Becoming a mum: 3 tips new mums should know

You've read a number of parenting books, scoured the Internet for advice and drilled your doctor. Becoming a mum is exciting, but also daunting. Motherhood is sure to throw some surprises your way, but here are three more nuggets of advice to help with preparing for your baby's arrival.

1. Babies don't always sleep when they're tired

It defies logic, but a tired baby doesn't always equal a sleeping baby. In fact, an overly tired child tends to be irritable and hard to settle. The trick is to look out for signs that your baby is tired and to put them in their cot before your little one gets overly sleepy. Look out for clenched fists, yawning, eye rubbing, jerky movements or pulling at their ear. When your new baby is a few months older, you will probably start noticing them learning to self-soothe, which will make it easier for them to go to sleep on her own.

2. Beware the germs

While some exposure to germs early on can help strengthen your child's immune system, you don't want to risk them falling ill. Practise smart germ control by insisting that anyone who holds your new baby washes their hands first. Also, keep unwell friends and family at arm's length and disinfect your home on a regular basis. However, some germs are unavoidable and there's only so much you can do.

3. Learn a few baby-soothing techniques

Babies are all different and like different things, but a gentle massage may be an effective way to soothe your baby and comfort them when they are upset. Try warming some lotion in your hand and starting at their forehead, working down along the nose, cheeks and chin, finishing at their neck. Another way to soothe your new baby is to keep her close in a sling while you do things around the house.

As a new mum, it's perfectly normal to have worries. Just remember that your own instincts can be your best weapon. Each time you deal with something new, the experience will help turn you into a more confident mother.

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