If you are a new or soon to be mom, everyone, it seems, has advice for you. It seems like everyone knows what’s best for you and your little one, and you may or may not seem to be what others expect at this point. Here’s some good advice that I’ve culled from my own experience.
1. It’s okay to use formula instead of breast milk if you need to. It’s not possible for everyone to breast feed. If you’re having trouble breast feeding, it can be very frustrating for you and your little one. But even if you use formula, it’s still possible for your little one to thrive and to bond with you. It will be okay.
2. You can stay in the hospital longer than you think. When you’re in the hospital, everyone is at your service, and at home, things will be very different. Don’t be afraid to stay in the hospital and enjoy being waited on by nurses and having clean linens you don’t have to wash. You have time for other things later.
3. You have a baby, not a creature from another planet. You probably don’t need all the expensive unique baby stuff you think you do. What if you don’t need that extra changing table? What if you can just change your baby on the bed, or on the counter? Life will happen even if you don’t plan it out by spending money on it.
4. If people offer to babysit, take them up on it! So many people love newborns, so enjoy the time you have to shower, change, or cook a meal for yourself. When your little one is slightly older, the offers won’t be as forthcoming, so use what you can of your friends’ time while they offer to hold your bundle of joy.
5. If you have a boy, point his penis down. This will prevent leaky boy diapers. This may seem like a small thing, but it will be a wondrous change from having to change diapers every hour or so if you have a little boy on your hands. This is pretty obvious, actually.
6. You probably don’t need infant clothes. If you buy a few pieces, okay, but you don’t need too many. People will probably offer to give you a ton of these. And remember to keep the tags on. Your baby may not wear half of what you get at your shower, so you’ll want to be able to return items for good.
7. Clothes with tons of snaps or buttons are out, permanently. This is pretty much a waste of your time. You’ll try to use them over and over and continually be frustrated! Just stick with elastic, and you will be fine and able to change and feed more easily.
8. Be sure you keep spare diaper items with you always. You always want to have diapers, and wipes, and a change of baby clothes with you. You never know when your baby will have an accident, and though it takes getting used to, it’s a good practice to get into.
9. You are entitled to help. You’re now a mom, and there’s a mom club. If you need a few spare wipes when you’re at the park or daycare line, ask! If you share your child’s snack at the park, then you’ll be rewarded in good karma later. So don’t be afraid to vocalize your need. We’re all in this together anyway.
10. Have fun! It does go by so fast when you have a new one, and it is very tiring. If you ever have another one, you’ll wonder why you thought one was a lot. But don’t forget to appreciate the little things, and try to stay grounded with loved ones and neighbors to help out. Enjoy every precious minute of raising your little one.