Call it “what I’ve learned”, “advice from beyond the bump”, or “mom hacks.” Here is my contribution to all the parenting tips and tricks available for the desperate and sleep deprived. (Or anyone willing to take the time to read this.) Before I get started, though, let me throw this out there, I do not know everything! I have exactly 10 months experience at this whole mom thing and am definitely still trying to figure out what I’m doing.
- Steal everything you possibly can from the hospital! Ok maybe not everything but the pads and the diapers and the pain spray and the witch hazel pads…you get the picture.
- Cognitive development doesn’t have to start in the hospital. After the I had my daughter and the room cleared out, she was asleep, my husband was asleep and I was just staring at her wondering if I should start on the Mozart or teaching her her alphabet and numbers when she woke up. So far my decision to stick with napping and feeding and snuggles those few days after having her haven’t seemed to negatively affected her brain development. I’ll keep you updated on that one though.
- Hot showers help you feel human again. You spend so long being told not to get your body temperature too high and taking less than satisfying lukewarm showers and baths, crank that sucker up now that your little one is on the outside. Just remember to face away from the water because water hitting engorged boobs is painful enough to make you cry even after everything your body went through.
Items I Love:
- Muslin swaddling blankets. Seriously I use them for everything.
- Binkies with a stuffed animal attached. Helps with the whole self soothing goal we all strive for.
- Luvs. They’re reasonably priced and don’t actually suck. If you find that poopsplosions are a regular occurrence (in any diaper) go up a size, they should stop.
- Jammies in light cotton and fuzzy warm sweatshirt material. Sometimes the only reason I dress my daughter is so she gets use out of all the adorable clothes she has. If we weren’t swimming in onsies the kid would literally live in jammies all day and night long.
- Changing kit. It keeps everything in one place, provides a good barrier between baby and public restroom changers and is easy to switch around from bag to bag.
General Helpful Stuff:
- Puppy pee pads on every surface baby gets changed on. They don’t need to get thrown out unless they get messy and it saves on a ton of laundry.
- Rotating boxes of toys. After cleaning up the living room for the thousandth time and still tripping over toys we split the toys up into six boxes. Now she gets a different box per day so she doesn’t have the chance to get bored with her toys. At least not yet.
- Sticking on the subject of toys don’t bother buying too many. Seriously, my daughter’s favorite things to play with are an old remote, a crushed water bottle, and a tupperware lid.
- Take time for yourself to do something that has nothing to do with babies. My current guilty pleasure is browsing pinterest for organization tips after bug goes to bed. (follow me @pawprint959) When I’m not pregnant this includes a glass of wine.
- The nursery doesn’t have to be done before the baby arrives. I was so stressed that we had very little baby furniture when my daughter was born but she didn’t actually sleep in her room until she was 3 months anyway. Even now it’s really only used for naps and bed so I am so happy I didn’t spend ridiculous amounts of time or money on it.
- Bedtime routines are truly magical. I at first thought it had to be this big ordeal. Once I discovered that saying our prayers and putting our jammies on at the same time every night counted, everything just kind of fell into place. Seriously we’ve done the routine at a rest stop on a six hour drive and she was down for the count.
My biggest and most important mom tip is to have faith in yourself and have faith in God that He will not put you through anything that you cannot handle. You can do it mama!