So there is NO better advice, than advice from a NEW MOM! I mean things change so quickly that advice from a mom with a 1 year old is out-dated, nevermind the advice the older folks give...that being said, here is the advice I have to give that I wish someone would have given me:
CONGRATS on becoming pregnant. PREGNANCY IS GROSS! Amazing, yes, but FREAKIN' GROSS! From your breasts getting bigger, to your pants no longer fitting, your ankles swelling, mucus plugs, mucus in general that is NOT in your nose, to the actual labor and delivery. Pregnancy is beautiful because babies are amazing, but in actuality, it's GROSS!
Everyone will be offering you advice, just smile and nod and do what you want to do anyway. It's your baby. They had their chance.
Have some wine...AFTER you have the baby even if you are nursing. If your baby doesnt like what it does to your milk he/she will let you know. Leilani doesnt mind when I indulge in a glass of wine or two. She does mind if I indulge in Soy Milk...go figure.
If your spouse isnt supportive now, they are not going to be once the baby is here. Chris is an amazing husband, was a fantastic coach during labor and is an incredible father. But I do know women who thought their husbands would change after the baby was born, this is not so. They will love their child, YES, but they will still be their idiot-selves to you and not understand what you are going through.
With a newborn, you HAVE to be there, especially if you are nursing. So if someone offers to help say: YES, bring food that can be frozen and then come and watch the baby when they are 2-3months old.
Germs are good. If someone isnt sick and they havent been touching anything gross, it's okay to hold a baby (maybe not BRAND new), without washing their hands. If you disinfect EVERYTHING your baby is going to get majorly ill at the smallest thing. Not a good thing.
Dont get a video monitor. This is a personal choice, but if I had one I would be staring at it ALL the time and never sleep! Get the Fisher Price Sight and Sound monitor. Awesome.
Have the baby in your room for the first 2 months or so. Then straight to the crib! This is mainly a selfish reason, but I was breast-feeding (still am) and didnt want to have to walk down the hall to feed her. I said in your room, not in your bed. If you are co-bedding, that's one thing, but if not, have a bassinett in the room, so baby has their own space in your room. If your baby is not sleeping through the night like Leilani was (5-6 hrs/night from day 1, not sleeps from 8pm-7am!) it may be because of you, so move them sooner into the crib in another room. I say this because if you wake up and move every time your little one makes a TINY move, your sheets and blanket move, make noise, wake your baby up and then you tend to them. It's a whole vicious cycle with your sheets being the culprit...go figure!
FREEZE meals ahead of time. Everyone is SO excited you had a baby, YAY. They come over bring stuff and then as suddenly as it started, it stops and nobody calls you anymore. You are no longer the center of the universe. Your young, single, unattached friends stop calling because you obviously cant go out anymore, your married with children friends stop calling because, HELL, they have kids too and thats their main priority and you are all alone, feeding a baby every 2 hrs and nothing to eat. Freeze meals, you'll thank me.
BABIES EAT...ALOT. Now, when I say alot, I dont mean ounces, I mean frequently...every 2 hours at first. Leilani when we first brought her home would nurse for 30 minutes. Sometimes this included a burping session in the middle (which would push it to 40 minutes). Add a diaper change and more burping and your up to an hour. Then you have an hour to do what you want to do...IF AND ONLY IF you can get them to relax in a swing, bouncy chair, someone elses arms, etc...then it's back to feeding. It's NOT 2 hrs from the time the last feeding ended...NOPE..it's 2 hrs from when then the last feeding began! Remember that.
Showers..take them, enjoy them, but learn to master the 5 minute shower as well. Leilani had a certain nack for only falling asleep on someone, having to be on that person for 15 minutes while in a deep sleep before you can put her down. Because it took her 30 minutes to fall asleep in the first place after feeding, you now only have 15 mins to do whatever you want to do. Throw a load of laundry in, go and pee, run the shower, jump in and BAM...baby crying. They are fine. Just hurry it up because no mother can stand a screaming baby, especially her own.
PAMPERS SWADDLERS SENSITIVE: Greatest diapers EVER! They actually have a line that shows whether the baby is wet or not. Leilani can sit in her poop ALL day, if she gets wet, forget it, the world is coming to an end. This is also nice because you dont have to stick your hands in the diaper to see if it's wet or not!
