Tag: mother
in Newborns

How to Support Your Wife as a New Mom

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Motherhood. It seemed so easy, until I became a mom. I walked into the hospital with grand ideas about what motherhood would be like, but when I came out (with my new baby), it was like everything had shifted. I was no longer the same person. It was like I had to learn how to be me again, but in a different way. At first, it was all just surreal. It took some time to realize that this tiny human was mine and she depended on me for everything. She depended on me to figure out breastfeeding, diaper changing, sleep schedules, bathing, clipping fingernails, and SO much more.


In one day I went from doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to not having energy to eat!


Now, I’m not saying I didn’t love being a mom. I am saying that I was overwhelmed and unexpectedly so. Thankfully, I had my (amazing) husband to help me through this time. He must have had someone coaching him along the way because he always seemed to know what to say to calm my fears and anxiety. However, this is not always the case. So many women deal with postpartum depression and anxiety and their husband or significant other have no idea how to deal with it. Even moms who are not carrying the burden of PPD can feel unsupported by their husband simply because he doesn’t know what to do to help.


Here are some ways for a husband to support his wife as a new mom:


  1. Check on her. Ask her if there is anything she needs- and not just once, ask her all. of. the. time. When she is nursing, resting, changing the baby, or even entertaining visitors. After giving birth, hormones are all over the place. She may be fine one minute and dying of thirst the next. Fill her water glass, make her food, make her take a nap. In thinking of the baby, she may need reminders to take care of herself too.

  2. Get up at night. You might be like me and think it is silly for both of you to lose sleep when only one of you can care for the baby. However, being up with an inconsolable baby in the middle of the night can be lonely, exhausting, and frustrating. Even if you don’t know how to help, at least wake up and ask her how you can help. Many people also recommend having dad change the diaper and bring the baby to mom for feeding. This gives mom a few minutes extra sleep and shows that you are doing what you can to help.

  3. Don’t complain. If your wife gets up most times in the night with the baby, don’t complain when it is your turn or when she asks you to help out. She needs her sleep just as much as you do, even if you are going back to work and she’s not.

  4. Rub her back. Giving birth and learning how to nurse a newborn is physically draining. Give your wife a massage. Don’t wait for her to ask for one. In fact, any chance you get, rub her feet, her back or her head. She deserves it!

  5. Listen. Your wife may be trying to tell you how she is feeling. Take time to really listen and understand. There is a good chance her hormones are getting the best of her and even she doesn’t understand it. Listen, and then confirm what a good job she is doing.

  6. Prepare meals and snacks. Even if you aren’t used to cooking, make an attempt to prepare meals for your wife and family. If you are back at work you may have to make frozen meals or even get take out. Somehow, be sure your wife is eating good meals throughout the day. She will need the nourishment but most likely won’t think about it on her own.

  7. Change diapers. Any time you are around and the baby needs changing, offer to change it. Most likely, she has changed 20 other diapers already that day.

  8. Offer to take the baby. Offer to take the baby while she takes a shower or a nap. Heck, tell her to go out to lunch with friends and get out of the house. She will need this in order to feel like herself again, but may not ask for it.

  9. Pick up groceries. Ask your wife for a list of groceries and run to the store after work. The last thing she will want to do is get out and buy groceries.

  10. Let her sleep in. If your wife was up with the baby in the night, offer to get up with the baby in the morning and let her sleep in. Bring the baby to her (if nursing) and then let her go back to bed. This will help her to feel like she has gotten a full night’s sleep.



Your wife might be killing it as a new mom, but it can’t hurt to do these things. It can be hard for new moms to ask for help, even when they really need it. Be ahead of the game and try doing these things without her asking. Just because she doesn’t ask for it, doesn’t mean she doesn’t need it. Do these things multiple times a day if you are home, again without her asking, and don’t expect anything in return. She is doing a lot already!





Not only are you helping your wife by doing these things, but you will be creating a strong bond with the baby, which is equally as important.


Now, don’t worry, I am already starting a post about how moms can support their husbands as a new dad. 🙂


What did your husband do to support you as a new mom? Post it in the comments below!


Don’t forget to pin this article on Pinterest for future reference! Join me on Instagram and like my Facebook page to be a part of a wonderful community of new moms!

 

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in Must-Have Products, Newborns

Not Sleeping?-5 Simple Tips to Help your Newborn Sleep Longer

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Is your newborn waking up multiple times throughout the night? Does your newborn seem restless and irritable at night? Does your newborn startle every time you lay him or her down to sleep? These are all common complaints of many new moms.

Imagine being a newborn baby. The new world they are born into is very different than the dark, warm, and soothing womb they are used to. It is cold and bright with unpredictable noises and movements. Even the soft newborn clothes they wear are a different texture than what they are used to feeling on their skin. On top of that they are now having to sleep, wake, and eat when someone else wants them to. It’s no wonder newborns often have problems sleeping at night!

