Friday, May 24, 2013

For the First Timers

Being a new mom is stressful, exciting, nerve-wrecking, rewarding, exhausting, and overwhelming. I am lucky that I have had my sister to lean on and ask questions or mom, or my mother-in-law, but I know there are some who dont have others and often have to rely on themselves or the internet. I have found that these main things are the biggies for being a first time mom. There's lots of advice given when it comes to your newborn baby, but at the end of the day, you have to figure out what works best for you and for your baby. Sometimes it takes a few different tries at things to get it figured out, but dont panic! Your little one and you will adjust in due time. Woman have been raising children for thousands of years and have always managed :) You can do it!

The top things that I have learned since being a Mom:

1. Its ok to put your baby down

I know what you're thinking. Is she for real? Yep! I am a stay at home mom and we live in a small condo, so when you dont really have anywhere to go when baby is screaming, I typically try all my options and if all else fails, I pick her up and go about what I was doing. At first I felt really guilty about putting her in the swing and sitting on the couch next to her to blog or email, but I've slowly been learning that its ok to let her just hang by herself and entertain herself. You will be glad one day that you allowed your little one to self soothe and keep themselves company.

2. Its ok to switch Doctors if you arent happy

I liked the pediatrician we chose in the beginning. She was great and very knowledgeable. Great office staff and clean environment, but when Paisley started having bloody stools and all they could tell me that it was maybe a dairy allergy with no further detail I began to question our decision to be there. As the story goes, and the worse Paisleys diapers became, I began asking more and more questions, and to no avail they didnt have an answer or even know what to say. Let me just stop here. There job is to be our babies doctor and they have no clue what is going on and cant even point us in a direction, yet, you are paying almost $200 for every baby visit!? I mean get real! When I felt like we werent moving forward with Paisleys symptoms and cutting out all dairy and soy and almost everything else and nothing was changing, I started looking into different options. I gave our pediatrician multiple times to help us in our situation and each time she didnt know. I, at times felt like I knew more than her. Also, she wasnt very breastfeeding pro so that was a BIG negative for us. I looked and looked for different doctors and ended up finding a doctor that was on board and willing to help us continue breastfeeding and to help us figure out Paisleys issues. It has taken us a month to get readjusted, but let me just say that I LOVE our new doctor! She is a breath of fresh air and has helped me and Paisley get through this!! If you dont click with a doctor its ok to change! I promise if it takes switching doctors to get peace of mind it is totally worth every thing!


I mean this literally. Get off the internet! There is so much info out there, and so many horror stories that people feel like they need to share that just scares you out of your boots! I know at times it can be helpful, but 98% of the time its only makes you worry more. If you have a question, call your doctor, call your mother, call a friend, or find a reliable source online that you can trust. Mayo Clinic, Babycenter, and Kelly mom are pretty reliable. Even some blog posts I have found are very helpful. There are all kinds of discussion boards that everyone feels they need to post their terrible story. You can find anything on the internet today, good and bad. Dont feel like if you call your doctor you are bothering them. They get paid for you to ask your questions and for you to be at peace, especially when it comes to pregnancy and a new baby. 

4. Find a lactation consultant or La Leche League Member

If you are planning on breastfeeding, find someone before your baby comes. This will come in really, really handy. I didnt do this and it has been a challenge. I cant ever reach anybody at the La Leche League here in Tampa for when I do have a question, and the lactation consultants are only at our hospital a few days a week. Find someone that you trust and you can reach whenever you need help or have a question. Breastfeeding is the most challenging thing you will ever experience, but if you have people alongside of you that can help you and support you in what you are doing, it might make for a little easier time. I promise, you dont think you will have questions, but when your nipples are bleeding in the middle of the night and you are freaking out, you will have wished you had someone to call to ask what to do.

