Singapore mums share their newborn survival strategies

As you come to grips with life with a brand-new baby, take heart with these experienced mothers’ I-survived-a-newborn hacks.

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Think you’re going crazy because you’re so sleep deprived? Is breastfeeding the bane of your existence? Are you suffering from aching arms because you just can’t seem to put your baby down (because he’ll only scream his head off)?

The newborn days aren’t easy ― that’s for sure. And chances are, if it’s your first child, you don’t know anything about caring for a brand-new baby. We’ve turned to the best experts ― yes, mums who have been there and done that ― to reveal their top newborn survival secrets.

On getting support…

“Find a support group. I’m so glad I did when I was a first-time mum and my baby was so difficult.”
Lee Yun Ni, mum to Xu Rui, 3 months, and Xin Yu, 3.

“You need a group of supportive mummy friends. They’re the only ones who’ll understand as they’ve struggled on that same path ― like waking up in the wee hours to pump or feed the baby, knowing how terrible it is to not bathe during the hot days of the first month, and tolerating the limited food choices during confinement, as well as all the myths about what you can and cannot do.”
Elisa, mum to YC, 18 months, and Jun, 3.

“Not everyone approaches parenting the same way, so choose your mummy tribe wisely. This group of women should share your parenting philosophy. Instead of always passing judgement or making you second-guess your choices, they serve as a strong support system and sounding board.”
Rebecca De Souza, 35, stay-at-home-mum to Liam, 2.

“Tell your husband what you need him to do. Don’t expect him to volunteer. In all likelihood, he has no idea how to help.”
Grace Hwee-Rabani, mum to Delicia, 2.

On feeding…

“Breastfeed while lying down ― so you can drift off to sleep, too. Know that ‘This, too, shall pass.’ It was the best advice my friend gave me. Life will be like hell initially but after 6 weeks, it gets better.”
Chan Lin-Mei, mum to James, 1, and Daniel, 3.

“Feed your baby on demand and not on a schedule, so you’ll get enough sleep. Your baby will naturally scream for milk when she is hungry.”
Audrey Liow, mum to Aprilynn, 3, and Tiffany, 5.

“Don’t stress about breastfeeding. As long as your baby is drinking and growing healthily, you’re doing a good job. A happy mum is equally important.”
Imy Chua, mum to Aiden, 3, and Giselle, 7.


On setting routines…

“Fix a bedtime routine. When baby wakes up in the middle of the night, don’t talk to her, don’t play with her and keep the room dark. This way, she’ll learn to differentiate night and day. For Clarice, it was a warm bath, a gentle massage, changing into her pyjamas, then milk and lights out.”
Blandina Chue, mum to Clarice, 18 months, and Rayner, 3.

“Don’t expect your baby to sleep when you want her to, or eat when you want her to. In fact, throw all expectations out of the window…your baby will do whatever she wants!”
Veronica David, mum to Shauna, 2.

On being happy…

“Enjoy this time. It’s easy to get caught up about how difficult everything is, but take time to enjoy your baby. Look at his little fingers and toes and marvel at this beautiful creature you’ve created.”
Arya Dharmawan, mum to Joseph, 9 months.

“Trust your instincts and ignore unwanted advice. No one knows your baby more than you do. You don’t have to listen to anyone else but yourself.”
Leena Chua, mum to Samuel, 4 months. 

More tips about caring for yourself and your baby…up ahead!