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Tips for First Time Moms

It's a rite of passage.... being a first-time mom - and you can only do it once. You will never be a 'first time' mom again!

It is definitely not as easy as Posh Spice makes it look. Walking out of hospital in high heels and wearing size 28 jeans is NOT a realistic kickstart to the glamour of motherhood, but with time and experience we make it through the tough patches to become the best mom that we can be.

And we wouldn't ask for anything else!

Jane Linley-Thomas is on her journey as a First-Time mom, you can read her blog entries here.

What tips do you have for "first-timers"?
Share your tips below.
49 Comments so far:
Shawn on 21 July 2010
I used to have 2 theories about raising kids. Now I have 2 kids and no theories. (via Twitter)
Sandi on 21 July 2010
Breastfeeding hurts - a lot! But if you can persevere through the first few weeks, it is absolutley the most wonderfully bonding experience!
Tamryn on 22 July 2010
Having a new baby around is a lot of hard work,lots of coffee(invest in a good coffee maker),stinky diapers,tears of sorrow (mom) and joy (dad) but its all worth it in the end.Take lots of pics as the pics reflect the good times and the funny moments that will last you a lifetime(well at leasst until you popped again!!
Sangeeha on 22 July 2010
Being a first time mom, was never what I expected it to be, at first it was sacry.. but then when it happened, everything just fell into place, and came naturally to me...It was the best thing that ever happened to me.. and worth every painful minute!
Susan Wright on 22 July 2010
Make sure you belong to a post-natal group and go to every weekly get-together. If your ante-natal group doesn't keep going then put a notice up at the Clinic asking people to join the one you're making. You NEED to know that what is happening is 100% normal and that other Moms and Babies are experiencing EXACTLY the same things as you - good & bad. So, e.g. when your baby is suddenly hungry, awake and niggly ALL the time you can think 'Oh that's what Sue was going through last week - just a growth spurt not a life-threatening problem! GO organise that Group now - before the baby is born! It's the only way you'll keep your sanity. Trust me on this one!
gail on 22 July 2010
there is sooo much information out there for first time moms that it can be very overwhelming, trying this and trying that the whole time. Find two people you trust like your mum and your mid wife or post-natal clinic sister or your own sister or friend and take most of your advice from those two people. Don't read too much or try and do too much.
Robyn on 22 July 2010
I agree in part with Susan but my "support structure" was a mom's and children's class once a week. I'm not sure if you're allowed to name franchises so I won't but we all know what's available. My first child is 7 now and I still see the moms from that group once a month for a moms only get together. The one mom is now one of my very best friends and 1 of the little girls from that group is still my daughter's best firend 7 years later despite the fact that they go to different schools. The advantage of this over an ante-natal group is that generally speaking, ante-natal groups will usually only have first time moms. Child stimulation classes will be a mix of first and second (and sometimes 3rd or 4th) time moms and their experience is also a great help. Also - do what's right for you. eg. if you can't get the breastfeeding thing right, make another plan. It will not make you a failure as a mom (I promise!!)
Lindy on 23 July 2010
Don't fall into the trap of trying desperately hard to be perfect. Perfection saps away happiness. Put all the advice away for a moment and just enjoy your baby. Enjoy holding her and just trust your gut feel. You are the ONLY mom that baby has. YOU are the expert!
Sandie Odger on 23 July 2010
Breast feeding hurts and grobag sleeping bags are the best!
tamara on 23 July 2010
Take each day as it comes. Dont panic or stress out that only affects the baby. Be calm and happy and your baby will be as well.
Bev on 23 July 2010
Don't be afraid to ask for advice. Listen to everyone, then make rules that will make you and your baby happy. A happy baby is a happy mom. A happy mom is a more relaxed mom. You are then ready for any challenge.My husband used to say that I contributed to the pede's next Mercedes. I said it is okay - I am happier to do that to give me peace of mind - too much advise from to many people confuse everything, especially the first time round which was when I had twins.
K Reddy on 23 July 2010
I pray these tips bless you and help you as it has helped me.
Keep a journal. You will be amazed how much you do manage to get through as the months go by. Sleep when your baby sleeps. Eat breakfast. Have somebody watch baby while you enjoy a cup of tea. You will feel rejuvenated. All the best. God Bless.
