Becoming a mother can be both exciting and terrifying. As a first-time mom, you are eager to provide the best for your baby while adjusting to a new routine that often includes sleepless nights. It’s completely normal to have countless questions about what lies ahead after giving birth, and the inquiries will keep coming.

To help you on this journey, we’ve gathered real-life insights from our team of healthcare professionals—doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners—who specialize in newborn care and support new parents daily. Here are 10 essential tips that every new mother should be aware of right from the start.

1. Leaving the hospital after giving birth can be an emotional experience. Taking your newborn home after a few days of staying in the hospital can feel overwhelming and uncertain. It’s natural to feel a little worried about leaving the supportive environment of the hospital. However, this transition is part of starting your new life as a family. Give yourself time to adjust and lean on your partner or nurse to talk through your emotions. Ensuring your baby’s safety during the journey home by preparing your vehicle and installing the car seat well in advance can provide peace of mind.

      2. Babies often cry for various reasons, such as hunger, discomfort, or the need for a diaper change. Sometimes, though, they may cry without an apparent cause. This is normal as crying is          their way of communicating in a new and unfamiliar world. It’s natural to feel unsettled by your baby’s cries, but after trying typical soothing methods like feeding and swaddling, offering your comfort and staying calm can often help. If you notice changes in crying patterns or feel concerned, contacting your baby’s doctor or clinic’s nurse line for guidance is advisable.

     3. Offering your baby a pacifier is perfectly acceptable and can provide comfort and aid in self-soothing. Pacifiers can be beneficial as they satisfy a baby’s natural sucking reflex and may contribute to better sleep. However, it’s important to introduce a pacifier only after breastfeeding is established to avoid nipple confusion. Regularly cleaning and sterilizing the pacifier is also essential. If you have any questions or concerns, consulting your doctor is recommended.

4. You cannot spoil your baby by holding them too much. Physical closeness and gentle touch are crucial for a baby’s healthy development and emotional well-being. Studies show that responsive interactions between caregivers and infants strengthen neural connections in the brain, promoting secure attachment and confidence. While it’s important for babies to have independent moments, responding to their needs with sensitivity fosters trust and security in the parent-child relationship.

5. Breastfeeding can be challenging for many mothers despite its natural benefits. It’s common for mothers to experience difficulties such as latching issues, low milk supply, or discomfort. Seeking support from healthcare professionals, such as lactation consultants, and exploring available resources can help overcome breastfeeding challenges. However, the decision to breastfeed or use formula is personal and should be based on what works best for both mother and baby.

6. Babies have varying sleep patterns, and it’s normal for them to wake frequently during the night, especially when they’re young. Factors like feeding schedules, growth spurts, or discomfort can affect their sleep. While it can be challenging, adjusting expectations and prioritizing naps when possible can help manage sleep deprivation. Consulting your baby’s doctor for advice on establishing healthy sleep habits is advisable if sleep disturbances persist.

7. Co-sleeping with your baby is not recommended due to safety concerns such as accidental suffocation or SIDS risk. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises placing babies on their back in a crib or bassinet in the parents’ room for the first six months to reduce the risk of sleep-related incidents. Providing a safe sleep environment promotes both safety and peace of mind for parents.

8. Many new mothers experience postpartum baby blues, characterized by mood swings, irritability, or tearfulness. These feelings typically begin a few days after delivery and may last up to a couple of weeks. It’s important to prioritize self-care, seek support from loved ones, and attend postpartum check-ups with healthcare providers to monitor emotional well-being. If symptoms persist or worsen, consulting a healthcare professional is recommended to rule out postpartum depression.

9. While the internet can offer valuable information, it’s important to rely on credible sources and medical professionals for accurate guidance on parenting and baby care. Online forums and discussions can provide support, but verifying information with healthcare providers ensures that you receive reliable advice tailored to your baby’s needs.

10. Following the recommended childhood vaccination schedule is crucial for protecting babies and children from serious diseases. Alternative vaccination schedules are not supported by scientific evidence and may compromise the effectiveness of vaccines. Vaccinations are scheduled to provide optimal protection during early childhood when children are most vulnerable to infections.

You will find yourself stressing over little things from time to time. However, you’ll often be grateful for doing so because it brings you peace of mind to get the closure you need. As a new mom, you’ll receive advice from various sources—doctors, family, friends, and more. But it’s equally important to listen to your own intuition and instincts. A mother’s instincts are always trustworthy and valid.