Snuggling a baby

Actual Useful Baby Tips to Remember

I know everyone has advice on babies which don’t always work. This is me writing a reminder to me. A lot of my friends have recently just had their first kiddo as well and I tried to write these down when they were still fresh in my mind. Feel free to utilize the pieces you want.

HOSPITAL
Everyone has these vague things of advice during labor and after. Some things I was never told. Like when you’re going stir crazy at the end of your pregnancy, set up stuff for you! Set up a nursing station, at least two one upstairs and downstairs. I couldn’t bend over or bend down for a while, it was just too paintful. Make sure your bathroom is set up where you don’t have to lean over or bend down to get anything. Stock up on pads, heavy ones. Coconut oil is your best friend. Slather up your lady bits if you can as soon as possible after birth and continue doing so it helps with the recover process. Red raspberry tea is also incredible for recovery and for helping your milk come in. (Google can let you know more about the super powers of red raspberry tea leaves.)

FIRST POO AFTER LABOR
Everyone talked to me about the scary dreaded first poo after labor. I took Calcium and Magnesium right after labor and I’ll tell you it wasn’t the terrifying horror that everyone talks about. Magnesium is a bit of a laxative and calcium should be taken as well for Mags best benefit. Keep up on those two vitamins at the end of pregnancy and after. (Obviously I’m not a doctor so seek professional advice before you take anything.)

BABY CLOTHES SKIP THE BUTTONS
Don’t buy anything but zip up sleepers. SERIOUSLY PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. When you’re learning how to change a diaper on a newborn the endless 39 bazillion snaps are rotten to mess with for the 5th time at night. If you live somewhere warm, lucky you, a onesie is all you need.

ALWAYS SKIP A SIZE
Babies grow fast. My baby didn’t even make it into her Newborn clothes and grew out of 0-3 month in weeks.  She’s 2 months and has been wearing 6 month clothing for a while. It’s not worth buying outfits! Stick to onesies and sleepers until you know more about your kiddo’s size. On that note – we grew out of diapers before we could use them all too. If you do have a baby shower don’t just ask for NB and size 1 diapers, get bigger sizes!

People are always getting rid of baby clothes on Craigslist or similar sites. Put your $100’s of dollars that you just saved on clothes you’ll never use towards diapers. Or wait until the clearance sales hit.

You can never have enough burping cloth blankets or nursing pads.  I use reusable nursing pads at home and disposable ones when traveling. Bake a huge batch of your favorite kind of healthy muffins at the end of your pregnancy and freeze them. You will be hungry at night during feeding it helps to have one or two muffins by your bedside. Get a huge water bottle or better yet a stainless steel water bottle (free of nasty plastic chemicals) and keep by your nightstand.

DIAPER SECRET ON STOPPING LEAKS
Run your finger around the Diaper ruffles around edge for a better seal. Use Vaseline on their bums, the poop doesn’t stick. (The nurses at the hospital told us.) Some people freaked out on me telling me that it’s a petroleum product. We never had diaper rash or any problems but use non-petroleum jelly if that’s your jam.)

BURPING
Can’t burp baby? Lay the kid horizontal for a few minutes until she makes a clearing sound with her voice like an ahem. Instead of trying to burp her for 30 minutes, laying her down for 2 minutes got the burp up much quicker.

SMALL NURSING TIP
Different sucking – towards the end of nursing they do this fluttering with their mouths. I thought that they were tired but that’s where they get the most important milk the hind milk.

I prefer the washable nursing pads. I have a fair bit of leakage and find those absorb better and are comfier in my opinion. And it’s cost effective. I don’t put them in the dryer with dryer sheets (I’ve recently quit using dryer sheets and use those dryer balls – heh heh – now) and let them air dry since baby noses have a strong sense of smell.

MAKE ALL THE NOISE
Make regular house hold noise from day one. When she was in the womb I blended shakes, used my coffee grinder and vacuumed. That didn’t change when she was a newborn. My baby at two months can sleep through loud TV, vacuum, music and more. I was so happy one day I was vacuuming and she slept right through it. Get them used to things early on and it won’t be a big deal down the road.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ON A SCHEDULE
I let my baby eat and sleep when she wants. We’re at two months and she’s getting into a great pattern. All babies are different though so any advice is out the window on this subject. She goes to bed around 11pm wakes up around 5am and sleeps until 9am. Her record for sleeping at night is 7.5 hours which is pretty phenomenal for her age. We let her find her natural rhythm. (I’m also lucky enough to not do the 9-5 gig.) I never understood why parents put their kids to bed so early if they wake up so early. I guess we will see what happens down the road. (Note: My husband as a baby went to bed late and slept late so she may just take after her Papa.)  My Mom pointed out we don’t drink a glass of water every two hours, we drink when we are thirsty. *Note she is 3 years now and I have a second baby. I followed the ‘let them make their own schedule’ and it has saved me a ton of stress. I have also found if they wake up too early let’s say 5am, I just put them back in their crib 9/10 times they go back to sleep another of couple hours.

BE CALM AND REPEAT
I keep saying we lucked out but Mom’s and nurses tell me it has a lot to do with parents. I like to think we are pretty chill and loving. We had her 8 years after being married and in our early 30’s so I was definitely mentally ready for my first! I’ll dig up some books to recommend in another post.

A partner in crime is extraordinarily essential (in my book). I have the best P.I.C. full of patience, love and an extra expert hand in changing diapers. Don’t try to do it all on your own. Give yourself a break once in a while.

QUIT GOOGLING IT
The best advice is don’t listen to advice! Even this info above that I recommended may not work. We’re all little individual snow flakes. I drove myself a bit sick over baby advice online, especially the baby schedule ideas. (And low and behold she’s getting her own which is a great one.) Note with our second I quit Googling stuff and we got to enjoy life more. When I do go online it 95% does not help and only makes me worry. Everyone is different so what will work for one may not work for the next. It feels a bit scary at first but everything good and bad is a phase and you will get through it. Good luck!

About the author

Besides being pretty quirky, I try to cook cleaner and work on graphic design when I'm not taking care of my two stellar tiny tot daughters age 3 and 1. I paint for fun, contemplate life a lot, laugh loudly, go on bike rides, and try to experience hygge. I'm far from perfect, and I'm working on being kinder both to myself and others in this world.

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