Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baby Time: Tips I Wish I Had

Babies, Babies, Babies! We're entering the stage of our lives where most of our friends are entering either their second or third children.

The people with the second still are in awe, another wonderful miracle. The people with the third, I just wish I could do something to help with the craziness.

We opted out of the third option, a few months after finding out about our 'surprise,' second.

If you're just starting out with your first child, there is SOOOOOOOOOO much to share! 

I know there are a ton of lists out there, but if you're children are spaced apart, there are a few things I learned that are VERY helpful, in the beginning. I can't nurse your child, or help you with the lack of sleep, but I can hopefully give you a list to look at, when you can't remember what it is you're supposed to be preparing, and why!

Things to Buy Either For The Hospital/After:

Stool Softener
Dermaplast (It's my new best friend!)
Tucks Pads
Pads, Pads, Pads
Ibuprofen, the BIG KIND
DARK pajama bottoms (You'll thank me for this)
Underwear (You don't have to, but yours might get ruined, think dollar store disposable!)

Tips of Things to Do Before Baby:
#1. Meals
Pick a day or two, and a few friends (they are totally willing to do this) and start cooking some meals to freeze. I did this with a friend, for my second, and for some reason, all the cooking I thought I did (2 lasagnas and 2 casseroles) were supposed to be enough to feed us. Boy, did I have mommy brain! (And seriously, who eats two lasagnas in a week?) 

Food Ideas:
Sloppy Joe's 
Taco Meat
Shredded Chicken (For Quesadillas, BBQ, etc.)
Brown Hamburger (for pizza toppings, fillers, etc.)
Bread (Garlic French Bread)

Make sure you have enough room in your freezer and just go to town. Also, remember to pull it out of the freezer to use it! Put a note on your fridge to remind yourself of the food in the FREEZER!

Secondly, if you've already got other kids at home, make a list of snacks, or snack foods for them, or easy lunches. Go buy them, in bulk. I found myself at the grocery store quite often and pretty much with out a brain for this. With two children under two, and a sore, sleep deprived mom, this is a nightmare!

Snack List Ideas:
Tortillas for Tortilla pizzas
Cheese, of all kinds
Fruit (but not necessarily bananas, unless you know you're baby is due the next day)
Animal Crackers
Cheetos (dad's need snacks too!)
Graham Crackers
Carrots & Other Veggies (Dip too, if they eat them that way)
BREAD (This is essential at our house!)
Nutella (might as well splurge)

And whatever else you LOVE to snack on and eat.

#2. Get Help!
No one is super mom. Assume, right now, either you, or your friend will need help. If this is her/your first, call friends and ask for help, or tips. We've been there! Crying in the shower? It's NORMAL! Laundry piling up? It's OK!

If this is your second, or third, ask friends or family now, ahead of time, for help. Just tell them that you'd like to maybe plan for someone to take the kids (if they aren't in school or day care) maybe once a week for an hour or two, for the first few weeks, until you feel you've gotten things under control.

Maybe see if someone can help clean house or fold your laundry. My mom came and stayed with us, when my son was born for a week. She cooked meals, and folded laundry and tried to help us in the middle of the night, when he was up, so that my husband could get some sleep. 

(Husband's are lucky-but I was really more concerned with his safety at work. He works with high voltage and if he comes home safely at the end of each work day, it was a success in my book. I didn't need him jeopardizing himself because of lack of sleep.)

#3. Get Addresses, Stamps, Thank You Cards 
You're going to get gifts, flowers, cards, meals and visitors. You're going to have to send a thank you card. Have you ever seen a mom, tired and struggling, standing in line at the post office, just waiting to buy a book of stamps? I've been there. It was NOT fun. For anyone involved. 

Additionally, you're probably going to be sending out announcement photos to family and friends. Right now, get all your addresses, and print them up on labels. That way, all you have to do is stuff and stick. Plus, it makes your count, for getting announcements easy too! You've already got the names printed, count them up quickly. Takes the guessing and thinking out of the game. (PLAN for STAMPS for this as well!!!!!)

#4. Plan to Leave Your House
I'm one of those people, who will go stir crazy, just sitting in my house, day after day, after day. After my son was born, during the peak of swine flu, I found myself in a dead panic when I had to go to Target. He was a week old, and I covered him from head to toe with blankets and clothes. The minute I stepped foot into that store, I could hear anyone, within a two mile radius, coughing. But we survived.