Sarah Israel on 23 July 2010
Go with your own instincts and dont read every book in town - listen to your midwife / clinic sister and you can listen to everyones comments but dont get mixed up - stick to one person and it will be such a breeze - i hve two kids and my first was quite daunting - didnt have much help and was quite stressed and it actually showed on my baby but then when I had my second child I had such a good clinic i went to and they helped me so much - i was more relaxed breastfeeding was better so just try and relax and your baby will be at ease as well!! My dad always said to me its a huge wake up call "like a slap in the face" and its so true - life is very different but I wouldnt change it for anything!!
Caroline Bowker on 23 July 2010
RELAX. No matter how many mistakes you make in a day with your baby at the end of it you are srill the only one baby wants. You are the hero in their eyes whether you do or dont breast feed, whether you forget to test the bottle temp or the bath water, WHATEVER you do wrong its still only you that they want when they need comfort so just take a deep breath count to ten and relax, this too shall pass!!!! It gets easier. Enjoy
Anthia Coetzee on 23 July 2010
Always remember that God gave you a motherly instinct which is absoutely wonderful, ask for advice but always do what makes you and your family happy and never compare yourself to anyone as God created you to be you - awesome & unique - even when you do make a mistake its OKAY!!! Have your family & friends close for help & support and never be afraid to ask granny to watch baby so you can just rest and have a "cappuchino".Rember our blessed babies grow up within the blink of an eye so enjoy every precious moment with them. God Bless you & enjoy your exciting adventureahead of you!!!
Maryann on 23 July 2010
Its good to take advice from other people, we learn alot from others personal experiences,BUT MY ADVICE IS TRUST YOUR OWN INSTINCTS AS A MOTHER. YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD BEST COZ OF THE BOND YOU HAVE WITH THEM.
Cindy Kruger on 23 July 2010
I was in awe when I saw my girl for the first time. I couldn't believe that I had actually "grown" her and that she was perfect. My advice is to try and remain as calm as possible during the sleepless nights and crying episodes (which do happen it doesn't matter if your baby doesn't have colic/reflux or the other ailments that little ones can get). Your baby will feel your anxiety and in turn will become more stressed and anxious, which means he/she will cry A LOT more. Secondly, I breastfed and as painful as it was (excruciating in fact – but only for the first few days) I really enjoyed that time with my daughter and breastfed her for a year. I will do the same with my next baby, as its well worth it. Oh yes – invest in good nipple cream, support bra and breast pads.
Carla on 23 July 2010
I visited a friend a while ago who is now about 6 weeks pregnant, and she was hungry for information. They have not been living in EL for very long and are not familiar with the doctors here, so the first thing she asked me was which gynaecologist to go to. She was worried because someone was pushing her to go to her gynae, a doctor that I felt I wouldn't recommend.
So I told her what someone told me when I was pregnant. " Many people will give you advice and some will expect you to do things as they have, but not one person is the same, and only you (the mother) will know what is right for your baby, trust your instincts." We were paging through a baby accessories catalogue and she asked me about all kinds of things. I would give her my opinion but also add that "that's what worked for me".
One thing I learnt is that babies grow very fast so don't buy too many of the same size no matter how cute it is! I was very lucky (still am) to have my mom to ask all kinds of questions.
It's good to have someone you can count on for advice and help when you need it, and remember to make time for yourself!
Nicolette on 23 July 2010
Don't be scared to ask people to help you look after your bundle of joy so you can get a nap or just to have a minute to yourself. I made the mistake with our first daughter thinking I am invincible and that nobody else can look after her but me, but in the end I was dead on my feet most of the time. With our second daughter I got help from friends and ended up enjoying our second baby more because I was calm and relaxed.
Riana on 23 July 2010
Wrap your baby up in a fluffy towel when you are breastfeeding. the towel not only catches all the drips but your little angle is nice and snug while feeding. When you're finished feeding you can just (carefully) unwrap her and put her down. (to be honest I hardly ever unwrapped Kayla, just put her down to sleep, much easier!)
Tanya on 23 July 2010
