Yesterday my husband and I went to Babymama’s latest branch, and I soon realized that, contrary to what I previously believed, there are first-time moms even more clueless than I am. And I’ve taken much of the help I received during my pregnancy for granted. So here’s a quick list of the stuff I regret not knowing early in my mommyhood journey.

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1. Less is better. Does baby really need her clothes saturated with fabric softener? Does she really need to smell like how a baby is “supposed” to smell? I don’t think so. And so does fragrance-free baby cleansers like Sacred and Physiogel.

2. Skip the manzanilla. No matter what your dear mother tells you, SKIP PUTTING MANZANILLA ON YOUR BABY. It isn’t necessary, baby’s skin is too sensitive, and she might absorb chemicals through her skin that her liver would have to work extra hard to get rid of.

3. Introduce tummy time right away. I’m not sure why, but most parenting websites and videos I’ve seen recommend tummy time as soon as baby is born. It helps the baby get more used to laying on her tummy, and it also strengthens her tiny muscles. I suppose not everyone recommends doing this ASAP because baby isn’t supposed to lay on her tummy for too long. Just 1-2 minutes at a time, with someone to watch over her, is all she needs each day, then the length of time gradually increases as time goes on.

4. Feed baby as soon as you see her getting flustered. You know how she starts looking at you with arms flailing and her mouth making smacking noises? She most likely needs your milk in her tummy right about now! Don’t wait for her to start shrieking–she would already be famished by then. And you wouldn’t want her to be ravenous at all, because 1) it will make breastfeeding a little more painful (because she will be really sucking your nipples hard!) and 2) WHY WOULD YOU WANT YOUR BABY TO BE HUNGRY?!

5. If she cries while feeding, try burping her! No need to get nervous, just pick your baby up and try burping her. If this doesn’t work and she’s still crying, her other issues could be:

  • She’s feeling too cold/hot. Touch her head, tummy and toes to check her temp.
  • She’s overtired. She wants to sleep, but she can’t, and she needs you to help her. Try swaddling her.

6. If all else fails, seek expert advice. While you will still need to trust your intuition, it wouldn’t hurt to seek some advice from experienced moms, join support groups online, and attend events on parenting and motherhood.

Hopefully these 6 tips will help new mothers out there. :) Congrats and good luck!