Becoming a mom for the first time is an experience most of us will never forget. It’s both exciting and terrifying to hold your baby for the first time and realize that every decision you make going forward will affect who they become.
No pressure, right?
Babies are so defenseless and vulnerable, how could anyone be up to the task? Take me, for instance. Before becoming a mom, the only thing I successfully kept alive was myself and a mini cactus that never needed water. I had zero chill about an immobile tiny human with a wobbly neck, and the only thing I could swaddle was a burrito.
But you know what? Everything is practice for motherhood. We have more help than we think, more experience than we realize, and more grace to offer ourselves.
Here are five of the easiest and most pressing concerns you’ll face as a newbie and our best comforting advice.
1. Does It Matter What Kind of Diapers I Use?
In short, no. But, whoa, did I struggle with not judging myself for something as innocuous as diapers. Regardless of the brand on your baby’s bottom, your baby will eventually thrive as an adult member of society. I promise. What was important to me, though, was protecting my daughter’s skin and choosing an affordable option that didn’t include dyes and fragrances. Back then, I was basically looking for a unicorn. But now there’s Target’s Cloud Island Ultra Absorbent Extra Gentle Diapers which are made of hypoallergenic materials and include 0% chlorine, latex, lotion, and fragrance. This new line not only offers peace of mind, but peace in your budget. What a time to reproduce! I’m just a little jelly.
2. How Do You Set Up a Nightly Routine?
Think of your nights like a playlist on repeat. Starting a routine is honestly just like that. To transition from night to day, set up a routine that revolves around winding down with bath time. Think about choosing a body wash that includes lavender for its calming properties. We like Target’s Cloud Island Essentials Baby Wash. With lavender and orange essential oils and made without phthalates, parabens, or sulfate, this body wash is gentle for baby’s delicate skin, tear-free, and super-affordable.
3. How Do You Master Swaddling?
Nurses have swaddled a gargantuan number of babies so do your best not to compare. And I promise, eventually, swaddling will become second nature and not impossible, like trying to fold a fitted sheet. First you want to start off with a soft cotton blanket that’s safe for baby. Then, follow this easy guide with photos.
4. How Do You Bond With Your Baby When They Don’t Talk?
Moms feel an intense amount of pressure to bond with their babies immediately. But how do you do that when they don’t talk? Or move? Or generally do anything except be vulnerable bundles of DNA with chubby rubberband wrists? One way you can work in bonding time is through massages. As part of your nighttime routine, you can take your baby out of the bath and then begin lotioning their skin. A “massage” doesn’t have to be anything other than lotioning. This skin-to-skin contact not only calms your baby, but helps you feel connected, and it’s these quiet moments you’ll cherish. Especially when they become toddlers. Just saying.
5. Is It Possible to Remain Silent at All Times? Asking for a Friend.
Unfortunately, it’s not. As much as we know you’d trade anything for your baby to sleep for more than hourly chunks, it’s just not possible for the world to be silent. Trust us on this. The moment you put your baby down, a delivery will arrive and the doorbell will ring. So invest in a sound machine like this one. Introducing your baby to a world that makes noise means you won’t have to tip-toe around or curse those deliveries that spark an intense amount of joy.
There is so much you can’t control. That’s as true for new moms as anyone else. But you can make baby care choices that are gentle on baby and easy on your mind which is truly comforting. As the beloved pediatrician Benjamin Spock wrote, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”
You got this.
Moms love Target Baby and all the amazing products they have to offer, including Cloud Island Essentials because they deliver trusted care at incredible prices. Shop the Cloud Island Essentials line here.