* make the most of every moment, time flies so fast you wont believe * to keep your milk supply up you HAVE to eat, drink and sleep enough ( i didnt because my baby was not a sleeper and my husband was too lazy to help with anything, as a result i tried to do everything and was only able to breastfeed for a month) * as fabulous as you are, you cant do everything, accept and ask for help * clothing - if its cute and expensive then it is probably very impractical and you probably wont bother putting your baby in it * i found being outdoors under a tree with moving leaves calmed a niggly baby (and a stressed mother) * trust your instincts * those funny looking disposable panties are AWESOME, and suprisingly comfortable * i found giving my baby medicine was easier with a syringe * try not take what everyone else says to heart, just be happy and love your baby.
Michelle on 23 July 2010
Bringing a child into this world is both enormously challenging and monumentally rewarding. The love that consumes you, completes you...and that's where the panic sets it. For all the vomit covered babygros, the sore nipples and sleepless nights, the anxiety over 'am I doing enough? am I good enough?' is the most dangerous. My advice to all new Moms is to talk - make sure that you have people you can call to talk you through not just the colic-strained nights, but through how you are feeling. Have your cheerleaders ready to encourage you as you face the challenges; have your sympathetic shoulders ready for the inevitable tears and hysteria; have your experts there to guide you with sense and reason. Above all else, remember to be kind to yourself - the limitations and fears you will experience come from love and from that only good will come.
Lize Spies on 24 July 2010
Information is power but knowing YOUR child the best, is what you have that no-one else does. Be confident in yourself cos that little one needs love first and the rest will fall into place. Then when in doubt the information sources that you have come to trust will work wonders.
Shizelle on 26 July 2010
When you get told it's a greater love than you've ever known and you think "I know" - WOW, you really don't know until that baby is in your arms, then you KNOW a mother's love. And just when you think you couldn't love any bigger, you fall in love with your baby just a little bit more (every day)! Be prepared to be hopelessly paranoid and over protective. Every other driver will look like a maniac to you in the first few weeks and for the first time, you will actually drive the speed limit...afterall, you are carrying precious cargo!
Charlene on 26 July 2010
I have always known that God loves me, and that I am his child. But only after the birth of my first son did I realise how much He really loved me,and how special I was to Him. The love you feel for your child is completely different to the love your feel for your husband or family. Although it's not possible you want to and wish you could protect your child from everyone and everything, it was and still is hard for me to let go of my eldest and let him experience hurt and challenges in his little life. My most important advice is to properly restrain your children in the car. I know of many friends who have expensive and the best car seats, but allow their children to sit unrestrained in them. I have personally seen a child who was flung threw a windscreen during an accident. I decided to ensure that my children never look like that, please make sure that yours don't either. Most accidents happen close to home, and a quick trip to the shop could end up with sad consequences.
Michelle Audie on 26 July 2010
Tips to come:when packing your baby bag for delivery pack in comfortable babygrows and only 1 set nice looking for home day.For yourself, take maternity pants with to hospital,even though you might loose a lot of weight when delivered the baby, the tummy is still round and the skin very loose,you will be happy you took "big" pants with. When at home,just try and relax while handling your newborn - it is not easy and it is nervewrecking but its normal-I promise!We as mommies received a natural instinct towards our children from God. Use it, it will never fail you! If you see your baby is very uncomfartable and crying of cramps, get Mag phos(tissue salt no 8) -it works amazingly and it 100% natural-my baby had colic and her colic dissapeared after drinking mag phos. Enjoy absolutely every second of your newborn,the time flies by very quickly and before you know it she has reached all her milestones. When baby cries histerically,cradle baby in your arms and loudly make the ssshhhh sound-this calms them down(this is proven to work as it sounds to them like they are again in the womb) Most of all, congratulations on being a mommy! You will enjoy baby every second of every minute of every hour of every day! Stay calm and remember you are not the only mommy who might find it difficult-we all go through the same!
