Prior to bringing home baby, I had approximately zero experience with a newborn, (sheesh a baby or child for that matter). I wanted to share some things I learned in these three weeks that might help another clueless new mommy. I did do a ton of reading when baby was in utero but some of these things are really ‘on the job training’.
I had bought a bunch of onesies, what I learned is that it is incredibly frightening pulling a onesie over a squirming and crying newborn’s head and then trying to get her arms through the long sleeves? It feels as if I am disassembling a time bomb. I only had one side snap onesie from the hospital, I ended up ordering a lot more. I recommend the side snaps, it will prevent melt downs for both you and baby, even side snap shirts are a good idea!
The baby hates getting her diaper changed, it’s cold and shocking for her, I don’t blame her. Invest in a wipe warmer if your baby screams bloody murder when you change her/his diapers or see if a friend is willing to donate one they aren’t using any longer.
Baby wearing is a God send! I bought a Solly wrap and she falls asleep within minutes of being put into it. It allows me to work, cook, clean (yes, clean). I love having her close to me, as I feel an insatiable need to make sure she is breathing at all times (this seems to be a common phenomena amongst first time mom’s).
Do what makes you feel a little ‘normal’, meaning what made you feel good prior to baby moving in. I thrive in an organized home, it makes me feel better to have a clean house. I make my bed every day, it’s a little thing but it makes me feel less chaotic and believe me adding a baby to the family is instant chaos! You don’t need to clean the house, but do one thing that was part of your former routine and it will make you feel less precarious.
Buy The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD, it’s a little dated visually but the techniques in the video work for both pre-term and term babies! It was my saving grace in the hospital when I was feeling so overwhelmed and out of control it gave me a sense of confidence that I could help soothe my crying baby.
Have you heard of cluster feeding? No? Me either, until baby arrived. The baby eats almost every hour around the clock, it is really exhausting, this supposedly is very common with pre-term babies (but newborns in general can do this for periods of time), it’s something worth mentioning since it was a shock to the system and I am not sure how you can get yourself physically prepared for it, but if I knew it existed maybe I could have gotten myself mentally prepared.
Newborn’s do not sleep through the night, they need to eat every 3-4 hours, so don’t get frustrated, just resign yourself to the fact and go with it. I have my husband do the last morning feed (around 5 a.m.) and it makes a huge difference for me to get a solid hour of sleep. sometimes he will even do the next feed, but I have to pump often (because of how often she eats) and that means I don’t get to sleep during that one.
Speaking of sleeping, we bought a mini crib we thought it would be a great compromise from a bassinet or co-sleeper, well choose the latter, she rarely will sleep in her crib it’s large and flat and she freaks out in it. We are looking into some other options, I’m thinking a rocking/vibrating bassinet but my husband is leaning towards a co-sleeper that goes in the bed. It makes me nervous to think about sleeping in bed with baby, but it has to be better than staying up all night with her in my arms (did I mention I am SO tired?). I am so open to any advice on sleeping options for baby.
And that my friends are some of the things I have learned in these 3 weeks, I hope it can help a new mommy and I hope the veteran mommy’s will chime in and offer their experience to this list!
Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a beautiful baby girl. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.