I remember how excited I was when I was expecting a baby for the first time. I read a ton of pregnancy books but nothing really prepared me for what happens during labor and delivery and the time I spent in the hospital after. Not to mention everything that happened during the 6 weeks postpartum! Talk about being blindsided! I decided from then on to make it my mission to provide pregnancy tips and tricks (and everything that comes after) for the first time mom so no other woman would be caught as unprepared as I was.
Since my first post about the worst parts of giving birth went viral on Pinterest, I saw there was a real need to get the first time mom more information about pregnancy, labor and delivery, and parenting advice. I’ve since written several posts about modern baby names, baby registry essentials, and potty training tips!
My motherhood posts are my most popular, so I thought I would combine all of them into a single resource for first-time moms full of not only pregnancy tips and advice, but everything you’ll need after your sweet baby gets here!
The Best Pregnancy Announcement Ideas
Getting pregnant for the first time (or second or third!) is such a fun experience! Once the initial shock/excitement wears off, be sure to share your news with your loved ones. But what’s the best way to tell your husband or family and friends? Check out my post for The Ultimate List of Baby Announcement Ideas For The New Mom to help share your happy news with the world! There are over 70 unique and special ideas that you can personalize and make your own. Here are just some of the cute prop and setting ideas you’ll find in this post:
- Ultra Sound Photos
- Letter Boards
- Clever Books
- Excited or Pouty Siblings
- Balloon Numbers
- Faux Movie Posters
When Should You Announce Your Pregnancy on Social Media?
As a rule of thumb, I always wait until we’ve passed the 12 week mark to share anything on social media. But honestly, it’s up to you. Some moms want the extra support from their online friends if they experience a miscarriage and others don’t. Just remember to tell your most important loved ones in person so they don’t end up finding out on Facebook!
The Cutest Gender Reveal Ideas for New Mothers
Along with pregnancy announcements, the first time mom should consider doing a gender reveal for their loved ones. Have someone record your reaction, whether on video or through pictures. You’ll love seeing the joy and excitement on everyone’s faces as they find out your baby’s gender for the first time. Check out my post on The Ultimate List of Gender Reveal Ideas For New Mothers. There are 35+ cute ideas to help you share your exciting news with those you love! Here are a few of the super cute categories you’ll find on this creative list:
- Color Coordinated Clothing
- Flat Lay Scapes
- Colored Powder
What Do You Do At A Gender Reveal Party?
If you have lots of friends and family you want involved in your gender reveal, or this is your first baby, you may want to throw a gender reveal party!
You can have your guests guess the gender when they arrive at the party and should also serve some yummy food to keep people occupied while they wait for everyone. The main event will be the actual gender reveal so don’t feel like you need to have lots of games or extra activities planned.
First Time Mom Baby Registry Essentials
I remember being pregnant with my first and wondering what we needed for the baby. I found lots of articles with a baby registry checklist a mile long! It was a little overwhelming since my husband was still in school and I was quitting my full-time job. We didn’t have a lot of money so did I really need $35 swaddle blankets??
Since I’ve had three children now, I have a pretty good grasp of what you need with a new baby and what you don’t. You only need to register for the essentials! I list all of them in The Ultimate First Time Mom Baby Registry Checklist.
When Should You Start a Baby Registry?
My best advice is to wait until you know what you’re having (unless you aren’t finding out!). There’s really no baby registry etiquette you need to follow. This just lets people personalize items for boy or girl if they choose! You can start your registry as early as you want and update it as you find the items you truly want.
Picking Modern Baby Names as A Mom to Be
Do you love hearing other baby names? I do! It gives me inspiration for the future and helps me remember why I gave my children the names they have. I keep a running list of my favorite baby names, but I wanted to know what other moms are actually naming their kids.
Look through as many baby name lists as possible, give your favorites to your partner, and let them help you choose the name! 500+ Modern Baby Names Any Mom To Be Will Love
What are Cool Names for a Boy?
As I was sorting through all of the names, I noticed several repeats, so I decided to figure out which were the most popular baby boy names. I made a printable with all these popular names that you can download. You can find access to that in the post for 500+ Modern Baby Names Any Mom To Be Will Love!
What are the Top 5 Girl Names?
I’ve used my list of 500+ Modern Baby Names Any Mom To Be Will Love to pick names for both of my girls! You’ll find a printable for the most popular girl names in that post as well. But, I’ve done better then top 5. There are 11 super cute names on this printable that I know you’ll love.
