Thursday, August 19, 2010

Notes For A New Mom

As I know a few pregnant, soon-to-be new moms out there I thought I'd post some of the tips I give other new moms. These are just a few of the things that other moms never told me and I sure wish they had!

Hope they help.


1. Go on dates now, lots of dates. Especially movies, lots of movies and lots of dinners in restaurants you wouldn't dream of bringing a child to.

2. Pre-make meals now and freeze them or buy a bunch of frozen meals. You have no idea what kind of baby you're going to get, or what kind of mom you're going to be so be prepared. You simply might not be able to put baby down to make a meal for yourself so pre-made meals are the way to go for the first little while.

3. Negotiate NOW. Make sure DH understands that weekends need to be rest time for both of you. Likely you'll be the one getting up every night to feed and change the baby so you need 1 day to sleep in on the weekend just like he does. I negotiated for every evening (that he was home) off from 8pm - 11pm and then 1 night each weekend he had to get up with the baby if it cried and that morning I got to sleep in. That way we both got some sleep and a break from the baby.

4. Avoid buying sleepers that do up in the back, it's so complicated to figure that out at first. Do you lay the baby on their face? Do you try to do it when they're in your lap? It's confusing. Ones that snap in the front are usually pretty good because then you can just undo the bottom portion to change the baby and their torso doesn't get exposed & cold with every change.

5. You don't need 1 million gadgets, your mommy senses will tingle ALL THE TIME. You will now get 'mommy sleep' which means very little, wake at every, little sound - sleep.

6. Do buy a 3 pack of bottles and a small tin of formula and sterilize the bottles. If you don't use it, GREAT! Then all you wasted was maybe $15-$20. But you never know how breastfeeding will go and you need to be prepared to feed your child at 2am if your milk production suddenly stops or if it never comes in. I'm speaking from experience...almost no stores are open at 2am and we thankfully had some in the house, otherwise DD would have missed the 2am and 5am feeding as my milk simply disappeared. I had to get medication from the doctor the next day to start it back up again and even then it took a day for it to come back.

Post Baby

1. In the hospital bathroom you'll likely find a weird mesh looking thing...that's underwear. I swear to God. It's the underwear they ask you to wear. Trust me and just put it on.

2. Have a birthing plan A, a plan B, and a plan C.  Every birth is different and you never know what you're going to get so be prepared to change your original plan, and maybe even change it again.

3. EAT before you go to the hospital, you don't know when they'll let you eat again

4. If in your plan A, plan B or plan C you might have an epidural, upon arrival ask the nurse what their practice is for epidurals. Is there a list? Do you just get one when you want one? When's the cut-off point to request one?  Where I gave birth you had to put your name on the LIST and all c-sections and emergencies came before you, so you could possibly wait hours to get one. If and when you finally decide when you want one you do not want to be told it's hours away!

5. Going home clothes: you won't fit into regular pants yet so plan to wear maternity pants home. Also bring flip flops or slip on shoes as your feet can swell and it can be hard to get your shoes back on.

6. You will have a LOT of people looking at your private parts, you might be worried about this ahead of time but honestly, when you're in the moment and in pain - you couldn't care less. I still suggest you get a pedicure before the baby is due because for some reason most moms do notice their own feet, mainly because they're up in the air beside your face while pushing.

Post Baby

1. Take ANY and ALL help that is being offered. Seriously, you'll thank me later if it allows you an extra hour of sleep, 1 less meal to make or 1 less round of laundry.

2. After you bring the baby home practice putting them in their car seat. I might get some eye rolling from that but until you have this little person  in your arms you don't realize how hard it can be to get them dressed, changed, into 'outside' wear, into a car seat, that car seat into the car, then work the stroller on top of that. It can be daunting for a new mom so I always suggest you do it in baby steps. 1st. get the kid into a car seat and back out. 2nd after you feel good about that get them in the car seat, into the car and then go to something like a Starbucks drive-thru and back home. 3rd after you feel good about handling all that, take someone with you (a mom or MIL is always good) and plan an outing like the mall. Tell them you'll do everything (car seat, stroller, etc) yourself but you at least have them there as a back up if you can't figure out how to put something together or how to manage doors and such. Soon you'll be an old pro at it and won't think twice but it usually takes you a few outings to get to that point.

3.  Don't sign up for every class in the world just yet. Give yourself a month or two of leeway time to get used to the baby. Signing up for classes the week after your baby  is due will just put extra pressure on you that you won't need. You'll be figuring out feedings, and lack of sleep, and all the other aspects to a newborn. Also, what you get from a baby in the first week or two does not dictate how they're going to be at the 1 or 2 month mark. The classes will still be there at the 2 or 3 month mark or whenever you feel up for some adventure with your babe.

4.  It's a hard, hard, hard job. You hear people say it all the time but you will not get a true appreciation or understanding of it until you're in that situation. Your whole world just got turned upside down so go easy on yourself!!!!!!! Have the phone numbers of your friends on hand because you will have tons of  questions and no one is better to ask than the people who know you and who have recently been through it. You get some awesome advice, tips, and help from other moms out there. It's an amazing network of bonding, use it!

The best part of all of this, you go home with this beautiful little person that you made. At times you’re going to want to pull out your hair because it’s so hard, but at other times you look at this amazing little person and they give you this look, or smile, or make a cute gesture and it makes it all worthwhile.


  1. Love this, Jody. Thank you!!

  2. I have my formula and bottles ready in our pantry. Excellent tip!

    Ooo, totally agree about the gadgets! Baby stuff is such a racket, just like wedding stuff. Lot of it seems over priced and unnecessary.

    From your experience what baby products did you find really useful and handy? The stores are so overwhelming!

  3. We did like having a diaper genie, you change sooo many diapers and some smell so bad it's nice to have somewhere to put them in the middle of the night without having to put them outside.
    I'd say that and a rocking chair were my 2 must haves. We still use the rocking chair when reading to the little man but will be getting rid of it when his new bed shows up.
    I'd say get a baby monitor but only a cheap one. We only put it on when we're going to the basement or outside because trust me, you'll hear that baby no matter where else you are in the house.
    We also did like having a fisher price fish tank that hooks to the side of the crib, I think it's about $50. When they get a little older it's nice because they used to play with it until they fell asleep, or you could put it on the soft music & it's timed to go off on it's own. Not a necessity though.

  4. It sounds werid but I loved that hospital undewear because it was SOOOO stretchy. This is going to sound UBER gross but hey, we're talking about child birth, so my only other suggestion is when you're buying lady-pads for after the baby is born, buy the thick bulky granny kind. I bought the savvy thin ones and quickly realized the thicker ones the hospital sent home with me acted like a really great pillow. You're going to be soar down there for a while(it goes by really fast though, I promise) so the more padding/cusion, the better.