The Ultimate List of Newborn Baby Care Tips For New Moms

Here’s the ultimate baby care tips for new moms. These newborn care basics are categorized into 4 major activities: feeding, playing, cleaning, and sleeping. Read more to find out how to take care of a newborn.

When I was a few months pregnant, I attended an antenatal class so I would know how to take care of my baby. It was only a little bit helpful and more of a waste of time and money. I mean, yes I guess it’s important to know the parts of the breast but would you care about that when you’re sleep-deprived and you can’t figure out why you’re baby is crying?

So we hired a long-time nurse who showed me the basics of taking care of my baby in 3 FREAKING DAYS. But she had a lot of well-meaning advice that I wished I didn’t follow then and that I still regret doing until today.

Now that I know better, I’d like to share everything I know from those experiences and all I’ve researched about newborn care basics. These parenting tips for infants could save you time, money, and sanity. 

Let’s start with the must know basics:

baby care tips for new moms

General Baby Care Tips for New Moms

Concentrate on the 4 major baby activities: feeding, playing, cleaning, sleeping

For the first 3 months, during the 4th trimester, your baby will mostly be doing these things. And that’s your newborn care basics 101, that’s what you mainly have to concentrate on. 

It seems simple but trust me, when you’re holding a very fragile, tiny human being in your hands who can’t talk and who never seems to stop crying, and you’re extremely sleep-deprived plus you have a mountain of chores/work to do (if you don’t have any help), it can get pretty intense, overwhelming and most of the time, stressful.

It will help if you can establish this routine early on:

  1. drink milk
  2. play
  3. clean up (bathe, change diaper, etc.)
  4. sleep
  5. then repeat

This routine will help your baby avoid becoming dependant on milk for sleeping. Which I wish I knew back then!

baby care tips for new moms

Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally and just focus on these 4 major activities first.

Always wash your hands before holding your baby

It doesn’t matter how clean your hands look or feel. Just wash your hands properly, with soap and all, before holding your baby. 

And make everyone wash their hands first if they want to carry your newborn.

Your baby’s immune system is not as strong so whatever dirt, virus, bacteria your hands might have will easily affect them. So washing hands before holding a baby is a must.

Support your baby’s head and neck at all times

Newborns have very weak head and neck muscles. It’s of crucial importance to always support your newborn’s head and neck until they are strong enough to hold it on their own, which usually happens by the 6 month.

Never ever shake a baby

Their very fragile brain will move back and forth inside their skull which can cause swelling and bleeding. So whatever happens, don’t ever shake a baby. 

If you’re feeling frustrated or if you want to play rough and you have the urge to shake a baby, remember it just takes a few seconds for a baby to have a serious brain injury so don’t ever shake a newborn.

Keep a diaper bag packed at all times

It doesn’t matter if you’re going out or not, just keep it ready in case of an emergency or if you’re running late for an appointment.

If you don’t want to bring your whole house with your in the diaper bag, check out my diaper bag essentials checklist here for newborns, for a light, minimalist packing.

Find out why they’re crying

Usual reasons why a baby is crying is they’re hungry, they’re overtired and sleepy or they’re feeling unwell.

Sometimes they just want to stay close to you, especially during the 4th trimester. But other times, it could be serious. 

I remember seeing an article where they’re baby was crying non-stop that they had to go to the doctor and they finally discovered that a single strand of hair was wrapped around the baby’s toe, almost cutting off the circulation. 

So be vigilant. Make sure nothing’s wrong with them. 

Check out the 19 possible reasons why a baby won’t stop crying in this article.

Jump to: General Baby Care Tips for New Moms | Newborn Baby Feeding Tips | Playing With Your Newborn Tips | Cleaning-Related Newborn Care Hacks | Sleeping Tips for New Parents | Baby looks sick/ unwell | Manage Expectations | Take care of yourself | Other tips for new moms

4 Major Essential Baby Care Tips For New Moms

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Newborn Baby Feeding Tips

Basic Tips

Feed on demand if possible

I remember the nurse we hired gave me a very different tip for feeding my baby. Instead of feeding on demand, she would push to feed at least 90mL to my baby. 

My kid was already more than a week old then before we took her home. Long story but of course, my kid wouldn’t always finish all that milk until I learned that, this nurse used to do that technique because they had to take care of so many babies in the ward. 

They had to feed a baby a least 90mL so the baby can feel fuller longer and they’ll have more time to feed other babies.

I wished I knew then how to do responsive feeding. I thought then I was failing as a new mom because my kid wouldn’t take at least 90mL of milk.

But I do understand how downright exhausting it can be to feed on demand. Especially if you’re breastfeeding, you work full-time, you have multiple kids, etc. So I believe for those instances, you can still do a feeding schedule while still following your baby’s cue.

Everyone’s different so trust yourself and do what works best for your family.

Fed is best

Milk is milk, whether it’s breastmilk or formula milk. It doesn’t matter to your little one, as long as they’re getting the right proper milk. 

