BABY HACKS FOR NEW MOMS
Motherhood is full of trial and error–which is where mom hacks can be gold. The newborn tips you read will be able to totally prepare you for what’s to come.
Most of the parenting books have a lot of practical information, and I certainly recommend you absorb what you can. There are some things that the books don’t go over, so I wanted to give those to you now. I have also reached out to other mom’s who provide valuable information that helped them survive the newborn stage.
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BABY SLEEP IS ROUGH!
We had a lot of rough nights before we understood how to get baby to sleep through the night. Baby sleep music and white noise will help a lot, but they are only as useful as your ability to understand and time the baby sleep schedule. Here are a couple of specific things to remember, or you can read a whole post on baby sleep tips and tricks.
-Baby needs to sleep at night and be up during the day
-Babies need A LOT of sleep. (newborns need an average of 14-17 hours in a 24 hour period)
-Routine, routine, routine
-Use a swaddle–and buy one that velcros shut! I loved my Ollie!
If you find that your little one is still struggling with sleep even though you have tried EVERYTHING, consider looking into 21 Days of Peace and Quiet, which is a program run by a nurse who has been helping new parents get their littles to sleep well for ten years. She has a couple of free resources too, so it’s worth checking out.
THE BEST DIAPER HACK
When changing your baby’s diaper, put a new one under the old one BEFORE pulling the old diaper out. A nurse at the hospital showed us this when my first was born (yes, we had to be shown how to change a diaper), and it’s been very beneficial. You don’t want to ruin your lovely carpet with baby pee and poop.
DON’T CHANGE THAT DIAPER YET!
If your baby just pooped, give them a good five minutes to clear anything else out. Trust me–we had too many times where we changed her right away (like good parents should), and ended up getting pooped on.
A lot of baby medicine comes with a dropper. Not only are droppers less accurate than a syringe, but they are ridiculously MORE challenging to use than a syringe.
PUT SOME BAGGIES IN THAT DIAPER BAG
At some point, your lovely little baby may suffer a poop explosion out in public. Make sure you are prepared with a couple of ziplock bags and outfit changes at all times.
Related: 10 Tips to Avoid Diaper Rash
BICYCLES, BICYCLES, BICYCLES
Most babies get gassy. Gas is pretty painful for your little one, so gassy usually means fussy too. Move baby’s legs in a bicycle motion to help relieve some of the gas buildup.
NEWBORN CLOTHING HACK
Buy sleepers that open at the bottom. This way you can avoid having to fully unzip baby to change their bottom in the middle of the night.
These ones are rather adorable.
I know that some of the cutest sleepers come with buttons or snaps. Unless you get satisfaction from spending an hour buttoning a clothing item only to unbutton because you missed one somewhere, I suggest you stick with something you can zip up.
MESH-LINED BAG TO SAVE YOUR SOCKS
We weren’t sure why we kept needing to buy socks on a weekly basis until we figured out that our washing machine was eating them. Buy a mesh-lined bag to keep your baby socks safe while washing them.
You can find a mesh-lined bag on Amazon! (Like everything else that exists.)
NIGHT-TIME DIAPER HACK
Buy diapers one size up for night time wear. Waking up with a pee soaked baby is no one’s idea of a good morning.
TIPS FROM OTHER EXPERIENCED MAMA’S
Sasha over at Life’s Carousel says to sleep when baby sleeps.
“I’m sure you’ve heard this tip before, but it really is important. You might think “but when my baby is asleep is the only time I get anything done”. That might seem true, but I guarantee that you will still find time for the other stuff. (Just the important things… You need priorities when baby is tiny). If you are getting more sleep you will be able to think clearer, feel more rested and have more energy! It will be easier to get everything else done quickly.”
Ronni from The Screenwriters Wife found pacifiers to be useful. Hear her out–I wholeheartedly agree!
“I know that pacifiers aren’t for everyone, but trust me, as a mom of three, pacifiers can be a worthy godsend! To get your newborn to take a pacifier, it’s ok introduce it early – all of my kids had a pacifier within their first day! – as long as you’re offering it after a feeding session, not as a feeding replacement.
If your baby isn’t taking to a pacifier right away, try softly tapping the back of the pacifier as it sits in their mouth. The gentle tapping motion will encourage your baby to begin sucking. It usually only takes a few times of doing this before your newborn will get it and be able to take the pacifier on their own.”
Hilda from Real Mom Help has a product that worked really well for her little one.
“Use Gerber Soothe Colic Drops to prevent and treat belly aches and belly cramps”–she swears by it!
Anna from Abrazo and Coze offered one of the most important things to remember (IMO).
“I think the best newborn hack is to accept help when it’s offered, and ask for help when you need it. It can be overwhelming to have a tiny new human who is totally dependent on you for everything.
It can be very easy to fall into the guilt trap we set for ourselves – thinking we need to be able to do it all, and then feel guilt when we have difficulty meeting that expectation. We can’t do it all.
In the past, a new mom would have a ton of help, and that just doesn’t happen these days unless we arrange it. Nobody will think less of you for accepting or requesting assistance.”
Joanna at Mom With Cookies had a baby who struggled with gas pains.
“If you have a baby who is having trouble with gas, try a little bit of gripe water. When my son switched to formula, he had a tough time with gas, but I would give him a little bit of gripe water and he would feel better almost instantly!”
Em Rattue who blogs at Healthy Wealthy Vida tells us the secret to cutting baby fingernails.
“Wait until they are sleeping! Wait twenty minutes after naptime or bedtime and check on them. If you can lift their arm without them tensing this is the perfect time! You can read more about this here if cutting nails makes you nervous.”
