Welcome to Motherhood! As a fellow mom of four, I know firsthand how amazing yet tiring those early newborn days can be. Through my own journey I’ve discovered some handy newborn baby tips that I wish I knew with my first.
Whether you’re a first time parent or expanding your brood, I hope these bits of mom wisdom help ease you into life with your precious little one.
First up – rest when baby rests. I know how tempting it is to tackle tasks when your little one dozes off, but sleep is scarce those first few months. Use naptimes to refuel yourself. The dishes can wait!
Ask for help. On difficult days don’t hesitate to call on your village – let grandma take the baby for a walk so you can shower or call a friend to drop off a meal. My motto is “it takes a village” – and it really does.
Finally, give yourself grace. Messes will be made, tears will fall, routines will be broken. This season is intense but also fleeting. Snuggle that sweet babe and take it one day at a time. You’ve got this mama!
First Time Moms Listen Up: Experts Share Their Best Newborn Tips
1) Keep Baby Cozy with Safe Swaddling
Oh my, yes – swaddling is a must for newbies! As a mother of four, I’ve learned that tiny babies get cold so easily, even when it’s warm and sunny outside. Their little bodies just aren’t adjusted yet.
That’s why I always keep a stash of velcro swaddle blankets on hand! They make swaddling a cinch in the middle of the night (no complicated wrapping required). I simply place baby in the blanket, secure the velcro, and voilà – an instant swaddle.
I use swaddles day and night for at least the first three months. It helps regulate their temperature and keeps them feeling snug and secure like they did in the womb. My little ones tend to sleep longer when happily wrapped up.
Pro tip: I know some babies eventually try to break free from the swaddle as they get older. When that happens, try transitioning to a sleep sack with some arm room but still keeps them nice and cozy.
But those first few months? Swaddle away, mamas! Do whatever it takes to keep your little bundle warm and resting. Their little bodies will adjust…eventually!
2) Encourage Early Bedtimes
Here’s more tips on getting baby on an early bedtime schedule:
Great point about early bedtimes! I used to scoff at the idea too as a newbie first-time mom. Put them to bed when it’s still light out? No way!
But once baby #2 came along, I quickly learned the magic of an early, consistent bedtime routine. Now, my little ones get a bath by 6:30 pm, we read a story or two, I sing our special “goodnight song,” and they’re snoozing by 7 pm sharp.
Not only does it make them happier, calmer babies — it gives me a few blessed hours in the evening to eat dinner hot, get things done around the house, cuddle with my husband, and gasp – relax! Those early evenings are my saving grace as a parent.
So if you’re struggling with a fussy, overtired baby come nightfall, try slowly inching up their schedule by 15 minutes each night. Aim to have them snoozing an hour or two before you plan to get in bed.
You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes! Sleep begets sleep. Once you get baby used to a solid, early bedtime, the rest of your routine will likely fall right into place. Sweet dreams!
3) Try a White Noise Machine/Baby Sound Machine
I cannot rave enough about sound machines for little ones! With four kids running around my household, things can get noisy. But when it’s time for baby to wind down, we switch on our trusty shusher. It’s amazing how well it calms them (and blocks out big brother’s monster trucks upstairs!).
The steady “shhh” reminds babies of the womb noises they’re used to. And it signals to their little bodies that bedtime is here. I never put my littles down without our sound machine humming away. We bring it everywhere too – to Grandma’s, on vacation, you name it!
Pro tip: If you don’t want to buy a machine, there are great sound machine apps you can download to your phone too. I keep one cued up for middle-of-the-night soothing sessions. The white noise helps drown out any other disruptions so baby can slip easily back to dreamland.
Can you tell I’m a huge fan? Try out a shusher for a few nights and see if it helps your little sleeper. For most babies, it works like a charm! It’s the best $20-30 you’ll ever spend.
4) Establishing a Consistent Bedtime Routine
As a busy mom of four, I cannot stress enough the importance of a predictable bedtime routine. I remember with my firstborn feeling overwhelmed by the constant guesswork. When should we start getting ready for bed? What cues should I watch for? It felt like I was flying blind!
Over time and lots of trial and error, I crafted a routine that worked wonderfully for our family. Now, as soon as 6:30pm rolls around, my children know the drill and transition seamlessly into sleep mode.
We start by giving baby a nice warm bubbly bath – I add in a few drops of lavender oil which helps relax their little bodies. After diaper and jammies, we read a story or two, cuddle and sing our unique bedtime song. Lights out by 7pm sharp!