So if someone is pressuring you to either give them solely breastmilk or just formula milk, tell them to fuck off and mind their own business. Or just don’t listen to them at all. 

Record your baby’s feedings, diaper output, etc.

It’s a must to track and record the following:

  • Diaper output – wet or dirty, how much
  • Nursing – how long, how many times, which breast side 
  • Bottle feeding session – how many ounces, how many times

You can also track and record how much sleep they’re getting and for how long. 

You can also choose to track your pumping sessions: date, how long, which side, and how many ounces.

Tracking your baby’s feedings and diaper output will help you figure out how much they’re getting to gain weight. 
The nurses/doctors will also ask about this during your baby check-ups. 

For bottle-feeding, tracking is also a way to get a sense of how much they usually drink so you don’t have to make too much formula milk every time.

You can choose to either download an app for recording the feedings or just write it down in a notebook. 

You can use some of these apps, they can also record the diaper output of your baby:
Hatch Baby
Glow Baby
Sprout
Baby Tracker

I saw a tip for breastfeeding moms about using a wristband to remember which breast side they just used.

Look for hunger cues 

Observe your baby well and look out for their early hunger cues.

It can get difficult to feed a baby who’s showing late hunger cues so try to observe your little one as much as possible and look for those signs.

How to tell if your baby is full

I breastfed my child for only 2 months and bottle-fed her all the way but here’s how some of the ways that you can tell if your baby is full:

  • Closes their mouth when breast or bottle is offered
  • Turns away their head from food
  • Tries to push food away
  • Appears relaxed and content – hands open, body at ease
  • Starts hiccuping
  • Either sleep or alert and ready to play

Another way to tell that your baby is eating enough is when they get wet and dirty diapers regularly, are gaining weight, and sleeping well.

Or if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll feel that your breast is less full after a nursing session.

Always burp your baby

It doesn’t matter if you’re bottle-feeding or breastfeeding them, just make sure to always burp your baby after every feeding.

This is to prevent them from spitting up. It also lessens their fussiness after feeding and helps alleviate gas issues as well.

Here are some techniques on how to burp your baby:


Get ready for your baby to spit up/ vomit

Babies vomit because they have reflux or they haven’t been burped properly or they drank too much milk. So don’t panic if your baby does this sometimes.

Try to keep them upright for at least 20-30 minutes after every feeding. This will help with their reflux issues and might prevent them from spitting up or doing projectile vomiting. You can use a baby swing to keep them upright.

But if your baby vomits violently more often, then that’s the time to worry and to go see a doctor.

Keep your baby awake during feedings

Remember the routine of drink milk then play, bath then sleep?

That’s helpful to establish early on so your baby won’t associate sleeping with feeding.

Trust me, you don’t want your kid dependent on their bottle or on your breast to be able to sleep. I learned that the hard way.

So if you see them getting sleepy while feeding, keep them awake by stroking their cheeks with your fingers, playing with their fingers, etc.

Don’t engage during nighttime feedings

Avoid talking, singing or any activity that will get your baby riled up when feeding them at night. 
Just keep everything lowkey – lights low, movements slow, voices down.

Create a feeding/ pumping nest

It takes a while for my baby to feed and I remember always having my breastfeeding pillow, along with my phone and water in either the living room or bed whenever it’s feeding time.

I also have the same items when I pump milk. Having a comfortable spot for feeding makes it a more enjoyable bonding experience with your kid.

Remember to also pee first before feeding your child.

Exposing your breast would become a norm

Yes, you will come to a point where you’re freaking tired that you don’t give a damn anymore.

Sometimes, you’d be pumping milk in the living room without a cover (wish I thought of buying this nursing cover but oh well) then you’ll have someone who lives in the same house but is not your husband, walking in. 

You’ll feel slightly embarrassed but then again, you’re so exhausted that you don’t want to stand up and stop what you’re doing so you don’t care anymore, and eventually, exposing your breast becomes a norm. Especially if you’re breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Tips

Ask a lactation consultant

Hospitals will usually offer classes on how to take care of your baby and will also include the services of a lactation consultant.

Ask your doctor or nurse if you can attend the classes or if you can have a consultant come visit you in your room to get some advice on latching, what to and not to eat, how to deal with mastitis, etc.

There are also a lot of lactation consultants that you can look up online, such as The Mama ‘Hood, The Mama Nurse, Over The Moon Paenting, NAPS, etc.

Breastfeed right after delivering your baby

If it’s possible and there are no medical emergencies, try to breastfeed your baby an hour after delivery. 

This releases hormones that bonds you with your child plus it also helps the uterus to contract and stop bleeding.

Squeeze out your colostrum

I wasn’t able to breastfeed my baby immediately because apparently, my back was ripping apart and they only found out when my doctor opened me up for CS operation. 

But when I could already at least sit up, a day or two after the surgery, I immediately tried to squeeze the colostrum – the first milk that’s packed with nutrients and placed it in a small cup for my baby to drink.

So many memories are now flooding in..but I digress.

Anyway, colostrum has lots of vitamins, minerals and has a lot of immunity-boosting properties so try to give that to your baby the soonest time possible if you can’t breastfeed them immediately.

