You've read a number of parenting books, scoured the Internet for advice, and drilled your doctor. Are you ready for motherhood? Here are three more nuggets of advice to help with preparing for your baby's arrival.

  1. Babies don't always sleep when they're tired. It defies logic, but a tired baby doesn't always equal a sleeping baby. In fact, an overly tired child tends to be irritable and hard to settle. The trick is to look out for signs that your baby is tired and to put her in her crib before she gets overly sleepy. Look out for clenched fists, yawning, eye rubbing, jerky movements, or pulling at her ear. When your new baby is a few months older, she'll probably start learning to self-soothe, which will make it easier for her to go to sleep on her own.

  2. Beware the germs. While some exposure to germs early on can help strengthen your child's immune system, you don't want to risk her falling ill. Practice smart germ control by insisting that anyone who holds your new baby does some hand washing first. Also, keep sick friends and family away from your baby, and clean your home on a regular basis. Remember, though, that some germs are unavoidable and there's only so much you can do.

  3. Learn a few baby soothing techniques. Babies are all different and like different things, but a gentle massage may be an effective way to soothe your baby and comfort him when he's upset. Try warming some lotion in your hand and starting at his forehead, working down along his nose, cheeks, and chin, finishing at his neck. Another way to soothe your new baby is to keep him close in a sling while you do things around the house.

As a new mom, it's perfectly normal to have worries. Just remember that your own instincts can be your best resource. Each time you deal with something new, the experience will help turn you into a more confident mother.