Changing diapers is gross, get over it. You become a freakin' NASCAR driver of diaper changes and it becomes almost painful to watch a novice to do it. I almost want to jump out of my skin and do it myself...but then I realize, Gossip Girl is on and now I can watch it from my comfy couch rather than get up to change a poopy diaper.
OH! After you deliver you bleed for weeks! It's normal, get absorbant maxi-pads and go on about your business.
Dont forget you are also a wife. Being a new mom is exhausting. Staying at home and doing nothing but watching a baby will have you in bed faster than it did when you were pregnant, but your husband is also there...so once in awhile tend to his...ya know...needs.
You cant stock up on sleep. I HATED when people told me "sleep now...you wont be sleeping for the next 18 yrs." I was exhausted at the end of my pregnancy and I was tired when we first brought her home...I wish sleep was like an ING savings account...I'd have so much, I could stay awake for days and still have tons left over..but alas, this is not so.
Washing stuff is overrated. People LOVE buying everything in newborn and 0-3 month size because, well, compared to everything else is cute and so little. Leilani is in 3-6 month stuff now, and hey, it's still cute and little. Anyway, I washed EVERYTHING that was newborn and then 0-3 months and ended up realizing: Newborn is UP TO 8 POUNDS! If you have a big baby, you can just throw that stuff away (well keep it for #2, but you get what I am saying, right?). The 0-3 month stuff people get you is what THEY LIKE...not what YOU LIKE..so we got a lot of dresses....I LOVED them...but I quickly realized that they were SO annoying. This is because when you pick your baby up under the arms, the whole dress goes up to and your baby is essentially naked again...ONESIES AND PANTS! Thats they way to go.
If its not in your face you wont use it. I have 5 drawers in her nursery, I only know whats in 2 of them because that is where I keep her socks/hats and then PJ's. I missed out on SO many clothes because I just didnt look. I saw what was in front of me and thats what she wore...case closed. Her closet is a God-Send (thank you Chris). Most of clothes, including onesies that werent basic white, where hung up, in front of me. Easy to see, easy to locate and easy to grab.
Forget Dreft...it's over priced. Get All Free and Clear. No perfume, no dyes...good to go.
Wash your clothes in the same detergent. Leilani broke out because of the Tide we were using. It was obvious once we were told because it was only where her little head would touch our clothing. So now we wash everything in ALL Free and Clear. It is also nice if we ever have to wash something of hers with our loads, its no big deal.
Get a lingerie bag for her socks. Those little socks are so darn cute...but so darn little. They can and will be lost so easily. Get in the habit of putting the socks in the lingerie bag before you do the baby laundry and it makes life alot easier in the end.
You will get peed on...deal with it. You will get pooped on...deal with it. Plus it's your child, so its almost funny.
But stuff on sale.
Indulge once in a while
Have date night
Dont be afraid to ask for help
It's okay to cry
Your baby is NOT THAT CUTE...when they first come out...HA! There, I finally said it. It may be the most beautiful thing YOU'VE ever seen, but not the rest of the world. They get cuter like a week later. Newborns all look funny and squished...but wouldnt you if you spent 10 months (YES 10) confined in a tight space, curled up in a ball, and then, became the size of a watermelon and had to squeeze through someone the size of a grapefruit...common!
Take lots of pictures...post a few. This is advice I need to follow. Nobody loves or wants to see as many pictures of your baby as you do. But that moment will only happen once. They change minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. Everything is precious. Even that one night they decide they want to cry for no reason, wont go to sleep you are exhausted and you have to pace the halls. It is then you realize you wouldnt do that for anyone else. Not even your spouse. This is your baby.
Every stage is wonderful. When Leilani was born, I thought: What could be better than this. Well now she is laughing, smiling, cooing and just being funny and I often think: what could get better than this...it's always better in a new and different way. It goes by quickly, so just live in the moment and dont look forward. Because if you are too busy looking forward you will miss whats going on right then and there. You are actually watching someone learn to smile, learn to control their hands..HECK, even find their hands. It's all awesome.
I will be putting together a present for you. I call it THE ESSENTIALS. it is everything you need and nothing you registered for. Just trust me.
Go out. Have a social baby.
Finally, you will have doubts. You will make mistakes. In the end you will figure out YOUR baby. They are all different and amazing. You will cry because you love him/her so much. You will cry when they are in pain. You will cry when they smile because you have never seen anything so pure and beautiful. Give thanks every day and love every day. Parenthood. There is nothing like it.
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