So you’re probably here reading this because you’re
a) pregnant with your first child
b) an exhausted new mom
c) a rock star Mom that’s just trying to see if you agree with me.
If you’re in groups a or b, I have to apologize in advance if you were hoping to find some Earth-shattering advice (especially when it comes to sleeping). My advice is pretty simple. But I do promise you, it is the best advice I received as a new Mom so keep reading.
If you’re in group c, let me know in the comments what the best advice is you ever received. That way our new Moms can get even more helpful information on how to survive their first year as a Mom.
The Best Advice I Received as a New Mom is…
Every child is different; what works for one child may not work for another. Like I said it’s pretty simple advice. But you, tired Mom with the baby that won’t sleep or eat or has weird colored poop, I want you to understand that you are not failing. With every “failure,” you’re learning what doesn’t work for your child. Which means you’re one step closer to finding out what does work for your child.
The Great Google Search
I remember being right where you are. I had my son just before 36 weeks after a stressful pregnancy (which resulted in my first blog, Bed Rested Teacher). My older sister had a baby six months prior and it seemed everything my niece liked, my son hated.
Whenever I had a problem, like why won’t my baby sleep for more than five minutes at a time or why is my baby breastfeeding for three hours straight, I would go straight to Google. I’d always end up on a five-year-old post on some Mom forum (ever notice how people are still begging the original poster to answer their question even though the OP’s kid is in kindergarten already? That’s what sleep deprivation does to totally sane women).
Anyway, I would write down notes on all of the methods people swore got their child to sleep or to stop using them as a pacifier (yes, I know they say technically they can’t “use you as a pacifier” but I’m telling you, my kids used me as a pacifier). Then I would start to test the methods and bang my head against the wall as to why their magical unicorn ways didn’t work for my kid.
And, being a new mom, I was convinced that I was the problem. I must be doing something wrong if it worked for some other random internet lady’s kid, but not mine.
The Realization that it’s Not Me
Until one day, I came across the best piece of advice in a Mommy Facebook group. The greatest Mom in the history of Moms told me that no two kids are alike and that what works for one kid, doesn’t always work for another. It was like she took all of and that Mom-guilt and lifted it off my shoulders.
She continued to explain that I would get the best results by trying out different methods until one stuck. She said to try a new method for a couple of days or a week and if it doesn’t work, move on to the next one.
So with my notebook in hand, we started to try out different methods for sleeping, eating, etc. We made sure to try each method for at least a few days or a week (don’t knock a method after only trying it once, some methods some time to work).
Our journey wasn’t without tears or frustration (those just come with the territory). But, I felt a sense of relief knowing that my kid wasn’t broken.
You’ll find hundreds of websites all saying that they have the key to getting a 3-day-old baby to sleep through the night (okay I may be exaggerating just a bit, but if you see a site that claims that, close the tab quick). But they’re not all going to work for you and your baby. And that’s okay.
You see, eventually, you’ll figure it out. Because eventually, every kid will sleep (even if they’re two-years-old before they sleep through the night).
Should I Stop Reading Parenting Books and Google Searching?
No, you shouldn’t stop researching. I’m not saying to avoid parenting tips or websites. They are what got me through my first year as a new Mom. What I am saying is don’t feel like a failure when the method that seems to work for everyone else on the internet, doesn’t work for you.
Because you are amazing. And through trial and error, you, not some internet Goddess, will figure out what works for your child. The first year is rough, but I promise you will get through it and it will get easier.
And by the way, good luck if you have a second baby. The same advice still holds true. Even in the same family, what works for one child, may not work for another (man did we find that out the hard way).
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