5. If you're still pregnant, enjoy getting yourself ready and taking showers

This is one that I really took for granted. I thought it would be so easy to take a shower, not always get ready, but boy was I wrong. It was nice in the beginning because I would shower while the baby slept in the morning, or at times I am still able to, but when you get in that shower, you are constantly worrying, or panicking that your baby is going to wake up and be screaming when you turn that water off. That has happened to me once, and ever since then, I hurry in the shower for fear that my baby will wake up ha! Saturdays when my hubby is home, its nice because he will keep an eye on her while I can just relax and enjoy a nice hot shower. There are times, however, that I will put Paisley in a bouncer or the rock and play sleeper and let her just hang while I shower and get ready, but if your baby is anything like mine, she gets bored really quickly. Enjoy the time you have to get yourself ready now before baby comes, because when baby is here you will quickly find that while you are unshowered and a mess, your sweet little bundle of joy is dressed to the nines. Thats how mommyhood works for us most days but I love every minute of it :)

6. Supermom is for the birds

I love how on TV they make looking like being a mom is super easy. She's all dressed up, make up on, baby is dressed head to toe neatly, house is all put together, organized and spotless, laundry is done, folded and put away. Dog has been walked, dishes done, and dinner is waiting on the table. Oh and somewhere in there she has managed to go the mail and grab a few groceries. Picture perfect. Uh hmmm, well let me just tell you, it rarely ever happens that way. Our place is small and I am a bit OCD (I am my mothers child) about our place being spotless, so I spent the first few months trying to keep it that way, doing all the laundry, making sure it was folded AND put away, rooms were spotless, dishes done and put away, myself ready, and dinner cooking and it was exhausting. AND I forgot to mention, feed your baby, take care of your baby. The first few months you spend what feels like an eternity feeding your baby. When you breastfeed and that baby is hungry you gotta feed. Mine at every 2-3 hours an hour at a time. So we would finish one feeding and before you knew it, it was time to feed again. Its very exhausting especially if you have been up all night with a fussy little one. Relax. Its ok that you cant do everything in a days time. Have people around you help you and come to you. Bond with your baby, spend time with your baby, play with your baby. Just enjoy the moments and most importantly, sleep when that baby sleeps! You will feel a hundred times better if you are rested. Your husband and baby will appreciate it if you are rested. Supermom is for the birds really. Everything wont be perfect 100% of the time and thats ok. You new bundle of joy is only little for what feels like a few minutes. Take that in and enjoy every minute because you cant ever get those moments back. The laundry can wait, and if you dont get showered and ready for that day, its no big deal. Promise!

7. Plan simple meals

I was fortunate enough to have my mom with me for the first two weeks, and then my dad and Step-mom for a week after that and it was awesome! They cooked meals for us and made extras to put in the freezer, and we also had people from my husbands job make meals for us every night for a week. It was pure heaven and relieving knowing that I, or my husband didnt have to cook. I had a C-section so thinking about standing and moving much to make a meal felt almost impossible for the longest time. I now see why people eat out a lot or do take-out when they have a new baby. So much easier and there is no mess to really clean. Pinterest these days is great at having meals that you can make and freeze or crock pot meals you can put in a bag, freeze, pull out and throw it in and cook. You will be very happy if you have stuff prepared a head of time when that baby comes. Eating sometimes is the last thing that you are worried about when that baby is screaming their heads off because they're hungry and need a diaper change. 

8. Buy diapers a head of time

Dont wait till you are down to the last two and you need diapers, and oh wait, target is closed. When Paisley has maybe 10 diapers left, I will go to the store or send the husband to get diapers. The last thing you want to be worrying about when you have a blow out diaper is if you have any diapers left, or where is the diapers, that you seemed to have spaced out getting the other day. You dont even want to have to think about trying to be at the store the moment they open so you can get diapers. Get them a head of time and you will be a happier, less stressed mommy. Its not even a bad idea to stock up on diapers before your little one arrives :) 

9. Always give yourself plenty of time

I am one who has to be on time, and by on time I mean a few minutes early. Since having a baby, I have quickly learned that the new on time is about 20 minutes late IF you are lucky! Really this does happen. We can be all set to be on time and at the last second something goes wrong. My favorite is a huge blow-out mess. That takes time in itself to clean up ladies. You are so impressed you are on time, you're dressed and ready, your baby is looking stylish as always and BAM, just like that you have spit-up all down the front of you and your baby. Your baby will be the greatest excuse you have on why you are late. It just happens, and most people around you will just have to learn to understand that. Its not easy getting yourself and a baby out the door. I cant imagine what I will be in for when we do decide to have another one.....

