Gosh. My baby is 2 now! There are some things that worked for me, that I liked/didn't like, or that I had to learn the hard way. I decided to compile a list sort-of as a friendly gift, but also to remind myself of all those special baby moments. I'm not a professional, and you may not even think I am good, but here goes:
Oh yes, and an important disclaimer: You may totally disagree with me, and that's fine. Like I said, these are things that worked for me. I have personal experience why I feel the way I do in every case. As a new mommy, you may find different, better ways that work just great! :) So if you want, disregard all of this as BS from someone with only 2 years of experience!
And if you're wondering, I did write this for my friend Beth. But like I said... me too.
- Don’t ever, ever, take your child to St. John’s Mercy Hospital in Washington if she is sick and can be taken elsewhere. Their ER and pediatric doctor’s aren’t used to children, and they can’t insert an IV to save their lives. I have had more than one experience to back this up. Of course, if it’s an absolute emergency and you can’t avoid it… have her flown to Children’s, which is a wonderful, amazing hospital.
- If your baby is fussy and you can’t figure out why, try some Teething Tablets. They are homeopathic, which means they are drug free, so they won’t hurt your baby. If she is having teething pains, she will be greatly relieved. Also, don’t think it’s too early to teethe; mine got his first at 4 months.
- Your mother (and all those who offer you advice) is right more than you would like to admit. However, don’t let her (or anyone else) try to make decisions for you. Remember that you are the parent and you get to decide what’s best for your baby.
- People who don’t have children are always especially eager to tell you how to raise your children, kindly accept (or totally reject) their advice. Don’t ever take it personal or feel like they’re telling you what to do, even if they are. Do what is right for you. Here is my example: a girl I work with told me I wasn’t a good parent, and therefore wouldn’t have a good child, if I didn’t spank him. “You gotta do it, Karen,” she advised.
- You can nurse while lying in bed! Just lay the baby next to you and you can doze off while she is getting some nourishment. I spent many nights up in my rocking chair before someone shared this good news with me.
- Boppies are wonderful. Even for Dads. Don’t try to get a cheap one because they’re nowhere near as comfy. I also liked those little seats that help them sit up; they’re good for antsy little ones.
- Babies like Swaddlers; swaddling is fun. Like little baby tacos, or little Indian babies. They make pre-made swaddle cloths, but a blanket is just as easy. (I learned it at Babies 'r' Us free baby classes they offered.)
- When they get old enough to walk, get a leash! People look at you like you’re crazy, but you don’t lose your child when they don’t want to hold your hand or ride in a stroller (independent things they are). Those who chastise you probably have their own “I lost so-and-so once” stories.
- “What to Expect the First Year” is a good book for reference when you have a question. Is this normal? What can I do? Who else has had this problem? Should I worry?
- Which brings me to guilt: try not to let the new mom guilt overcome you or make you unable to make decisions. It is normal to feel guilty at first about nearly everything. I did. Ie: I felt guilty when I bought Parent’s Choice or Luvs instead of Pampers. Why? I have no idea. So, a little is normal, but try to think rationally. I know it is super hard.
- If you need a break, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Trust Dad to hold the fort while you go get ice cream, or go to the movies. Everything will be fine.
- Above all, remember that your baby is only a little baby once. You only have one first birthday, one first tooth, a few first steps. You don’t want to miss it. Don’t feel guilty if you have to work, but don’t get so immersed in things that you forget what is really important.
- Kids are never too young to learn, and you will feel so proud when your little one year old can recite the alphabet, count, and say “I love you.”
- Bordeaux Butt Paste rocks.