As a new mom, not getting the sleep you need can cause anxiety, frustration towards the baby, and even marital problems. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many things you can do to help your baby sleep longer and more soundly at night.

Of course you will want to be sure that your baby is fed and dry. Many moms have their husbands, significant other, or someone that is helping to help do the initial changing. If you are not nursing they can also take turns doing the feeding. If you are nursing and you will have to pump, it may make more sense for you to just feed the baby yourself.

Other than the routine feeding and changing, keep in mind that your baby is still used to the feeling of being in the womb. Mimicking the sounds and feelings in the womb will help your newborn sleep better at night. Here are some things I did that made a world of difference for us in the sleep department. (Keep in mind, this is all from my personal experience. I still wake up with my 11 month old once per night, but the following steps made a world of difference in the sleep department at our house).

 

 

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Swaddle

The first thing I changed was what my baby was sleeping in. Newborn jammies are cute and all, but they don’t do much to help your newborn feel like they’re still in the womb. Newborns like to be snug and secure. We started off swaddling with our amazing muslin blankets but it seemed like right when we came home from the hospital our baby started figuring out how to get his arms out. This would result in the blanket falling off or his arm getting stuck and him getting mad.

Next, we tried the Swaddle Me Pod which works great if your baby likes their hands down (my kids did not). I also tried the HALO SleepSack swaddles which are great for having arms down or completely out.

If your newborn likes to sleep with their arms out or up by their face, while still being contained. I highly recommend the Love to Dream Swaddle UP. It keeps the baby’s arms snug, but allows them to put their arms up or even close to their face, which my baby LOVED.

They also have the next level for when they grow out of the small size. It has sleeves that can zip off for when the baby starts to roll over.

I give them as a gift for any baby shower because most new moms don’t know about these and they were a life saver for me! I have also heard moms rave about Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit and how much their baby started sleeping while using it.

These are only a few of the many sleep suits out there. The point is, babies love to feel cozy and protected just like they did in the womb.

*Please note that when your newborn is able to roll, you should discontinue swaddling.

 

Movement

When your infant was in the womb, he was constantly moving with you. The motion was a smooth rocking motion. This motion outside of the womb is important to sooth your newborn to sleep.

There are many ways to mimic the motion that is felt in the womb.

I spent many nights walking my daughter around the house in the Moby Wrap. Being snug, warm, and close to me helped her sleep immediately. The only problem with this was right when I would put her down, she would immediately wake back up.

I finally found that she slept soundly in her swing or Rock ‘n Play. Not only did this keep her moving, but it also provided a slight incline to help with her reflux. (Our pediatrician and I discussed this and agreed that as long as the baby is buckled and not in the swing or Rock ‘n Play all of the time that this option was best for us. You should do your own research about this if you are uncomfortable with it!)

I am also completely in awe of what I call the Baby Space Shuttle or the 4moms mamaRoo Baby Swing. Several moms I know use it and say it works wonders in getting a baby to sleep!

 

Sound

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), your baby hears a whooshing sound in the womb which may be due to the blood flowing through your body. This noise in the womb is thought to be louder than a vacuum cleaner! Since your baby hears this constantly in the womb, you can imagine it is very soothing for a newborn. You can mimic the sound by using a noise machine in whatever room your baby sleeps in.  I used the SoundSpa by HoMedics for both of my babies and loved the picture projector feature that came along with it.

 

Sucking

Babies are born with a sucking reflex primarily because this is how they get their nourishment in the early months of their lives. However, it is also a very soothing reflex for babies.

I breastfed both of my babies and I was totally against giving my first a pacifier in order to prevent nipple confusion. However, when my daughter was screaming and crying 80% of the time, my husband gave her a pacifier one night. We were both shocked when she immediately stopped crying and fiercely started sucking on the pacifier.

This was a huge breakthrough for us and when she started learning to sleep for longer periods at night. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends giving babies a pacifier during any sleep time in order to decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

I personally LOVE the Wub-a-Nub collection for a few reasons. For one, they are super cute and you can find the animal that matches your baby’s personality. Secondly, it is easy for you or the baby to find and doesn’t go far when it falls out of their mouth. Lastly, as they get a little older they use the stuffed animal as a little lovey to hang onto at night.

 

Naps

Good naps promote good nighttime sleep. However, it is important to let your infant know the difference between a nap and sleep during the night. You can do this by letting them nap in a bright setting where other things are going on. Maybe you are doing the dishes or watching TV while your baby naps. You may want to gently wake the baby to eat every few hours during the day and encourage longer sleep periods at night.

Night time sleep, on the other hand, should be done in a dark room with soothing and constant sounds. Create a nap schedule that works for you and your baby and try to stick to it. I have outlined below the amount of hours the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for sleep according to a child’s age. This is per 24 hours.