Personally, I make my husband do it because I get jumpy.
Stormy from Pregnant Mama Baby Life says her favorite newborn hack came from her mother–and it’s personally one of my favorites.
“Baby onesies are designed to be taken off from both the bottom and the top. This means if they have a blow out you can actually roll it down off their shoulders and take it off at the bottom! This was a life saver for those extra fun diaper changes!”
Hayley from Miss Many Pennies has an awesome sleep hack! (Which BTW helped a TON with our second baby.)
“I used a projector that put moving stars on the ceiling. It really helped when my baby was unsettled at night as it gave her something to look at and helped her get back to sleep.”
We use a projector from Fisher-Price, and it has been a COMPLETE LIFESAVER with baby number two.
Related: Best Baby Products
Pamela over at Hodge Podge Moments recommends something that will make multitasking easier!
“Have something that is portable to set baby in (bouncer, napper, etc). This way you can take baby with you when you go to the bathroom or to shower.”
Florence from Italian Polish Mama is another mom who has quite a bit of experience when it comes to dealing with colicky babies.
“If you’re nursing your baby and they seem to be really colicky/gassy, limit your use of dairy and watch what you eat! Once I did this, my baby was so much happier and if that doesn’t work, give them some gripe water and a warm bath and that should do the trick!!”
Shari from Diary of a Sol Cal Momma has a way to help strengthen your bond with your baby.
“Take family showers with your newborn. The skin-to-skin contact is good for building your relationship with your baby.”
Amy from Daily Successful Living has a tip about feeding baby.
“Before stressing about the fact that your sleep training isn’t working take a look at your daytime schedule. If your baby’s is grazing all day they will want to do the same thing at night. When you baby is old enough begin creating a daily feeding schedule and it will make a huge difference with their sleeping patterns.”
Caitlen from Real Mom Recs brings us a useful sleep tip. (Yes, there are a lot ofbaby sleep hacks, but getting baby to sleep can be SO HARD)
“If your newborn has their days and nights mixed up, make sure to keep their environment noisy and bright during the day, and quiet and dark at night. Take baby on errands, go for walks, and keep them around people all day. (Even if they are napping, it will be a lesser quality sleep.)
At night, keep everything quiet and dark even when they wake up to eat. I would always nurse mine with just a nightlight, change them and wrap them back up and right back to bed. No extra stimulation. With this routine they will soon sort out their sleep schedule and do their long, restorative stretches of sleep at night.”
Self care is sooo important! Lisa at Cheerfully Simple reminds us of this.
“The best newborn tip I was given was to do one thing every day for myself. As a new, nursing mom, recovering from a C-section, this by far was the best advice I was given. By taking care of myself each day (mine was taking a shower), I felt refreshed and better able to take care of my newborn.”
Christina from Raising Biracial Babies recommends babywearing.
“If you have a baby that prefers being held all the time or only sleeps when they’re held, babywear! It’s a lifesaver because you have your hands free to do other things but you’re still meeting the needs of your baby. Plus your baby is less likely to be fussy because they are still being held next to you in the baby carrier/wrap!”
Personally, I loved my Lille Baby and my back thanked me for it!
Over at Birth Eat Love, Lisa gives the breastfeeding mama’s a good tip.
“My best newborn tip is to watch what you eat from day 1 if you are breastfeeding. Fussiness in babies can often be caused by irritating foods like dairy, but also tomato sauce and citrus, and a few others. Adjusting your diet in the first few months can mean less indigestion in your baby, less spitting up and contribute to better sleep.
Whatever you eat is going to come out in baby’s diaper. I also noticed less diaper rash in my newborns when I avoided these foods. If you feel like you are doing everything and your baby is still fussy, start examining your diet for foods that might be irritating your baby.”
Related: How To Increase Milk Supply Fast
Kayle at Parenting Expert to Mom helps us understand our baby’s cues.
“They will let you know what they need and when they need it using subtle cues. Get to know your baby’s cries as they can guide you as well. Their cries will sound different depending on what they need.”
Alison who blogs at Crafting The Good found this advice helpful with her little one.
“Focus on wake times, not sleep times! I stressed so much over the length of my daughter’s naps and once I focused on how long she could be awake instead, she slept much better!”
Beth at A Little Knick a Little Knack used white noise to help her baby sleep.
“Use white noise to help your baby sleep longer and more soundly! I totally second this–white noise saved my sleep with my second baby.” Beth was able to use a free white noise app which is great for the money conscious.
Personally, I love my budget-friendly little machine–me and my kids all have our own.
Toni from Becoming Schultz has a good tip for mama’s out there–dreamfeed!
“This is the process of your baby feeding while they sleep. It can be done with breast or bottle, and it can help top your little one off to help them sleep through the night.”
Harshit from Off Beat Bros gives a a good tip regarding diaper rashes.
“Instead of hunting for the right product for your baby, mix cornstarch in warm water and make your baby sit in it for some time. It will provide an instant relief and will accelerate the healing process of the skin.”
Jessica from Jessica Jarrett recommends investing in some reusable breast pads.
“If you are a breastfeeding mama, you will probably get a lot of use out of reusable breast pads.” Leaky boobs is a thing, so I think she’s right in recommending something you can use over and over again!
Which baby hack did you find the most useful? What other hacks have you tried? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below!
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Hacks for Parents to get Through the Newborn Phase
- How To Get Your Milk Supply Up Fast
- Safe Sleep for your Newborn Baby
- Sleep Tips and Tricks
- Top Baby Products