Discover the best tips and advice for new mums from real mums and parenting experts who have been there.
Every expecting mum and new mum has a LOT of questions and often doesn’t know where to look for answers.
Every new mum is also overwhelmed with unsolicited advice from their parents, aunties, grand mums, neighbours, friends, random people, or strangers on the street.
Advice has become an inevitable part of motherhood.
The problem is, that you often don’t know who to listen to.
Most people offer advice to a mum with the best interest at heart but they often say things that are not particularly helpful at the time.
So a million-dollar question is: What advice do you give to a new mum?
Truth is that there is no one size fits all when it comes to giving advice to a new mum.
Some new mums need support with breastfeeding, some mums need emotional support, and some mums need practical tips for looking after the baby.
So I made the effort and collected the BEST piece of advice from both ‘real mums’ and parenting experts and put them all in this blog post.
This way, you can choose what works best for YOU and your family.
Here they are!
‘Trust your instincts, you have the right to not listen to advice and opinions, even from the closest family, be kind to yourself and remember that whatever is your struggle now, it’s only a phase and it will pass.’ – Ada, Mum of 3
‘Believe in yourself, you are doing an amazing job!’ – Angela, Mum of 2
‘Fed is best, do not pressure yourself to feed in a way that doesn’t suit you.’ – Sophie, mum of 3
‘Enjoy the cuddles and when they don’t backchat. Follow your maternal instincts. You know more than you think!’ – Pana, mum of 3
‘Get out to baby groups when you can and make new mummy friends. I’ve made great friends through going to groups with my daughter who’s 4 now. They’re a great support system.’ – Lisa, mum of 2
‘Set your expectations low of your looks, of how tidy the house is, and of how enjoyable it all is. Be happy and celebrate EVERY MOMENT your child is ok and you aren’t stressed.’ – Anya, Mum of 4
‘Don’t be too hard on yourself. Things don’t have to be perfect and rarely are. Enjoy your precious time – it goes so fast. Make your own choices. You are the mum you know best .’ – Sarah, Mum of 2
‘Enjoy it. Google breastfeeding holiday and enjoy it. You can still watch whatever you want either in bed or the sofa whenever you want. Let the housework slide; nothing matters now but your snuggles with you suckling baby.’ – Venus, Mum of 1
‘You will never have today back, good or tough. Also, trust your instinct.’ – Meredith, Mum of 3
‘Whatever decision you make at a given time is the right decision for that moment. Don’t beat yourself up with regrets or guilt about how you should/could have done things differently.’ – Catherine, Mum of 4
‘Don’t spend time trying to please everyone. Accept help. Enjoy your baby if you can. Have lots of naked baths together. Fall asleep in your bed together. Don’t stress about what they are eating. Play them your favourite songs. Dance with them. Let them bite your nose. Taste their tears. Hold them close whenever you can. Don’t worry about what you look like (you have plenty of time for that). Share them with your friends and family. Sleep when they sleep (don’t hoover). Lay on the floor with them. Just cherish every moment. It is brief and you can never get it back!’ – Nicola, Mum of 2
‘Familiarise yourself with how to deal with colic, reflux, trapped wind, and another baby discomfort. I attended a number of anti-natal classes and was not ready when my newborn dealt with all of the above! Was a hard few months until I understood and knew how to help!’ – Valery, Mum of 3
‘Some days it’s OK to ‘just survive’ there will be other days where you’ll thrive.’ – Irini, Mum of 3
‘For many women (me included) it will take much longer than 6 weeks to feel they are starting to recover and that is ok. The advice that kept me going through the tough times during the first 4/5 months was that everything is a stage – it doesn’t feel like it at the time but it will end and a new phase will start soon enough.’ – Rhiannon, Mum of 1
‘All us mums wing it every day. Mine is now a teenager and we are still feeling and finding our way. You will know what is right for you and please don’t let others tell you what is right. We bought second-hand everything, apart from mattress, because they grow so quickly and won’t mind if you have top-of-the-range pushchair or not.Buy a dummy if you need one! I sent my hubby out at midnight lol. Try to breastfeed if you can, if you can’t don’t fret. When baby is born you will feel guilty that you should be doing something or other and folks will delight on telling u what you should be doing. Deep breath and just go with it, chuck.’- Sara, Mum of 2
‘Accept every bit of help.’ – Fiona, Mum of 3
‘Rest, rest, rest after baby is born. Even if you have other kids. Rest, turn the TV on, get help from friends and neighbours so you can rest and recover with new baby. Drink lots and lots of water and don’t stress. The house will be messy and things will go undone but it’s ok. Just enjoy your tiny one being tiny and take care of you.’ – Lauren, Mum of 3
‘Rest as much as possible and make some other new mum friends in the area. Having people going through the same stuff and being able to talk about it all with them creates such a good support system.’ – Kate, Mum of 2