Prepare for cluster feedings

I haven’t experienced this but I heard how extremely challenging this can be. 

Cluster feeding is when your baby feeds more than the usual and does it in close intervals. 

Which I’ve heard, will make you insane, from the lack of sleep/ alone time and just sheer exhaustion of soothing a crying baby.

You are basically nursing them around the clock with little to no rest in between. 

If you don’t do it, you might risk having a low milk supply, engorged breast, and/ or have a fussier than usual baby.

Cluster feeding is apparently normal but just mentally prepare for it, if you plan to do breastfeeding.

Nurse every 2 hours 

If you have someone to help you out with the baby or if you’re determined to breastfeed, this is a great way to establish your milk supply.

I tried to do this as advised by my friend (she has 3 kids, all breastfed!) but I don’t know if it’s both my CS and back operation or I just don’t have enough willpower but I just can’t. 

I felt bad for my baby because I know the advantages of breastfeeding but eventually, I learned that fed is best.

Nursing every 2 hours doesn’t necessarily mean feeding your baby every 2 hours. It actually means emptying out your breast for milk regularly. So in order to do that, you need to get a breast pump.

I had a Medela before but I wished I got a Spectra..not that Medela was bad but I wished I researched more thoroughly before and knew what I really needed in a breast pump.

But anyway, you can check out my reviews on these breast pumps right here.

Increase your milk supply

My friends and a lot of people I know have highly recommended “malunggay” or horseradish to increase my milk supply. Unfortunately, they don’t sell that here in Singapore but I did try some fenugreek and some lactation cookies. Sadly it didn’t do any wonders for me.

Still, there are ways to increase your milk supply by drinking lots of water, eating oatmeal, or trying out other food. 

You can also find out the root cause of your low milk supply. 

Maybe your baby has a tongue-tie, maybe you need a nipple shield, you might need to establish a more regular feeding schedule (which I tried but can’t seem to work out), etc.

Check out Kellymom for more breastfeeding tips.

Dealing with engorged or blocked ducts

One of the few helpful things that I’ve learned from my antenatal class is putting a cold cabbage on your breast when it’s feeling engorged. 

But apparently, a cold compress (a bag of frozen peas can also work) can also lower milk supply.

Using a cold compress might be a good idea if you’re trying to wean but if you don’t want your milk supply to be affected, you can try to massage your breast and put a warm compress (heating pad or microwaved flaxseed pillow) instead.

Introduce bottle-feeding

At one point or another, you’ll need to bottle-feed your baby, especially if you need someone to take care of them while you’re away for work or errands.

Before introducing the bottle, wait until you feel that your breast milk supply has been established and breastfeeding is generally going well.

Formula Feeding Tips

All commercial formulas are the same

I was surprise to hear these from the doctors of that antenatal class I attended. Apparently, they’re all regulated to ensure that they’re safe and contain important nutrients that babies need. I’ve always thought that some formula milk is better than others. 

But of course, I’m not an expert and when I say they’re all the same, that doesn’t mean they’re all identical. It’s still best to do your research and ask your doctor.

Clean bottles thoroughly

That goes without saying to always use properly cleaned and dried bottles for your baby. Soap and milk residues are a big no-no.

Baby bottles are dishwasher safe but if you’re like me who doesn’t have a dishwasher, you can clean, sterilize and store the bottle the regular, traditional way.

If you’d like a more convenient way of sterilizing and storing baby bottles, get a UV bottle sterilizer. This was a lifesaver for me and a space saver for our tiny kitchen.

I highly recommend the Haenim which came free with the stem cell banking insurance for my kid.

Avoid air/bubbles in the bottle

When mixing the formula powder with water, don’t shake it too much as it might produce some bubbles in the milk.

Also, when bottle-feeding your baby, make sure to position the bottle in such a way that the milk fills the entire nipple to avoid air going inside.

I used Dr. Brown’s bottle with the vent system which helped prevent air bubbles, that can cause your child to be gassy or to spit up more.

Make enough milk

Don’t make too little nor too much that it will go to waste. Remember how expensive formula milk is and how tiny your baby’s stomach is in the first few weeks.

Click here for a formula feeding guide.

If your baby didn’t finish their milk, don’t save and refrigerate that for the next feeding. 

Just throw it as bacteria from her saliva can still contaminate the milk.

Use refrigerated formula within 24 hours

You can make several bottles of formula milk ahead of time and just keep them in the fridge for use throughout the day.

I actually tried doing this just to see if it’s faster and more convenient. 

Warm-up the milk

Don’t ever microwave your baby’s milk as it can create hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth.

Use either a bottle warmer or put it in a bowl filled with hot water for at least 10-15 minutes or whenever it’s warm enough.

Making formula milk can be stressful at times

Or maybe it was just me, but I remember getting stressed while making my baby’s milk, especially when I’m extremely sleep-deprived and her wailings are starting to sound otherworldly. 

She’d be waking up every 2-3 hours and it was really difficult, especially at night. 

