I cannot wait to share with you the best advice for new moms I ever received. It wasn’t something I found in a book, parenting class, or doctor. This impactful and lasting advice came from a friend. It was an offhand remark, but it has stuck with me for my almost decade-long parenting journey, and it has never steered me wrong.
Hi, my name is Emily. I am a mom to three kids ages nine, seven, and four. I have entered and conquered the baby and toddler years three times, and I’ve lived to tell the tale. If you are a new mom, I am just a couple of seasons ahead of you.
Motherhood is no longer never ending feedings or sleepless nights. However, sweet friend, it is so fresh in my memory.
The best advice for new moms is this: close the books and listen to your baby. It seems simple, right? Yet, as a new mom it is so easy to second guess ourselves. I know I did. Now, add in constant noise from social media, well meaning friends, and nosy family members. It can leave your head spinning!
Who are you supposed to listen to? Your baby, mama. When you are in your quiet home and looking at your sweet baby, take time and think about the things that are important to you. Scheduled feeding or feeding on demand? To sleep train or not to sleep train? I promise your parenting style will take form in these quiet moments.
Trusting your instincts as a new mom can be scary. Believe me, I know. However, in my almost decade long journey in motherhood, I have never once regretted going with my gut.
For example, when my oldest was about two years old, she was dealing with a lot of big feelings a lot of the time (read: crying over all the things all the time). It was incredibly hard. Therefore, I asked our pediatrician for advice. They are the experts, right? She told me to turn my back and ignore my daughter when she had a meltdown. This made my stomach turn. I loved our doctor, and she was so kind and comforting during this conversation. However, I knew this advice wasn’t right for us.
My child almost always had to sit in my lap and be held to settle. Like, she actually could not calm down without me actively helping her out of these upsets. My instincts told me my child needed my presence (emotionally and physically) in these moments, even though it was exhausting (and sometimes frustrating) for me.
Then, lo and behold, four years later my child was diagnosed with ADHD. Emotional regulation is incredibly difficult for children (and adults) with ADHD. Emotional maturity takes more time to develop, and they often need extra support. I am so glad I trusted my instincts all those years ago and met my child’s needs, before anyone could articulate a reason for them. This is just one of the many examples I have collected over the years, where I am thankful to have trusted my motherly intuition.
No one knows your baby like you do. No one. And, while there is value in seeking out information from trusted resources, providers, and friends, there is nothing like the deep knowledge a mother has of her child. I encourage you to start listening to that little voice inside, mama.
That voice is so precious. That voice carried me through so many parenting decisions. From whether or not to do baby-led weaning to making the leap to homeschool, every time I rested in the knowledge that I know my children best, and that knowledge made me secure in my decisions.
Close the books and listen to your baby was the best advice I ever received as a new mom. What’s the best advice someone has given to you? Tell me in the comments below. If this post encourages you, please share with your friends. Furthermore, I would love to connect with you on Instagram, where I share more of our daily life.