As older, more experienced Moms can attest to, first-time Moms can be very easy to spot. And while probably not very funny to the oldest child you have, if you’re honest, you’ll have to admit that they were your ‘tester’ baby, no matter how prepared you thought you were. You figured out how to manage the world of tiny humans through experiments on them! So, how do the older Moms and Grandmoms know they are looking at a first-time Mom?
5 Ways to Recognize and Help a First Time Mom
You’ll know you’re looking at a first-time Mom when you see any of these signs! We didn’t want to just leave it there though, we wanted to make sure you’d have at least one tool in your bag on how to deal with these first-time Moms should you come across one!
- New Moms are usually hyper-prepared. You’ll see her loading up her car with strollers, playpens, walkers, Johnny Jump ups, Jumperoos and at least two diaper bags; that’s just to cover the trip to the grocery store. But hey, don’t just looky-loo there. Give her a hand. Being a new Mom can be hard enough as it is without having to lug around half of a Target store with you. If she says no, though, go away. Don’t get a Mama bear’s creep meter on the red line.
- Want to touch her baby? Well, you better break out your hand sanitizer. As a matter of fact, if you don’t mind, please, could you just go wash your hands first? Then the sanitizer. If you could just dust off your clothing a bit too that would be great. Have you been near anyone ill lately? She might be a little health obsessed in the early days but that’s okay too, and also, completely normal. Any illness can be very dangerous for such fresh, new little people with no immune system to speak of yet. Comply with her and don’t make her feel bad for it, either. Smile, sanitize, cuddle. It’s that easy.
- Her baby’s nails are akin to something you’d expect to see Dracula sporting. The fact is, newborns have nails that grow very fast. You do have to keep them trimmed but they are so fine and so indistinguishable from the part that is okay to trim verses the quick, that some mothers just forgo trimming them altogether, maybe throw some hand booties on them. And let’s be honest, some of you chewed them off yourselves so you’d be sure not to take more than was safe and comfortable for your baby. Instead of shrieking about the 4 inch long gash her baby just left across your chest, just let her know all the tips and tricks you used when yours were little.
- Slip ups, spills and minor accidents cause something best described as ‘The Unhinging’. From afar an observer might smile at the sight presented by the mother feeding her baby on a warm day in the park. But that observer didn’t see the long stream of barely expressed breast milk that flew from the bottle when it was removed from the baby’s mouth. They won’t know that she spent an hour barely getting an ounce just so she could have a bit of a break and a few moments in the sun at the local park. All they’ll know is apparently that woman is really upset by the burping process of feedings. Because suddenly she just won’t stop crying. New mothers can have perfectly ‘normal’ emotional issues. And by emotional issues, I mean the ups-and-downs of all of the struggles of the day-to-day, to just the general fear one can have when they realize they are responsible for another human being in all ways forever. It’s a real process for some. It certainly was for me! Again, don’t be a creep, but if you want to lend a helping hand to a friend you see in this state, or a stranger, just walk up, sit down and ask them to tell you about their day and why they ended up crying on a park bench. And then listen. To all of it. Objectively preferred. Offer advice only if asked. And offer to be there again for them if another unburdening is needed. Remember that not every meltdown is leading to something bigger, but also remember that Postpartum depression can be very serious, know the signs so you can keep an eye on those you love.
- When she drops the baby off for you to watch, she also drops off a long, organized list of how she wants you to care for her baby. All of her emergency contact information, her baby’s doctors name, address and phone number, the location of the nearest hospital, and on…and on… Some new Moms are very hesitant to leave their baby’s with anyone, even when they desperately need to for whatever reasons. Smile, take the list, assure her you’ll contact her first thing if anything on earth goes wrong, and kindly shoo her out the door if need be. If she request that you call her every 2 hours, call her every 1 hour and 59 minutes.