Tips and Tricks for New Baby

Tips and TricksLast 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!

“Are They Here Yet?”

At full-term for twins (something I never thought I would get to), this is a question that I am faced with every single day.

“Are they here yet?”

“When are they coming?”

“Haven’t you had those babies yet?”

Believe me, I am just as anxious (and waaaaaay more so) than you!

But they aren’t here, and they are quite comfy where they are. I know that is a good thing. I know they are safe and happy and healthy, and each day they are in utero, they get stronger, but I am just ready already.

I recently turned to my group of How Do You Do It? (hdydi.com) authors for advice. They are all moms of multiples who have been where I am now. How can I stay sane when I just want to have these babies already? Here’s a list of their advice to me. Many of these I had already done, but I thought the list was fantastic, and it may help someone else in the same situation (whether you are having one baby or multiples):

Are They Here Yet? Surviving the Last Few Days of Pregnancy - Doyle Dispatch

1. Try to enjoy this time alone, because once they are here, you won’t have it anymore.

2. Put your feet up when you can

3. Drink tons of water

4. Do a small project for yourself for the hospital (something that will bring you comfort)

5. Check, double check, pack, repack the hospital bag

6. Get into a new TV show through Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video, and watch a million episodes a day to distract yourself

7. Stay focused on the positives:

  • going past 37 weeks is almost guaranteed no NICU time
  • bigger babies eat less often in the beginning
  • the longer you wait, the more likely you will go into labor spontaneously (easy, “regular” delivery)

8. Take lots of hot showers to relax

9. Take some time writing welcome letters to them (dreams and love for them, what their personalities were like in the womb)

10. Get copies of “Oh the Places You’ll Go” and get friends and family to sign them

11. Enjoy the sleep

12. Eat a few more milkshakes

13. Make sure your home is in order: sort mail, file bills, schedule payments… try to get into a position that things will be ok if you don’t touch them for a couple of weeks

14. Enjoy the time. It’s much easier to look after the babies when they are inside than when they are outside.

15. Do something for yourself: get a pedicure, read a book, write

16. Pack your bag

17. If you are doing baby books, fill out the pre-birth stuff (genealogy, how much milk costs, etc)

18. Try to do one errand a day, if you can tolerate it (run to Target, grocery store, or library)

19. Take naps when you can, since you aren’t sleeping at nights

20. Use an exercise ball to stretch your back and hips

So, my friends, what advice do YOU have to stay sane during this waiting game?

Advice for First-Time Parents

Advice for First-Time Parents - Doyle Dispatch

Back when we did our Gender Prediction “Game,” we asked our friends and family for advice, if they had any to share. We got a lot of great advice, that I would love to pass along (anonymously, since we didn’t warn them first that their words would be published). 

-Get all your sleep in now!!

-You and Tim show each other love and respect. That is the best thing you can do to be a good parent.

-It’s okay if your house gets messy–you’ll have twins you can blame it on!

-Sleep as much as you can now!  Ha!

-Hang onto your sense of humor for dear life!

-Time will pass wayyyy too fast! Be in the moment with them. Because you will never get that back. <3 you!

-My words of wisdom for when those babies arrive: do what your heart says, not what the book says.

-Put your feet up whenever you get the chance, it helps with ankle swelling. Enjoy being able to tote them around so easily now, it’s a much bigger hassle once they are out. 😉

-Enjoy the little sleep you two are getting now!

-Baby B is probably practicing the Hokie Pokie.  Words of Wisdom: Don’t let them go to UVA!! Haha!!! So excited for you. Can’t wait to add two more Hokies to the tailgate and dress them in Hokie fashion!!!

-Healthy is all that matters. Tim, Dory and the rest of the Tucker’s and Doyle’s will take care of the Happy part!

-Rest while you can, your life as you know it is over hahaha

-Sleep now.  Sleep all you can.

-You’ll probably go insane. That’s normal.

…Hm do you see a trend?

And then, we got some fun comments and well-wishes about the prediction game itself:

-The only old wives tale that was accurate for me was how fast the hair on your legs grows. It grew fast with the boys and very, very slow with the girl!

-Congrats sweets. Can’t wait to see your sweet TWINkies!!!!

-I called it first! I want it in writing and made inyo a plaque to hang on my wall when you find out I was right! LOL!!!

-I can’t wait!!!!

-Baby A is like daddy and Baby B is like mommy! I’m going back and forth about Baby B’s gender. Can’t wait until July 2nd!

-Well, if morning sickness has something to do with it……..must be girls.

-It will probably be even-steven as to how many people choose the correct respnse! Hope you get what YOU and HUBBY want!!

-No matter the gender these babies will be so loved!  They have an awesome Mommy! 😀

-Have a fabulous pregnancy …I wish you & Tim all the luck in the world!!!

-Hi Dory!  As a mom of a 4 year old (girl) and 8 month old (boy) I can tell you it is never a dull moment.  I remember YOU as a baby and I am sure your babies will be as wonderful as you and Tim.  I thought while pregnant with L that for sure she was a boy because she was so active.  Nope, a girl.  J was a give a way because he did not stop kicking (inside and out).  Whatever it is it will be wonderful and you will be blessed and a FANTASTIC mom.  Best of luck!

-I am sure it will be both Girl and Boy…..

-Congratulations and best of luck Dory and Tim! Being a parent is such a blessing!!

-Baby B is obviously a boy as he is proud to display his large member.  Baby A being very discrete and hiding her ass-sets is definitely a girl.

-We love them both!!! Can’t wait to find out!!!

-Whether you can determine the genders or not, I hope you and babies (and Tim and pup) are all healthy and feeling good. So excited to follow your journey into parenthood! Also – multiples are the best. 🙂

-Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3 Praise God for the gift of these sweet babies! Can’t wait to hear, and for your to meet them in several months! I’m praying for the four of you!

So my question is, what advice do YOU have for some first-time parents? Leave a comment! We can’t wait to read your responses!