Baby Bub is my first and in all likelihood, will be my only child. I did not have any prior experience with babies before him. There were no previous pregnancies or babies that I could draw from. I have friends that had babies and they certainly all offered up great advice. And my sister-in-law has two precious babies, but the youngest is 5. So…. I had to do some research and development on my own. I have compiled a list of ten things that I think first time expectant mothers should know.
1. Buy Diapers Ahead of Time. Bub’s Boss has a Little Boss a little over a year older than Baby Bub and he advised we start buying diapers ahead of time like his wife (the Real Boss) did. Baby Bub was born in October. I started buying diapers in June before he was born. I bought all different sizes. Baby Bub is a big boy, so he skipped through some sizes real quick but, I just took them back and exchanged them for a bigger size. I wish I had known to do this sooner so I could have bought more. I started buying diapers at about 7 months.
2. New Born sized is not the Same as 0-3 Months. I don’t understand this. I thought, why waste money on newborn clothes when I can get 0-3 Month clothes and kill 2 birds with one stone… no, even my 8 pounder was not big enough for 3-0 month clothes.
3. Babies are Hard to Break. Don’t take that out of context. But, just living day-to-day and taking care of them, it is real hard to break them. A best friend told me that and I came back to it often in the beginning of Baby Bub’s life.
4. If a Baby is Crying, Something is Wrong. Crying is the way babies communicate. If your baby is crying, there is a quick list you should run through your head and getting your baby to stop crying becomes a process of elimination. Is he hungry? wet? gassy? tired? I have a very vivid memory of Baby Bub screaming for what seemed like hours. I was ready to pack him up and send him back to the factory- I had gone through everything. Turns out my little Tootie was hungry (again!).
5. Baby Time. I was totally blown off course with this one. If you are planning on going anywhere at a specific time, you should count on at least and extra 30-45 minutes to get ready to go. How much time does it take to pack a diaper bag and grab a baby?! Well, it takes more than you think.
6. and Let’s Talk about Packing. You have to haul around so much stuff. It amazes me how much stuff is required for a baby. There are so many variables to any situation and I like to try to be prepared. And if you are going anywhere overnight, you might want to consider renting a U-Haul to get all your stuff there! I will also add that you do become fairly adept at hauling a bunch a stuff yourself as a mom. It’s like you take on this pack-mule ability as a mom.
7. Your Motherly Instinct will Kick in. I really worried that mine wouldn’t show up- I mean up until the morning we went to the hospital. But, it did (pretty instantaneously!) and yours will too. And you just have to listen to it. You’ll know what to do or at least when to seek help to know what to do.
8. Take the Experts with a Grain of Salt. I read Babywise and Happiest Baby on the Block and in theory, it was excellent advice. And I am sure there are thousands of babies out there that just fell into a routine straight from the pages of these books. And I am 110% positive that Dr. Ezzo and Dr. Karp, respectively, know what they are talking about- but, Baby Bub didn’t really follow the plan they laid out. And it was kinda stressful trying to get him to sleep, eat, play, swaddle, jump and shout at the same time every day… so, I just did the best I could with what I had- please see #7. I probably gained the best advice from my friends that were already mothers. I really advise you to reach out to your friends with babies- they have a wealth of knowledge.
9. Don’t Loose Yourself. Until Baby Bub was about 6 weeks old we just went with the flow. When he was awake, I was awake. When he was asleep, I was asleep. Although it was predictable, he set the schedule. And then a dear friend sat me down and told me he needed a bed time because I needed some awake hours that he was asleep. It took one excruciating week of absolute hell to establish a bed time and it took a little trial and error and set the right time. But now, I am SUPER protective of those hours between when Baby Bub goes to sleep and when I go to sleep. That’s the time I can do whatever I want. :)!
10. It’s Going to be Okay. It is. It’s going to be fine. It did not take me very long to figure out what works and run with it. What works changes as your baby gets older, but with each change you get quicker and more effecient at figuring out the winning combination of what works. I figure something out every day. Even if you leave the pool and baby only has on a diaper and you have to go to the grocery… it’s fine. Even if baby wakes up at 2 AM and you throw him in bed with you and you both go back to sleep until 7:30 AM… it’s fine. Even if baby eats a little sand and drinks water from the Gulf… it’s fine.
So, there’s my list of 10 I have come to know about babies. I am sure that every moma out there could add more 10 points of their own!