Baby Hints & Tips

Motherly instincts

motherly instinctsI’m a first time mum due in March next year. I’m starting to get very excited but mostly scared and nervous because I’m young. I’ve been told you get motherly instincts when you become a mum, but I can’t seem to feel better. Just wondering if other mothers have experienced this? And did it get better?

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  • Yep the motherly instincts kick in, i was 14 when i had my eldest boy, scared and nervous like nothing before but it turned out to be the best thing ever, it takes time to grow confidence in yourself like anything else in life. Support makes a huge difference. I think it’s a rather normal feeling, you’re facing the unexpected and like someone said to me one day whether you become a mum at 14 or 40 the journey and the challenges we face are exactly the same Diana
  • I’m not going to beat around the bush. The first 6 weeks suck but after that your Bub will start smiling at you and things get exponentially better from there. You will get to know your baby and learn their tired and hunger signs. Use an app to track feeds and nappy changes. It will help you work out why your baby may be unsettled. Ask for help if you need it. Every day you’ll learn something new, and I promise you, you’ll amaze yourself. Alicia
  • What you are feeling is completely normal. When I was pregnant with my son, I was so excited and couldn’t wait to be a mum. When it was closer to my due date I was secretly paniking that I wasn’t going to be the best mother to my child and that I wouldn’t know what to do etc. I had lots of friends with kids that I had held and also a niece and nephew that I had babysat numerous times but it was so different being that this child was going to be mine. Once he was born, all my fears subsided and the mother was born. I can’t explain it but motherly instincts definitely kick in and the love and the care that you have for the child makes all the worry fade away. You’ll be fine Lisa
  • I think what people mean by natural parenting is you see those mummies who do all the cool stuff like play groups and mummy groups they talk talk talk about babies all the time. To me their almost like super mums. They just go go go all day long. I for one am not one of those mums. I wish every day I could be. I absolutely love my kids but I’m just a simple mum. I don’t interact with other mummies in any form but online really. I make my own baby food but I’m not anal about it. He just eats normal simple foods. We do a lot of family time just hanging out going to the park just chilled out. I think if you love your kids, their happy, your happy, that’s all that matters really. Being a super mummy would be awesome but honestly I’m happy just being the plain old stay at home mummy going with the flow. Jessie
  • Best advise I can give is accept everything and that you cannot control what happens from now on.This baby will bring you highs and lows and you just need to ask for help if needed and do what you feel is right. The bonding with your baby can take time or happen right away just know everybody’s experience is different and magical enjoy your pregnancy and sleep xx Leanne
  • In my experience there are some natural mums and dads but when my baby was born I discovered that I am not one of them. I learnt from closely watching people to whom parenting newborn babies is instinctive – my sister and partner (a ftd) – I highly recommend finding people to copy. After a couple of months I became confidant in my ability to parent my baby and the instincts that I developed from parenting her. Sarah
  • I seriously felt like I had no idea and I didn’t really until the moment my little boy was in my arms and you just do it. It’s great being in hospital for a few days with nurses there to help and answer any questions and remember it’s okay to ask questions. You will be amazing even if you don’t realise it right now!! Ingrid
  • Im a child hater..or was. .i also have no clue about kids..i also had no real connection to my baby till much later on in my pregnancy. .was even scared “did i really want this” ..ur lfe is about to change in a way none of us can even describe for you nor should we be silly enough to try..just enjoy whats coming. .and enjoy the now ..i was given 100s of pieces of advice and only one has been useful to me. .its very harsh but its true. .at the end of the day ask yourself ” is ur baby healthy happy not hurt alive? ? Louise
  • I’m not a young mum and I was still pretty overwhelmed when I had my son and the first year was a blur. It’ll come to you, just take it one day at a time. There is only here and now for bub, and so should it be for you. Take ALL the help that is offered and try to shower every day, even if you have to drag bub into the bathroom with you in their rocker. I’m still yet to follow that advice properly but you do what you can! Jennifer
  • You absolutely do. I was 20 when I had my first. Jessica
  • Of course! Most are freaked out. No one knows what they are doing. There is no manual for parenthood. It will come naturally. I was 21.when i had my first and it just came naturally. We all have motherly instincts to love and care for ur child. Ashlea
  • The nurses and midwives in the hospitals are an amazing resource for your first few days and even when you go home. A newborn just needs cuddles, nappy changes and feeds (breast or bottle, whatever works for you personally). As bub grows you learn all the tricks of the trade so to speak. Mothers groups and forums like these are invaluable, dont expect that you’ll have all of the answers. So much is trial and error, theres no strict rules as such, just guidelines. Keep looking at these posts even tho you wont need them for a while, just so that when something comes up you realise that someone else was once in the same boat and you arent alone Samantha
  • Yes, completely natural how you are feeling. I had a full on panic attack at around 20 weeks pregnant and I’m not the most maternal person but it has come naturally for me, except breastfeeding, that takes a bit of work! Tracey

SEE ALSO: Is my baby hungry or just wants comfort?

