Last year, I wrote a few posts about tips for new moms, but since then, I have had some friends have babies. I feel like I have a year of advice, and I hate to overwhelm them with everything, so I thought I would write up a post about it. These are from my memories. Some will be similar to what appeared in past posts, but they will be the biggest tricks we still stand by today.
At the Hospital:
- Have a dark-colored robe and a nursing bra. If you only pack two items, let it be these two. That way you can cover up for visitors and for the photographer.
The First Weeks:
- Limit Nursing Time. Of course, you will want to talk to your pediatrician and/or lactation consultant, but you don’t want to let your newborn nurse nonstop during a session. Our pediatrician recommended we stop them after 20 minutes. If I still had milk left in me, I could pump and then syringe feed. If they nursed for longer, then they would spend more calories than they would gain by eating.
- Nipple Balm is Your Friend. You will never know know how painful nursing is until you actually go through it. Every 2 or 3 hours you will have a baby (or babies in our case) tugging and nursing and having trouble (or success) latching. Use lanolin or another nipple balm (my pick is Bella B) and put it on thick! Use lanolin before showers and turn your back to the water. Use the balm after nursing (and in between sessions too). Use cotton/reusable nursing pads for added protection. Use a gel pad (Lily Padz is a great one) from the fridge/freezer for extra help.
Tricks for Home:
- Have a Diaper Changing Station for Each Floor. We still have one on each floor with a replica of the caddy right next to it. It saves us so much trouble and steps!
- Have a Sink Cleaning Station for Each Floor. With pumping supplies and sometimes bottles, you will want to have an area by a sink on each floor, just like you have a setup for diaper changes on each floor. We highly recommend the Boon Grass for drying. It looks silly, but it works so well that my mom got one for her home.
- Keep a Tub of Water and Detergent to Prevent Stains. You have no idea how this saved our water bill. Just by having a tub of water with a little detergent in it right by the washer/dryer, we could drop in the messy onesie or clothes and then we could wash them when we were ready. We rarely had to pre-treat stains and kept all our (and the babies’) clothes looking new despite many blow-outs and spit-ups.
- Puppy Changing Pads on Changing Table. Babies will pee all over the place. And they will poop. And spit up. And you DON’T want to constantly change and wash your changing pad cover. It’s obnoxious. So, do what we did and get the blue puppy changing pads to put on top of the cover. It fits perfectly, it’s cheap, and it contains all of the mess. You can use them over and over and over again, and then when they get dirty or start falling apart, throw it away. Eventually you can go without this but you will want it for a while. Oh, and we found that girls need this even more than the boys. With the boys, the stream goes up and around. With the girls, it goes down and all over the place.
Do I have even more tricks than this? Absolutely! But these were the big ones for us to pass along. If you have great tricks, please leave them as a comment! I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!