Sticking to this routine every evening made all the difference for my kids’ sleep and my own sanity! When children know what to expect, they tend to get drowsy more easily. Plus, you’ll learn to recognize tired cues to seamlessly move along each step.
So don’t be afraid to try different relaxation techniques to make bedtime soothing. The routine itself is what matters most. Discover what works best and stick with it!
I use lavender foaming Bubble Bath before sleep time.
5) Embrace Baby Carrier
Absolutely – baby carriers are a lifesaver, especially if you have multiple kiddos running around! I never would’ve survived all those early months without my trusty carriers.
When my babies were tiny, wearing them close soothed them and helped me get stuff done with free hands. I could cook, clean, play with the big kids – all while cuddling my little one. It truly takes a village, but a good carrier helps you feel like a one-woman village!
I’ve also found that some babies just crave that skin-to-skin nurturing. My little guy would fall asleep instantly all curled up against me in the Infantino Carrier. It was the only way I could get household tasks checked off! Plus going for walks outdoors with them snuggled close helped us both relax.
If you’re on the fence about baby-wearing, I cannot recommend it enough, mama! Do some research to find a carrier that fits your body type comfortably. It may take some adjusting to get the hang of but trust me, it’ll make your days smoother. When in doubt, just strap that baby on and get moving!
6) Stock Up on Zipper Pajamas
Such great advice! As a mom, I’ve learned to choose practicality over cuteness when it comes to baby clothes. Especially pajamas – it’s zippers all the way for us too!
Those snuggly footed sleepers with zip fronts make midnight diaper changes so much quicker and less disruptive. No fiddling around with a dozen tiny buttons when I’m half asleep and baby is writhing around!
I definitely have some adorable button-up jammies that are reserved for special occasions and daytime wear when we aren’t rushed. But at night, I stick to simple zip-up pajamas only.
They make diaper checks and middle-of-the-night clothing changes a breeze! Plus, choosing fabrics with a bit of stretch helps get baby in and out without the dreaded tight neck hole tugging. No one wants to see mama hulk out!
So do yourself (and baby) a favor – invest in some comfy footie zipper pajamas.prioritize those over fancy snaps and buttons for hassle-free sleep all night long. You’ll be so glad you did!
7) Footed Pants Are Essential
Oh yes, footed pants are clutch for little babes! As the mama of multiple kiddos, I quickly learned that socks are pointless in those early months. Tiny baby feet + loose socks = an endless cycle of kicking them off and rummaging through the car seat to find them! No thanks.
Instead, we stick to footie pajamas or one-piece outfits with built-in feet. Whether we’re lounging at home or out and about, footed gear keeps their toes all nice and toasty without the hassle. No more worrying about keeping track of tiny socks!
Even on special occasions, I search for fancier footed pants or soft booties that stay put. Not only are they way cuter than slipping loose socks onto a squirming newborn, but they also make diaper changes much quicker without having to fiddle with coordinating extra pieces.
So do yourself a favor and stock up on the footed variety right from the start! Check brands like Burt’s Bees and Gerber for lots of great options with folds over feet. Your future self will thank you when you’re a sleep-deprived mama. Less wrestling tiny socks = a win in my book!
8) Seek Breastfeeding Support Upfront
If you plan to breastfeed, one of the best things you can do is surround yourself with support and education early on. Every feeding journey is different, so arming yourself with knowledge and backup will make all the difference.
I recommend taking a prenatal breastfeeding course like this one while pregnant. Understanding proper technique, what to expect in those first few weeks, and how to troubleshoot challenges will set you up for success.
It also connects you to lactation professionals and support groups. We all need a village, especially brand new mamas! I found it so reassuring to have experts and other nursing mothers I could turn to with questions or struggles along the way.
While breastfeeding can be immensely rewarding, it can also be quite difficult as both baby and mom learn. Be patient with yourself and don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed. Whether you nurse for one month or one year, feeding your baby is always an act of love.
Lean on your support network and schedule consultations with lactation specialists even before giving birth. Having that wisdom and guidance in place is the best gift you can give yourself and your little one! This journey is so worth it.
9) Keep Baby Close By With A Co-Sleeper
Whether you choose to fully co-sleep or prefer your own space, I cannot recommend a co-sleeper bassinet enough, especially for the first 3-4 months. Having your newborn nearby makes those whirlwind middle-of-the-night feeds, changes and comfort sessions much smoother. No stumbling down dark halls or reaching blindly into a far-off crib!
