Monday, July 9, 2012

11 things you should know before having a baby

I was reading Courtney's post about baby advice on Friday, and was gearing up to write her a 400 page comment, when I realized I should just calm down and write a 400 page blog post on it instead.

So here goes.

Here is a list of fantastic advice I have received and things I WISH I had known before Charlie was born.

{Of course, these are only my opinion and are things that have worked for my boys.  Every child and situation is different!}




Hospital

1.  Swaddling blankets:  You know those hideous blankets the hospital gives you?  Yes, grab as many of those as you can.  With Charlie I only took one home because I thought they were terrible looking, but soon realized they were the PERFECT size and weight to swaddle a newborn.  Walker still uses his.  Every time the nurse comes in your room, ask her for a few of them.  And then get your husband to stuff them in your bag.

2.  Nursing:  If you decide to nurse, do NOT let those witch ladies lactation consultants force you into football hold or the crossover position.  (I would add image links.....but you can look them up yourself).  I didn't know any better, and had my big/long baby at home in the football hold.  It was insane and I literally got carpal tunnel from doing it.  INSANE.  Tell those crazy ladies to teach you cradle hold.

3.  Keep your baby in the room with you:  Biggest difference from Charlie to Walker.  I was given the advice to send your baby to the nursery at night so I could get some sleep.  It makes sense, but when I took Charlie home, my little frat boy baby had his days and nights confused.  When he was in the hospital nursery at night, all he saw and heard were fluorescent lights and other babies crying.  He thought night time was party time.  With Walker, I kept him in the room with me at night.  It was quiet and dark and he was sleeping like a champ when I brought him home.  

4.  Ask questions.  Don't be afraid to ask the nurse/doctor everything that's on your mind.  No question is too small or trivial.  They do this all the time, so they might forget to cover something.  Ask them and ask them again.  It's totally ok.

Home

5.  Establish a routine IMMEDIATELY:  Babies thrive off schedules.  A nighttime routine is most important to me, so as soon as I get my baby home, I start night time off with a bath, lotion and loving, feeding, crib.  

6.  The CRIB:  My mom was visiting when I first brought Charlie home from the hospital.  I was telling her that he didn't sleep well the first night in the bassinet and she asked me why I wasn't putting him in his crib.  I thought about it and really couldn't think of an answer.  Putting the boys in their crib from night 1 was one of the best things I ever did.  Of course I pulled the guest room mattress in the baby's room for the first week so I could hear him breathe, but after that, I was good and so were they.  

7.  Humidifier:  Get one for your baby's room.  A cool-mist humidifier that makes noise is the best way to go!  The machine will help keep your baby healthy and the noise will help them sleep.

STUFF

8.  THE book.  If you only get one thing from this post, get this.  Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is the ultimate life saver.  Charlie was sleeping through the night (7pm to 7am) by 3 months, (Walker by 4 months), because of this book.  It teaches you how to teach your children to sleep, and it's fantastic.

9.  Baby Seat:  You will need somewhere to put your baby when you're taking a shower, doing dishes, or if you just want to take a nap on the floor right beside them.  We have this one.  And it's perfect.

10.  Bumbo:  When those little people can actually sit up, a Bumbo is IT.   

And last, but certainly not least (probably the MOST important)...

11.  Trust yourself:  You are this baby's mother and a mother's intuition is powerful.  I remember talking to another mom when Charlie was a few weeks old.  I was asking her some questions and trusted her opinion because she had been a mom for a lot longer than I had been.  Something about her advice didn't sit right with me, but I took it anyways and Charlie was up all. night. long.  I knew it wasn't right for Charlie (even though the "trick" worked totally fine for her kid) but went against my feeling anyway.  I never did that again.  Another story... a few months ago Walker had this terrible drool induced rash under his triple chin.  The doctor kept saying to put vaseline on it and that it would go away eventually.  Vaseline just wasn't helping...in fact, I'm pretty sure it was making it worse.  One day, I had the thought to put hydrocortisone cream on it.  The next day it was completely clear.  So, moral of the story.....I should become a pediatrician....jk.....really the moral of the story is that you need to trust yourself as a mother!


These are just a few things that have been really important to me.  Do you have anything to add? or any questions about anything?


Also, the winner of the Chevron Letter giveaway is Hailey!  Woohoo!  Congrats, girl!  I'll send you an email soon.




 

31 comments :

Eloquent English said...

Great comments! I love reading mother's information! Good for my memory bank. LOL xoxo A-

Baze Days said...

I agree with everything you said!!! Routine is my middle name!!! And "Borrow" everything you can from the hospital!!! If it's not glued down, take it :)

Carla said...

Amen to following your instincts. The lord blesses us with the spirit to raise our particular child. I have friends who have said even their own mother has given them advice that wasn't right for them and their child.

Of course, there's a time and place for advice and I really appreciate some advice I've gotten.

And I love swaddleme's (or miracle blankets) over the hospital blankets, for my kiddo the velcro snaps were just what we needed.

Megan said...

I am not planning on having kids any time soon, but I love reading advice from other mommies so that I'm ready someday :) I definitely agree about trusting your intuition.

Brooklyn said...

i don't know the first thing about babies (except that they are cute! ha) however I have several friends who are pregnant at the moment...will be passing this post along to them! :)

BrittbeeLynn said...

I loved the Healthy Sleep Habits book. It explained so much! Thanks for recommending it to me :)

Katie said...

great mommy advice! i have to start with the crib next time, it was hard transitioning our sweet girl to it :)

Hailey said...

I am the winner and I am so excited!! Thank you so much!