  • Not everyone gets motherly instincts and that’s ok, truth is there is heaps of support for mums whether your a natural or not. My suggestion is to do a prenatal class and meet other mums due the same time as you, when baby is born, join a parents group, and stay in touch with a health/ baby nurse either at a local chemist or clinic. Ensure you build a support network and every thing will be ok. Not every mum falls in love with their baby, not every mum is a natural when the baby is born and almost no new mum ever wants to admit it ( but honestly it is ok)! Natalie
  • There is an element of motherly instincts, but “mother crafting” is mostly learnt from your mum and other women in your life. Pick the brains of a mum who’s parenting approach you admire. For me, that was my BFF who has successfully wrangled 3 energetic but well behaved children. The main thing I think you should do between now and March is get as much “me time” as possible. See a few movies, go to nice restaurants, read a book, get your hair done. Because, believe me, once the little tyke is out, you barely have enough time to shower some days, let alone book in for a massage. Fifi
  • you will be fine. I recommend reading Kid Wrangling by Kaz Cook. She did up the duff. Your maternal child health nurse will guide you and you can ring them anytime. Also talk to other mums or your own mum/ aunties about questions you have.
    Remember you and your baby are new to this so don’t be to hard on yourself. Your both getting to know each other and develop a routine. Speaking of routines, babies love routines. They like to know what’s happening next so if you do sleep eat play routine, keep it the same each time. Enjoy this amazing time of firsts Sally
  • My first bubs is now 5 weeks and most stuff definitely comes naturally but unfortunately hormones come naturally too so just keep a level head stay calm always know your doing your best don’t get overwhelmed by small things otherwise they may take over just take every day at a time and do what’s right for you and bubs don’t let anyone tell you how to do things Kimberley
  • i think everyone feels this way. I was young and worked in an office with 10 mothers that had at least 4 children each. They all had horror stories, good stories, books n articles to read and real life advice. My boss called me in one day to give me the best advice ever. ….Smile and nod to everyone ‘helping you’, stop reading and just follow your instincts. There will be times when you are really unsure of what to do and there are plenty of people and places to turn to but you will learn your baby, your child and know what is best for both of you. My other advice is Breastfeeding can take up to 8-12 weeks to really get the hang of. The best part is just sitting, holding your baby while they receive nourishment from you and you just get to watch them and connect with them. Forget about housework and everything non essential and just be with your baby. You will do great as one of the benefits of being young is you will hv so much more energy when they are toddlers etc Kristy
  • I became a ftm at the ripe old age of 41 in october never thinking i had the mother insinct well i guess i did because as soon as i was able to hold my daughter i knew what to do it’s funny how it does kick in and i was scared and nervous too. But you will just know. Michelle
  • Trust your gut feeling. It’s amazing how quickly you understand what you babe is saying without words. Being anxious is all part of the most amazing journey you and you baby are about to start. You will do an amazing job. Enjoy each and every moment. Caryn