And you should plan to leave your house too! Even if it is just for a walk. Make sure you have a sling, or a stroller, to get some fresh air. Does wonders for you, baby and any extra kids! If you find yourself going to a store, or the doctor's office, and you're scared, buy hand sanitizer now! It'll be ok.

#5. Sleep, and Watch Movies NOW!
I think everyone tells you this, and I never listened. I worked up until I had my kids. I wish I would have napped. I miss naps. My kids think they are punishments. I wish someone would punish me with a nap.

One of the last things my husband and I did, before we had our first, was go see a movie. I tried to see a lot. I even tried to rent a lot. That really doesn't happen that much anymore. I'm not really missing out, or I tell myself that I'm not.

#6. Go to a Quilt Shop for Baby Bedding!
With my son, I struggled so hard at finding something that didn't have light blue, or trucks, or tractors, or baseballs for his room decor. I kind of forgot all about quilt stores, and those amazing people that have sewing machines and can sew. We ended up settling for jungle animal theme. Just like everyone else.

For my daughter, I had WAY more fun! The quilt shops had fabric galore! In every color, in every animal, in EVERYTHING! I could make her room whatever I wanted it to be! Bold colors, dark colors, shapes, and more! I wished the first time around I had known about this. I picked out a few different fabrics, and had a bed skirt, curtains, pillows and wall hangings made for her room. This was WAY cheaper, and didn't limit me as much. Also, I didn't have the exact same room for her, as everyone else had. It was very nice being able to think outside the box.

From now on, for each of my kids, when we go to do their rooms, we'll be making it our own. Instead of just relying on whatever the stores have on the shelves.

#7. Buy Diapers and Wipes!
I used every paycheck, after I made the 12 week mark, to buy diapers and wipes. One box of each, to stock up. I had my closet filled! I never filled up on newborn, but I bought boxes of each size. I always tried to balance out the sizes. With a newborn, they poop and pee round the clock! I went through more diapers. But, as they got older, it slowed down. The wipes, however, you will continue to use all the time! They will be in your car and almost every corner of your house, diaper bags, purses, etc. They will be every where and you will ALWAYS have a use for them. These also make great gifts!

I joined up with Amazon Mom the second time around and I always loved shopping at Target for diapers, because the coupons and deals and clearances were always AWESOME!

#8. Enjoy it the last of it!
With my daughter, I didn't realize the sadness I was going to have, as I started putting away her newborn clothes. It was a sadness of, "I'll never have a newborn again." I didn't know I would miss it that much.

I do blame hormones for half of it, but there is something that is just kind of sad, I think for most of us women, when we really, truly, realize, this is the last child of our own. Sure other people will have kids-friends, family members, etc. But, they won't have come from your womb. 

Now, if you've never had a child and are thinking of gift ideas for a friend or loved one who will be having one, I can help there too!

I think there will always be people who want to give you flowers and balloons. While, it's a nice gesture, they really get ignored. And then they leave a mess to clean up afterwards. Plus, getting them all from the hospital to the home, can be a nightmare!

If you'd like to give a gift, one bouquet of flowers is perfectly acceptable. Same with balloons. If they have already received that, give them diapers (not size newborn, but sizes 1 and up!), and baby wipes, or gift certificates for restaurants that do take out so they don't have to cook a meal. 

Or give the MOM a gift you know she'll love. Mom's get kind of passed up. Sure, the baby is new and the big deal, but mom's are special people too! She just performed a miracle! Shower mom with some love!

If you're offering to cook, make sure it's a meal, you know the family enjoys. Don't give them something they've never had before, because if they don't like it, then they're stuck scrambling to find something else to eat. (Unfortunately, we've experienced this. This is bad for mommy hormones!!)

If you're feeling really generous, get them a cleaning lady for a few weeks! Seriously. Who doesn't like a clean house?

My girlfriends and I have a hospital tradition. We give each friend their favorite candy and champagne, and the dad gets his favorite beer! That's a gift that is awesome!

Get her a massage, a hair cut, or pedicure/manicure gift certificates to make her feel good! It's a stressful time, and child birth is rough and tough! Pamper her!

These may not be all the greatest tricks and tips in the book, but these were definitely the ones that helped me, or would have helped me a lot! Especially the second time around.

If you have anything else to share, please leave it in the comments below! 

Looking for more on Babies? Check out my post on Natural Birth (It isn't negative or scary either!)

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For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13

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1 comment:

  1. Great food ideas. Even better option for #7 is cloth diapers.


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