I’d be jolted out of whatever little sleep I was supposed to sink in, hearing her cry for her milk then I would groggily go to the kitchen, where I would feel panicky when my baby’s cries were getting louder and scarier. Those were the days. 

Sometimes your baby will refuse the milk bottle

Don’t give up though. I never had this problem with my little one but I’ve read other moms going through this. 

Just try again, then try differently, check if somethings wrong with the bottle, or the milk, then finally, try a new bottle or maybe try a new milk.

Jump to: General Baby Care Tips for New Moms | Newborn Baby Feeding Tips | Playing With Your Newborn Tips | Cleaning-Related Newborn Care Hacks | Sleeping Tips for New Parents | Baby looks sick/ unwell | Manage Expectations | Take care of yourself | Other tips for new moms

Playing With Your Newborn Tips

Always be gentle with your newborn

They are not ready to be tossed in the air or even just jiggled on your knee. Remember how weak their head and neck muscles are and even just shaking them can already cause serious brain damage. So don’t play rough with your newborn and always be gentle with them.

Invest in a good baby carrier

They are a lifesaver, whether for indoor or outdoor activities. 

You can use them indoors when your baby is feeling particularly fussy, wants to be close to you but you have a million things to do. 

And it’s super convenient to just put your baby in a baby carrier rather than carrying and pushing a stroller.

I personally used an ErgoBaby Omni 360 then turned to Kinderpack when she turned 2.5 yrs old because, well the Ergo broke. Not sure if it was my fault or what but it had a good run and it was really quite easy and comfy to use.

Check out my various reviews and recommendations on baby carriers for petite moms, for plus-size parents and for different needs and brand comparisons.

Indoor Baby Activities and Tips

Newborns can already do tummy time

I seriously did not know that newborns can already practice doing tummy time, not until after our first monthly checkup.

But I’m kinda glad I did wait until after my baby was a month old as I was so scared to do it, she looked so small and fragile.

You can try doing it as soon as you come home from the hospital.

Check out this video on how to do tummy time and its benefits for your baby.

Do educational activities with your newborn

Talking a lot to your baby would expose them early on to different words, kick-starting their verbal and language development.

At first, you’d probably get self-conscious and think you’re losing your marbles but you’d get used to it. Just describe to them your day, what you’re doing, etc.

You can also put up some simple black and white books around them when doing tummy time, to stimulate their visual skills.

I usually just prop up some books and surround my kid with her stuffed toys when we do tummy time.

You can also listen to some fun and at times, soothing music.

Having a colorful crib mobile is also a fun way for them to engage their visual skills and develop them.

You can also use an app like the Baby Sparks app to guide you on age-appropriate and various activities for your newborn. I used this extensively, even paid for a subscription and it gave me a lot of ideas on how to play with my baby while developing her skills.

There’s also this Wonder Weeks app, that will tell you which phase your baby is going through. It was extremely helpful in understanding why a newborn is acting like this and that.

Just don’t overdo the activities as babies can only stay awake for only 45mins to an hour.

Anything longer than that will make them too tired and fussy, making it hard for them to settle down for a nap or sleep.

Do skin-to-skin contact regularly

This was probably one of the things I regretted not doing the most when my little one was just a newborn.

She looked so fragile then and I had my stupid CS and back operation to manage so I had to wait until at least 3 months before I could do this. I couldn’t even lie down on my back for 3 months but I digress.

There’s a lot of benefits from doing skin-to-skin such as relieving stress, releases oxytocin for bonding, calms your baby, stabilizes heart and breathing rate, improves immunity, better sleep for your baby, and more.

Change the position of their head

I didn’t have a problem with this before but I have a friend who had this head issue with her baby then. Apparently their baby just sticks to one position even when awake, hence developing that flat spot.

If you want to avoid a flat head, do lots of tummy time activities and change your baby’s head position from time to time, if they only stay in one position all the time.

Going out with a newborn and other outdoor hacks

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Know car seat basics

A few weeks before your due date, make sure that the car seat is installed properly in your vehicle and know the basics of keeping your child safe and secure in it.

Here’s a video on how to buckle your newborn in a car seat

You can also try practicing beforehand with a small doll or stuff toy.

Here’s a car seat carrying tip

Make sure your baby is securely fastened

Always check that your newborn is secure and safe in their car seat or stroller, before moving along.

Try getting out of the house more often

I wish I’ve done this more often when I had a newborn. I remember only going out before to see the doctor or buy necessities. So try as much as possible to just go out of the house and walk around the neighborhood with your newborn.

Sunlight and fresh air are good for both you and your baby. Just keep your little one out of direct sunlight as their skin is still very thin and sensitive.

Plus it’s a good practice for you to go out alone while carrying your newborn in a baby carrier.