Ros on 29 July 2010
When Baby decides that day and night have swapped over (and they all do at some stage)remember not to 'talk' at night - feed and change nappies in a dim light (I used to just leave the passage light on when going into the baby's room at night) with very little noise, just speak softly and calmly and soon they get their clocks back onto your time.
Yashica Ramjathan on 29 July 2010
The early days may be rough but its only temporary. Get help when you need it as an extra set of hands make the experience so much easier. Pamper yourself at a beauty salon twice a month....'happy mum, happy baby'.
Wendy Pieterse on 29 July 2010
In the beginning everything is so overwhelming that it helps to keep a feeding journal. I wrote down everytime Ethan fed, how long he fed for and whether there were any problems (i.e. lots of wind or crying). Over the days and months I found a pattern developing which helped me to get him into more of a routine. Another tip that I read in a book and which helped - when your baby drops a feed at night, never feed your baby at that time again. He/she may wake up at that time about 2 or 3 days after he/she has dropped the feed. Pacify them as best as you can but DONT FEED. It only takes one or two nights and that feed will be dropped forever. I tried it and Ethan was sleeping through from 11 weeks.
Michelle on 29 July 2010
When you have those days and nights that baby won't stop crying or settle down and go to sleep and you are stressed and at your wits end, try putting on one of your favourite CD's and singing / humming to your baby. It worked for my daughter when she was newborn, and for all my friends kids that I've sung to over the years. It calms me down too. When my daughter was three and went through a terrible tantrum phase where she could scream for an hour, singing was the only thing that would calm her down. She used to scream at me "sing to me Mommy, sing to me". And I still do.
Sandy-Lee on 29 July 2010
Always trust your instinct!!
Motherhood comes naturally. Take lots and lots of pictures as all too soon your baby will be a teenager and trsut me, there's lots that you would have forgotten by then.
Natalie on 29 July 2010
Give yourself permission to say out loud "this is really tough and there are days I don't enjoy it" without feeling guilty.
Amanda on 29 July 2010
I think that one thing that new mums should never do is, put the babies in their beds.It is the hardest thing to try and get them out.
Lea-Anne on 29 July 2010
Best breastfeeding tip that someone gave me was to feed & express more often so that milk production increases... works wonders!
Caren on 29 July 2010
Whether you are a single mom (hats off to you) or whether you have help, being a mommy is just the most wonderful experience and yet it can be completely overwhelming and difficult at times. Don't be too hard on yourself. You may not believe it at times, but you are a great mommy and, to your baby - you are the best mommy! You have all the skills you need to look after your little bundle - trust your instincts and believe in yourself. Remember, being a mommy is not for sissies!
Fahra on 29 July 2010
Ignore everyone's advice. Each of us are different and so are our babies. Take your lead from your baby. Spend lot's of time bonding and soon you will be able to read your baby like a book. You will know exactly what your baby needs. Don't sweat the small stuff either. Leave the dishes or the clothes, they can wait, Spend some uninterrupted time with your baby and find your rythym. It's a small sacrifice but worth it. Most of all, enjoy every moment, once they grow up you will miss these moments.
Sue on 29 July 2010
Trust your instincts, they are usually right. Do what works for you and your family. So much about raising children is personal so dont let other people force their ways onto you.
Noeleen on 30 July 2010
Breast feeding is not for everyone do what is best for baby. A starving baby is not a happy baby.
Tracy on 30 July 2010
I found that keeping the radio on in my babies room helped him sleep through from 6 weeks old. The soft noise must have a soothing effect.
Daniella on 30 July 2010
As a first time mom there are 2 tips I can share:
1. Stay calm and relaxed, take each day as it comes. Remember if you stress or upset your baby picks it up also.
2. Everyone has a different way to bring up there children.Take advise from others but you never have to use it. If you have tried your way and it hasnt been successful atleast you have different thoughts and ideas from other with you can try.
Deleen on 30 July 2010
They say that when you become a mother only then do you actually begin to understand and fully appreciate your mother...boy is this true. My mom and I haave always been close but becoming a first time mom only made this bond even stronger. It is true that during this time a girl really does need her mother.

