Becoming a mom is the biggest life change you will ever experience. Going from being responsible for only yourself to also being responsible for another human being takes an enormous mental shift. After having a baby, you are thrown into this new job where the hours are 24/7. You no longer have the complete freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Which means your normal way of doing things just ain’t gonna cut it anymore.
You have spent your whole life developing habits. How you sleep, when and how you shower, when/what/where you eat, where you go, how you travel from place to place, etc. Just your general way of doing things. Then, you have a baby and all that goes out the window!
I am a person who loves routine and being organized. I had a very specific way of doing things before I had my daughter Lily. Then she came along and my whole world became a mess! This will happen to you too, I promise. Newborns are kind of control freaks and super high maintenance. The thing is you won’t really care that much because you’ll be so obsessed with your baby that nothing else will matter.
However, as time goes on and life settles down you’ll probably want to clean up that mess. Or you just might go crazy! Also, you’re probably going to want to rock at this whole mom thing. So you’ll also start thinking about everything you need to do to raise a perfect genius child while also trying to stay sane yourself.
Here I have made a list of the 15 habits every new mom should develop. Habits to help make you and your baby happier and healthier. Habits to make sure you are always doing what is best for your child. And of course, habits to make you feel a little less crazed!
15 HABITS EVERY NEW MOM SHOULD DEVELOP
1. Put your technological device down
As someone who has a blog and is trying to grow it along with trying to grow multiple social media platforms, this is extremely hard! It is also one of the most important habits to develop and I have to remind myself everyday…do not play on your computer or phone when you are around your baby!
It’s so easy to get caught up in your device and completely lose track of what’s going on around you or what your baby is doing or needs from you. Not to mention, babies are copy cats and sponges. They want to play with what you are “playing” with and they’re constantly learning from you. I think teaching your baby to have to their eyes constantly plastered to a tiny screen is not really the best lesson.
I’ll be the first to admit, this is really hard! Especially in the technological world we live in. Which is why it is all the more important to make it a habit. Put your device away when you’re with your baby and wait until they are with someone else or sleeping to do what you need to do…at least as often as you can.
2. Give yourself a break
I mean this in every way possible. As a new mom, trying to do her best, you need to get in the habit of giving yourself a break. Sleep when you can. Relax when you can. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes. Be nice to yourself! New mothers live in a world of stress, exhaustion, excitement, worry, and bliss all mixed together. You are flooded with so many emotions and changing hormones. It can be very easy to burn out fast.
Another important thing, stop comparing yourself to other mothers! There is no quicker way to feel crappy and stressed out than comparing yourself to other mothers who you think are doing it all better. Every mother is different. Nobody knows how to be the perfect mother and nobody expects you to be a perfect mother. Especially your first time around! Every new mother is learning as they go and just doing their best.
Develop the habit of every so often just stopping everything. Let go of whatever concerns you have at the moment and just take a deep breath. Or a nap. Or a bath. And give yourself a break!
3. Eat breakfast first thing in the morning
I previously wrote a post on how I effortlessly lost my baby weight. I said that one of the reasons was that I accidentally ate less. This is because having a new baby is very time consuming and distracting. I simply would just forget to feed myself. Which is not good! So I got in the habit of eating a big breakfast first thing in the morning. That way I know I got a good chunk of calories in my body to keep me going throughout the day. If I happen to forget a meal, at least I am not running completely on empty.
I think this is a great habit for all new moms to develop. They always say, “You have to help yourself before you can help others.” Well, in order for you to be the best mommy to your baby you have to be fed. Nobody likes a hangry mommy!
4. Make your bed
I have what I like to call Unmade Bed Anxiety. If I don’t make my bed my brain will not work and my life will feel like a complete mess. As a new mom, my thoughts were even more scattered. So making my bed became that much more important to my sanity. Every morning I wake up and immediately put Lily in her boppy on the ground and make my bed!
