Maternity: 4th of July Outfit: scarf headband & espadrilles

Maternity: 4th of July Outfit: scarf headband & espadrilles

My Unsolicited New Baby Advice #maternity #baby

(Things helped me with baby #1 and now baby #2)

So many of my friends are having babies!  You didn’t ask for my advice, but here are some notes that helped make the transition to a new baby a little easier (I wish someone would have told me about some of this sooner!) I don’t have a cure for no sleep yet, still working on that… happy new baby! Now I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old – time files!  What are your favorite baby things/advice? Leave a comment at the bottom!

My Unsolicited New Baby Advice #maternity #baby #mom @getSNAZZY

Hospital

  • Plan for something to not go according to plan. If you are ready for that possibility, it will be better. (TRUST ME… I had a pretty birth plan typed on nice paper… read the comments for more on my story.  In the end, healthy mom and baby are the goal, not your birth plan)
  • Ask friends that have babies to tell you what labor, delivery and the first weeks (months) are really like. People don’t talk about the craziness because they want to be “Super Parents” Ask for help!
  • Meeting your new baby is the coolest thing!
  • Give your camera to your hubby to take first moment pictures, get some as a new family too.
  • After delivery, stay on top of your medication schedule, don’t try to be a hero and skip pain medicine doses.
  • Ask the nurses about every medicine that you are being given. Ask them to come back if you aren’t sure about something so you can research it. For example, I was itching and they wanted to give me Benadryl, I really didn’t want to take it because my milk hadn’t come in yet. They were able to find something else that I could take. Ask about other options, be your own patient advocate!!
  • Get up and walk as soon as you can. Even if it’s just around your room. Then make it a point to walk a little more each day. It will help in the long run.
  • Ask about taking a stool softener or natural alternative
  • Send baby to the nursery at night! The nurses will bring them back as often as you want. {wow, this sparked a lot of debate – if it’s not right for you and your family, don’t do it :) }
  • Spend time cuddling skin-to-skin like a kangaroo
  • Bring a thank you for the nurses (we baked cookies and bought some mini-candy bars) We kept them in our room and everyone that came in got to enjoy a treat. I think we got some extra blankets because of it :) Trail mix or fruit would be good too.
  • Bring an empty folder to put all of your important forms and paperwork that you get at the hospital.

Hospital Bag

I packed pretty well this time- http://www.getsnazzy.com/2011/08/hospital-bag/ I still had too much stuff, but better too much than not enough. Remember to show Dad where a few of your things are that you might need on the first day; you won’t feel like getting out of bed.

Car

Car seat (already installed)

Box to carry any gifts home when you leave

Backpack

Insurance Card and Driver’s License + Hospital Registration Paperwork

Cord Blood Banking Kit (if applicable)

Camera (with video or a separate video camera too)

Phone

Chargers (small extension cord with extra plugs might be helpful)

Socks

Chapstick

Glasses and Contacts with Solution

Music (with iPod or something to play it on)

Smell good lotion or calming scent {If you use essential oils pack your favorites} and focal point object

Pillow or at least pillow case (bright color so it doesn’t get washed with the hospital laundry)

Small Suitcase (the room gets crowded quick! Leave it in the car until after delivery)

Toiletries bag with deodorant, lotion, more chapstick, toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brush and hair ties, shampoo, make up/face wipes to stay fresh when you can’t shower, extra contacts and solution

Hand sanitizer – I love Thieves all natural Hand Purifier

Loose clothing – I packed a couple of button down sleep shirts that are great for nursing and made me feel better than the hospital gown.

Gaucho pants and extra-large silk pj pants/shorts were great too.

Flip flops (or slippers if you’d rather)

Socks

Nursing bras and big undies (I didn’t ever buy special maternity underwear, I just bought some cheap ones in a few sizes larger) The hospital usually provides fancy mesh undies, you might use them instead.

Nursing cover (I didn’t pack a nursing pillow, but you might want one)

Baby book or scrapbook page for guests to sign! I made this one for my daughter and add the birth announcement later.

