Your newborn wakes at all hours of the night, and your days seem like a neverending cycle of diaper changes and feedings — and your little one’s naptimes feel far too short. Being a new mom is no easy task. You begin to lose yourself a little bit each day, constantly giving to your family and failing to fill your own bucket.
Since you’re here, you probably already know you want to make some changes, but you may be curious about how to make yourself a priority again. With just a handful of new tricks, you can take your life back, becoming healthier and a better parent for your new baby. Here are 8 wellness tips that all new moms should know:
1. Go To Bed Extra Early
Since your newborn wakes up so often in the night for feeding, changing and soothing, you lose a significant amount of sleep. This lack of rest leaves you depleted and under-prepared for the following day. Continued deprivation can lead to health risks and impaired judgment, none of which is ideal for parenting successfully.
While it may seem strange initially, making your bedtime earlier can be a real lifesaver, especially in those first few months. Clocking more hours in your bed will ultimately lead to more sleep, even with constant interruptions.
2. Call Someone Every Day
Being a new mom can feel incredibly isolating. Your baby always needs you, and your friends seem to be pulling away from you. You aren’t meant to feel this way. Unfortunately, you may need to take it upon yourself to reach out and connect with your friends and loved ones.
Some people tend to back off when new babies arrive because they don’t want to interrupt family time or intrude. Let everyone know you’re still available, and try to reach out when you have a free minute. A good soft goal would be to call and chat with someone every day.
3. Ditch The Leggings
Adjusting your wardrobe can significantly improve your mental health and feelings of self-worth. Yes, leggings, sweatpants and oversized sweatshirts are ridiculously comfortable, but they don’t do much for your body confidence. Spruce it up with more fitted options like soft joggers or high-waisted pants and a cute tee. Choose everything in a coordinating color palette so all your clothes can be mixed and matched, reducing the number of pieces you need to make multiple outfits.
4. Join A Moms Group
Mom’s groups are essential for any new mother’s bag of tricks. The women in these meetings have all been in your shoes or are currently experiencing this phase with you. Lean on each other and heed one another’s advice. You’ll gain wisdom and friendship from these ladies. As a bonus, most mom groups either provide child care or include babies as part of the meeting, like a Mommy and Me class.
5. Bring Your Baby Into The Bathroom
One major complaint all new moms struggle with is how to keep up with their personal hygiene. When you have a little one, it can be hard to find time alone to get a shower, let alone do your hair and makeup.
The trick? Don’t wait until you’re alone to take care of yourself — bring baby into the bathroom with you.
Ensure you’ve strapped them into a safe spot and keep them within your line of sight. Baby bouncers work well since they’re compact, easy to move and structurally sound. Right after a feeding, when your little one is content, set them up and get your shower. Who knows, you may even end up with time to put on some lotion and brush your hair and teeth. If not, come back and do those things later.
6. Adopt A Growth Mindset
The easiest way to go from surviving to thriving in motherhood is to adopt a growth mindset. So you aren’t a pro at this right now — who is at the very beginning? Just know that as your baby grows, your parenting skills will also. You’ll also be able to make yourself a priority again.
A growth mindset is also necessary regarding your child. You’ll be tempted to measure them up against everyone else their age when you should be comparing them only to themselves. Your child is special and has unique strengths and needs that you’ll have to learn to play to as their parent.
7. Take A Daily Walk
A daily walk is such an easy habit to get into, and it comes with a slew of benefits. The fresh air and sunshine will play an integral role in your mental health, which is important since most new moms experience some form of baby blues or postpartum depression.
Walking will also help circulate your blood and move your muscles, improving your overall physical health and starting your journey back to the fitness level you’re used to.
You can go alone for some much-needed me-time or take your baby with you in a carrier or stroller. The fresh air is good for both of you, and your little one might get a great nap while you’re out.
8. Prioritize Your Nutrition
Nutrition is a major contributor to overall wellness. The food you eat can fill you with energy and aid digestion, while other foods make you feel sluggish and under the weather. Try to get a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and fiber. Not only can nutritious dietary choices help you feel better, but they can also help your breastmilk supply.
Woman And Mom — You Can Be Both
It’s all too easy to lose yourself to the stresses and pressures of new motherhood. All moms have been there at one point or another. While you can’t control what life throws at you as a parent, you can decide how you’ll react. Will you become a mommy machine, living only for your little one, or will you fill your own bucket? Taking care of your health and wellbeing will make you feel more like yourself and will help you be a better parent for your child.