10 Things Every New Mother Should Know About Having a Baby

Before your baby was born, you probably read all the books, connected with other pregnant women online and in real life, and tried to learn everything you could before the baby arrived. Now that your baby is here, however, there are a few things you realize you didn’t know. Like how hard being a new mother can be, or how demanding a baby can be, or even how much better a five minute shower makes you feel.

10 Things Every Knew Mother Should Know about Having a Baby



  1. Trust your instincts. Most women have a natural instinct when it comes to having newborns, and your instincts will help you. When you read all the books and online articles and medical websites and they say to wait three hours between feeding your baby, but he’s crying like he’s hungry after just two, go ahead and feed him. He’s hungry. Textbooks are just that; books. And they’re based on an average number of babies, not yours. So yes, use the doctors and experts as guidelines, but still trust what you know about your baby.
  2. New mothers have good instincts they should trust.Don’t do everything your mother did. She has good intentions when she tells you to rub your baby’s teething gums with rum, but don’t do it. Yes, you survived without a car seat, but that doesn’t mean you should go without it. Sometimes, though, your mother does still have a few good ideas. You’ll just have to trust your instincts (back up at #1) with which to go with.
  3. Make an effort with your Significant Other. When you are a new mother and have a newborn, you’re holding them all day while feeding them, changing them and rocking them to sleep. While you need to wait awhile to get intimate again, try to touch your spouse affectionately and tell them you love them. They can feel left out at this point as most of your focus is on the new baby.
  4. Don’t forget to take any help that is offered. If your best friend offers to bring dinner and wash a few loads of laundry, take her up on it. If your sister offers to take your older kids to and from school for a week, by all means accept it! You don’t have to be the perfect mom right off the bat (or ever) so don’t even try to begin. You’ll get burned out very quickly as you realize you can’t be the perfect mom. Just do your best those first few weeks and don’t worry if your hair looks a little greasy because you didn’t get to shower for a few days.
  1. New mothers need to take time for themselves.Take time for yourself. Yes, we know we said don’t worry if you haven’t had a shower in a few days. However, if you do get a shower, you’ll feel so much better. See if your significant other can watch the baby for ten minutes while you take a shower. Brush your hair and put on clothes. Get out of the house for a few minutes each day, even if it’s just to sit on the porch or walk down the street and back with the baby in a sling or stroller. The fresh air and exercise will do wonders for your mental well-being.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to other moms. This is a big one for a lot of moms. You’ve done your best to research everything you could before the baby was born and you feel like you’ve made the best decisions possible for you and your baby; now is not the time to second guess and compare those decisions to another mom you know or read about on the internet. Just because some other new mother has chosen to cloth diaper doesn’t mean you are lesser because you do disposables.
  3. Let yourself be ok with changing your mind. Maybe you decided that you were ONLY going to breastfeed, but your baby isn’t gaining weight, or your milk just never came in. While you don’t like to think that it will ever happen to you, it may. It’s OK. Do what is best for your baby and feed them formula. There are no hard and fast rules for how you have to feed or diaper your baby, as long as they get fed and changed.
  4. man-person-cute-youngInvolve your significant other as much as possible. It’s easy as a new mother to think we know more than new dads (and you possibly do) but they still want to be involved. They can feed the baby if they’re drinking from a bottle, or burp the baby if not. Dads can change diapers, give baths and rock babies to sleep. Take the time when they are doing something to take a few minutes to yourself. Take your shower, eat something or even take a nap.
  5.  Keep yourself fed and hydrated. Not only does water help with breastfeeding, your body needs the fuel for the long days and interrupted nights. Snacks help, but you need to try to eat one or two solid meals. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning with a banana will keep you going for awhile. Snack through the day if you need to, then get an evening meal. Make something if you have time, or have your significant other pick up something to go.
  6. Enjoy being a new mother!Enjoy your baby. This sounds trite and obvious, but it can be difficult sometimes when you are a new mother and your baby cries all the time, you have a lack of sleep, or aren’t getting enough food. But enjoy them, take pictures of them (with you in it!) and don’t wish it away.