Thank you notes and a pen or two

Small gift for the nurses (My friend that’s a nurse said food is a nice treat! Just baked goods or a fruit basket and don’t forget to designate one for the night shift and day shift)

Going home outfit (I wore what I wore to the hospital when I had my daughter- you will still need maternity clothes) A dress or something loose will be especially important if you have a C-Section.

Baby (I put these things in a big Ziploc inside my bag so they wouldn’t get lost)

Going home outfit with socks and a hat. Scratch mittens are a plus. The hospital usually provides diapers and a pacifier. Baby doesn’t need much.

Dad Bag

Clothes, comfy shoes, socks, toiletries, playing cards or other entertainment, a few favorite snacks

Happy Baby Birth Day!

If all else fails bring the car seat!

p.s. If you have other kiddos make plans for them early and pack their bag now! It will be too crazy the day of delivery to worry about them too!

To Buy

  • In addition to normal baby stuff, these things will be useful during your hospital stay and the first week or so
  • Snacks (for the hospital and at home) I was starving at the hospital in between meals, luckily the nurses had a lot of snacks!
  • Newborn diapers
  • Stool Softener or natural alternative (we like Peppermint Essential Oil!)
  • Pads (buy these early so hubby doesn’t have to run to the store for you!)

My Unsolicited New Baby Advice #maternity #mom #baby @getSNAZZY

Proud BIG Sister

Other Kids

  • Arrange for their care well before you go to the hospital
  • Have them come for short visits
  • Spend special 1-on-1 time with dad
  • We gave big sister a baby doll at the hospital from her new brother. She loves taking care of it.
  • Teach them about being gentle and touching baby’s feet and not face

Breastfeeding

  • Meet with a lactation consultant at the hospital, ask lots of questions and take notes!
  • Breastfeeding can be hard, but you can do it (and if you can’t it doesn’t make you a bad mom!) I nursed our daughter for a year and so far so good with our little guy
  • Tips: Ask for help from someone that had a successful time breastfeeding, try different holds (cross-cradle is a good one at first), feed the baby naked (diaper only), stroke their face with a wet wash cloth if they are too sleepy, practice getting a good wide latch (or it will hurt!)
  • It will take a few days for your milk to come in, be patient and continue to nurse
  • When your milk first comes in it can hurt. Put a warm towel on you for 5 minutes before you nurse to help.
  • Medela has an app- iBreastfeed It is a good way to keep track of which side you were on and how many minutes on each. Another simple way is the wear a bracelet or rubberband on your wrist and switch it when you switch sides. I was taught to feed on one side (main dish) for about 20 minutes, then burp and switch to the other side (dessert) for as long as they will eat (usually under 20 minutes). Then next feeding start with the dessert side, so you are always rotating where you start for the “main dish” Eventually I switched to just using one side per feeding (no dessert side), but that’s a few months later.
  • Eat snacks that are high in protein at every feeding and drink plenty of water! Peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, protein bars, etc. A lot of ladies are in baby weight loss mode immediately, but you will feel AWFUL if you are breastfeeding and not getting enough protein.

Books/DVDs

I read a lot of books with our first kiddo and have taken bits and pieces of advice from them. You have to do what works for you and each child. Here are a few of my favorites.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

The book is a little overwhelming and more like a textbook, so I read it in sections and come back to refresh as needed.

The review of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Childfrom Amazon customer H. Grable is a good summary: “What it teaches you is this: 1. watch your child [and learn from them]. 2. put him/her down to sleep when you first see the signs of tiredness 3. most children under 6 months do not stay awake for longer than 2-3 hours at a time without needing a nap. 4. DO NOT just put your child down to nap when you feel like it – that’s just letting him/her cry, not TEACHING them to sleep. 5. Most children need to go to sleep at night earlier than you’d think. 6. Going to bed earlier promotes later sleeping (weird, but true. As the author says, it’s not logical. It’s biological – sleep promotes sleep) There’s a lot more too.”

