Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tips and Tricks for New Moms

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Look. One of the things I disliked the most about becoming a mom was all of the unsolicited advice that people now feel entitled to share. And they're pushy about it! If they do it that way then obviously you should too. So, I'm not going to do that. I'm simply going to share with you some tricks and shortcuts that I've learned in the 8.5 short months that I have been a mom. Some I've learned on my own and some of them others have shared with me. I'll pass them along in hopes that they make your life easier. If not, feel free to ignore them.

If you're nursing, those first few weeks can be brutal. A good tip that I read in a book (I don't remember which one) was to wash off your boobs with warm, soapy water after every time you feed your baby. It gets all of the milk off and helps keep thrush away. I also put coconut oil on after I washed them. It has antibiotic properties and can help with the thrush as well. Both of these things helped keep Cali and I from having to deal with it.

Don't worry about sleep/schedule for first 6 weeks. A lot of people may disagree with me but in my experience, those first few weeks should be all about cuddling and getting to know your new baby, not about stressing over anything. Let them sleep on your chest if you like and feed them on demand. After 6 weeks is up, then you can start to slowly introduce a plan. Again, not everyone will agree with me but it's just my opinion.

The Top Knot

For all of the sleep that you'll miss, embrace the top knot. Now, I'm not one to give fashion advice but I did learn that a cute top knot can make it look like you put some thought into how you look (which you probably didn't).

In case of middle of the night blowouts, which you will probably have at least once, try layering mattress covers and sheets. Buy a few flat mattress covers and start with one directly on the mattress. Then put a fitted sheet on top with another cover and sheet on top of that. That way, when you're tired and need a quick sheet change, you can strip off a cover and the soiled sheet and, voila!, clean sheet is already underneath.

Always keep an emergency diaper bag in the back of your car. If you're not as scatter brained as I am then this might not be as important but it's saved me a few times. I inevitably end up walking out of the house without wipes or an extra diaper (or extra clothes for baby or me) and having an extra set of everything in the trunk has helped a time or two.

Keep healthy, fast foods on hand at all time. You won't have as much time to fix yourself something to eat when there's a tiny human next to you all of the time. Whether it's boiling eggs, keeping pre-cook meats, or cooking some crock pot oatmeal to keep on hand, make sure there's alway something filling for those hectic moments when you need food but don't have time to cook anything.

Have some disposable plastic bags that you keep with you. You won't always be near a trashcan when you have a diaper to change and having a bag to seal up the stink in is nice.

Fancy shirt

Embrace the fancy t-shirts. They're easy to nurse in, cheap, and replaceable for when they're stained with spit-up.

Put their medicine straight on your boob or paci if you're not nursing. Getting babies to take medicine can be a fight but if you put a few drops at a time on your boob before they eat, it makes it a little easier. You'll have to do it a few times to make sure they get the full dosage but it's still easier. Just make sure to wash off afterwards.

For those early morning appointments, have them sleep in their clothes with a sleep sack over it. That way, they're already 99% dressed and you (hopefully) can let them sleep a bit longer.

Speaking of appointments, I found that it helps to schedule them in the afternoon if at all possible. Also, if they're going to miss a nap or have a poor one, morning naps have more REM sleep and therefore they're more restorative. I'd rather have her miss her afternoon nap over a morning one.

Going back to the medicine, if you don't like the idea of putting them on your skin, try to refrigerate it. The cold seems to cover up some of the strong flavor and makes it more enjoyable for sensitive palates.

My favorite carrier

If you plan on flying, wear that baby! If you go through security with a stroller it is a pain in the butt. They make you take the baby out, run the stroller through, and it all takes forever. If you're wearing the baby in a carrier, all you have to do is let them swab your hand. That's it. They don't even make you walk through the line or take the baby out. It's easy peasy.

If you have or are having a newborn, you need to change their diaper every couple of hours - even at night - to keep their sensitive skin from getting diaper rash. It'll make life a little easier if you go ahead and have the diapers out, rubbed with rash cream, and stacked by your bed. That way, it's just a grab and go.

And my most important piece of advice yet… Ignore all unwanted advice. You know your baby and your family better than anyone else. If anyone (including me) gives you advice that you're not comfortable with or it doesn't feel right, ignore it. Pay attention to your instincts and not Google/strangers/etc.

I hope at least one of these helps at least one of you. 

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