Now, not everyone will have my strange disorder, but I think it is a great habit for all new moms to have, or to be honest, everyone to have! Making your bed clears your mind and starts your day on the right foot. Also, a made bed is a cleaner bed and a prettier bed! Just thought I’d throw that out there.
5. Get outside
There’s nothing like a nice dose of fresh air and sunshine! I don’t think I am alone in the New Mommy Homebody Club. Leaving the house is much harder with a new baby. Not to mention extreme exhaustion is not a great motivator to get ready and out of the house. Which means new mommies may spend a bit too much time inside their house.
Develop a habit of getting outside as much as possible. Mommies and babies need their vitamin D! Whether it’s just sitting out in the backyard or going for a walk, just get outside as much as possible every day and I promise you will feel more clear headed and relaxed.
6. Go to bed early
This is not easy. Especially if you wait for your baby to go to bed before you tackle your to-do list or catch up on your DVR. But since you no longer have the luxury of a solid night’s sleep, going to bed early can really help with the New Mommy Zombie phase. I usually start getting Lily and I ready for bed around 730-8 pm and by 9 pm she’s asleep. I’ll do some work while she’s sleeping but most likely will doze off before 10 pm. This means I get a solid 3-4 hours of sleep before she wakes up for the boob.
Depending on your sleeping arrangements and lifestyle the times you choose to go to bed will vary. But developing the habit of getting to bed as early as you are able to, will be so beneficial and get you those much needed extra hours of rest!
7. Accept help
This one was really hard for me at first. Being a single mom and a new mom, I thought I needed to figure it out all on my own. Like I needed to prove that I didn’t need any help and I was perfectly capable of doing everything all by myself! Well, not only are some things impossible to do on your own with a baby in your arms, it is absolutely exhausting! If someone offers to help you, take the help!
Sure, I can put Lily in a bouncer while I shower. But I’ll have to rush through and be singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider the whole time to keep her entertained. Or I can let one of my family members watch her while I shower and maybe have the chance to wash out all of my conditioner!
In the beginning, accepting help made me feel like a failure. Now I welcome it! There will be plenty of times when you have to do things on your own. When assistance is offered, you should take advantage of the opportunity any chance you get.
8. Cuddle your baby
Sometimes it can seem like there are a million things going on and the days just fly by. And I have one kid. I can’t imagine how crazy multiple kids would be! So I like to make sure that every day, at some point in the day, I stop everything else and just cuddle my baby girl. Yes, I hold her most of the day. But it’s an absent-minded, multi-tasking, kind of affection. And my baby deserves more!
Getting in the habit of doing dedicated snuggles sessions throughout the day makes for a much happier mommy and baby. It’s all about giving Lily my undivided attention and affection even if it’s only for a moment. I mean, is there anything better or more mood elevating than cuddling a baby?!
9. Be creative
When you have a baby, especially in the first few months, your world will revolve around them. You don’t really have the time or energy to do things just for the sake of doing them. You do laundry, you change diapers, you hold your baby while they sleep, you bathe them, you feed them, you make it through the day, you survive. And that’s completely fine for a few months. However, letting that go on too long is the best way to lose yourself and your sense of identity.
One way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to find a way to be creative every day. Some way to stretch your mind and pull you out of your everyday mundanity. Depending on what your passions and strengths are being creative can mean many things. Are you an artist? Draw or paint a picture! Do you love crafts? Get on Pinterest and make something fun! For me, I love graphic design, photography, and writing. So this blog has been the best way for me to be creative every day.
10. Find the humor in everything
I think if I had to choose just one habit to help you maintain your sanity, it would be this one. You have to develop the habit of finding the humor in everything. The combination of exhaustion and changing hormones mean that the smallest thing can send you into a complete breakdown. If you see everything as funny and just laugh about it, it’s a lot easier to not lose your mind.
For example, one night Lily pooped everywhere (which she has done every day since I have brought her home!) It was like 3 am and I was exhausted. So 10 minutes later I had cleaned up all the poo and was about to put her diaper on and she projectile vomited everywhere. I quickly fumbled to save what was left of my clean bed and as I do that…she pees. And it shoots out everywhere. It was just one thing after another, I was so very tired, and I just wanted to go back to bed!