The Happiest Baby on the Block (I watched the DVD, but there is a book too)

The 5 S’s

There are 5 components to this method which, when used together, work amazingly well to calm your crying baby and in many cases help your baby go to sleep with no fuss.

  • Swaddling- Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support the fetus experienced while still in Mom’s womb.
    • (We like the Miracle Blanket- it makes swaddling easy, but a large receiving blanket works too)
  • Side/stomach position – You place your baby, while holding him, either on his left side to assist in digestion, or on her stomach to provide reassuring support. Once your baby is happily asleep, you can safely put her in her crib, on his back.
  • Shushing Sounds- These sounds imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb. This white noise can be in the form of a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, a fan, white noise CD, etc.
  • Swinging – Newborns are used to the swinging motions that were present when they were still in Mom’s womb. Every step mom took, every movement caused a swinging motion for your baby. After your baby is born, this calming motion, which was so comforting and familiar, is abruptly taken away. Your baby misses the motion and has a difficult time getting used to it not being there. “It’s disorienting and unnatural,” says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.
  • Sucking – “Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system,” notes Karp, “and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain.” This “S” can be accomplished with breast, bottle, pacifier or even a finger.

Other

  • ASK for HELP! You can’t lift anything heavier than your baby for the first 2 weeks and won’t feel like doing a lot. Ask someone to bring a couple of meals or have some take out menus handy!
  • Freeze some meals so you have something good to eat with little prep!
  • Usually you aren’t supposed to drive until 2 weeks after delivery, so make arrangements to get to doctor’s appointments, have someone go to the grocery store, etc.
  • Schedule newborn pictures (or take your own) within the first 2 weeks before baby gets too active. Wear simple colors, no bold patterns. Look up some favorite poses before your session.
  • Keep a list of all of the follow up appointments you need to make (OB- 2 week check, Pediatrician- 2 week check, 2nd PKU, etc.)
  • Add baby to your health insurance
  • Send in paperwork for baby’s social security number (should be done at the hospital)
  • Request baby’s birth certificate (you will get Vital Statistics form at the hospital, but you will have to request a birth certificate from the city or county- request at least 2!)
  • A baby swing is a great investment (consider borrowing from a friend)
  • Kid’s consignment shops often have great deals on clothes that are almost new!
  • Buy gender neutral big ticket items (car seat, stroller, high chair, pack n play, etc.) These things are expensive! Buy some extra pink or blue clothes or blankets with the money you save from not having to buy new big items.
  • Check out Amazon Subscribe and Save or Prime. It is awesome not to have to haul boxes of diapers, toilet paper, detergent, etc.
  • Take lots of pictures and videos too. (back up your photos)
  • Enjoy every moment, it goes by FAST.

Need a baby shower gift idea? I made this Happy BIRTH Day – New Mom Comfort Kit.

UPDATE: I wish I would have known about Young Living Essential Oils before my babies were born. Read my Oily Story here.   p.s.  Peppermint essential oil can decrease milk supply, so use it sparingly. Strange – TMI tip – if you put a drop or two of peppermint oil in the toilet (or on your stomach) it can help you go to the restroom (which they will make you do before you leave) Fennel essential oil can help boost milk supply. Lavender is awesome for so many things! Our pediatrician was so intrigued to learn about all the different uses of essential oils. This is helpful book too – Gentle Babies is a helpful reference guide – check it out my book recommendations here.

Important: Before I started using Young Living Essential Oils I didn’t know there as a difference in types and brands.  Did you know that some other companies (especially cheaper grocery store/health store brands) only include 5% essential oil and misleadingly label them 100% pure?  I trust the seed to seal promise of Young Living.  Ask if you have any questions! Welcome to parenthood!

 

What are your favorite baby things/advice?

Embrace Wellness #OilyFamilies @YLEOTeam Essential Oils  Visit www.YLEOTeam.com to learn more > free video class

Check out this post – A Day In the Life of an Essential Oiler Series

 

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