They do not send manuals home with our babies giving us the play by play of what to do and what to know. Being a new mom is hard stuff. I will never forget bringing Brooks home and just feeling helpless and exhausted. You ask other moms for input and sometimes they all give you the same advice (which is a good thing), but sometimes you hear the complete opposite. Sometimes you’ll get advice you don’t even ask for. Just keep reminding yourself….. every baby is different! What worked for one mom, may not neccassarily work with you.
I wanted to share some tips I learned after having my two babies. Remember this is MY list… take what you can and leave what you can’t.
-If you go the formula route, just a heads-up… it will be a miracle if your baby stays on the first formula they try. Their tummies are so sensitive, so it can sometimes be hard to find the right formula for their little tummies. I had to change at least 2-3 times with my two babies. Enfamil Gentlease ended up being our formula in the end.
-Sometimes babies just cry to cry. It is the only way they can communicate. Do you ever stop talking? Well in the beginning they’ll be the same with crying until they learn how to coo and even then sometimes they’ll cry just to cry. I HIGHLY recommend the Wonder Weeks app. When I downloaded it, it was free… I think it is now .99 cents. The app will help you figure out if they are just going through a growth spurt or not… it includes signs and abilities too, so you can pinpoint their behavior.
-Go ahead and prepare for no sleep for at least the first two months. You may get a solid hour or two before having to feed him again, so try to take naps when he does. Also, try to read and prepare on how to sleep train your baby. We slept train both my babies at 6 weeks using BabyWise, and I am so glad we did! My children go down at 7:30 p.m. and wake up at 7:30 a.m. Hallelujah!
-Talk to your husband about your coming home plan. Do you want family to stay and help? If so, make plans with your family. If not, go ahead and talk to your family about it. We knew when we got home from the hospital we didn’t want any visitors. We knew we wanted to tackle parenthood head on…. our family was always a call away when we needed them.
– Remember to give babies sponge bathes in the beginning to protect the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord will fall off in 1-3 weeks, and may leave a little blood so don’t worry. Pretty sure we lost Brooks somewhere around the house… more than likely I vacuumed it up.
-Both my babies had major gas that upset their tummys. I had to burp them half way thru their bottle and after they ate. Also mylicon drops were used OFTEN! Sometimes I gave them the drops before they ate or even in between.
-Have your bags prepared at least weeks in advance. You just never know. Some necessities I packed: cheap black underwear (You don’t want your nice panties ruined), comfortable clothes/pjs (you’ll be in bed the majority of the time), house shoes, phone charger, pads (panty and bra if you are breastfeeding), camera, and anything that will make you feel pretty because you will have pictures and visitors (make-up, hairbrush, toothbrush, deodorant, lotions, etc). Necessities for baby: outfits (going home outfit as well), socks, swaddling blanket, and carseat. Usually the hospital provides diapers, breast pump, and washcloth for wiping (I would double check).
-My firstborn had a bad case of middle school baby acne. There’s not a whole lot we could do about it but be careful about the products that would touch his face. Always use baby detergent and water wipes for their face versus scented.
-Spit up is going to happen. My son had bad acid reflux in the beginning, so we would hold him upright 30 minutes after he ate and elevated his bed. It eventually got better within a few weeks.
-Deciding when baby should sleep in crib is all up to the parent. Some parents feel more comfortable with the baby in their room, and I totally get that. With my second child, she was ready for her crib early. I did realize the longer I waited to let them sleep in their crib… the harder it was on the baby. You can help them get used to it by transitioning their naps in their crib during the day. At night, we would even tie a piece of clothing that I wore to the crib so they could smell my scent.
– I am a big believer in breastfeeding. It brings great benefits for both the baby and the mom. Some moms are not able to breastfeed like myself whether it is because of your boobs, your milk, or even your sanity. Don’t feel discouraged or that you let your baby down if you are unable to breastfeed. It is okay. They will live.
-Your going to cry a WHOLE lot! Not just due to the stress and exhaustion… but your hormones will be crazy! I think I cried everyday for 2 months. The first week I cried because my heart was so full of love for my child and our family. After that I pretty much cried every time I blinked… and I mean UGLY cried.
-Don’t let another mom’s advice discourage you. Keep in mind they are sharing what they know… it may not be the best for your child, but it also may be the advice you need to hear. Just nod your head pleasantly and take it or leave it.
-You will hear a lot “Don’t let your baby sleep on his tummy.” We would always lay our kids on their back, but when they reach around 5-6 months and can flip over… we would find our baby flat on his tummy. Don’t freak out… usually they turn their head to sleep.
-Trust your motherly instinct. As a mom, you’ll have an instinct that no one else will have with your baby. When you get the feeling something is wrong… call pediatrician .. even if it’s nothing… you’ll feel more at peace.
-Have pediatrician on speed dial. I call my pediatrician about EVERYTHING… from what to feed my picky eater to teething remedies. As new moms, we need help. That’s what they are there for.
-ACCEPT meals from family or friends. I am here to tell you… the LAST thing you will want to do is cook, and you will STARVE if a meal isn’t ready. I would suggest preparing freezer meals before the baby arrives. Throw those babies in the stove… call it a day.
-PREPARE… PREPARE….PREPARE. Be ready… the more prepared you are.. the more at ease you will be. Here is a very simplified list of baby essentials we had to have:
Diapers (more than likely Newborn…<I had a 9 pounder and 7 pounder> size)
Baby bed/co-sleeper (clean sheets…nothing else in the bed)
Pacifier if you want the baby to use one
Bottle warmer and sanitizer
Towels and wash clothes all cleaned with baby detergent
Baby shampoo and body wash
Baby bath (or you could use sink)
Safety Kit (nail scissors, thermometer, hairbrush, etc.)
Diaper disposal bags
Sanitizer for guests
Your heart will grow four times its size when you finally get to hold your baby for the first time. It will tug at every single emotion from fear to love you never knew existed. Take a day at a time, savor every single minute, inhale their sweet baby scents, and put everything else on pause. Don’t worry about the house being cleaned or that laundry pile that is a mile long…. enjoy your baby while you can… because when they say you blink and those moments are gone… they mean it.
Isiah 41:10- Do not fear, for I am with you.
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