I felt like I was on the verge of tears, but instead, I just started cracking up. She had this innocent look on her face and I just had to laugh at the circus I was currently starring in. My reaction that night may have been induced by lack of sleep, but it taught me a very valuable lesson. You have to find the humor in everything. Life is so much better when you’re laughing instead of crying.
11. Drink water often
This one is so important for new mommies! And even more so if you are breastfeeding. You need to get in the habit of drinking water as often as you can. It is so hard to think about yourself when you first become a mom. You will be hyper-focused on meeting your new baby’s needs that forgetting to hydrate yourself will be a daily occurrence. We all know the importance of drinking enough water throughout the day. However, if you are breastfeeding you are giving a large portion of the water in your body to your baby. You need to make sure to rehydrate after feedings.
Personally, I have really struggled with this. What I have found to be helpful is to keep water bottles where I know I’ll see them. That way I have a visual reminder. There are also apps you can download to alert you to drink water in certain time increments. Figure out what works best for you and really stick to it!
12. Make to-do lists
I swear the moment I got pregnant my brain stopped working properly. Then, I had Lily and the pregnancy brain continued. My thoughts always seem frazzled and my memory sucks! I think this is more than just a new mom thing. I think it’s just a mom thing! The product of being responsible for humans other than yourself. Still, you can’t live in a state of dismay all the time. So one thing that has really helped me stay organized and sane is making to-do lists.
Every day, I write down a list of all the things I need to get done that day. I’m talking every. single. thing! Like 1) Check emails 2) Do laundry 3) Call back so and so 4) Get the mail 5) Go pee. No not really the last one. But almost! Anyway, writing it all down helps me organize it in my mind and I can check back throughout the day to remind myself of what still needs to be done. Whatever task I don’t complete rolls over to the next day. Getting in the habit of doing this every morning will help you to have more productive days!
13. Get ready for the day before your baby
One thing I have gotten in the habit of doing is getting ready for the day before Lily. I do it whether I have somewhere to be that day or I’m just hanging out at home. Meaning I’ll shower, get dressed, on rare occasions do my hair and makeup, all while Lily hangs out in her PJ’s. So what are the advantages of this? Basically getting your needs out of the way while you have the chance! If I wait to get myself ready I will get sucked into the cycle of diaper changes, feedings, naps, etc and find myself still in PJs at 2 pm. By getting myself ready first I am starting the day off right and from that moment on I can focus on Lily’s needs and smell good while doing it!
14. Talk and sing to your baby
My sister Megan laughs at me, but I am always talking to Lily. As I am doing things, I tell her what I am doing. For example, while I make my coffee I say, “Look at this mug. This mug is blue. This mug holds my coffee. Coffee is brown.” I will literally explain everything I am doing. Yes, I sound ridiculous. But we all know babies need to hear you talking to develop their own language skills. So instead of sitting down at specific times and talking AT her, I developed a habit of talking TO her throughout the day.
I also sing to her. ALL THE TIME. I sing nursery rhymes. I sing a little T. Swift and a little Ed Sheeran. And to be honest, I sing songs I made up on the spot most of the time. Once again, singing helps babies learn language skills. And rhythm! Also, Lily thinks I am hilarious when I sing. So obviously I am going to do it all the time!
15. Be silly
This might be last on the list, but it also might be the most important. One thing I really want to teach Lily is to not take herself too seriously. I want to raise her to be playful, weird, and well…fun! I feel like the best way to teach her that is by example. I spend my days doing silly dances, making silly noises, singing silly songs, making silly faces. Anything to get a reaction out of her.
Even though I’m doing it for her, it’s truly for me too. It puts me in the best mood! You try acting silly and crazy all day and tell me it doesn’t brighten the vibe of the day?
So there it is!
From one new mom to another.
The 15 Habits Every New Mom Should Develop!
Comment below any habits you have found helpful as a new mom!
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