SEE ALSO: Dealing with new parent anxiety

  • I’m a ftm and my son is 4mo. I felt overwhelmed and lost in the beginning. I took on any and all advice and listened to the ‘experts.’ Slowly I started to do things my own way and over time my son and I started to find our own rhythm. I now find that other mums are generally the best ‘experts’ and I use their advice along with the medical professionals’ then I use trial and error to find what’s best for my son. Every day I know him a little bit better. I’m now running mainly off instinct. Listen to advice but trust that you’ll soon know your baby better than anyone else Ashley
  • I was 16 when I got pregnant and would wake up every morning crying thinking I was going to be the worst mum in the world thinking that I would never know how to do anything. When I had my daughter I was amazed how natural everything comes feel free to pm if you want to talk! I’m now 18 and my daughter is 10months Rachael
  • They lied. You will second guess everything and nothing will seem natural but learn to trust yourself. That’s what parenting teaches you…have faith in yourself. You can do it even if it seems impossible. You can. It won’t be easy and it may not come natural but it will work out somehow. You will be amazing, you’ll just need to trust that. Melissa
  • You will be fine. Yes it can be quite daunting, but a mother’s instinct and nurturing is mind blowing. When my first was born she was looked after by the nurses because I had a c sectionand they said they would being her to me if she needed me so I could rest. I didn’t even know what she sounded like when she cried, but I woke early hours and could hear a baby cry. I buzzed the nurse and said I think my baby is crying. They came back with my daughter who was crying. I was amazed that straight away that bond between mum and bubs is so strong. Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and embrace every minute. You sound like a lovely person and already sound like you will be a good mummy. Kids make you worry even before they are here. Take care x Sarah
  • I’m 11 weeks pregnant tomorrow with my first & about 5 months ago I looked after my 7 month old nephew for 6 straight days, I was scared I wouldn’t wake to him as he was the first I looked after that I’d have to do night feeds Etc. it was fine! I woke to even his little whinges (I’d never even spent a night in the same house with him) & although he exhausted me he was well looked after, fed properly, never laid in his bassinet screaming/crying…. My best advice is be confident in yourself & trust you will get the hang of it. In my case I guess I got the “aunt” instinct! Lol. You’ll be fine & when you have bubby, the nurses etc will help you, if when you can’t cope at home you can rely on a midwife & have friends & family around to help you cope. best of luck! Stephfy
  • what you’re feeling is very normal and natural. I had never been around babies and really had more of a sense of worry rather than overwhelming excitement during pregnancy. Once you meet your LO for the 1st time and you can hold him, you’re instincts will switch on. Within a few days you’ll know you’re LO better than anyone else. It’s a tough job at times but very rewarding also. You’ll feel every different emotion known to mankind so go easy on yourself and where possible surround yourself with friends and family. I think regardless of age be it younger or older you’ll step right up and be the best mumma you can be Melanie
  • I had absolutely nothing to do with babies until my LO came along. She’s pretty much the first newborn I ever held. When you’ve got your LO in your arms you’ll know what to do and what’s right. Trust yourself and keep reminding yourself that you’re a good mummy. Kimberley
  • I was a young mum as well. I was so emotional ot wasn’t funny. Once my daughter was born I was again every emotional as well. It does come as it you go along. It is completely normal to be all over the place. My daughter was also born in March. Carissa
  • With my first I was very excited and nervous as well. Was worried I wouldn’t know what to do or if I could handle it. Once bub arrived I was full of so much love and joy that I forgot about all that. Just take each day as it comes hun and love every precious moment you have with your bub. The good days out weigh the bad days Cara
  • I was a ftm at 17 , it wa hard but yes I also felt like that but within a week everything became like you’ve been doing it for ages . Yes it does come naturally , still a learning curve but being a mum if great , congrats you will love it Tameika
  • Being a mother is very hard yet very rewarding. For me, once I gave birth that natural instinct kicked in, however you are still learning to do new things. Its a tough time. Just make sure you have alot of support around you and even though its normal to feel a little anxious or tired, make sure you see your GP or a child health nurse if you have any concerns. CHN are so great and visiting them every couple of months really boosted my confidence. Congratulations by the way Emma
  • Be confident even if you don’t feel confident, do whatever feels natural to you. Don’t beat yourself up if it takes a while to get into the swing of things Danique
  • I’m a ftm, 21, it is scary but you do what feels right for your family. Listen to advice but you don’t have to use it. Try and set up a support group of you don’t already have support. Being able to go see friends and get out of the house really helps when it gets hard. You’ll be fine as long as you have enough knowledge in things that concern safety and the rest is what’s right for your family. Katherine
  • Despite doing two years of ivf to get bub I was petrified that I’d made the wrong choice (I’m only 22) he is the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I wouldn’t change it for the world! Georgie