Pregnancy Workout Ideas Every New Mom Should Try
The last thing you may be thinking about when you’re pregnant is exercise; the thought of doing a burpee just makes you want to throw up! And with everything else you have to do to prepare to be a new mom, it can be difficult to think of good pregnancy workout ideas. But once you’re feeling better in the second trimester, getting a good pregnancy workout in can boost your mood and energy! Not to mention, keep your body in shape for delivery.
Try to make exercise a priority, even if it’s only for 15 minutes! Here are 4 Free Pregnancy Workout Ideas Every New Mom Should Try
What Exercises Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?
You can really do almost any kind of exercise when pregnant. Some activities might need to be modified. Just make sure you’re not doing anything where you’re likely to fall, need to lie on your back or might receive blows to the body. Be mindful not to overdo it and go easy on any jarring motions!
Some moms wonder which month to start exercise during pregnancy. It’s really up to your body and how you’re feeling. Exercise is safe throughout pregnancy as long as you’re taking the proper precautions and are cleared by your doctor.
Labor and Delivery
10 First Time Mom Labor Tips That Will Change Your Life
As your friend and fellow mama, I feel like I need to let you in on a little secret…there’s a lot of stuff your doctor and those baby books don’t tell you about giving birth! Do some research about what REALLY happens during and after labor. You can start with my 10 First Time Mom Labor Tips That Will Change Your Life.
I spell out all the not-so-pretty aspects of labor that you probably haven’t heard and surprising details others probably haven’t thought to share with you. Like, did you know, your baby generally comes on the doctor’s schedule? I give all my best advice for how to handle all of these first time mom labor experiences and also provide great tips on what to do after delivery while you’re still in the hospital.
What Does the Start of Labor Feel Like?
As you focus on your first time pregnancy delivery, you might also wonder what the start of labor feels like. Unlike the movies, your water doesn’t always break before you need to go to the hospital, and sometimes your water breaks and you don’t notice (baby’s head can prevent it from gushing out)! You’ll likely start contracting before you get to that point.
We all experience pain differently, but many women describe early labor contractions as strong menstrual cramps. You might also experience a dull ache in your lower back and abdomen. Labor contractions do not stop or ease by changing position like Braxton Hicks, and they’ll keep coming at increasingly regular intervals. Once your contractions are coming about every 5 minutes and last for 60 seconds, it’s time to head to the hospital!
Not only are there things your doctor won’t tell you about giving birth, but there are a few other things that happen during your postpartum recovery (AKA the weeks and months after having a baby) that I had no idea about either! I share all of these surprises in my post, The Ultimate Guide To Postpartum Body Changes For New Moms.
Here is a preview of some of the topics this post covers:
- You May not Feel Like Yourself: Did you know that anger is an emotion commonly felt during Postpartum Depression? I sure didn’t! I share my experience with this and how to address it in the full post. Be sure to check yourself for ALL the signs of postpartum depression.
- You’ll Still Look Pregnant: This is the one for all of the crying emojis…I totally thought my stomach would shrink back to normal size after I pushed that baby out of me. Oh no! It’s actually worse after you have the baby because instead of being huge, your belly is huge AND squishy. Yuck! I did find that one item that helped soooo much with this was an abdominal binder. (Check the full post to see the exact one I use after every pregnancy).
- Hair Loss: Yes, your hair will probably fall out leaving those lovely, wispy baby hairs that are short and stick out. There’s really no solution for this except waiting it out (unless there’s something I don’t know!). I’m dealing with this now myself so I just have to hairspray those pesky baby hairs down!
How does your body feel after giving birth?
Honestly it depends on how your labor and delivery went and what baby number it is. With my first, I was in a crazy amount of pain after giving birth; mostly because I had been in labor for 36 hours and I didn’t take my pain meds.
With every delivery there will be some amounts of pain. That’s just how childbirth works. Plan to be in some sort of pain in some part of your body (more on that in the post) for at LEAST the first week and often all the way until 6 weeks.