 

  • Newborns: 16-18 hours of sleep per day (including naps)
  • 4- 12 Months: 12-16 hours of sleep per day (including naps)
  • 1-2 years: 11-14 hours of sleep per day (including naps)
  • 3-5 years: 10-13 hours of sleep per day (including naps)

While some of these things may not work for you and your baby, they sure did help me! It never hurts to try!

What have you done to help your baby sleep more soundly?

 

Happy Sleeping!!

 

 

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in Newborns

How to Avoid Mom Guilt

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That dreadful feeling you have every time you aren’t with your child? It has a name. Mom Guilt. Some moms experience mom guilt at higher levels than others or for different reasons. This in no way makes you a better or worse mom than the next. It is simply something that comes with being a mom. There are several situations that might cause a mom to feel guilt. Being a working mom, being stay at home mom not bringing in any income, having a date night without the kids, not breastfeeding, or breastfeeding and hating it. The list could go on and on for miles. Heck, I am sitting here writing after my kids are in bed and I am feeling guilt that I am not getting more sleep in order to have more energy for my kids. Ridiculous, right? Us moms should be able to do things for ourselves without feeling guilty. So, I have compiled a short list of things that can help lessen the dreaded mom guilt.

 

 

Be intentional and engaged

I find my mom guilt is at it’s worst when I know I wasn’t completely engaged with my kids that day. Be intentional about focusing your attention on the kids while they are awake. Try leaving your electronic devices in your bedroom. If you feel uncomfortable not having your phone, check it briefly at planned intervals throughout the day.

Try to wake up shortly before the kids and get a few chores done. This will help you feel like you have accomplished something, leaving more time to spend time with your kids. Knowing that you are usually 100% engaged with your kids will lessen the guilt when you need some time for yourself.

 

Stop comparing yourself to other moms

I remember when I had my daughter I would see other moms  with their newborn, smiling in Facebook photos at a baseball game or trying out a new restaurant. I would automatically feel like I wasn’t as good of a mom because I couldn’t fathom taking my colicky newborn in a crowded public place. The thought would send my anxiety levels through the roof! It wasn’t until I had my second child, who is much more easy going that I understood how this could be done. Remember, every child is different, every mom is different, and every situation is different.  I should also note here that this can be a viscous cycle. As moms, we tend to post the highlights of our day while leaving out the messy aspects of real life. This is all great and fine but let’s all remember to be real with each other too. Help each other out, and lift each other up at the same time. We are all in this together!

 

 

Create a routine

Having a plan for your day always helps. You may or may not get much accomplished, but if you have a plan, at least you know you have accomplished something.Having a similar routine each day will help you to get more accomplished and the kids will learn what they can expect each day.

  • Weather you work out, chat with a friend, sip a cup of coffee, or watch an episode of your favorite TV show, carve out some time for yourself each day. Maybe it is during nap time or when the kids go down for the night. Knowing you will have time for yourself at some point in the day helps you to focus more on the kids when they are awake.
  • Plan what times of day you will do some cleaning and how much. You may just plan to deep clean one room (or thing) a day, and that may be all you can fit in. That is okay! Write it in your plan so that you know what you need to get done and what can wait.
  • Finally, plan out some activities for the kids. I like to plan a small activity in the morning, like outdoor play, and a longer activity in the afternoon, like going to the pool. Plan to stay focused on the kids 100% during this time.

Check out my sample daily routine below!

Daily Routine

 

Just do it

If you are feeling guilt about going out and not being with your kids 24/7, ignore the guilt. No matter how bad you are feeling at first, just do it. Go out with your girlfriends, hire a babysitter while you get out with your hubby or significant other, go sit and have coffee alone. You may feel guilty for a little bit, but chances are, if you do something you enjoy you will end up having a great time and you won’t regret it. In fact, it may be just what you needed to come back to your kids feeling refreshed and ready to give them 100% again.

 

If you are having guilt about your work situation or breastfeeding, remember, there is a reason that you are doing what you are doing. Don’t let your guilt get in the way of what is best for your family. If you feel the guilt is because you are doing something you shouldn’t be or not doing something you should be, maybe it is time to make a change. Take some time to evaluate the situation and weather or not it is the right thing for you and your family. If not, take steps to make the change!

 

 

Give yourself some grace

Remember, you are human. You have needs just like your kids do. You cannot meet the needs of your children without meeting yours too. Trust me, if you take care of yourself you will be a better mom for it. It’s really a win-win for everyone!

Do you ever struggle with this feeling of mom guilt? Is there something you do to keep it at bay? If so, tell us about it in the comments below. We can all benefit from other mom’s words of wisdom.

 

Please join me on Instagram and like my Facebook page to be a part of a wonderful community of new moms!

 

 

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