You can read all the books on motherhood and take every piece of advice from friends and relatives, but you may never fully learn your own parenting style until you’re living it.
There will always be mistakes you’ll make, lessons you’ll learn, and tears you’ll cry. Every mom learns the hard way about how to care for their baby.
There’s also no right or wrong way to be a parent and raise your child. There are always suggestions and recommendations if you want your baby to sleep better, eat better, or feel better.
However, the decisions are all your own.
Motherhood is a job that no one is an expert in and we all are as desperate for advice as the next mom.
Mistakes That You Should Avoid Making as a New Mom to Save Your Sanity
My list comes from my subjective experience and what worked for me. These ideas may or may not work for you and the new baby.
Since every child is different, raising a newborn is very much trial-and-error. You will quickly find what suits you and your family best.
This post is in no way meant to make you question your actions as a mother, but to help you learn things that you may not already know. I don’t consider myself an expert, just a mom with a blog. Read
Also, please read the Top 10 Mistakes New Moms Make With Their Newborn.
1. Being too rigid on
However, every child is different and has different needs so some things that worked for another baby may not work for yours. You have to get used to your own parenting style and then your confidence will come.
There is no need to focus on raising your baby the way a book or doctor has told you. You can take this advice, but loosen it up a little.
My advice: Don’t feel like you have to stick to every “rule” that you hear or you’ll go crazy. Being flexible and using your own judgement to bend the rules a little is what makes us experienced mamas.
You have to make sure you’re using your own common sense when it comes to taking care of your baby. Relax and just be confident that you’re doing this Mommy thing perfectly.
The most important thing is to provide them with a safe and nurturing environment and the rest will fall into place.
2. Not sleeping when the baby sleeps
You’ve probably heard this advice if you’re a new mom. Coming right from your 3rd trimester sleep deprivation, to the possibly 20+ hours of exhausting labor, to the middle of the night newborn feedings, you’re going to be exhausted!
You’ll never be able to get as much sleep as you will when you have a newborn. They’re supposed to sleep 16-17 hours per day in the beginning!
Of course this sleep will be broken up into chunks between feedings and diaper changes, but you really can catch up your sleep during this time.
Plus, you’re not working, people are willing to help you out, and you have an excuse to cancel all obligations for the foreseeable future. Take advantage of that!
The hardest part for me with this was that meals still needed to be made and the house doesn’t clean itself. I always felt like there was a much more productive use of my time during naps than sleeping.
However, I came to realize that a sleep-deprived mom is an unhappy mom. With rest and relaxation comes a happy and healthy mom.
My advice: Force yourself to take at least one nap a day. Save the laundry for another time or enlist the help of friends, family, or a housekeeper. You’ll be glad you did.
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3. Continuing to Breastfeed When You’re Not Producing Enough Milk
Many women are very fortunate to have an abundant supply of breastmilk, but some are not. It’s also common that you may not have a great supply right off the bat, but it will come within a few days after birth.
It’s vital to provide enough milk (breastmilk or formula) to meet the nutritional demands of your baby. If your baby is losing too much weight after birth (more than 10%), you may need to consider supplementing with formula.
In those first few days and weeks, it’s quantity over quality! Your baby needs to drink as much milk as possible, no matter what source it is from.
You will see the signs of a baby who isn’t getting enough milk. He will continue to be fussy after a feeding, his pee will be dark yellow/orange, and he won’t be gaining weight.
However, taking a huge stressor off your shoulders will lead to a more successful newborn period.
4. Comparing your baby to others
Every baby is different in many aspects. Even siblings or twins will differ from sleep patterns to eating habits to developmental milestones.
It won’t do you any good to constantly compare your baby to others based on how many hours another baby sleeps during the night or how long another baby nurses for.
I know it’s frustrating to hear that a friend’s baby sleeps 9 hours straight when you’re lucky to get a 3 hour stretch of shut eye. However, you’re doing your best and that just shows you the difference between children.
My advice: Be knowledgable of the way that other babies develop, but don’t compare it to yours. Your baby will grow just the way she should in her own special way.
Related Post: 13 Ways to Stimulate and Play with Your Newborn
5. Listening to what everyone else says
You’ll hear and read a lot of advice when it comes to properly
However, if you follow what everyone says is ‘the best for your baby‘ you may find yourself going crazy to keep up. Even these mom blogs give plenty of great advice, but your experience may be entirely different than mine.
My advice: Trust your own gut instincts and not what everyone else says. We, moms, were built with this
That natural expertise will come so quickly. Don’t feel like you need to do the exact same thing that someone else did to raise your child.
6. Worrying too much
It’s very common for new parents to be very overprotective and worry about every little thing. The tiniest sniffle or skin mark on that fragile little newborn could make a new mom a nervous wreck.
Although it’s good to be informed and aware of possible harmful things that could happen to your baby, you don’t want to have that mindset all the time.