Clever Newborn Baby Hacks
The newborn stage can be one of the most precious times since baby is so small and snuggly, but it’s also one of the most difficult if you’ve never had a baby before. To help you out, I’ve shared my best newborn baby tips and tricks in one post, Try These Clever Newborn Baby Hacks If You’re A Mom To Be. This list is a preview of the kind of helpful advice you’ll find:
- Practice Nursing with a Nursing Cover: Try introducing a cover early on even when you’re in the “stuck at home” phase. If you plan to nurse under a cover in public, you’ll want to use this newborn baby hack! Some babies get used to nursing a certain way and will resist a cover if it’s suddenly forced on them in a new setting.
- Take Advantage of Blackout Curtains: It’s SO important to regulate light and dark for your new bundle of joy. Most babies have their nights and days reversed, so keeping it really dark at night and bright during the day will help regulate their sleep pattern. Once they’ve got that down, a dark, cool room for every sleep time will keep baby calm and help baby easily relax for optimum sleep.
- Keep binkies clean in your purse with portion cups
- Keep diapers and wipes in every room you frequent
- Tie up poopy diapers in a scented bag before putting them in your diaper pail
- Bounce on a yoga ball to help calm baby
- Put water in a binky and freeze it for instant teething relief
And, here’s great clothing hack to try: I usually opt for jammies that zip, but sometimes it’s really hard to resist a cute button-down. A great tip is to pre-button the onesie all the way to above where baby’s navel will be, and then slip them right in. This is so much easier than trying to snap up all those buttons while they’re in it!
Make sure to check out all my other advice in the full post.
After giving birth, your focus is going to be on the baby, but you should also make taking care of yourself a priority! I give lots of advice on self care for a first time mom in post as well.
How do You Survive the First Week with a Newborn?
The first week with a newborn is tough, so I hope my Newborn Baby Hacks post will help you transition into your new role! Even as a third-time mom, I’m still having to remember how to take care of a little one. No one is perfect! Just take it one day at a time.
But one of the most important newborn tips I can give is to savor the moments! As much as caring for a newborn can be really challenging, it’s also incredibly rewarding. Babies grow up fast, so appreciate every stage.
Monthly Photo Inspiration
Once you have that sweet babe, taking monthly baby photos is one of my favorite parts of their first year! I still have all of the photos I took of my kiddos even though they are way past the baby stage. Make sure baby is in a good mood when you’re taking their picture. I find that after they’ve eaten and are playful in the morning is the best time to capture those fun smiles. Try These Monthly Baby Photo Ideas If You’re A First Time Mom!
Your baby’s first birthday is another fun milestone to look forward to during their first year! I had so much fun planning Ella’s floral first birthday party! Think carefully about the time you want to have their first birthday party. If you plan it around meal time, guests may expect a lot of food. If you plan it late afternoon, you can get away with just offering snacks. If you’re looking for more tips and first birthday party ideas, check out my post with 30+ boy and girl party ideas!
After pregnancy, a lot of first time moms have to make the decision if they want to go back to work or not. Some moms really need the extra money, but daycare can be super expensive.
I made a list of legitimate work at home opportunities that moms like you are doing right now. These are the best stay at home jobs for women so you can make a little extra money for your household.
It’s likely you’ll encounter some unwanted parenting advice as you enter motherhood; it just comes with the territory of being a first time mom. Stand up for yourself when you get that unsolicited parenting advice! You can read more about my experience with other people telling me kids what to do here.
Speaking of parenting advice…you’ll probably get a lot of advice about when and how to potty train your kids. Wait until their ready! It will save you from so much fighting and all of the crazy accidents. Check out my post about how I potty train my kids here. It was featured on Scary Mommy!
All kids develop bad habits and some are easier to break than others. Ella became really attached to her fingers, and it turns out breaking a finger sucking habit is tougher than I thought it would be! If you’re looking to break a finger or thumb sucking habit, you need to read my post about the product that finally worked for Ella! You can even buy it on Amazon!
Every mom is looking for ways to make life easier right?? Well, I scanned all of the mom hacks floating around on the internet and put only the best ones in this post. Make sure you check out all of the food hacks!
I know probably the LAST thing on your mind is your little sweet baby turning into a teenager, but it’s going to happen! I sat down and made a list of advice to my future teenagers, and you should do the same thing! It doesn’t have to be exactly like the one I made, but it should be advice from your own experiences and things you want your children to learn from you.
What do first time moms need?
After going through the first time mom experience, the tips above are some of my best advice for what you will need in your motherhood journey! Being a first time mom can be a scary experience, but my hope is that all of my advice and tips will make the transition a little easier!
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