5 Things I Wish I Knew as a New Mom
A new baby is a magical experience that creates a love and bond like no other. That little bundle of joy also completely flips your world upside down, with middle-of-the-night feedings, new frustrations, and fears – including wondering if you’ll ever sleep again! – and adjusting to new schedules and routines as a family. But no matter how many parenting books you read or how much advice you get from your mom tribe, most first-time moms never feel *quite* prepared to leave the hospital with their little ones.
We’ve made a helpful list of what moms wished they knew when their kids were little. Based on these takeaways, we’re also sharing our top product picks to make a new mom’s life just a *little* bit easier (trust us – these are the baby registry gifts that an expecting mama really needs!).
#1: Don’t wish away the baby stage. In those first weeks, you’re beyond exhausted and craving a return to more “normalcy” with your new addition. Trust us: eventually, you WILL feel more like yourself again. But what they say about parenting – “the days are long, but the years are short” – really rings true. Before you know it, the tiny baby you once toted around will be a walking, talking, mayhem-causing toddler. So, try to live in the moment, enjoy the sleepy snuggles (even when they won’t nap anywhere but on your chest), and give yourself the grace to embrace the chaos and getting-to-know-each-other early days. You won’t ever get that phase back!
#2: You can travel and take family adventures without worrying about disrupting schedules and sleep. Go ahead - take the plunge and make those precious memories! Don’t let a fear of getting “off schedule” with a new baby keep you from hitting the road with your loved ones. Your little one will love seeing new things and meeting new people; every adventure is a chance to expand their world and show them exciting things. Plus, your mental health matters, and it’s important to get a change of scenery every now and then when you feel stuck in the same routine. Whether at a hotel, rental house, or just visiting the in-laws, SlumberPod products make it easy for you and your family to get more rest on the road. Yes, please!
#3: Introducing common allergens early as part of a diverse diet is key! When a baby starts solid foods (usually around 4-6 months), it’s an exciting time of exploration, fun, and seriously entertaining facial expressions. This new stage introduces babies to a whole new world of tastes and textures for the first time, and many parents choose baby-led weaning, purees, or a combination of both. Whatever route you take, just don’t forget to prioritize introducing common allergens – which happen to be some of the most enriching and nutrient-dense foods – once you get the green light from your pediatrician. The latest guidelines say to introduce early and often because research shows that early exposure to common allergens, particularly peanut, and egg, can reduce the risk of developing food allergies, as discovered in the landmark LEAP Study. Baby-friendly, nutritious nut butter puffs like Mission MightyMe make it easy to keep nuts in little diets consistently at home or on the go, with no mess and no stress.
#4: Milestones look different for every baby. It’s easy to get caught up in milestones and stress about whether your baby is doing the “right” things. But remember, from crawling and walking to hand-eye coordination and talking, there is a huge approximate age range and wide spectrum for these key developmental milestones. (As a mom of three, I can tell you that my kids were all very different - one walked at ten months and her sister at 14 months. They are both athletes now and run circles around me!)
#5: Give yourself grace – you deserve it. I was the perfect parent before I had kids: my children were going to stick to sleep schedules, they were never going to have screen time or eat junk, and they were going to read books and play outside. We wouldn’t have any colorful plastic toys that would clash with our calm, neutral color palette – fast forward a few years, and our house looks like a circus exploded in it! While we still strive to eat healthy and limit screens, our favorite family activity is eating ice cream in bed while watching a movie. So things slid a little, but that’s ok! We are all doing our best at every stage; it doesn’t have to be perfect. So remember to give yourself grace because you are the perfect parent for your kids right now.
Check out some of our favorite new baby essentials below!
Our favorite motto is “something they want, something they need, something to eat, something to read,” which helps new mamas keep it minimal and functional amongst all the options!
Something they want...
To be close to you!
A baby carrier is a must-have for those oh-so-sweet baby snuggles, and BabyBjörn is a trusted, tried-and-true favorite loved for generations. The Baby Carrier Mini was created especially for newborns in a flexible design that’s easy to adjust to the babywearer.
Age and stage-appropriate stimulation
Lovevery provides award-winning, Montessori-inspired toys and subscription boxes for babies and toddlers. Designed by child development experts, you’ll have peace of mind that your little one’s playthings are age-appropriate, sustainably made, and encourage “open play” as they learn and grow at every new stage.
Something they need…
A good night’s sleep – anywhere
SlumberPod is the first portable, privacy sleep nook that allows babies to sleep in their safe and familiar playard, mini crib, or toddler air mattress with room to sit up or stand up inside. With dark, breathable fabric, they’ve created a more comfortable sleep space for children four months and older so they can sleep or nap almost anywhere. And no more taping trash bags on the windows for you, mama!
Use the SlumberPod with this fan add-on, or simply insert your favorite white noise machine into the pouch. The convenience of the portable Baby Shusher Sleep Miracle Soother has created a cult following - they are ideal for the car, stroller, or wherever life takes you. Using a real human voice, it lulls your baby to sleep with a calming shush, and they are made from easy-to-clean, durable, BPA-Free material.
Something to eat…
Yummy and nutritious science-backed snacks for babies, big kids, and beyond
Mission MightyMe’s pediatrician-developed, quick-dissolve nut butter puffs make it easy and enjoyable for parents to include peanuts and tree nuts in little diets early and often, as pediatric guidelines now recommend. Less stress and less mess for parents, nutritious and delicious for littles. Four tasty flavors (Peanut Butter Puffs, Nut Butter Puffs, Peanut Butter Strawberry Puffs, and Peanut Butter Banana Puffs) are all made with clean ingredients, packed with more than 50% nuts, and designed to age up.
Plus, MightyMe’s free online Early Allergen Introduction Guide features helpful tips and tricks for including allergens in your baby’s diet – because feeding littles should be fun! Use code SLUMBERPOD20 when you shop for 20% off first-time orders.
About the Author
Catherine Mitchell Jaxon is an Atlanta-based mom of three, and her oldest daughter is allergic to most nuts. As a mom who knows what a burden food allergies can be for families, Catherine is passionate about helping other parents get proactive about preventing them. Prior to founding Mission MightyMe, Catherine was an award-winning journalist with CNN and is still an avid researcher and a journalist at heart.