Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The List: Things I'm Glad I Did As A New Parent

Being a new parent was probably the most daunting thing for me prior to Waylon's arrival. I was so scared. At 28 years old, I had only ever held a baby twice in my entire life. Matter of fact, I was the youngest in my entire family up until a month prior when my wonderful nephew was born. Never changed a diaper, never bottle fed a baby. Everything was so new.

That being said, I wanted to congregate a list of helpful tips. And by tips I mean, they worked for me so maybe it's worth taking a stab at yourself. Just remember, every single baby is so different. What works for me may not work for you, so pick and choose as you please. 

1) Don't get your baby used to having a warm bottle. I breastfed my son as long as I could, which took me to about 3.5 months when my milk ran out. From there, I supplied him with formula and it was the first time I started to feed him routinely from the bottle. We were super transitional during the first half of Waylon's life so I knew from the beginning that I needed him to be flexible because resources may or may not be available when traveling. There is absolutely no scientific reasoning behind temperature of the milk you give your child. Warm, room temperature or cold, it's fine as long as they will take it. Thankfully, Waylon takes his any way I'll give it to him which makes it easier on me to feed at the airport, random gas stations, or at our secluded cabin in the mountains. 

2) I'm a really big fan of The Baby Sleep Solution, recommended to me by a dear friend. In it, the author talks about not using the vibrator setting on your bouncer/sleeper/swing/etc. Long story short, and going along with #1 above, don't get your baby used to anything. Because in the event that you need to sleep at a family member's house or want to take a vacation and can't bring along your vibrating seat you may be SOL if *that* vibrating whatever is the only thing that will get your child to sleep. 

Now, did I completely eliminate this from my child's life? Of course not. I just made sure that it wasn't the "norm". In other words, every night prior to bedtime I didn't put him in the rocker with vibrator on in hopes of him falling asleep. Rather, I would use it at random times during the day as a "baby massage", but these were few and far between. 

3) I actually failed at this so I wanted to throw it out there as a hindsight 20/20 tip. To this date, and we are trying to break Waylon of it, he gets so upset if he's hungry, sees the bottle and can't have it. In the beginning when he would do his hunger cry I would frantically rush to his needs just to get him to stop ASAP. My sister in law is really good about waiting to feed until her son is calm, and I wish I would have. She soothes him until he becomes quiet and then feeds him the bottle. 

4) Don't pre-buy too many bottles or pacifiers. I did a ton of research on the best pacifiers and my son didn't like ANY of them. The one he did like? From a random corner store up the road from us. 

5) Setup "stations" throughout the house. I had a bin that was designated for breastfeeding necessities, a bin for my personal hygiene/ post partum after care and of course a bin for changing diapers. These were great because I could just grab n' go whenever I pleased. 

6) Spare yourself the extra laundry and purchase a Keekaroo . Sure, you could find all sorts of cute changing pad covers on Etsy. Sure, you want everything in your baby's nursery to be a theme-like. But do yourself a favor and purchase the Keekaroo. Simply wipe, and move on. There is nothing worse than putting on your freshly laundered changing pad cover on only to get a poo mark on it. You will end up turning it right back to the laundry basket, for the 9th time that week. 

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