This list of 10 things every new mother should know is vitally important to your health and well-being as a person, wife and mother. Print out the list, keep it handy and share it with your friends who are also pregnant or new mothers.

Are you ready for your baby to arrive?

Check out our list of Top Ten Essentials You Need Before Baby Arrives!

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  • Corinna @ The Mommy Clause November 24, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I’m due with my ninth tomorrow – this is a very good reminder, even for experienced moms. Thank you!

    • Rebekah @ My Circus My Monkeys November 25, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      Good luck today, Corinna! How exciting!

    • Stephanie November 26, 2016 at 6:36 am

      I am the oldest girl out of 9 kids!! Good for you 🙂 big families rock!

  • Innana November 25, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Aww these are all really great tips! My Son is now 19 months and I am already having some crazy baby fever, especially after going through your post! I can absolutely relate to almost all of these points. I think as new moms, we can be so hard on ourselves and want to do everything so perfectly. We have to remember that sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned and that’s ok. Your baby is absolutely beautiful by the way! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Rebekah @ My Circus My Monkeys November 25, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      I always got baby fever and that’s why my first three were each about 16 months apart! After having twins, though, my baby fever is about gone!

  • tineke - workingmommyabroad November 25, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Yessss to all of these! Very good points, wished someone had told me this before becoming a mom (i was the first amongst my friends so kinda missed that real advice)

    • Rebekah @ My Circus My Monkeys November 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      I was the first amongst my friends, as well! It was hard, I agree! (But now I try not to be that person who gives all this unwanted advice all the time!)

  • Mummyitsok November 25, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    All of these are great tips 🙂 I used to compare myself to other mums and it’s such a bad idea! It’s so important for us mums to look after ourselves and have a break every now and again 🙂 x

  • Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms November 25, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    I feel like the taking time for yourself point is the hardest for some moms! I have just started trying to put more time into myself. I think moms get judged so often if they take some me-time but it’s important to recharge!

  • Diedre November 25, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, yes and yes! All of this is so tough the first few months of motherhood. You nailed it.

  • Jacqueline|Mama's Munchkins November 25, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    These are all so true! Every single one! Almost no baby is a ‘text book baby’, a shower alone is the most wonderful thing, and the help… can’t do with out it! I had 4 babies in 3 1/2 years, and while I knew each one of these things, I learned them all over again with each baby!

  • Crystal November 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    These are all great. The comparing yourself one is my favorite.

  • Jasmine Hewitt November 25, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    YES! These are all great (I think you’re missing the end of a sentence in #2) and I totally agree with #10…it can be hard to remember in the thick of it, but DO try to enjoy your little one

    • Rebekah @ My Circus My Monkeys November 25, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks so much for the catch on #2! And yes, it flies by so fast it can be all to easy to look back and wonder where the time went.

  • Millason @SimplyNaturalMama November 26, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Yes, it is so important to include your significant other! It’s both persons’ baby, but I think we, as mothers, tend to think of our children as “our” babies.

  • Stephanie November 26, 2016 at 6:37 am

    These are great! The reminder to take people up on help offered is great – also, don’t be scared to ask for help.. this is something I struggle with but with my daughter being 13 months old I’m learning that it’s important to ask for help before you burn out.

  • Samantha November 26, 2016 at 9:15 am

    These are so important. I wish I had known (and listened!) to these when I first had my son. Thanks for sharing!

  • Vivianna November 26, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I agree with all of these & it’s even a great reminder as we prepare to welcome our second baby!

    • Rebekah @ My Circus My Monkeys November 26, 2016 at 10:09 am

      Congrats on the new baby!

  • suzanne November 28, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Yes! I love this list. Trusting your instincts is SO important as a new mama..

  • Bee | Better than busy November 29, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    These are really great tips! Its so easy to tie ourselves up in knows with the things that people say we should be doing and things that other people are doing. But really – you just need to trust your instincts 🙂

  • Meredith December 10, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Best way to avoid the greasy, haven’t-showered-for-days-look is dry shampoo! Works wonders for those days when you just don’t quite make it to your personal hygiene 🙂


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