Sunbathe your baby

You don’t need to expose your newborn directly to the sunlight (until they’re a few months old) but sunbathing has a lot of amazing benefits for newborns such as:

  • Provides Vitamin D
  • Increases serotonin or the “happy hormone”
  • Helps regulate the production of melatonin, the “sleep hormone”
  • Reduces jaundice

My little one had slight jaundice so I remember spending the mornings with her by the large, open window, basking under the sunlight and getting rid of her newborn jaundice in a couple of weeks

Enlist backup

Of course, if you’re not comfortable, always have someone to accompany you. 

I remember it took me 5 freaking months to finally go out alone with my baby. 

So don’t worry about it, being alone with your baby and carrying all that diaper bag in a big public place can be pretty daunting. You’ll get the hang of it eventually so just ask for a company first if you need some support.

Go to familiar places first

If this is your first rodeo, go somewhere you know and that has available baby facilities such as a diaper changing station.

Dress your baby right

Remember that babies can’t regulate their body temperature so wearing a proper outfit is a must, especially if it’s cold where you’re from. 

Choose a weather-appropriate outfit – nothing that would make them overheat in the summer if you live somewhere warm (like I do) and layer them up in the winter.

Also be mindful of how comfortable and soft the outfit is for your baby, especially when you’re putting them in their car seat or stroller.

Take note of how easy it is for you to quickly remove the outfit, especially if your little one did a poonami or spit-up.

Pack a light diaper bag

I remember packing a diaper bag that seemed to weigh several tons.

As a new mom then, I felt I needed a lot of things whenever we go out with my baby. Which was a mistake.

If you want to know what you needed when you’re out for hours with your baby, check my diaper bag for newborn checklist here.

Pack an extra outfit for yourself

If you have a poopy baby or one who just regularly spit-ups, you might need to bring an extra set of clothes for yourself as well. Just bring something light and easy to pack.

Prepare for plans to change

You might have dropped by a grocery store, thinking you can quickly pick a few items while carrying your sleeping baby in your baby carrier. Then suddenly your little one starts wailing and you can smell some urine and poop coming from your baby.

Prepare for moments like this. Plans won’t always go the way you want them to so just go with the flow and settle your baby first.

Jump to: General Baby Care Tips for New Moms | Newborn Baby Feeding Tips | Playing With Your Newborn Tips | Cleaning-Related Newborn Care Hacks | Sleeping Tips for New Parents | Baby looks sick/ unwell | Manage Expectations | Take care of yourself | Other tips for new moms

Cleaning-Related Newborn Care Hacks

Diaper changing hacks and tips

Wipe your baby’s tummy before changing their diapers

If you have a boy, wipe your baby’s tummy with a wet wipe or wet washcloth, to encourage them to pee before you open their diaper and to avoid spraying it on your face.

Change your baby’s diapers regularly

Always change your baby’s diaper every 2-3 hours, even if they didn’t pee/poop that much or even their diapers are completely dry, to avoid diaper rash.

But if they’re transitioning to a longer sleep at night and their diaper is dry, no need to wake them up for a diaper change. Unless of course, their diaper is wet or they’re getting fussy.

There are also certain types of diapers that are more suitable for newborns, like Pampers Swaddlers or Huggies Little Snugglers. Check out my review here for these diapers and more.

Always apply a diaper rash cream

Regularly applying diaper rash cream helps prevent diaper rash so no matter what, just apply after every diaper change.

For the ultimate list of diaper changing hacks and tips, click here.

Layer your baby’s crib

This is a diaper and cleaning-related tip – layer your baby’s bed with 2 bedsheets and 2 waterproof mattress protectors.

This is helpful for babies who usually do poonamis or diaper blowouts and when you want to save time cleaning up by just removing the 1st layer of bedsheet + mattress protector from the bed.

Bathing tips and tricks

Tips on bathing your newborn

Some will recommend not giving a tub bath until the umbilical cord has completely fallen off but there are no hard rules about it. I gave my baby a tub bath our first day at home.

It just really depends on you whether you want to give your baby a tub bath or sponge bath every day or for only a few times a week. But it’s recommended to establish a routine early on.

Skip the bath though if they just drank milk, just vomited, or are sleeping.

Gather and prepare everything before bathing your baby and make sure everything is within reach.

To know more, read my comprehensive guide here on how to give your newborn a bath. There’s some step-by-step guide there on giving a tub bath / sponge bath / swaddle bath, as well as basic and safety tips, and what to do if your baby poops while bathing them.

Cleaning and caring for the umbilical cord

Ask your doctor what can you use to clean your baby’s umbilical cord every day. I can’t recall what I used but I remember I’d dip a cotton ball and a cotton swab in it and I’d gently clean my baby’s umbilical cord twice a day until it fell out around the 2nd or 3rd week.

Don’t cover the umbilical cord in the diaper and just keep it exposed by folding the front of the diaper, so the base of the stump can stay dry.

Or you can get a diaper with a umbilical cord cut, like the Pampers Swaddlers or Huggies Little Snugglers.

Caring for the circumcision

I don’t have a boy so I don’t know anything about caring for circumcision but this looks like a good place to start.

Clothing recommendations

Prioritize function over cuteness when buying everyday clothes for your baby.