‘Please PLEASE never feel ashamed to ask for help. “It takes a village!!!’ – Lily, Mum of 1
‘Trust your instincts, everything will be fine. You are worried about your baby and that means you are a very good mother. You don’t have to keep up with everything. Be as rested and relaxed as possible.’ – Fatma, Mum of 1
‘Make sure you take time out for yourself.’ – Dawn, Mum of 2
‘Make time for even the smallest act of self-care everyday. Don’t feel guilty/bad for feeling overwhelmed at times. Don’t compare yourself to other mums or your baby to other babies. Know that you are perfect for each other.’ – Emma, Mum of 2
‘YOU are the EXPERT of your child! Trust your instincts.’ – Lisa, Mum of 5
‘Don’t feel bad if you don’t ‘love every minute’ like some mums say they do/did.’ – Sian, Mum of 2
‘Trust your gut instincts and do what works for your family.’ – Lisa, Mum of 2
‘Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t be super mum and some days can’t even manage to get showered! Just do what you can delegating jobs to those who offer!!!’ – Alison, Mum of 2
‘Don’t listen to unwanted advice.’ – Natasha, Mum of 1
‘Your baby, your rules.’ – Natalie, Mum of 2
‘Don’t compare yourself to other mums. Fed is best. Trust your instinct. Ask for / accept help if you need it. Believe in yourself. Take some time out for yourself.’ – Melissa, Mum of 2
‘Put you first, without you nothing will work.’ – Ellie, Mum of 2 & childminder
‘Look after yourself so you can look after others. Sleep whenever you get a chance. Simplify everything to make life easier.’ – Natalija, Mum of 2
‘Take time to get to know your baby and for them to get to know you. It takes around 6 weeks for your baby to adjust from the womb environment and to establish breastfeeding (if this is your chosen way of feeding your baby). Taking time to recuperate from your birth will be of such benefit. Love then, cuddle them and bring your baby up the way you want to, no one will know your baby better than you do.’ – Maria Marsh, NCT antenatal practitioner and birth Doula.
Be kind to yourself & don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Having a baby fills your life with challenges so treat yourself kindly, some days you’ll be too tired to keep on top of things like housework and that’s okay, reach out for help if you need it! Also remember you’re not alone, there are so many other parents out there who can relate, connect with other families to give you some moral support, groups like this one are so great to help you find new friends!’ – Elaine; Early Start Team at St Albans Family Centre Service
‘The most important thing I believe is listening to your own instincts, especially as you know your own baby best. Also make looking after yourself a priority and take any help you are being offered.’ – Anna Sofat, pregnancy and postnatal recovery yoga teacher
‘Motherhood is an incredible but challenging rollercoaster. So as a new mum please know that it is OK to not enjoy every single moment, that is totally normal. Remember what you see in the media is usually a hand picked, filtered perspective to motherhood not real life, please do not compare your journey to anyone else’s. Oh and babies do not sleep through the night and they love to nap cuddled into their mummy – this is normal too and not anything you are doing wrong. You do you and you are doing great!’ – Midwife Pip, Midwifery Sister, MSc
‘Breastfeeding does NOT come naturally; it is a learned skill! Most new mothers expect that they can just get on with breastfeeding, and many have a ‘come what may’ mindset that they will get help if and when they need it. This leaves many on the back foot, scrambling for good, solid and skilled support while juggling the demands of being a new parent, with possibly a battered body and sheer exhaustion. Getting crucial info beforehand (i.e., antenatal breastfeeding courses and knowing where the support is ahead of time) is key to easing into this big change. Many health professionals don’t know how to help, so find a breastfeeding charity, breastfeeding counsellors, or IBCLC near you.
I don’t shy away from talking about the hard stuff. Breastfeeding grief because of a lack of info and support is ruining women’s mental health, and we should talk about this openly. It’s not a mothers fault that she can’t breastfeed. It’s due to a lack of support, which is so very sad.
Lastly, prepare for the postnatal as if you were preparing for a wedding. A wedding usually lasts just one day. Consider the money and the detailed plans and effort that go into it. Now consider the life-changing event of having a baby – isn’t this worth time, effort and money to be put aside for whatever support is needed? It could make all the difference, taking away the stress and anxiety and replacing it with the joy of bonding and nurturing this precious little human. It is my joy in life to support new parents with breastfeeding in particular, but also with the day-to-day tasks and emotional support needed for stepping into parenthood.’ – Erin Zohrehie, Postnatal Doula and Infant Feeding Specialist
PS. If you are an expecting mum or if you have recently had a baby and struggle to adjust to the new life, I invite you to check out my book Motherhood – The Unspoken.