Happy One Month Ina Mae! I will have a full post of her first month tomorrow, but today I thought I would hand out some (unsolicited) advice.
As I have been a mom for a whopping 31 days now, I am far from an expert on the subject. However, I am sure Little Miss is going to change quite a bit and I will have lots more advice to give at that time, so here is what worked for me and what didn't over the first month.
Before the baby comes:
- Finish your thank you cards from your baby shower(s). If you don't, the entire time you are in the hospital trying to enjoy time with your new family, they will be nagging you in the back of your mind.
- You think you have enough sweat pants. Believe me, you don't. What I didn't take into consideration were the multiple wardrobe changes needed per day due to diaper change mishaps or milk squirted or spit in the wrong direction.
- If you plan to breast feed, take breast feeding classes.
They help, way more than child birth classes do. Also, stock up on nursing tank tops. (I like these). They have been my uniform, whether I dress up or dress down, I have one on.
- Don't stress out about the nursery being finished, you won't use it in the beginning. Ina Mae hasn't stepped foot in her nursery yet, although it remains to be awesome.
- Have a plan on what to give the nurses at the hospital. At least in my experience, these women were absolute miracle workers. After spending a week with these wonderful women I have realized that nursing is an art. I have seen people make little gift baskets, send flowers, order pizza, or in my case, I made cookies after I left. Believe me, you will want some way to thank them for everything that they do for you.
- If you need to do something like get your hair cut or organize your closet, don't put it off. It has officially been 1.5 years since this mess has seen a pair of scissors. Ick.
- Don't tell people what you are going to name your baby, because no matter what the name, there will be those who don't like it. If you tell them before the baby comes, they will say something that isn't nice, or come up with alternative suggestions. If you tell them after the baby is born, they will keep their big mouths shut because you can't be mean to a baby.
After the baby comes
-Don't leave the hospital until you learn how to swaddle.
The nurses do it so fast and make it look so easy, but it isn't. Or at least, it wasn't. Practice in front of them, letting them critique you, until you get it right. At Ina's first pediatrician appointment, her doctor told me that if I knew how to swaddle, parenting would be a breeze. Ha!
- Accept help anytime someone offers it.
Don't try to do it all. Even if someone says, "Let me know if I can do anything," think of something for them to do. Run to the grocery store. Fold the laundry. Bring over dinner. Wrap presents. There is always something, and it will make everyone happy.
-When baby cries in the middle of the night, if he / she hasn't eaten in over 2 hours, don't waste time trying to get him / her to go back to sleep. Just suck it up and feed the baby. If not, you will spend even more time awake once you realize baby isn't going back to sleep and you still need to feed.
-Hiccups are normal. Don't freak out or try to get them to go away. So is fast breathing, slower breathing, quiet breathing, loud breathing. Oh and sneezes.
- Don't forget to pay attention to your baby daddy.
I have received this advice from many women, and I remind myself often that Dan and my marriage still need some of my attention even though Little Miss requires a lot of it. So far this really hasn't been an issue, because we are both so involved with her that we don't have time to think about ourselves.
- Pandora's lullabye station is amazing. We play it 24/7 over here. I even listen to it when Ina Mae is in the other room with Dan. It is so soothing and relaxing. My one regret is that I now know the actual words to Hush Little Baby. Before, I would just make up things that I would buy Ina, like a grape vine, a ball of snow, or a night on the town. Don't judge.
-Ina hates baths.
Hates them. However, she LOVES showers with me or Dan. After a shower she is in the zone and guaranteed at least 4 to 5 hours of knocked out, dead to the world sleep. So, we have used this to our advantage when going out to eat, or getting a few extra hours of sleep.
-Babies give the best kisses right before they eat, when they are really hungry. I don't think it is cruel to trick them into thinking your lips are a nipple, but you might. If so, your loss.
- My favorite baby product thus far is this rocker thing.
Hypothetically, I would streak across my house in my birthday suit dripping wet if Ina Mae needed it while I was showering. Hypothetically. We drag it across the house and up and down the stairs and even travel with it. She loves to sleep at a slanted angle and also loves to lay awake in it and "talk" to us.
-Take as many pictures and videos as you can. Ina Mae has changed so much in the first month and looking back it is so fun to watch her look and personality develop as the days have ticked by.
I am sure that as soon as I hit "publish" on this post I will think of 30 other tips. If any of you have any advice, feel free to leave it in the comment section.
In other news, I am starting Weight Watchers today! I am so excited to bust out the measuring spoons and recipes. My midwife told me to wait a month to start "dieting." So here we are, on January 2nd, the perfect day to start.