Undoubtedly, most first time moms read pregnancy books, or browse pregnancy forums, or google every little movement or non-movement in anticipation of their first bundle of joy. It doesn’t always occur to preggo ladies to read what to do with the baby after delivery. For first time moms, or even second and third time moms, here is a list of 50 tips, tricks, and truths that’ll help you along this journey we call motherhood.
1. Your level of modesty will decrease. Triage nurses, Labor and Delivery nurses, Postpartum nurses, Doctors, and whoever visits you in your room will most likely see your goodies. Whether it’s if they’re checking your hoo-ha for dilation or you’re trying to get junior to latch on the boob, the hospital is no place for modesty after delivery. Embrace it. You just gave life. You deserve a flippin medal.
2. Random hospital goodies find themselves everywhere. On your discharge day, you or your family members pillage the goodies like an end-of-the-world riot. Hospitals get those samples for free or at a deep discount. Help yourself to anything that’s not nailed down. I still have volufeeds in the kitchen, similac nipples in a suitcase, and enough receiving blankets to make a fort.
3. You will become an expert with the car seat/stroller/sling. Keep practicing now. You’ll need it for when you will actually have to wrestle your child into it.
4. You’ll miss the accessibility of the hospital bed (especially you c-section moms). It moved up and down, had handles, and a handy-dandy call button for help.
5. Your baby sure is cute but let’s face it; he’s kinda wrinkly-looking. Not exactly the gerber baby quite yet. You take pictures, but they all look the same, because baby doesn’t really do much right now. Take them anyway. And be sure to include yourself in the photo too!
6. Speaking of pictures, you are now the most popular person on your social media sites. Everyone is eagerly anticipating photos, so if you have the time, post all you want.
7. And you might as well have your phone nearby because you’ll have the urge to google everything little thing about your baby or your body to make sure it’s normal. Whatever you do, don’t ask social media. Use the phone to call the nurse line if you’re concerned.
8. Baby’s umbilical cord looks weird. You’re hoping it falls it out soon, because you’re afraid that you’ll pull on it and hurt him.
9. At first you want to jump at every little wince, grunt, or whimper the baby makes. Resist the urge. Wait 30 seconds to see if he settles and then check on him. This is to save your sanity.
10. Bath time is a toss-up. Some have babies that enjoy bath time from the get-go (aren’t you lucky?). Those that don’t, have babies that scream bloody murder. Hurry up and get it over with. Take one nakey pic and get out of there before he pees in the tub. Because he will.
11. His poop is reason enough to fascinate or disturb you. You will find yourself pondering the color, frequency, amount, smell, and his faces when making these poopies.
12. People will want to visit, but a) your place is a mess and b) you look like a mess. Get over it. Ask them to bring food, or help out with a chore. They’ll understand.
13. Bob and weave. Prepare yourself for some headbutts. That baby’s bobblehead will hit you when you least expect it.
14. Your shirt will become a napkin, burp cloth, drool catcher, and if you breastfeed, a makeshift dam for your leaky breasts… Dark clothing and patterns are your friends.
15. Diaper blowouts… disgusting, stock up on diaper wipes, changing table covers, and laundry detergent.
16. Somewhere down the line you will accidentally scratch, bump, or gently and accidentally hurt your kid. Prepare yourself for the intense guilt to follow.
17. Someone plans a meeting/party/gettogether that you really don’t feel like going to… enter new-parent-excuse… “I would but…”
18. Around 3 or 4 weeks, or earlier if your baby develops colic, baby is going to get really fussy. That little angel will become a ornery little demon. And you will call him names that are not very nice. It’s ok for now, he doesn’t understand… yet.
19. Vibration seats = life savers
20. Nothing is more magical than watching your child sleep in your arms
21. Nothing is more frustrating than setting the same child down to sleep and watching him wake up immediately
22. Nothing is more rewarding when you do get him down, and he stays down!
23. The face he makes during breast or bottle feeding are oh-so-cute. Mine turns into a drunken one-eyed pirate.
24. The first time that baby smiles at you will be an unforgettable feeling. Your heart will melt. And you’ll want to give him the world if you could.
25. Keep changing his clothes with all of the new clothes he received as gifts. A) He grows out of them so fast, that you’ll want to play dress-up so he wears everything at least once B) You’ll get more practice changing him (long sleeves are the worst!)
26. You’ll secretly compare the beauty of your child to other people’s babies… and yours will always win.
27. BUT… try not to compare yourself or your baby. As in, when another chick is back to her pre-pregnancy weight in a month or this other baby started sleeping through the night at 4 weeks. Remind yourself that you’re both individuals. Besides, your baby is cuter (see previous point)
28. Come prepared with a list of questions for the doctor. And ask all of them no matter how stupid they may sound.
29. Leaving the house takes for-ev-er.
30. White noise rules! Don’t bother with expensive machines or blowing out your vacuum. Remember how I told you to have your phone nearby? Use youtube or download “white noise” sounds to calm baby down.
31. There are all sorts of different parenting guides for scheduling and sleeping. Figure out your baby’s schedule and then work from there. If they don’t match up with the experts, who cares? As long as it works for your family.
32. You’ll be a swaddling expert. So much that we had to invest in swaddles with Velcro for our little Houdini.
33. Going anywhere with the baby alone the first time is scary. You’ll spend time picking out his outfit (will he be too cold, too hot?), checking and rechecking buckles, overloading on diaper bag supplies, and probably drive like a grandma.
34. Stock up on food. Non-perishables, freezer meals, and the crock pot are your new best friends.
35. Ask someone to hide the scale. You don’t need it now so don’t bother.
36. Multiple changing stations around the house are a must. Junior goes potty a lot, and you don’t want carry him to just one spot all of the time.
37. Resist the urge to buy 0-3 month clothes now. It’s ok if baby is in jammies. it’s ok if you’re still in jammies at this point too.
38. The sleepers with a zipper and the nightgowns with the elastic at the bottom are the best. Button and snaps get annoying.
39. Keep baby’s laundry separate from everybody else’s, or you will, I repeat, will lose socks and/or mittens.
40. You will learn how to operate almost anything with one hand. Bonus points if you learn to operate with your feet.
41. You’ll learn to grab the remote/phone/snack/water BEFORE you sit down to feed the baby.
42. Eating/peeing/pooping/showering/getting dressed is on his time now.
43. You’ll start to learn the difference between a real cry and a fake cry (as in just a whine).
44. It’s ok to let baby cry for a little bit. Just breathe.
45. Closer to 3 months, baby will start grabbing things, like your shirt, your hair, your earrings… be warned.
46. The first time your baby sleeps through the night will be amazing. Even more amazing if YOU had actually slept through the night but you kept checking on him to see if he was still breathing.
47. When baby is more active and alert, be sure to develop a quick trigger finger for picture taking. At least 5 will come out blurry before you get a good one.
48. Make it a point to include mommy and daddy in the pictures too!
49. Even when baby is screaming his head off and crying non-stop, there comes that time where he looks at you and you look at him and everything goes quiet. It is just mother and child at this point, and you realize that you really do love him with all your heart, not matter what.
Last but not least…
50. Baby farts are louder than you think.
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