I gathered together some of the best moms I know to discuss what we wish we would have known before becoming moms. Below you are going to find advice from amazing moms from all over.
There are affiliate links in many of the posts on this site. This means your purchase supports myself, my business and my family when you click through to buy - at no additional cost to you.
We all Need a little Grace
Give yourself grace. This is a new, exciting time and you won't know it all. You'll be tired and overwhelmed, but also filled with more joy than you ever thought possible.
Enjoy the ride! -Heather
Have grace with your partner (and yourself!) and remember they are learning, just like you. Talk about it before the baby comes. It’s so easy to keep score of who does what with the baby - but don’t. And if your husband is caring for the baby, but doing things differently then you are - let him. It’s ok. The more grace you’re able to give and if you’re able to honestly talk through things together - your marriage will only get stronger rather than the baby pulling you apart. -Briana
You Don't Have to Love Every Second
No matter what anyone says, it is completely okay and normal to not be loving/cherishing every second of your baby. Having a newborn is HARD STUFF, and it's normal to wonder "what have I done?!" Even as they get older, it's okay not to cherish every moment. Some moments are really hard. - Kristen
It's Okay to Ask for Help
Don't try to do everything! The dishes can wait. Ask for help if you need it! Having support (and sleep!) will be so important for your mental health! -Stacey
It is okay to ask for help! You do not have to be super mom. You do not have to do it all. Find one or two other moms (whether it be family or friends) to lean on when things get tough. Do not be afraid to express your needs, and allow others to help, where you feel comfortable. -Jennifer
Find Ways to Make Your Life Easier
Freezing meals before was a lifesaver. I had a c section and could barely move, so my husband cooked some and we used the frozen meals. I didn’t make a whole day of cooking ahead of time. Whenever I cooked, I would double (or triple) the recipe and freeze a ton. This helped even more when I went back to work because I had even less time for cooking.
And a second one is have a downstairs and upstairs changing station. Doesn’t have to be fancy. I used a plastic container with an extra pad, wipes, diapers, and a couple onesies downstairs. -Caitlin
Kids Only Need Love
I wish I knew that all they want is to be loved, to be held, and to have your undivided attention. Gear and gadgets and outings can help pass the time and lend a hand in a small way but if all you do is hold them and give them eye contact and a smile you did a great job.
Calming a Fussy Baby
If your baby is fussy and you’ve run out of ideas, step outside! It’s amazing what fresh air does for babies- magic! -Kelley
Play music in the background, especially if it's been a sleepless or stressful day. Something about music just calms and lifts the mood. -Jenn
You Don't Have to do it All
Don’t compare! It’s OK to not always be an Instagram or Pinterest mom. Survival days that consist of pajamas all day, uncrustables, and a little screen time are sometimes necessary! -Hayley
Clothing Doesn't Have to be Complicated
Ones that zip from the chin down so you don’t have to get them practically naked for nighttime changes. These are new-ish and are far superior to the zip from the bottom up version. Even better are the 2 way zip variety. Things have come a long way in the 8 years since my first. -Kelly
Keep a spare change of clothes (+diapers/wipes) in the car for baby, AND for you! Their messes aren't always contained. - Shannon
Mom is Important Too
I wish I had known that it was okay to ask for help and take time for myself. When my youngest two were babies I wore myself down so much trying to do everything. Now I make time for myself. I do a quick workout in the morning and FIND time (even if there’s dishes in the sink!) to sit and read or do what I’d like to do for 20 minutes. It makes such a difference in my mood and outlook with my kids. - Debbie
Have your partner call you by your name. SAHM (Stay at home mom) and teacher moms are called “Mom” or “Mrs.” all day. You need someone to call you by your name to make clear to the world you are more than Mom and more than a teacher. You are an individual as well. Without someone knowing to call you by your name you might not hear your name for weeks - Michelle
It is so easy to fill your life with your child! You still need to make time for the things you love. You can’t lose who you are in it all and being a mom doesn’t have to be your identity. I really struggle with this still! My little guy is 1! - Rachel
Saving Money is Important
Trash bags fit just as well in diaper disposal rings as those really expensive ones!!!-Melanie
Another practical tip is to watch for sales at Target. The gift card promos on top of cartwheel offers on top of coupons really make for a great savings! -Jenn
Don't try to go out and buy a bunch of baby gear that you will only use for a couple months, look for items that can grow with your baby. We started with a pack 'n play in our bedroom for the first few months, which we still use on trips. Also, you can get a play mat, that turns into a bouncer and then a toddler table. Since these grow with you baby you will save in the future. -Regan
Also, get a Costco membership! We buy all snacks and kid stuff in bulk. We also got our formula there when our son was a baby. It’s SUCH a big savings! -Hayley
You don't need a fancy diaper bag. A backpack will do and is more convenient. Costco diapers are cheaper and just as good as fancy brand names. Shop second hand stores, babies grow so fast that they seldom ruin clothes before they outgrow them. -Desiree
Tips for Feeding Baby
Newborns, breastfeeding, and dairy don't mix! If baby is gassy, try cutting it out of your diet!