As for advice... It was hard for me to learn that you will make mistakes. Everyone does. I felt like such a failure if I didn't do something the way I had planned. Breastfeeding for example. I cried like a baby the first time I gave Caroline a bottle. I thought I was being such a terrible mom, blah, blah, blah. So, my advice to a new mommy is things are NOT going to work out as you have them planned in your head and that is ok. :-)

The Not Quite Military Wife said...

This is perfect for first time moms! I seriously would not have even thought of half of these! Great list!

Shaylynn... I blahwg It's True. said...

I'm saving this post to my favorites for the day I need it..

Keeping the baby with you though? Clever. Very.

Whitney & Devin said...

Ashley I LOVE THIS! My hubs and I have been talking about having children lately and I feel so overwhemled by the things I don't know!

Lindsay said...

I know who I'm calling when it's time for me to have babies!

Samantha said...

These are all fantastic tips! I laughed at the blankets from the hospital, b/c I totally took a ton home! I still have them. Funny thing is that I couldn't figure out how to do the whole swaddling thing, so that was always Paul's job.

Bree slept in her bassinet for a couple of months before she got moved to her crib. She did fantastic in the crib! And she has a humidifier too...even at nearly age 5.

But definitely, trusting yourself is important. Every time she would get a sniffle, my Mother In Law was all about me calling the doctor and taking her to see him...but I knew that wasn't necessary. So one day I finally called the doctor to get my MIL to shut up, and it turns out, I had already done and was continuing to do everything that I could do to help her sniffles out. I didn't need a nurse or a doctor to tell me that...I was already doing it. That was a prideful moment for me.

Tara Marie said...

I second everything you said! My babes where both sleeping thro the night by 3 or 4 months. And we empyied the little crib thing and.took about every blanket, wipes,diapers and everything.lol You cant ever have too many supplies. Something ill add tho is.first time parents TAKE HAND ME.DOWNS. I was soo snobby about taking someonea crib or clothes, high chairs whatever with my first baby and it was a huge.mistake. Take whatever your offered!

Emmy said...

I hated the football hold! I don't know why they seem to push that- maybe it really works for some people and they like it but it didn't work and seemed so unnatural to me.

Megan said...

Thanks for writing this post! I'm going to pin it so that I can reference it when the time comes. :)

B said...

no babies yet, but these are such helpful tips! esp the sleeping stuff. i like sleep and think it is an important part of everyone's routine, esp children!

thanks lady!

Courtney B said...

LOVED this post!! Thank you SO much, Ash!

I was wondering about the humidifier. I know it's early but Eric and I were out of town for the weekend and we registered at a couple baby stores that we don't have here (we don't have anything but a lame-o walmart in our town, ha ha) and when we got the the humidifier section I had no idea what to do! I ended up registering for a cool one, but I was wondering if I made the mistake not registering for the cool AND warm humidifier? I'm glad to see that I do actually need one! LOVED your advice!!

smk053078 said...

I really wish I would have read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child with my two girls. I heard that book is amazing! This was such a sweet and thoughtful post for all the new and soon to be mommies out there!!
xo,
Shanna

Vanisha @ Vanishas Life In...Australia said...

Ashley, thank you so much for sharing these experiences! My husband and I are just starting out and are at the 'trying to conceive' stage, it's exciting. I'm not terrified (yet) but I still enjoy listening to what other mothers have to say. I've bookmarked this! I'm an academic so reading books is a good start for me, I'll definitely be getting the one you mention here :)

mackenzie said...

I love reading about women having their first baby. Takes me back to memory lane. My friend just found out she is having a baby and she is so nervous. All I could do is recommended the best obgyn that I know. These are such great tips, I am going to have to send this post to her. Thanks so much for sharing!

Lisa Rusczyk said...

These are great tips! I did not know someone created a similar list to what I created here.

Other things to know.

http://charlie-the-cavalier.blogspot.com/2012/02/11-things-to-know-before-having-baby.html

reginag said...

Such a wonderful discussions made here.

gynecologist phoenix

Kelly Ann said...

These tips are amazing, literally great, and I do not even have a baby!

xx
Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes
500 Follower Kate Spade Giveaway

Katie said...

I know why this was your #1 post--excellent advice! My advice would be to give yourself a break. When mine (especially Coop) were babies, I thought that every decision was the. most. serious. decision. ever. and if I did not parent how the experts/judgemental mommies/parenting websites said that I must parent, then my children would grow up to be sickly, slow-witted, deviants. Now that they are eight and almost-5, I can see that yes, breastfeeding was an epic fail, but they still turned out to be pretty awesome. Just try your best.

And have a sense of humor. It will help you get thru the sleep-deprivation.

lori said...

this is an awesome post, ashley. i hope you don't mind me pinning it so i can re-read it closer to when the time comes for me as well.

and your boys are so lucky to have you.

Claire said...

I agree with putting them in the crib from day 1...my baby's a great sleeper too!

Claire said...

I may have jinxed myself by writing this comment! She's been waking up at 7 since we got back from Easter vacation. Sooo not okay for this momma who is not a morning person. Perhaps I should read that book because of she's going to wake up at 7 I might as well have her go to bed at 7 instead of 10!

Talisha Reupena said...

I love this post! These tips are great. Hope you don't mind my blog stalking. I just love reading older posts!

Kristie said...

I love the tips, and have one to share. Tell all the family/friends/well wishers to stay home. Don't let them in your hospital room. And tel them you need at least a week before anyone comes by. Give yourself a chance to rest at the hospital. And then get your routine started when you get home. Be firm. I only let grandmas and grandpas in, and it was the best thing I ever did.
I will disagree on one thing, send that baby to the nursery. Just so you can get some rest. Take advantage of the help while you have it so you can function.
Great advice.

Amanda Bumgarner said...

Great tips! I don't need these yet, but I will at some point!

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