced doula and mom and you'll get this whole new mom thing down before you know it.

Mother and child

Trust your instincts

In The Baby Book, Dr. William Sears assures parents they are the experts of their own babies. "Parenting is a learn-as-you-go profession. It takes hands-on experience," he says.

You can read different "expert" books or articles and get two completely different opinions. Family, friends and co-workers will give advice — even if you don't ask for any — but your parenting style may differ widely from theirs. During sleepless nights, remember this — you'll learn what's best for you and your baby.

Take care of yourself

You know the saying, “If mom isn’t happy, nobody’s happy?” It’s true.

Whether you’ve just given birth or adopted a child, life will be amazing but also overwhelming. Your first priority will be taking care of your new baby, but don't forget about yourself. Take a walk, read a book — even if it takes a week to get through one chapter — or get a pedicure. If you exhibit signs of postpartum mood disorders, don't hesitate to get professional help.

Learn about symptoms of postpartum depression >>

Let someone else tackle your to-do list

When someone wants to visit you and the baby and asks, "Do you need anything?" the best answer you can give is "yes!" Less time walking the dog or cleaning means more time with your baby. You may want to hire a postpartum doula — a professional trained to "mother the mother" by helping with things like breast or bottle feeding support, cooking light meals and answering non-medical baby care questions so you can rest, recover and get comfortable with your new baby.

Ideas for postpartum pampering — avoid new mommy burnout >>

Get to know your baby’s cues

You may not know exactly what your baby needs right away, but you will get to know your baby’s cues and what they mean. The “feed me” cry, the “change my diaper” cry or the “I just feel like making noise” cry — pretty soon you’ll understand this new baby language.

Go on a baby's day out

Don't fret about getting your baby on a schedule — the more you involve him in your day-to-day life, the more comfortable you'll both be. Take him to the coffee shop, out to lunch or for a walk in the park. If you're nervous about nursing in public or what to do if your baby decides to have his first screaming fit in the middle of the mall, take a deep breath. Every new mom goes through this and gets through this. You will, too.

More tips for new parents

Breastfeeding on the go
Top 10 worries of new parents
New baby tips

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