- Cut their nails when they are asleep. You will be terrified the first time you have to cut her nails, and may even ask your doctor to do it, who will tell you that they aren't long enough to be cut just yet. But once you do it a few times without bloodshed, it will become one of your favorite activities, giving you a great sense of pride and accomplishment.
- There will be multiple contraptions you don't have, and you will worry that not having it is depriving your child. But you will quickly realize that most baby items are not necessary. Remember, half of those things weren't even invented when were little, and we turned out alright. Things I didn't use or need: a bumpo, jumper/exersaucer, gates.
- Don't bother with a diaper pail! Almost every nursery has a window. Put a trashcan outside, under the window, and throw the diapers outside! Be sure to arrange your changing table under the window so that you do not have to leave them to throw it out.
- If breast feeding doesn't work out, you don't need to heat their formula! There's a risk of burns, and Autumn has never seemed to mind cold milk.
- Spring for an expensive newborn photographer, and book them in your first or second trimester. The good ones go fast. Yes, these are expensive, but they are something you cannot ever redo, and you will always cherish. If you don't like their Christmas or Easter photos, you will have a lot of other opportunities. But if all you have done are the ones taken in the hospital, you do not know who you will get, and may not like them. Plus, newborns are at their "best" (read: less red and alien looking) 7-10 days post-birth. Splurge. Then, find a reasonable photographer for their first year. Autumn's infant photos were $650, but I'm making up for it by having a photographer that I LOVE who only charges $20 for mini sessions, which she does for all holidays!
- Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Plan to be sleep deprived and a ghost of your former self, and you will be overjoyed when your child starts sleeping through the night at only 7 weeks old.
- If your baby is crying in the first few days of life, they're starving! A baby's cry means something, and a video we watched prior to her birth had us thinking she needed to be soothed, swaddled and shushed when she was really just trying to tell us she was hungry. Fortunately, we realized this before we were discharged from the hospital and started supplementing with formula. But food is so essential in the first few days for their brain development.
- Make sure you keep a newborn nasal aspirator in their crib or co-sleeper, especially if they were delivered via cesarean. On day two of our hospital stay, Autumn turned red, stretched her neck out and wasn't making any noise. Almost frozen with fear, Nathan yelled for me to call the nurse. Afraid it would take too long, he picked her up and ran down the hall. They used a bulb to remove some mucus that was blocking her airflow. We brought the aspirator home and although we never needed it again, it never left her co-sleeper.
- Don't be afraid to buy used! Many products your baby will only use for a month or two, or maybe not at all. I purchased an ArmsReach Co-sleeper which retails for $200 for $50 and she outgrew it by 3 months. Then I sold it for $60.
- Change her clothes the night before, so she is ready to go in the morning, after just a diaper change. This one seems really obvious, but doesn't fit into our normal routine of doing things, since we get ready in the morning. But it has been especially helpful to me since returning to work.
Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
10 Hacks for New Moms
What parenting tips do you have for new moms? Comment below to share!
Posted by Megan Swanek