As a c-section mama of multiples,lifting baby in and out of a nursery bassinet those early weeks was nearly impossible. Our co-sleeper attaching right to the bed was a sanity saver! But even for vaginal delivery, keeping them within arm’s reach helps everyone sleep better.
You’ll likely wake more easily to their fusses and feeds. And something about having that tiny human right next to you lessens any new parent worries. I found myself checking to make sure my little one was still breathing about 100 times a night!
So consider either a portable co-sleeper bassinet, a Pack N Play with bassinet insert, or even sidecaring a crib. Keep the early months simple and let baby stay nestled safely by your side as you both adjust. Before you know it, everyone will be getting more rest and ready for their own room!
Here are some that we love and used below:
10) Warm Up The Sleep Space
One of my top tips for smoothly transitioning a newborn from cuddling you to snoozing solo is warming up their sleep space beforehand. After being all bundled up in your arms, that cold crib mattress can shock their system and wake them right up!
I like to prep my baby’s bassinet or crib by laying in a soft microwavable heating pad or a warm water bottle wrapped in a towel for a few minutes. This mimics mama’s warm embrace they’ve gotten used to.
Right before I’m ready to set down a sleepy babe, I remove the heat pad and quickly replace it with some cozy blankets. Then I gently lay my little one down while shushing and patting for further calming.
Having that pre-warmed environment helps promote steady sleep, especially during naps which can already be short! It tricks their cute little body into thinking they’re still being held. No sudden temp change to disrupt the peace.
So grab a safe heating pad and give it a try anytime your arms need a break but baby still wants that heat. We can’t hold them forever as much as we’d like to! This simple hack can help the transition be a peaceful one.
11) Add a Downstairs Changing Station
One thing I quickly learned as a mom sprinting up the stairs dozen of times a day for diaper duty – have backup change stations on each level! My legs got a serious workout those first months until we wised up.
Now, I keep a handy portable changing mat with supplies stored downstairs. It has saved my sanity not having to run all the way to the nursery for a quick wet diaper or outfit change on repeat. Anything to preserve this mama’s energy!
Even just having an extra crib pad or foldable change station to lay them on works wonders. I can change baby quickly and get back to playing with my other little ones. No more disruptions or trailing a screaming, dirty baby behind me on the stairs!
If you have multiple floors in your home, add a makeshift changing area downstairs too. Keep it simple – just include the essentials like diapers, wipes, change of clothes and a clean surface. Keep it handy for those unexpected blow-outs or when you need wiggle room away from the “official” changing table. You’ll be so glad you did!
12) Banish Blowout Stains
Oh, the inevitable poosplosions and their pesky stains! As a seasoned mom of four, I’ve tried endless stain removers over the years. But I’ve finally found a miracle worker that rescues even the worst blowout remnants from pajamas and onesies alike.
Introducing my BFF when it comes to stains – OxiClean gel sticks! This stuff works fabulously to lift poop, pee, spit-up and more from baby clothes with just a quick scrub. For white clothes, just rub it in, let sit 5 minutes, then toss in the wash. The stains disappear like magic!
For colors, the key is still treating ASAP but washing immediately before the gel sets too long. I’ve had good luck gently rubbing it in and washing right after. But as always, test an inconspicuous area first if unsure.
While blowouts and their aftermath are inevitable, trashing cute clothes doesn’t have to be! Keep some stain sticks at all changing stations and even stash one in the diaper bag. Attack messes quickly and let the gentle oxygen power rescue the outfit. Then you can focus on more important things, like cuddling that sweet baby…stench-free!
13) Prepare For Anything With A Car Emergency Kit
As a busy mom of four, I am ALWAYS on the go between school drop-offs, sports practices, playdates and more. That’s why I consider a stuffed emergency bag in the car an absolute necessity! When you have little ones, you just never know what you’ll need in a pinch out and about.
The basics like extra diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, snacks, etc. are clutch of course. But my lifesaver item is keeping a roll of plastic grocery bags in my center console and diaper bag. They have saved many outfits and car seats after explosive diarrhea disasters en route!
I also stash handy extras like a portable changing pad, nursing cover, manual pump, pacifiers, bottle, baby meds, and teethers. For nursing moms especially, keeping your nursing pillow within reach is a game changer for feeds on the fly!
