As a pregnant woman and then new mommy, you get a lot advice. I’m always appreciative and accepting of all of it, especially because I’ve never done any of this parenting stuff before. Some of the new found knowledge we take and some we leave, and a bunch of stuff we learn as we go.
In the last month I’ve compiled some of my own advice. You too can take it or leave it, or if you’ve been down this road before, agree or disagree.
-Absolutely hire a doula for your birth. Regardless of what kind of birth you have, a great doula will provide immeasurable support for you and your husband/partner. We couldn’t imagine getting through our birth without her. (Ps….for any preggo Seattleite women out there reading this consider April Ellis of Doulabellys. You won’t regret it)
-Get two to three of everything for the changing areas and diaper bags. We ended up hauling our wipes and diaper creams back and forth between our day and night changing areas. When we started cloth diapering we needed a wet bag both upstairs and downstairs and when he had a rash I only had one of my Thirsties Booty Love ointments.
-Read “Happiest Baby On The Block”. Swaddle, Ssshhhhh, Swing, Side, and Suck has worked for what little fussiness O has had so far.
-If you can get them as gifts, or used, get both a swing and a vibrating bouncy chair. O has liked both during certain moods.
-Sleep when the baby sleeps is a load of crap. It doesn’t happen. That time is when you get things like laundry and housecleaning done, and yourself clean and refreshed. Not to mention bottles washed if you’re using them. Oh, and did I mention pumping every three hours? If I were supposed to sleep during that time my house would be in shambles or would leave me approximately five minutes of rest. However, if you’re able to take turns with hubby getting up in the middle of the night FOR SURE do it. A four to five hour solid stretch of sleep can be sanity saving.
-Keep all the formula coupons and samples you get. With the best of intentions to breast feed, you never know what natures plans hold for you. For a number of reasons I haven’t been able to breastfeed and the four large formula samples we got in the mail have come in very handy. Also, Costco formula is cheap and was recommended by several friends.
-Speaking of personal hygiene…try to take a shower or bath each day during a morning or evening baby nap. It’ll make you feel like a brand new person. If Chris isn’t home I pop Oscar in the swing or bouncer and he stays happy as a clam while I’m doing my thing.
-If you get the Boon drying rack, get the Lawn instead of the Grass. You’ll need the extra space. (But THANK YOU, THANK YOU Bestie Em for getting us the grass- we really love it)
-Cats apparently like pacifiers. Two down in one day and a panic attack about whether he (Ditto, aka: Shitten) would be able to pass the ends. So far he’s fine but we’ve put the pacifiers on lock down.
Finally, Chris’ advice is, “Just do the best you can”. Which is totally true! Try everything you know and see if it works. Go with the flow and know that, like everyone says, parenthood will get better with time.
Please forgive me if I sound like I’m trying to be an expert after only three weeks. I’m just enlightened at the abilities we’ve shown so far as parents. Oscar man is still alive after three weeks. Woohooo!