The Most Useful Baby Advice New Moms Will Hear

Mom Moment 33

babyWhen I found out I was pregnant, I couldn't wait to get to a bookstore and stock up on parenting books. I had a lot to learn in the next nine months to get ready for baby. Or so I thought. I know I can't be the only mother who brought home her baby and felt like the books left me completely unprepared for this pooping, crying, and (thank God) adorable human being who couldn't explain anything to me.

Here's the thing the publishing industry doesn't want you to know: you don't learn the really good stuff about parenting from their books. You learn it from other moms (and dads). They're the ones who offer up baby raising tips that you can really use!

So I asked around. What are some of the most useful bits of advice moms have gotten from other parents? Here's what they had to say:

1. When the baby has gas, my mom suggested laying her on her back (across my legs) and pumping her legs like a bicycle. It works!

2. My mother taught me to test the bath water with my elbow because you get a true sense of the temp. If it's too hot on your elbow, it's too hot for baby.

3. For a colicky baby, turn on a somewhat loud box fan or have the vacuum running to soothe them.

4. Tickle feet to keep sleepy newborns awake while nursing.

11 baby care tips moms can really use5. Give them a clean medicine dropper of water EVERY day so when they were sick and needed medicine, they would take the dropper.

6. Bite their fingernails and toenails to keep them trimmed. It sounds weird, but with fingernail clippers, they'd fidget and get snipped.

7. Bring home those waterproof pads (they call them chucks here, not sure what they call them for real -- they look like wee wee pads) from the hospital, as many as you can grab. Take all the crib sheets you have and layer them on the bed like a parfait, with a chuck between each one. When you have a wet diaper that soaks through PJs at 3 a.m., you can just strip the sheet and the chuck and have a dry bed all ready to go, no fumbling for a sheet change while you're half asleep.

8. Even if you're not cloth diapering, buy the pre-fold diapers and use them as spit rags. They're much more absorbent than the things they sell as spit rags.

9. Feed your baby naked (except a diaper)! They won't get baby food all over their clean clothes, and you don't have to do laundry.

10. If your baby is drooling because they're teething, stock up on the bibs with the plastic lining on the back. That's the only thing that will protect their chest from getting chapped from all the drool.

11. Sleep begets sleep. If they wake up too early, put them to bed earlier, not later.

What is the very best tip you've gotten for taking care of baby? Did it come from another parent or from a book?


Images via sa B./Corbis; Nick Stevens/cultura/Corbis

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nonmember avatar ago

Those were good! Buy a good baby carrier (something that supports bottoms, eg not baby bjorn). Babies love to snuggle with you in them!

Total... TotallyWarped

I always heard to wrap their arms down when you swaddle them and they'll sleep better. My son was the opposite! Ther rest of him needed to be swaddled but his arms left free. (he was a thumb sucker) My daughter however was my baby burrito!

MomOwl MomOwl

if you are tired and the baby is asleep, take a nap too. The chores can wait.

Sarah... SarahHall58

Keep them coming. I'm expecting my first in march.

Kayla Maine

I like #7, I don't know how many times I found myself changing the crib sheets in the middle of the night what a pain.

My 2 tips would be...don't wake a sleeping baby to feed them. They will wake up when they are hungry. They don't need to eat every 2 hours on the dot. (unless you have a preemie that's different) And my second tip is, don't blink because that baby will grow so fast. Cherish every cuddle time and kiss.

Celeste Cline

My son never liked cold or room temperature formula.  It needed to be warmed...thus warming his belly & making him sleepy.

Susan Harless

Use white noise at night so other noises don't wake them up! This also helped my kids sleep better!

Melissa Mullins

Put them to bed earlier did not work, he always woke up and would not go back to sleep, but really if you stay up late why put the baby to bed early. Sleep when you want you and your baby to sleep, not when every on tells you to put baby to sleep, every baby sleeps different you just have to learn when and how. My son would not sleep on his back, it was tummy or side very early on, as long as he could left his head I was fine with him sleeping that whay cause I knew he could move his head if he could not breath.

nonmember avatar iicarmer

Parenting advice is great. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Always do what feels right for you and your baby. Don't beat yourself up when things don't turn out like the book/people say they should.

Julia Gold OlaBami

This is really good info. Thanks for sharing

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