No matter your destination, having backup supplies helps every mama feel prepared for anything when out and about. Diaper explosions, growth spurts, fevers – bring it on! This mama is ready thanks to my well-stocked emergency kit. Just throw in whatever you rely on most for your unique baby. You’ll breathe easier!
14) Get a diaper subscribe and save subscription from Amazon!
Amazon is a lifesaver for a new mom! I honestly don’t know how I survived without it with my first baby! Get a diaper subscription to save you money and time running out to the store!
15) Gear Up For Colic Witching Hours
As the mama of four colicky babies, take it from me – those dreaded witching hours are no joke! When colic strikes with painful gas, nonstop cries, and that bright red face, it can be stressful and disheartening. But you can get through it!
Having the right tools on hand makes all the difference. Keeping gripe water in every room is clutch. The natural herbs and sodium bicarbonate help to quickly soothe baby’s angry tummy. Such a relief!
I also suggest probiotic drops to balance their gut, tummy massage with lavender oil, warm baths, baby carriers for motion, and trying different bottles/nipples if bottle feeding. Staying calm and taking breaks is hugely important too!
Colic is temporary even though it doesn’t feel like it. You’ve got this! Arm yourself with solutions, pep talks from fellow parents, noise-canceling headphones when needed, and trust that it will pass. We’ll get through the witching hour storm together!
16) Give Yourself Some Serious Nap Time
Bringing home a new baby is such an exciting and challenging time! As a mom of four, I’ve learned a few tips along the way that I want to share with other new moms.
First, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Having a network of family, friends or neighbors that can pitch in with meals, errands, or just holding the baby while you shower can make all the difference in the world.
I remember after my first three babies were born, my husband had to go right back to work and I felt so overwhelmed trying to care for a newborn and toddlers solo. Don’t try to do it all yourself – ask others to tag team and give you a much needed break.
Second, sleep when baby sleeps! I know it’s tempting to use naptime to get things done around the house, but rest should be your top priority as a new mom. Take the opportunity to recharge whenever possible so you avoid burnout. I was stubborn about powering through but quickly learned with baby #4 that sleep is precious.
Motherhood often feels like a marathon, not a sprint. Building your village and catching some zzz’s will help you cross the finish line! Wishing all new moms the best during this special time.
17) Introduce Bottles Early for Breastfed Babies Heading to Daycare
Making the transition back to work after maternity leave can be tough on both mom and baby. As a breastfeeding mama, I learned the hard way that you need to start offering bottles as early as possible if you plan to pump at work.
With my first daughter, I exclusively breastfed her for the first few months. But when it came time for her first bottle, she refused! Those first few weeks of daycare were rough trying to get her to take pumped milk from a bottle. Don’t make my mistake – start early!
Around 3-4 weeks when breastfeeding is well established, begin offering a bottle once a day. I’d recommend dad or another caregiver gives the bottle so baby doesn’t confuse it with nursing from mom. You may only get a few ounces at first as your supply regulates, so use a Haakaa or pump if you can to stockpile some milk. If you need help boosting supply, there are great lactation supplement options too.
Starting bottle feeding early helps your baby get used to taking both breast and bottle. This will make the transition back to work go much smoother for both mama and baby!
We’ve tried multiple bottle types with success, but these are my top picks that most breastfed babies will take to easily.
18) Stock Up on Multipurpose Coconut Oil for Baby’s First Year
Coconut oil is a wonder product that every new mom needs on hand during baby’s first year. I’ve relied on that big jar of coconut oil more times than I can count! Here are some of my top uses for it:
a) Cradle cap – Gently rub coconut oil on baby’s scalp to soften and remove crusty cradle cap. The natural antibacterial properties help clear it up.
b) Diaper rash – Create a soothing diaper cream by mixing coconut oil with zinc oxide. The coconut oil helps moisturize and protect delicate skin.
c) Eczema and skin irritation – Rub on areas of eczema, dry skin or irritation to calm and hydrate. The lauric acid in coconut oil has anti-inflammatory effects.
d) Yeast infections – Apply coconut oil topically 2-3 times a day to help clear up stubborn yeast diaper rashes. It’s a natural antifungal!
e) Thrush – Swab some coconut oil inside baby’s mouth to help alleviate painful thrush symptoms.
f) Dry skin and massage – Use coconut oil for baby massages or after bath time to moisturize and nourish skin.
Coconut oil is affordable, natural, and so versatile for baby care. Make sure to stock up on a big jar – you’ll find yourself reaching for it constantly! It’s become an indispensable staple in my nursery.