Of course, you can have as many cute baby outfits as you want but remember babies quickly outgrow everything. Better keep things practical and comfortable.

Onesies and zipper pajamas are highly recommended for babies. Onesies because it’s easy to take it off whenever they have diaper blowouts or poonamis. Zipper pajamas are also equally convenient for changing diapers at night.

For onesies, just pull the flaps down the shoulders and remove them downwards, so you don’t get any poop on your baby’s head.

Get also some mittens to protect your baby from scratching their faces and hats for going out.

Get mittens that has a velcro by the wrist so it doesn’t easily slide off your baby’s hands. They might be a tad pricier but I swear to this. I don’t know how many times I had to put back the ordinary mittens on my baby’s hands, because my little angle kept removing them. Even though she’s not even aware she has mittens on, she can do that.

You can also get socks, especially when it’s always cold where you’re from.

Grooming advice

Cut their nails when they’re asleep

You can also use a nail file if it’s a little difficult, as their nails are really so tiny. Just be gentle and be careful.

Lotions and powders are not needed

Baby powder can be inhaled by your newborn, which can be harmful. And they don’t really need lotions or oils, as it can sometimes irritate their already delicate, sensitive skin. I’ve personally never applied any lotion nor powder on my baby.

Jump to: General Baby Care Tips for New Moms | Newborn Baby Feeding Tips | Playing With Your Newborn Tips | Cleaning-Related Newborn Care Hacks | Sleeping Tips for New Parents | Baby looks sick/ unwell | Manage Expectations | Take care of yourself | Other tips for new moms

Sleeping Tips for New Parents

Help them differentiate between day and night

Prepare your baby’s sleeping environment. That eventually gives them cues that it’s time to sleep at night. Turn off the lights, close the blackout curtains, use a night light, turn on the white noise, keep the volumes down, etc. 

You can also prepare a quiet sleeping environment when it’s time for your newborn’s daytime nap.

But some parents would advise keeping it loud so babies can get used to the noise.

This didn’t work well with my little one so I just made everything dark and quiet for her so she can sleep well.

Just do whatever works for your family.

Warm their bed

Here’s a tip for those who live in cold countries – warm up your baby’s sheets or swaddle in the dryer. 

Some would wrap a blanket around a heating pad, wait for it to warm up before slipping it in the baby’s crib (without the heating pad of course).

Just don’t forget to put the heating pad somewhere safe and away from your baby and always turn it off after every use.

Look out for their early to mid sleepy cues

If you notice your baby is not as active as usual or is cooing, tugging at their ears, yawning, and rubbing their faces, it’s time to put them to sleep asap.

Don’t wait until they overtired as it will be more difficult to settle them.

Help your baby to sleep longer

Don’t engage at night

If they need to feed or you need to change their diapers, just keep quiet and do things quickly. No need to talk or turn on all the lights in their room, just use the night light.

Don’t wake up the baby at night

If they’re sleeping for longer than the usual and you know before you put them down that they’re not sick, they’re feeding and playing well, then don’t wake them up. 

They might just be going into this transition of sleeping longer. So if they don’t need a diaper change and they’re not crying out for milk then just don’t wake them up. 

I know the feeling. I was worried sick when my baby started sleeping for longer stretches at night and I would find myself still waking her up to give her the bottle or change her diapers.

Which I would later regret so whatever you do, if your baby is not crying out for you and you know they’re well, then don’t wake them up.

For more ways on how to get your baby to sleep longer at night, click here.

Get ready for some should-breaking-carrying

Oh my god, I remember one record-breaker time, I had to carry my baby for 5 hours straight. 

And not just carry, I had to walk around and sway and hum a tune. Every time I tried to put her in her crib or every time I stopped swaying or humming, she’d start crying so I had no choice but to carry her. 

At this point, you will probably wonder how the hell can you do anything, anything at all, with a newborn. 

But trust me, you’ll get used to this madness, you’ll eventually find out the reason why your baby is crying so much and you’ll finally find a way of making it work.

But it will take some time and some managing of expectations, so hang in there!

Jump to: General Baby Care Tips for New Moms | Newborn Baby Feeding Tips | Playing With Your Newborn Tips | Cleaning-Related Newborn Care Hacks | Sleeping Tips for New Parents | Baby looks sick/ unwell | Manage Expectations | Take care of yourself | Other tips for new moms

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More Baby Care Tips for New Moms

Baby looks sick/ unwell

If your newborn is having a fever or just about anything that you feel isn’t right, don’t hesitate to call or visit a doctor immediately.

Manage Expectations

About becoming a mother

This might surprise you, but you will not enjoy every minute of becoming a mother. All of us were just bombarded with images of loving mothers gently doting on their babies but in reality, you won’t feel that way all the time.

You will complain about how tired you are taking care of your babies. You will feel frustrated when you can’t figure out why they’re crying. You will feel helpless when they’re sick, and many more emotions that are not positive ones. You might even have postpartum depression.

And that’s okay. Most mothers go through postpartum depression. It’s normal, people just don’t want to talk about it because it’s an uncomfortable subject. And most mothers feel tired, frustrated, overwhelmed and even resentful at times. And that’s normal.

