Sunday, August 9, 2009

Advice to new moms...

I was at a baby shower yesterday and one of the 'games' we played was to write down advice for the new mom.. Suddenly I was overcome with things to say that I absolutely had to tell her, I ended up using two cards but could have used more. So I thought since she is only 1 of 4 friends about to/just becoming new moms I should write something up here for everyone to enjoy and add to. I am obviously NO expert but these are some things I learned in the trenches and am passing on so you might have the opportunity to learn them before you are in the trenches.

  1. Learn and use the 5 S's. I'm pretty sure I've blogged about this before but I can't seem to find it right now. The Happiest Baby on the Block was our how to guide for the first three months of Colin's life. Sean became a master of this technique and would often disappear into the back of the house with Colin fussing and crying only to return 15 mins later with a sleeping baby. It was great...
  2. Since we delayed the introduction of the pacifier for two weeks (something that may have resulted in him never really forming an attachment to it which is probably a good thing) we used our pinky finger (clean of course), pad side up as a pacifier which worked wonders. Unfortunately, I didn't know about this trick until sometime in day 4/5, had I known this before then I might not have had to rely on nursing so much to soothe Colin's need to suck, and might not have ended up bleeding...
  3. I just sent Julie this advice in a text message while she in the hospital with her new baby girl. Take as many nasal aspirators from the hospital as you can! They work way better than the ones you can buy in the store (I never tried The nosefrida so I can't speak for that one.)
  4. Gripe Water works better than Mylicon drops for gas. We used the little remedies brand because that was all I could find at the time. It took Colin from screaming and crying in pain to just tiny occasional whimpers, whereas the Mylicon did nothing.
  5. Babies don't keep! Try not to get caught up in the "when s/he just gets a little older it will be...." thoughts and appreciate your little tiny baby while s/he is little and tiny. There are always new challenges and joys with each age, so appreciate the joys as much as you can before it fads and a new one takes its place.
  6. Learn to trust your mom instincts. They start early but I didn't trust myself for a while.
  7. Little tiny babies need sleep. S/he will probably need to go back to sleep within two-three hours of waking up. Waiting longer will only make it harder to get your baby back to sleep. Try to avoid feeding your baby to sleep, particularly beyond the third month.
  8. Don't wake a sleeping baby! Our pediatrician advised us to wake Colin up and feed him every two/three hours until he came back to birth weight. It took him about a week+. I felt like it was a bad idea and everyone was telling me it was a bad idea but I didn't trust myself yet so I followed drs orders... it set us up for failure in the sleep department. Obviously if you feel like there is a medical need to wake to feed you should. Colin was gaining weight, he just hadn't reached that 'magic number' yet, but I had no fears about him failing to thrive.
  9. ReadThe Vaccine Bookand make your own decisions for your family. If you want to do the traditional schedule, that is fine tons of kids seem to do fine with it, but arm yourself with the information. This is a good resource for the facts that exist.
  10. I'm not sure where I read this but I followed it and think it is important. Don't criticize your husband for "doing it wrong" you might find that he does things differently but not worse. If you want his help (and trust me you do!), encourage don't discourage. I always appreciate Sean's unique perceptive on outfits and food options, as I tend to get stuck in a rut of repeating the same ole same ole.
  11. You will have moments when you aren't proud of your behavior or thoughts. It is normal. It is okay to want to toss your baby out the window ( it is not okay to actually toss your baby out the window) these moments are a great time to call in Dad if he is available. It is also okay to put a crying baby down and walk away for a second. This has two mutually beneficial results 1) you cool down and regain your composure, 2) baby is so happy to be picked up again that s/he might just stop crying for a minute and/or go to sleep.
  12. The first year goes by at lightening speed. Take time to live in the moment as much as you can...
Do you have any advice for new moms? *UPDATED TO ADD* Be sure to read the comments below for more useful tips!!!

Mom- i will post pictures soon I promise!


Elaine said...

I figured I would post to show my non-mom-dumbness since you would laugh/ Sean will too but you both love me. Ok so #3 talks about this nasal thing to take from the hospital. I thought, "how the heck does child birth make you so congested that you need nasal things?" So I checked it out and realized it was for a baby NOT for the mom...HA HA HA..guess I have a lot to learn.

Amy said...

Great advice! I especially love the babies don't keep one, my "baby" is now 2 1/2 years. Thinking she was my last I have cherished every moment of her baby days...well maybe not every moment...I did have those wanna toss her out the window moments too...but those days pass soooo quickly enjoy them while you can! :)

PS Colin is a real cutie!

Anonymous said...

As always I so enjoy your blog. Not to show my being partial to the author of this blog, this is one of your finest blogs, great advice given to all. I think your comment "trust your Mother instincts" is the best and don't be afraid of them. Oh yes all emotions come with being a Mother (Father) but don't be afraid of them, just acknowledge them. Yes, yes time goes by fast, fast take the moment when it happens.
I say thank you to both of you for sharing. Love GG

Kristy said...

The Hulk rage scared me at first... but I have controlled it... so far... the nearest stuffed animal gets it. I am proud to say that I have never thought of tossing Lukas out the window... Jim maybe... Otis for sure... but not Lukas. :)

Erin said...

I think these are all great tidbits of advice, Beck. I definitely agree with the need to focus on slowing down and taking in the moment -- because if you let yourself focus on being sleep-deprived, not showered, etc., etc., etc., I think it's easy to become completely miserable. Yes, it is hard caring for an infant -- but it goes by so fast, and if you don't appreciate those moments when the baby is sleeping on your chest, or a first smile, or whatever -- well, those moments are gone, and you'll never get them back -- and you'll need those little moments to get you through after you send the baby off to college!

A few of my thoughts --

1) Call your mom. No matter what you're going through/feeling/experiencing, she's already been through it. Having a baby is a wonderful way to really raise the intensity level of your relationship with your mom.

2) Find other mommy friends. It's so comforting to have other women to talk to who will understand exactly what you're going through and will be able to assuage your fears about things you'll feel silly calling the pediatrician about (should my baby really burp so loudly??)

3) You're going to be mad at your husband. A lot. Or you probably will be, anyway! This article was published in a parenting magazine when the boys were small. It was eye-opening for me!

4) Figure out what works for you and go with it. Don't worry about what you think you *should* do based on what anyone else is doing or saying.

5) Don't forget about yourself. You won't be able to be the best mommy you can be if you don't watch out for your own physical, mental, emotional, social well-being. Know what you need and don't be afraid to advocate for those needs. Know how to ask for help and accept help!

Becky said...

Great Great tips Erin, thanks for taking the time to add them. I can't be responsible for thinking of/remembering everything. I love the collaboration.. Keep them coming readers/friends.

Sarah B. said...

Hello all! I have a question as a new mom.. What are all of your thoughts about picking up a crying baby after putting him/her in his/her crib? How long should you let them cry? Should you let them cry? Is this spoiling your child? Is it not? I have read conflicting articles and I was wondering what your thoughts were. Plus, I like and appreciate all the advice that has been given. Thank you!