I mentioned last week (I think) that I was considering writing about my advice for new moms. I have an abundance of things I could write about, so I am breaking it into separate posts. I hope that in reading this (if you are a new mom or about to be a mom) you get some good information, and I hope to get my point across that what works for some moms will not work for every mom and that is okay! Do what works for your family. Today will be mainly focused on the first few weeks after having a baby!
When I came home after my first baby was born everyone told me to sleep when she slept. That is great advice in theory, but sometimes hard to do. So my advice, sleep as much as possible when the baby is sleeping. Don't worry about cleaning your house, or doing the dishes or making dinner or getting out of your pajamas. At least for the first few days (or in my case weeks) you are home. If you are worried about people coming over and seeing your house messy or seeing you still in your pj's, don't be. No one will care. In fact, most will be willing to help out in some way (like letting you take a shower while they watch the baby).
2. Accept all offers for free food.
Seriously. People will offer to help. They will want to bring you dinner. Say yes. As many times as you are asked, say yes. If your fridge gets full, put it in the freezer. There is nothing better than two weeks after you are home and your baby has had a fussy day and you are tired, than to pull something out of the freezer for dinner. It is great. And if someone asks if there is anything they can do to help, tell them to bring dinner!
3. Take time to shower and pee!
I know that sounds crazy, but the first time I ever had to use the bathroom and Isabelle was crying, I had no idea what to do. I couldn't possibly put her down. So I just held it until she quit crying. I was miserable and she was miserable. I should have put her down and used the restroom. Crying doesn't kill a baby. It doesn't scar them for life and they will not grow up and say, "But you abandoned me when I was crying." It will not happen. You can also shower. We bought Isabelle a vibrating bouncy seat and we named it the magic chair and I loved that thing more than words can say. I would put Belle in the chair, turn on the vibrations and hop in the shower. She was content to hang out and I was able to shower during a time when she was awake. Beautiful.
4. Babies can sense how you are feeling.
If you are freaking out while your baby is freaking out, things are not going to improve. You must remain calm and in control. Take some deep breaths or put the baby down (see above, crying does not kill a baby), regain your composure and then pick her/him back up. If you are calm, your baby will calm down much faster.
5. DO NOT, DO NOT check the internet when you have a question.
If your baby is crying or sick or has a weird bump or rash or whatever, DO NOT go to the internet for information. It is so tempting to google 'rash on infant', but you will regret it. Worst case scenarios is all you are going to find with hundreds if not thousands of horrific pictures and stories. The first time I looked on the internet for information was the same day I came home with Isabelle. I had a fever and was prescribed antibiotics. I wanted to find out if there were any side effects for the baby (since I was breastfeeding) despite my doctor telling me it was safe. Of course there were TONS of posts about possible, though not likely, side effects and I was worried sick and since I was so emotional, I was also crying my head off. Add that to a fever and having a three day old baby, it was a disaster. Of course it was fine, Isabelle suffered no side effects, and you would think I had learned my lesson. NOPE. It took about a dozen more times of google to learn I was just scaring myself. Talk to your doctor. Call him or her whenever you have a question. Even in the middle of the night. You will pay lots of money to your pediatrician over the next few years, you might as well take advantage of the service they provide. Call your doctor and for the most part, trust their advice.
That is it for today. Let me know if you find this post helpful or not, or if you have other great advice for new moms!