Initially ones new journey in life is quite a daunting one, as babies do not come with and you never know if what you are doing is right or not but follow your instincts and things will make sense. After the first 6 weeks things do get easier and the 3 month mark is a time to celebrate.

Enjoy every moment as it is a truely special time that only happens once. Record as much as possible because "pregnancy brain" unfortunately carries on after the birth of baby.
Mommy Bee on 30 July 2010
A carry cot was one of the best things I bought for my baby. It was only R150 (in 2006!) from Toys R Us, and it was so practical when my daughter needed to sleep at home in the day, or when we visited friends/family in those first few months.

My babies were put in their own rooms from day 3 at home, and the camp cot would fit easily into the bedroom cot.

Sleep is one of the most important things, and it's good to get a routine going from the start and not have baby sleeping in the snug and safe or pram in the day if you can help it.
Sharon Cox on 30 July 2010
There are no set rules, follow your instincts/gut feeling and you'll never go wrong. God has blessed us moms with that special gift. I found that the more i breast fed, the faster i lost weight. Use opportunities when your little one is sleeping, to catch up on all the sleep that you loose while little one is awake. Take some 'me' time and dont feel guilty. Get a baby sitter and go out and do something you enjoy.
Tracy Thies on 30 July 2010
Dont listen to all the nonsense that everyone tries to drill into your head. Every pregnancy and birth is different. Listen to your Heart and the answer will come. Being a "Mother" comes naturally and No amount of preperation can prepare you for what you are about to experience. Embrace it and live for every moment.
Shizelle on 30 July 2010
"Tummy time", give your baby lots of it and strengthen their leg muscles by placing your hand under their feet and applying a bit of pressure so that they are encouraged to push with their legs. Give them lots of praise! Massage their little bodies when you're creaming them after a bath, this also helps to strengthen and loosen their little muscles. The first few days are uncomfortable after natural birth, take it easy. Wear something tight and supportive around your belly to help get the swelling down. And invest in those disposable panties - you'll need them!
Jumi Olagoke on 30 July 2010
Children are a heritage from the lord.Childen are rewards from the Lord.Children are like Gods young blessed.They may be young today but great tommorow so why not come and join the blessed to make friends with Gods heritage.
yolande on 31 July 2010
my daughter once got a very bad nappy rash from antibiotics, it was raw and very sore, i put some plain yoghurt on and it was an almost immediate relief, also take some mazina and mix in a paste or use instead of powder also works wonders on nappy rash.
Sheena on 25 August 2010
Sore nipples from breastfeeding - get a decent pair of silicon nipple caps from the pharmacy/baby shop - use them for a few days to give your nipples a break, and then go back to feeding without them.

Great juice for breastfeeding moms - one litre apple liquifruit, one sachet blackcurrant Rehidrat, two litres water, two tablespoons Schlehen Blackthorn Berry Elixir. Drink often to help your energy levels and increase milk production.
Jacqui on 25 August 2010
if you are struggling with a baby that wont sleep, put them to sleep in their own cot with a shirt that you have worn for the day - they will have the comfort of you "with" them the whole night - we did this with our little one, and he slept through from the first night we tried it.
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