Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Advice for New Moms

When my friends are pregnant with their first child and asking me for advice, these are the tips I typically give them.

1. Read Our Babies Ourselves. Do it before the baby is born.
2. Once baby is born, stay in bed until you are fully rested. Baby won't care where he/she is, as long as he/she is with you, so stay there, sleep with your baby, sleep while your baby is nursing, sleep while your baby is awake. Just sleep, and don't get up until you feel awake and refreshed, even if it means not getting out of bed until 3:00 in the afternoon.
3. Get out of the house once per day. If this means walking out to check the mail, and then coming right back in, that still counts. Fresh air is good for your sanity.
4. Make a list of things that need to get done (laundry, cooking, floor needs to be swept, spit-up needs to be wiped up, cereal needs to be purchased, etc.). When friends come over to visit and ask "Is there anything I can do for you?" hand them the list and say "Take your choice."
5. Take advantage of the time people spend holding your baby. Go to the bathroom, take a shower, brush your hair, etc. You don't need to speak to them at this time. You will have plenty of time to talk to them while you're nursing.
6. Learn how to use a sling, wrap, ergo, whatever. Hands-free babywearing is wonderful, especially when your child wakes up every time you put him/her down.
7. Drink some wine when you nurse. It relaxes you, and the alcohol will be out of your system by the next time you nurse.
8. Find a support group - whether it's a baby & me group at the hospital, or a group of friends you have who also have babies close to the same age as yours, it's good to have a group of people to commiserate with.
9. Understand now that you will hate your husband, at least for a few months, and you really won't know why.
10. Keep snacks and water in the diaper bag, your car, next to your bed, and your nursing chair. You will be very hungry and very thirsty.
11. Don't allow any overnight guests, even if it's your mother who intends to help. These people do not know where the coffee maker is, where the forks go, or where to find that roll of toilet paper and will be asking you for instructions, which will only stress you out more. Give them the number of the nearest hotel, where they will be treated with the hospitality they expect.

I'm sure there are more tidbits, but this is all I can think of right now. I wonder how much I'll be able to follow when I have a newborn and a toddler. #2 is probably right out. :)

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