10. Get out of the house!

Even if its just for a short walk, get outside. This has been a lifesaver for me. Before Paisley I was one who was always go, go, go and when she came having to stay inside and seeing the same four walls was a little depressing. We went for our first walk when Paisley was about 6 days old, even though it wasnt very far (thank you C-section for that) I felt like a brand new person. Something about just getting out of the house has a way of making you feel revived almost. ha! Its good for you and for baby. Paisley loves being outside, so I make sure that every day we either walk somewhere or we go somewhere. Doesnt have to be for long periods of time, but get out :)

11. Set a good schedule, but at times be flexible

Right off the bat, we established a pretty good schedule that we have managed to stick to four months later. Paisley kinda helped us in that too. She was a great sleeper so at night she would sleep 4-5 hours, wake to eat and go back down for another 4 hours or so. We have kept that no matter how long she sleeps at night, she will wake to eat, go back down for 4 hours sometimes 3.5 and then get up, eat, play, and be back down about 3 hours later, sometimes earlier if she is really tired. At night time around 8:30 we will put together all her evening stuff, get a bath ready, turn down lights, turn on her noise machine, bathe her, read a story, feed and then she is down about 9:30ish. We have kept this routine from beginning and she is use to it. She doesnt really fight us. We have one night a week where we are out till 9 and generally will still stick to her main bedtime events, but if she is really tired we just change her, feed her and put her down. Some days we are out and about and she doesnt get a great afternoon nap and that is ok. Whatever you do, be flexible sometimes. It will save you the stress when you are at dinner and its 8:30 and you are just now eating. The less you stress the happier your baby will be. You will have times it just doesnt go accordingly and its ok :)

12. Set your own breastfeeding schedule

This is a BIG one for me!! Every one has the own time table of when YOU should be feeding YOUR baby. The nurses at the hospital told me to feed every 3 hours and so like clock work I did, and let me tell you. Paisley didnt like it. She had her own plan. She wasnt hungry every 3 hours. Your baby will tell you when THEY are hungry! They know when their little bellies need a little something and when they dont. They are much smarter than we give them credit for. When I started letting Paisley tell me she was hungry, it was a relief! Not only was I happier and not as overwhelmed by watching the clock, my little darling was much happier herself too.

13. Find times to spend with your hubby

I cant stress how important this really is. We havent gone out much since Paisley has come into our lives and its hard. Its not that we cant, my hubby just doesnt want to leave her ;) You have to have quality time with each other. Having a baby is stressful but if the two of you are OK and dandy then it will help you both tremendously and help your baby to relax. The two of you have to be one, so that you can effectively take care of your baby together. Marriage doesnt just end when your little one arrives, it needs to become stronger, because you both at times will need support and will need to encourage each other when you are sleep deprived, breastfeeding isnt going the way you thought it would, or your little one wont stop crying for anything. There are many trying times, but if you can work together, so much more is accomplished!

14. Stock up on Hand Sanitizer and Hand Soap BEFORE baby comes

You will be so happy that you did this! Besides diapers and wipes, there is nothing that you will go through faster than sanitizer and hand soap. I know for me and having a baby around, I constantly feel like my hands are never clean enough when it comes to handling baby stuff. 

Hope you all enjoy and can find some use out of all this :) Again, this is just what I have learned in a very short period of time.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh! I agree, and the lactation consultants at our hospital were WORTHLESS. Luckily, I have a close friend who breastfed all 3 of her babies who helped me out tremendously... and I also found solace in the Breath Of Life birth center (whom I still call sometimes with questions or concerns!). They are all Christians (making me feel so comfortable) and they easily walked me through everything, or any issues I felt I was having and it was so much easier than having to pack up and go to the hospital just to find the lactation station had just closed, or there were no consultants there. Have you read "The womanly art of breastfeeding"? Such a lifesaver!



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