Nursing is awesome, but don't stress, FED is best. -Desiree
Don't buy all your bottle nipples, pacifier, sippy cups all at once. My little boy was SO PICKY and we wasted so much money because he only wanted ONE kind!
There are no prizes for breastfeeding/bottle feeding. Do whatever allows you and your baby to be as stress free as possible for that first little while. Mommy warriors come out of the woodwork, but you need to be your own mommy warrior for your baby and do what feels right for you. -Becca
Being a Mom is an Emotional Journey
No one told me about Day 4, when my milk came in. I was a crazy mess of emotions and had no idea why, which made it even worse. I was more prepared for it the second time around. - Becky
I wish I knew that taking care of a baby is the easiest part of this whole journey called “motherhood”. If I knew, I would have enjoyed my daughter even more when she was tiny and complained less about the little things. I realized that as my kids grow, the more needs that have to be met and the more challenges that we have to overcome. I certainly worry more about my daughter now that she’s in school than when she was really small and was just with either of us parents at home. I’m just glad to have a second chance to enjoy my son as a baby and to have an ongoing opportunity to be a good mother to my eldest. -Jewel
Sleep is so Important
I’m so glad I took another teacher mom’s advice on sleep training. I used BabyWise for both of my kiddos. My babies are all happily in bed by 7 and sleep until 7 the next day. This gave my hubby and I time to catch up, time to put on a face mask, and in worst case situations, do some grading -Amanda
Swaddles saved my life. I loved my Halo Swaddles. Once my babies out grew them we switched to the Halo sleep sacks and still use them at 18 months. -Regan
Time Slips Away Quickly
The cleaning can be done later, get down on the floor and play because one day they won’t need you to. – Barbara
I wish I knew it gets better. As a first time mom, I was definitely sleep-deprived, not completely feeling the connection at first, exhausted and lonely at times even though I was not alone. I realized a few months later that it really does get better. As your baby becomes less needy, more independent, and sleeps longer, you start to become yourself again and all the positivity of being a mom starts to radiate within you. This was my experience and I’m very grateful for it. -Chantal
I wish I would’ve known how quickly the time passes! My oldest started kindergarten this year, and I’m blown away by how much she’s changed & grown in 5 years. I feel like she just turned 2 yesterday and is still my little toddler! My son just turned 1, and I’m trying to soak in the moments & truly enjoy him—because he’ll be in school before I know it!
Also—you think your schedule will slow down as your kids get older, but it actually gets busier! School drop-off & pick-up, piano, swim, gymnastics—we are always on the go! I miss the lazy mornings & movie afternoons we used to have! - Erin
Do What is Best For YOUR Family
New moms get a lot of contradicting advice. “Never wake a sleeping baby. Don’t let baby oversleep. You should sleep train. You should never do cry it out. Make everyone wash their hands before holding baby. Baby needs to be exposed to germs to build immunization.” It’s overwhelming and sometimes you won’t know what to do, and THAT’S OKAY. Just do what feels right and when it comes down to it, the most important thing is that your baby is loved and being cared for. Everything else is mostly a phase and they will be just fine. -Shannon