My advice: Babies are very resilient especially in the loving care of their parents. Keep your eyes open in case of any signs of illness or harm, but in most cases, your baby will be just fine.
We can’t keep our children in a bubble forever, so why ever start?
7. Not leaving the house
As a first-time mom, you may want to keep your baby sheltered inside for as long as possible. Although you want to be aware of the germs that can pass to a tiny baby, it’s just as important to get out of the house with them.
I’ve been there. Sitting in the same pajamas for days with my newborn. Not wanting to leave the house because that meant I had to put real clothes on.
However, getting yourself together can actually help you feel better! Also, fresh air and a little sunshine are great for both babies and adults.
My advice: Get out of the house whether it be for a walk down the street or a quick trip to Target. If you have to wait for your partner to get home from work to do it, that’s ok.
If you’re worried about taking the baby out, some fresh air should be completely fine for him as long as the temperature is not too hot or cold. Avoid indoor places like restaurants or stores that germs can easily pass, but opt for outdoor areas if the weather is appropriate.
However, always consult your pediatrician if there are any medical reasons that your baby shouldn’t be outside.
Related Post: 5 Self-Care Tips for Busy Moms
8. Not getting your baby on a schedule
Following a schedule can help develop or improve sleep habits and overall demeanor for your baby.
During the first couple of weeks it will be impossible to follow a schedule and you won’t want to at this point. However, by 1 month, you can start determining
Having predictable times of day when your baby will eat, sleep, and play will result in less stress and worry for you and your partner. When your baby is happy, you will be happy.
My advice: Get your baby used to a schedule early on. It will help them to understand what comes next, resulting in a happier baby.
Once your baby becomes a little older, you will be grateful to be able to plan outings around their schedule because you will know exactly what time your baby will need something from you.
9. Not asking for help
It’s understandable to not trust anyone else to care for your baby early on. However, you can’t take the entire burden of having a newborn on yourself.
Since you can’t have someone else breastfeed your baby, most of the help you will receive will be in the form of cooking meals, running errands, or cleaning the house.
Just taking the responsibility of some of these mundane tasks will be so helpful!
My advice: Seek assistance for cleaning the house, cooking meals, or even just rocking the baby to sleep. The first few weeks with a baby can be overwhelming so give yourself a break!
Hopefully, you have relatives or friends that are willing to provide this help for free, but if you’re willing to pay, use services like housekeepers, grocery delivery, or even just take-out to make life easier!
Related Post: 18 Things Not to Do After Giving Birth
10. Allowing too many visitors touching your baby
Everyone will want to come see you and your baby during those first few weeks that you come home. However, adults and older children can carry germs that are not-so-serious to them, but can have deadly effects on a newborn baby.
Even an adult with a common cold can pass those germs to an infant, leading to a condition known as RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). This is a relatively common infection in
You can never be too careful with keeping your baby safe. Therefore, limit their exposure to others during the first few months.
My advice: If you need to have visitors, make sure they wash their hands or use natural, antibacterial cleanser efficiently before touching your baby. Also, make sure everyone is informed that if they have even the slightest cold or cough to stay away.
Especially during cold and flu season, keep your baby at a distant from, not only strangers at the grocery
11. Not Being Aware of What You Eat If You’re Breastfeeding
You can eat and drink whatever you want while breastfeeding (in moderation), however, it is important to be aware of how your baby reacts to it.
There are certain foods that can cause irritation in babies when consumed through breastmilk.
Some of these foods to be aware of are: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spicy foods, or dairy.
My advice: For the first few weeks, take notice of your baby’s behaviors after certain foods. If you notice specific changes in their mood or digestion, try cutting that food out for a few days to document any positive changes.
You may notice gassiness, excess spit ups/throw ups, or hives.
This should only last for the first few weeks because they will eventually get used to all the foods that you eat. However, you may need to change your diet if it doesn’t improve.
Related Post: 19 Tips to Try When Your Baby Refuses to Breastfeed
12. Buying too many baby clothes
As a first time mom, you probably couldn’t wait to get your hands on as many cute newborn clothes as possible. The frilly little dresses and baby button down shirts are too much to handle!
However, at this young of an age, your baby will live in footed pajamas or onesies! Everything else is just a hassle to take on and off and isn’t conducive of diaper changes, spit ups, and naps.
Getting dressed up is a rare occasion because you shouldn’t be taking a newborn out of the house anyway.
Not only that, but your baby will grow out of these garments so quickly that you may be left with so many outfits with tags still on them. I hated when I had to switch to the next size up, but I still had outfits that were never used in her closet!
My advice: Borrow baby clothes or purchase them second-hand. You can find treasures of baby clothes that were only worn once, if at all, at garage sales, Facebook Marketplace, or a local consignment shop.
You should be able to find moms unloading baby clothes very often because they are so quickly used that most people want to get the clutter out of the house!