Jenna McCarthy is one of our favorite writers, and she has a new book out: Cheers to the New Mom!: Tips and Tricks to Help You Ace the First Months of Parenthood. Here’s some of the best excerpts that aren’t just hilarious—they also offer some real solid tips for new moms.
New mom tip #1: Dreaming of sleep?
If you’re lucky, your baby is a natural-born sleeper. If you’re not, your choices are basically wait it out, cry it out, or constantly go back and forth. These suggestions might help you to get through-the-night more quickly.
Establish a bedtime ritual. One that works for lots of folks is also easy to remember: bath, book, breast or bottle, bed. He’ll soon learn where this sequence of events is leading and may start yawning as soon as he hears the tub filling up.
Resist the urge to always bounce/rock/hold him until he’s fast asleep. You want him to learn the skill of self-soothing, and that can only be accomplished if he’s allowed to fall asleep on his own. Try putting him down when he’s drowsy but not completely out.
Help him learn to differentiate between (short) day and (long) night sleep. There comes a point when babies are waking every two hours all night long not because they’re hungry, but because they just enjoy your company so darned much. Try being “all business” during the night by simply feeding, changing, and returning him to his crib with no lights, chatter, songs, or otherwise engaging activities.