Like I’ve mentioned, we grew up with this image of mothers who are ever caring, always selfless, always smiling, and happy to take care of everyone. That’s not reality.

But I digress.

Related: What Postpartum Recovery Is Really Like: 8 Things No One Will Tell You About

And even if you don’t have postpartum depression, it’s still perfectly fine to worry, to complain, and even to cry about becoming a mom. All mothers and parents, in general, have done and are still doing that. And that doesn’t make you a bad mother, it makes you human.

There’s no wrong way of doing motherhood, as long as your baby is fed, healthy, warm, and safe. 

If you’re doubting yourself if you’re being a good mother. You already are a good one because you care to even think for a second that you might not be doing motherhood right.

Motherhood is not about perfectly loving your children. It’s about loving your children, no matter what. Even even if you’re tired, even if it’s hard, you will still love and care for your children, no matter what.

Julie, Adaptable Mama

If you think you’re having postpartum depression, please talk to your spouse or close friends and relatives or better yet, a professional, before it’s too late.

Related: Stay-at-Home Mom Depression Exists and Here’s How To Cope with It

About being tired

I remember getting frustrated and even resentful before when I can’t get have enough rest during the newborn phase.

I was mostly channeling my anger and resentment at my husband and it made taking care of my baby more difficult.

I wished I learned how to manage my expectations of being tired. I would have enjoyed the newborn phase more instead of thinking of when is my next break coming.

So just mentally prepare to be tired every day and to have little to no breaks in between. Just so you don’t feel angry and resentful when you don’t get a break.

About sleeping

This is probably the most common advice you’ll hear from other people. That you’ll get less to no sleep and to expect it.

And I know most parents have mentally prepared for this but you don’t really know how crazy it can be until you’re taking care of a tiny human being.

A lack of decent sleep for weeks and weeks on end can make you a little bit unhinged. You’ll feel all sorts of negative emotions and you have to realize when you’re on your breaking point.

When you’re aware that you can’t go on without at least 4 hours of continuous sleep or at least a decent nap, ask for help. 

OR stop doing chores and sleep when the baby sleeps.

Yes, that’s right, sleep when the baby sleeps. This seems like the most annoying advice you can give to a sleep-deprived mom but it’s actually one of the most practical there ever is.

It’s just framed in the wrong way. It doesn’t mean you can sleep every time your baby sleeps.

It means, choose a time when your baby is sleeping and stop what you’re doing and sleep with your baby.

Stop the chores, don’t cook, leave the mountain of laundry alone, don’t wash dishes, and just sleep. 

That’s what” sleep when the baby sleeps” means.

About feeling overwhelmed

Motherhood doesn’t come with a manual. I’m sure there are tons of available books and online courses and videos and articles like this to give you a tips how to take care of a newborn.

But it’s perfectly okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s a normal feeling.

Keeping your baby alive is already a tough gig. But when you think about the other stuff that you need to do (chores, meals, work), or even just taking a bath, you will go through that phase where you’ll think “how do hell do other moms do it?” 

Related: How To Get Things Done With a Baby

And that’s normal, that’s perfectly okay. You are not alone. All moms have felt that way, all of us are juggling several balls of responsibilities. And sometimes, we gently put down one or two of them, depending on what you need to urgently focus on. 

So breathe, clear your mind and just do the most urgent thing on your list.

About housework

There will be plenty of times where housework will be at the very bottom of your priorities. And that’s okay, especially during the newborn phase. It’s a survival phase for you and your partner, especially if you have no help and you still need to do some work.

Now is not the time to be OC about cleaning your house. And it’s perfectly fine to have a messy house. Just not to the point where cockroaches and other insects and animals are already living with you.

About your career

Those who have managed to have a thriving, fulfilling career while taking care of their kids and household in bliss are unicorn moms – they don’t exist. Or even if they do, trust me when I say they have a village to help them.

Here’s the thing, the moms who have seemed to have it all had bad days at work, had bad days at home and felt torn between their jobs and their children. And that’s reality. 

The moms that have thrived at their careers and feel fulfilled taking care of their children at the same time didn’t have it all.

They just knew when to put down some of the balls they’re juggling (career, children, household, marriage, friendships, etc.) for a while and pick it up again when they’re in a better headspace.

Somedays you prioritize the children over your work. Somedays, you ignore housework to meet deadlines. Sometimes your job will trump playing with your kids. 

So manage your expectations about having it all. Yes, you can try to juggle everything but at some point, you will accidentally drop one of them. So better just put down one or two “balls” and just pick them up again.

About your relationships

Having children is such a big change in your life that it can also affect your marriage and even your friendships.

It’s because taking care of a child is really demanding and usually, you won’t have the time and energy anymore for your partner or for friends.

You might start arguing with your spouse or your friends might start getting annoyed that you’re not replying to their text as fast as before. 

So as much as possible, communicate with your spouse and your friends.

