Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Tips for Newcomers to New Babyland

We brought Baby Two Flowers home from the hospital two and half months ago. It was quite an adventure! Here are some things I learned about bringing home a new baby:
  1. Make sure you have the car seat installed before the nurse walks you to your car to discharge you. We had it all set up, but had to un-install it so I could ride in the back on the way to the hospital and we never got around to re-installing it.
  2. Have a breast pump and storage bags ready for relieving all that extra milk you're going to make. My mom bought me a Medella hand pump after I came home from the hospital. It is pretty small and easy to store so even if you aren’t planning to breastfeed for long it is a good option for a little bit of relief.
  3. Before you use them for the first time, sanitize pump pieces, bottles, nipples, and pacifiers by putting them in boiling water for two minutes. I occasionally re-sanitize things this way even though most of the time I put them through the dishwasher.
  4. I'm cool with visitors. But anyone with a cold should stay away from the baby until they are better. When people want to hold the new baby, ask them to wash their hands. An anti-bacterial rub can work in a pinch but I prefer non-anti-bacterial soap, warm water, and rubbing the germs off to the tune of the alphabet song.
  5. Stock up on cotton balls or cotton squares. You'll go through a ton of them during those first baths until the umbilical cord falls off. Baby Two Flowers’ cord fell off during her first week home, but she had a blocked tear duct (aka the Goopy Eye) for a month and a half and that is where many of my cotton squares went.
  6. Don’t put a lot of effort into staying dry at night if you have overactive letdown, like me. At first I tried to wear nursing pads, but I always ended up having to change my night shirt. I finally figured out that sleeping on a folded towel with no shirt on was the easiest way to stay dry. Your husband and baby won’t mind, and it reduces laundry and unnecessary middle of the night activities.
  7. If you are using disposable products, arrange for someone to take the trash out frequently, especially during the first few weeks. Lost Boy and I were amazed at how much we threw out during the first month. I’m relieved to say that we make less trash now, but it took a while to get used to all the new body functions.
  8. Stock up on good reading material or movies for when you’re recovering from delivery, but don’t expect yourself to get through all of it. If you’re tired, sleep.
  9. You’ll get a lot of congratulations, compliments, advice, and gifts. Remember that a gracious thank you, even when you’re tired or moody can make the giver feel accepted and included in your special experience.
  10. Trust that your husband can take care of the baby without your supervision and let him have Daddy Time while you sleep, clean, shower, or focus on something besides the baby.
Bringing Baby Two Flowers home wasn’t as crazy and stressful as I heard it would be. I had a lot of help and support from my family, and I discovered that I’m a pretty laid back mom (so far). I think the most surprising thing about having a baby was discovering how desperately I needed nursing pads and a pump.

What surprised you most about bringing your baby home?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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