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  • I had my first bub at 17 it was hard but I had the help of my family around me. Wouldn’t change it for the world.. good luck with your bub Jessica
  • It is hard work that’s for sure! I have like 0 mothering instinct but i am doing okay so i am sure you will be fine Bub will let you know when they are tired, hungry, need a cuddle or need to be changed you just have to be observant and follow their cues Besides that just making sure they are safe and warm and clean and that is about it lol Aimee
  • The first 6 weeks do suck! My son had an eye infection at 2 weeks and we where at specialists and doctors and hospitals those first few weeks and it sucked. But it gets better! I use to hate being left alone and got really scared because I was the least maternal person ever! But everything kicks in once you have your gorgeous baby in your arms. Once they start seeing things and recognising faces and your voice it’s wonderful. Just remember though every baby is different. So one person could say something and someone else could have a whole different experience. It’s all an amazing wonderful experience! My son is nearly 5 months now and my gosh! I wouldn’t change anything for the world! It’s the best job in the world. Worth every sleepless night, colic cry, endless screaming all those horrible things get made up for when you see your bub smile for the first time or do anything for the first time really! You will do a wonderful job just believe in yourself Kira
  • The best advice I can give you is to join a mums group and to become friends with your child health nurse. I was seeing my child health nurse weekly in the early days and checking absolutely everything with her but eventually you relax into it and learn to trust yourself. You will meet other (usually first time) mums at both pre natal and post natal classes and if you stay in touch, you find that you draw strength from sharing issues and learning experiences. Family and friends can always be a wealth of knowledge. Recognise the sources of support around you and dont be afraidnto use them Bec
  • I have less than one month to go before our little girl arrives. It’s natural to feel that way. There are so many things going on with your body, mind, personal life and not to mention work that it’s hard not to feel that way. I found talking to my partner, asking friends for advice and reading about babies first year helped me. Alicia
  • OH BOYYYY does it kick in!!!! Trust me, I’m a young mom too and before my pregnancy, I knew I wanted to become a mother but I always looked at them and said “HOW?!” But once it’s your own child, you will KNOW!!! And if sleep/feeding times get to be too much to track (I used to remember feedings from days ago when he was a newborn, would get very confusing!) try keeping a notepad log in your phone Good luck, you’ll be an amazing mother! Amanda
  • It’s completely okay to be scared. I was. Im young and live 4 hours away from my family. I was sure I wouldn’t know what I was doing.. But it comes my girls been home four days and it’s not easy but being a mum does come naturally and you will know what to do Try joining a mums group even one on Facebook there full of other mums and you get amazing advice Tegan
  • Dont be scared, be smart firstly dont feel bad! if you werent worried about your lack of experience that might be something to be scared of ;P secondly educate yourself. Make a folder, a box, a usb and start researching and keep researching. If you have a question find the answers. When it comes to a baby even the most experienced of mothers cant be over prepared. google is your friend (; it might also help your nerves to save some cute ideas youd like to try, photo props, outfits, inspiring positive quotes and pictures And remember to grow with your baby Good luck, and try to enjoy this wonderful life changing experience Kiera
  • I was exactly like that!!! My LO is now 7 months and seriously your instincts kick in. No matter what anyone said whilst I was pregnant I was still so scared I wouldn’t be any good at being a mother! Natalie
  • Come naturally Im 19 and you just know Kirsty
  • It’s normal feeling scared I had my oldest at a young age labour was a bit awkward for me but after that It got eaiser Renee
  • I seriously had no clue about pregnancy or looking after a baby. I had only ever held a baby once or twice in my life. Never looked after a child ever! And YES it came naturally when I had my little one almost 7 months ago. The first few weeks we both worked out breastfeeding together and then onward and upward from there. I have learnt to trust myself and my decisions to do with my baby. Every baby is different. You will be great! Olivia

SEE ALSO: One mummy’s reminder for other mums with newborns

  • Just remember that both you and baby are learning new things everyday, just stay calm and know your doing your very best. Everything your feeling is normal, ask questions if you feel the need to even if they seem silly. Good luck. Phoebe
  • Becoming a parent gives you strength, care love and fear more then you ever think possible, it all comes natural when you meet your baby Jessica
  • Relax, and enjoy, I was terrified, not that hubby knew, those first few weeks I felt like I was ringing my mom every few minutes because I was so scared. It sorts itself out Regine
  • Go with babies rhythms and be informed. If you want to breastfeed then join the aba and go to some info nights. With bottle feeding get to know bottles and formulas. At the end of the day it baby will tell u exactly what they need. My number one tip wiuld be to get dunstan baby language. Will save you. Feed when bub needs feeding, sleep bub when heir tired and just take it easy. Enjoy your time,it goes bloody quick and u remember very little afterwards lol. Most of all good luck and congrats Carmel
  • I just kept occupied sorting out what I need to do before and when bub arrived also reading lots about options for birthing…early days and all that sort of thing also…relaxing when I could it was the one thing I should have done more of Lysette

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  1. Azura says:

    Stop thinking of it as motherly instinct. Sure it’s all new territory. You won’t know what to do with a screaming newborn. So here’s what you do do…seek advice from others. Friends, family, midwives, doctors, or just wing it etc. When in doubt, it’s likely gas bubbles causing a newborn to fuss so burp or give them a bath to relax their tummy to fart. After newborn phase it gets easier. Not because of motherly instinct but you get to know your bub. When they are unsettled more than usual it might mean they’re catching a cold, teething, or having a wonder week. You’ll establish a rhythm and know what to expect. You’ll get into the groove and naturally attune to knowing when somethings off. If a coworker who is always smiling comes in with a sad face and doesn’t talk to anyone you know somethings wrong, right? Same is true for a kid.

    Motherly instinct is one part learning and 1 part recognizing when something isn’t the norm. You’ll learn on the job. You’ll learn through friends. The baby will guide you. Don’t you worry. And no there isn’t a such thing as a magical ability that descends upon you at birth. You’ll learn on the job. And you’ll be great at it. Just love the bub and you’ll excel

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