Dear new mama: You won’t feel this lonely forever

Did you ever imagine that having everything you ever wanted would make you cry this much?

Dear new mama: You won’t feel this lonely forever

Hey new mama,

Did you ever think it would be possible to be this lonely and yet not be able to remember the last time you were alone?

Did you ever imagine that having everything you ever wanted would make you cry this much?

In an instant, everything has changed. It seemed like only a moment ago, you had a routine and predictable patterns of human interaction—colleagues to laugh with and friends to meet with for dinner, brunch or a new class at the gym.

Now, your baby is here and predictability has been replaced by the mysterious whims of a newborn. Nothing is more important than the seemingly impossible task of keeping a little person alive, and nobody can do it but you.


Even if you have the best support system in the world around you, when baby cries, it's for you. In the small hours of the night, it's you he wants and you alone.

And “you alone" can be a lonely feeling.

It's astonishing how quickly—and easily!—your own needs and wants take a back seat. Baby's every burp, diaper change, feed and cuddle is catered for—but who is catering to your needs?

You're figuring out this new and wonderful (yet terrifying) reality, but before you realize it's happening, days have gone by where the only adult conversation you've had was with the cashier at the supermarket. And suddenly—it hits you—you hardly recognize yourself.

But have faith. Though you can't imagine it right now, the needy little bundle responsible for this feeling of isolation will very soon be your most powerful vehicle for re-entering the world. Through your baby, you will make some of the best friends you've have ever had. You just have to get out there in your own time.

When I felt as isolated as you do now, I did something that was entirely out of my introvert-orientated character—I put myself out there. I joined a baby music class and a breastfeeding support group. You may not have imagined yourself to be the kind of woman who would enjoy sitting in a circle on the floor singing “Wheels on the bus"—with actions!—and truthfully, I didn't either. Yet there we all were anyway, and loving it.

It took a bit of effort at first, and sometimes I came away feeling like all I'd talked about for hours on end were feeding schedules and sleep deprivation, and I wondered where the 'pre-baby me' went. But faster than I imagined, I found my squad. You will too. They are out there: a whole group of wonderful women—soon to become friends—that you would never have had the motivation to go out and meet if it wasn't for this loneliness you're feeling right now.

On the days between baby group gatherings, when the hours stretched long and lonely in front of me, I got up and went outside. It's been said that “It is solved by walking," and it really can be as simple as that.

When I felt isolated, lonely or frustrated, I put the baby in the stroller and went out for a walk. I breathed in the fresh air. I sat in a cafe and drank coffee. I watched the world go by. And, to my surprise, I made new friends.

At first I felt awkward chatting with other moms—sharing personal details with total strangers —but it was amazing how quickly my lame playground conversation opener (“Hey, do you find that sippy cup works well for you?") turned into friendships I came to treasure and rely on.

Once a week, just for a couple of hours, I found some alone time. This sounds simple, although it's anything but—yet it's one of the most important things I could do for myself as a new mother. I learned to put it on my calendar and prioritize it—I got a sitter or made sure my husband knew that was when he needed to take over.

Then, I used the time to do something I wouldn't have been able to do with my little one in tow—I got my hair done, worked out, read a book on a park bench in the sun, met a girlfriend for coffee—or absolutely nothing, guilt free. These hours were a lifeline. They reminded me that life hadn't stopped—that everything was still out there waiting for me, once this sweet and challenging season had passed.

And it will be for you too, mama. You'll see.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.


Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.


Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.


The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.


The Snoo bassinet


Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!


Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.


Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!


Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.


Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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