Let them know what they might expect from you and what you’ll need from them. So they won’t or at least feel less resentful or less left out when you don’t give them the same attention as before.

About phases and milestones

When you think you’ve gotten the hang of this parenting thing, your child will throw you a curveball so hard, your head will spin and you’ll think to yourself why did you have children again. 

Kidding aside, these different phases and some milestones are very challenging. But just like anything else in life, they won’t last.

And when your child gets older and becomes more independent, you will actually miss all the hardships that come with taking care of a newborn.

And sometimes, you will actually wish you can turn back time where they can be little and you can take care of them again.

So think of that especially if you’re in a phase where your baby is not sleeping, or they’re teething or going through something equally mentally and physically taxing.

Put things in perspective and expect that each phase and some milestones, will just be hard and demanding.

As they say “the nights are long but the years are short.”

Read the poem below, print it (I made my own version which you can download here), and display it, so you’ll remember to put things in perspective when things are getting rough.

About plans

Now is the time to let of go your OC and control of anything. Because you’ll lose your marbles if you try to control things all the time.

It’s okay to have a plan but be okay also when things don’t go according to plan. 

It’s okay if you plan to exclusively breastfeed but you immediately went to formula feeding. It’s okay if you told yourself you’ll only cook homecooked meals for baby-led weaning then you find yourself buying prepackaged baby foods. 

It’s okay if you plan no tv time for your baby until they’re 3 years old then you see yourself turning it on for an educational show when they’re only less than a year old.

Things change, you’ve changed so it’s perfectly fine to change your plans. Cut yourself some slack, don’t be so hard on yourself, just try to be flexible and go with the flow.

About yourself

You will change when you become a mother. Taking care of a little human being will consume your life, so it will change you, whether you like it or not.

And sometimes, you won’t like how you’re changing. There will be times where you won’t even recognize yourself anymore.

Your views will change, your preferences will change, your likes and dislikes will change, hell your body will change and even your circle of friends will change or at times, will be non-existent.

But if you accept that change, if you don’t fight it and you just embrace it, things will get easier. Eventually. You’ll feel much better. Eventually. You’ll feel more in control and you’ll see your purpose beyond being a 24/7 butler to your kids.

You don’t need to accept the new you immediately. It takes time. And you will miss the old you and what your life used to be. And you will feel sad, almost mournful.

And you will still feel that way, even if your kids have grown up, from time to time.

So brace yourself for that change, it might be subtle or it might be a huge one but you will definitely change. And when you’ve finally embraced that change, you will feel happier and will be so proud of yourself.

Take care of yourself

Your mental, emotional and physical health is as important as your baby’s.

You know how on safety flight procedures, they tell you to always put a mask on yourself first before helping others, even if the “others” are your kids? Because you can’t help them if you blackout first from lack of oxygen.

Same principle with becoming a mother. And I know how hard help can come by, especially if you’re far away from family, relatives, friends and your spouse isn’t really a big help either.

For instances like that, find pockets of time to rest.

Choose a time when your baby naps and sleep with them.

Or choose a time when your baby naps and don’t do any chores. Just do whatever is relaxing for you – reading, scrolling through Instagram, meditation, a long bath if it’s possible, chat with a friend, etc.

Get out of the house more often with your baby. It will refresh and recharge you, especially when you’re out in nature.

Use delivery and grocery apps, even ready-to-eat meal apps, if it’s possible.

If you’re having some negative thoughts about yourself and your baby, get some professional help. You might be experiencing postpartum depression. Talk to someone asap, don’t wait before it gets worse.

If it’s possible, ask for help from people around you – your spouse, friends, family. Don’t be shy about it, your well-being and the safety of your newborn are at stake here.

If asking for help from your spouse, be specific about what kind of help you need. (But if you have a husband who doesn’t help around the house, here’s what you can do about it.)

Be clear and firm but don’t be demanding and don’t expect them to do the task as well as you can.

If you don’t want any visitors coming over for the first few weeks, that’s perfectly fine too. Just prioritize yourself and your baby, the rest of the world can just wait.

Other baby care tips for new moms

Do a newborn photo shoot within the first 2 weeks.

Newborns sleep more at that age and it’ll be less challenging to take their picture

Record memories

Take lots of pictures, videos. Create a baby book or create an email and send whatever thing comes into your mind about your baby. You might think you’ll never forget your baby’s first smile or laugh or a first hilarious poonami but you will.

Find your tribe

Staying at home with a newborn can get pretty lonely so if you can, find a mom friend, a parenting group. You can find some online, you can talk to someone when going outside in a park, etc.

Takeway

All these baby care tips for new moms (and new parents actually) might seem overwhelming but don’t worry, you’re not the only parent who ever felt that way. Even veteran parents feel overwhelmed at times!

Reading articles, watching videos, listening to podcasts, asking for advice from friends and experts might help but nothing can prepare you when the real deal comes. 

Just remember to concentrate on your newborn’s 4 major activities – feeding, playing, cleaning and sleeping.

Sooner or later you will get the hang of it. Enjoy these newborn days as you’ll only have a few months of it!