Take care of yourself

You know the saying, “If mom isn’t happy, nobody’s happy?” It’s true.

Whether you’ve just given birth or adopted a child, life will be amazing but also overwhelming. Your first priority will be taking care of your new baby, but don't forget about yourself. Take a walk, read a book — even if it takes a week to get through one chapter — or get a pedicure. If you exhibit signs of postpartum mood disorders, don't hesitate to get professional help.

Let someone else tackle your to-do list

When someone wants to visit you and the baby and asks, "Do you need anything?" the best answer you can give is "yes!" Less time walking the dog or cleaning means more time with your baby. You may want to hire a postpartum doula — a professional trained to "mother the mother" by helping with things like breast or bottle feeding support, cooking light meals and answering non-medical baby care questions so you can rest, recover and get comfortable with your new baby.

Get to know your baby’s cues.

You may not know exactly what your baby needs right away, but you will get to know your baby’s cues and what they mean. The “feed me” cry, the “change my diaper” cry or the “I just feel like making noise” cry — pretty soon you’ll understand this new baby language.

Go on a baby's day out.

Don't fret about getting your baby on a schedule — the more you involve him in your day-to-day life, the more comfortable you'll both be. Take him to the coffee shop, out to lunch or for a walk in the park. If you're nervous about nursing in public or what to do if your baby decides to have his first screaming fit in the middle of the mall, take a deep breath. Every new mom goes through this and gets through this. You will, too.