Thursday, March 8, 2012

30 Pieces of Advice For Brand New Moms

Right now, I have quite a few friends that are pregnant for the very first time. Months (some only weeks) away from being brand spankin new mommies. I remember how much fun it was being pregnant for the first time. I read every stinking thing about pregnancy and births and babies that I could possibly get my hands on. I did my homework. In those 9 months of being pregnant, you could have asked me anything about anything concerning pregnancies and babies and I could have given you the text book answer. Now... Well, now, after three kids, if you ask me anything about pregnancy, I'll tell you, "Hang on... I'm sure in a few months I'll be pregnant again so ask me then..." (Just kidding, Mom). If you were to ask me anything about babies, my response would be, "Hold that thought. I've got one around here somewhere. Let me find her." With the first baby, it was easy and I thought {THOUGHT!!!!} I was prepared. With the second baby, I knew that what I learned from parenting the first baby, all of it, was out the window. Third baby? Shoot. I didn't even know I was having one until she came out. Just kidding again.

Anyway, point is, I did all that reading and researching and I still wasn't prepared. Nothing REALLY prepares you for parenthood like hands on parenting. And no matter how much you can read or what those wonderful "instruction manuals" (there's actually a TON of them at my local library) tell you, they don't always give you the REALLY helpful information. I asked people what advice they would give to first time mothers and here (mixed with a few of my own) are some of their responses:

1) Just because some one else swears by something doesn't mean it'll work for you but don't let that discourage you. Things that others loved that I couldn't get the hang of were things like breastfeeding, those Moby wraps, baby monitors...

2) Buy a comfortable diaper bag. Try them on. I splurged on diaper bags because I wanted great quality and something that wasn't going to hurt my shoulder while I carted it around all over kingdom come. They become like a extra limb growing out of your body, always there. Make sure you get one you could wear for hours if you had to.

3) Expensive does NOT always mean better. You don't have to get the Eddie Bauer high chair. I got mine at IKEA for $14 and have used it for all three kids. We didn't buy a bjorn baby carrier. We bought an off brand and have used it for all three kids. We didn't buy the singing, dancing training potty. We bought some cheap thing from Target and it works just fine. Kids grow out of everything. Invest in things that will last longer.

4) Sleep when you can.... even when they're 8 months old, not just new borns.

5) When you visit the doctor, ask questions, don't accept anything that you don't feel comfortable with. It's your baby, they don't care as much as you do and remember, someone graduated at the bottom of the class.

6) I think the best advice I was given was to sleep when the baby sleeps. I know they can sleep a lot, and if the new moms are anything like I was, I wanted to stay up and watch my baby every second of the day. I still can watch him play all day long and he will be 2 soon. But for real, sleep is so needed to function with a newborn so I suggest that.

7) Relax and trust your instincts. Even though your a first time mom and everything is new, you're a mommy now and you know if something is not right. Don't be afraid to call the L&D nurse line or Dr. office and ask questions.

8) If you are committed to breastfeeding, give it a SOLID three weeks to get it feeling comfortable and not painful. It's so worth the effort in the end. Nipple butter made by the first yrs is amazing.

9) While it may seem unbearable, the newborn stage is sooo short. You WILL sleep again :)

10) If someone offers help, TAKE IT.

11) Make sure you take time out to care for yourself. You will be a better wife and mother. Walking, gym, lunch w/a friend, whatever helps you to feel refreshed.

12)  Not to tiptoe around your baby. Don't be afraid to play music while they sleep {{I'm adding vacuuming too... I vacuumed around my kids while they were sleeping and they never woke up}} because then when you put them down for bed you and hubby don't have to feel like you have to be so quiet. Or if you go out later than their bed time its ok, they'll fall asleep in the stroller or carseat no problem because they're used to it. I've read that having noise all night isn't best so I would play a whole cd and then turn it off.

13) Love every moment with them, love on them every chance you can, and give thanks to our awesome God for giving us such a gift!

14) Relax... Our parents did everything wrong and we mostly turned out all right.. They didn't use car seats or seat belts, we slept in beds, we drank formula... just relax and trust your gut.

15)  Take a nap when the baby is napping. Do not try to a hundred things before your bundle of joy wakes up. REST - you will be a much happier person and a better mommy.

16) Stuff plastic grocery bags into your diaper bag when you take the baby to the doctor. You're not allowed to throw dirty diapers away in the trash cans at doctor's offices so if you bring the plastic bag, you can throw it in there and carry it out to the car and back home with out having to carry it around in your hand or diaper bag until you're able to dispose of it.

17) Pay attention to updated information. When I had my first child, according to who ever it is that comes up with rules for what you can and can't do for your baby, I wasn't allowed to feed her peanuts, eggs or a whole group of things before her first birthday. I read recently that this has changed and the only things you're advised not to introduce your baby to until after their first year are milk and honey.

18) Just because your mother and grandmother did it one way, doesn't mean you have to (or should) do it that way still. However, they (and you) survived, so it doesn't hurt to seriously consider their suggestions.

19) SERIOUSLY pay attention to WHEN your baby (or not yet potty trained child) poops. That way, if you've been paying attention and you know they haven't pooped for two days, you're prepared (gloves, hazmat suit, nose plug, trash bags, extra change of clothes...) when they finally do explode.

20) Just because your friend had 10 babies in 2.7 years doesn't mean that it's wise for you to do the same. Go at your own pace. Nothing's wrong with having just one.

21) If you haven't already, develop a sense of humor. You're going to have to learn to laugh at most of what happens as a parent. If you don't, you may not survive.

22) Feed your baby anything you would eat. Don't hesitate to feed them 'grown up' foods from the beginning. They're less likely to be super picky eaters that way.

23) Don't bother making a list of things you will and wont do as a parent. Chances are, it'll all change almost immediately.

24) Don't let your daughters date till they're 35. {{ This was one of my mom's responses. I love you, Mom :) }}

25) Don't forget to continue to "date" your husband/significant other. You guys are a team and have to stay that way from the beginning to the end, especially concerning your child. They NEED to see harmony between you. It's healthy for them AND for you.

26) Watch what you eat while you're breastfeeding. Keep in mind that what you're eating, the baby will be getting a little of through your breast milk. Remember, you've gotta change that diaper!

27) Your crock pot and freezable casseroles will become your best friends. Learn, cut, stash as many recipes as you can. It may even help if you make a bunch to freeze the weeks before you have the baby so that when the baby is finally there, all you have to do is reheat.

28) Buy stock in Lysol.

29) You CAN get pregnant while breastfeeding. It is NOT a method of birth control. It may be WAY more difficult to get pregnant while you're breastfeeding but it's NOT impossible!

30) Begin praying for you baby now and pray for them as often as you can for the rest of their lives. God is the best Father and He will take good care of them.

I loved these responses. I'm sure there's a TON more advice that other mothers and fathers have that isn't listed here that you don't really read in the books. If you have some advice you'd like to add, please feel free to post a comment sharing your thoughts.

This Wannabe Supermom is thanking God for the amazing blessing of having once been a first time mom but thank Him also for the blessing of not having to do it all over again.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome and true all the way around! Lol! :)


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