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!

Tips for New Parents

So, you are about to bring home your bundle or bundles of joy. You are thrilled to meet your baby. You are also a little nervous. Are they really going to let me take this living/breathing/eating/pooping human home? Do they trust me? How am I qualified to take care of a baby? Have they seen me?

The answer to all of your questions is: yes. You have read up on babies as many possible, but do you know the things they haven’t told you? Here is the list of tips for new parents that Tim and I came up with during one of our hundreds of late-night feedings.

Tips for New Parents

  1. You will do baby laundry every single day or every other day. Be prepared for it. Thankfully you won’t use much detergent (we are still on our first container of Dreft after 2 months on twin laundry).
  2. Have a plastic tub on top of your washer with water and baby detergent. You will use this to put the items that have had milk spill on them. It will prevent stains and keep the sour milk smell at bay.
  3. Put a disposable changing pad over your nice pretty changing pad cover. This way, you won’t have to constantly wash the changing pad when it gets pee/poop/spit up/what-in-the-world-is-that? spots on it. We haven’t changed the white washable pad once, but we have changed the blue pad about once a day.
  4. Blue puppy training pads make excellent changing pad covers (see Tip #3)
  5. Always have extra clothes for both you and the baby/babies.
  6. For a winter baby, a $20 wipe warmer will be an incredible investment and save your ears from a screaming child.
  7. Know how you want to do things (routines, child-rearing, etc), but be flexible as things come up.
  8. Thin, cheap, baby washcloths make excellent penis covers (to absorb the pee) and quick spit-up cleaners.
  9. You can never have too many burp cloths.
  10. Baby wipes do more than just wipe bottoms. They also can be used as a spot treatment on clothes, nursing pillows, bedding, etc. as a quick fix so you don’t have to wash it right away.
  11. Work as a team. You need each other now more than ever.
  12. Have a sense of humor.
  13. It’s okay to call your children names during the midnight, 2 AM, 4 AM, and 5:30 AM feedings. It’s especially okay when they have spit up/peed/pooped on you, them, their bedding, the dog, and under the kitchen sink (how did they get there?) for the 4th time that night. Just do it in a loving voice, and they won’t remember the word you used.
  14. Drink caffeine. I went from drinking only water to loving iced tea (and a soda a day). It’s ok, in moderation!
  15. Have a TV/iPad/snacks, and water beside your nursing chair always!
  16. Allow yourself time for just yourself. You will only want to be away for about an hour or two before you can’t stand it anymore, but it is important to get away.
  17. You will love your baby/babies more than you ever thought possible. Your whole world will revolve around them. When you go out without your baby, the world will still look at you as a child-less adult, but inside you know that you are a part of the club known as Parents. Welcome!