I am so excited to share some of the weird stories and situations, as a new mother, that I have gotten myself into. I have read so many books for first time mothers and fathers, I have read articles and Googled everything imaginable when it comes to newborns. I have read the Do’s and Dont’s of parenthood, I have avoided the things they tell you not to do. I have tried to figure out my own personal way of parenting and learning with my baby as we all grow together.
The reason why I feel so compelled to share these things with you is for the simple fact that, were not all perfect and we try to do the best we can. We don’t always follow the rules, but when it comes to babies, we have to be patient and do things your own way. I am here too reassure you, that someone, somewhere has done it too!
Lets start with while your pregnant……….Here are some fun tips……………
REMSA offers a “How to install a car seat properly” class. It’s not even a “class” and is free. They just ask for a small donation if you can. Go to their website and see when the next class is. It’s usually in a parking lot somewhere and takes about 10 mins. It is very helpful and you’ll appreciate their help as installing a carseat is not just plug it in and go! They will show you how to install and answer any questions that you may have.
Check with your insurance company on items they may supply for you. For example, my insurance company gave me a brand new Medela Double Breast Pump and if you have checked those things out in the store, they can run a few hundred dollars! I have heard of others supplying a carseat for those that cannot afford one. Call your insurance company to find out! P.S. Little extra TIP- If you plan on breast feeding, the hospital will give you one of their hospital grade breast pumps to use while in their care. They will give you a large bag full of hoses, connectors, cups, etc. Make sure you take that bag home with you. It is yours to keep ( my lactation consultant said that it is OK to take) You will need all these supplies if your insurance company supplies you with one. It works with any Medela breast pump and will save you roughly $60.
Most hospitals offer a Labor/Delivery and after baby is born & lamaze class. They will go over types of births, what to expect, breathing exercises and hospital tour of the labor and postpartum rooms. Answer any questions that you may have and give you an overall idea of whats about to come. The cost for me and the hubby was $80. Check to see if this also covered by your insurance company. It was a one day class from 9-5.
Don’t forget to get your hospital bag packed. Pack a month before hand. Pack not only for yourself, but the hubby if he plans on staying the night too. Pack for 3-4 days in case you have to stay for whatever reasons. I know with c-sections, 4 days are common. Pack not only clothes and personal hygiene items, but magazines,a book, snacks and a notepad or journal for lots of questions and answers. Also, pack a bag for baby too!! They’ll need to leave in clothes, babies are not born with them, lol! Bring a few different sizes just in case. The car seat is pretty important too as you cannot leave without it! The hospital supplied diapers and wipes and one beanie and one blanket. Be sure to bring each of those as the hospital does not let you leave with theirs. At least St. Mary’s did not. (SSSSHHHHH, I stole the beanie and really regret not taking the blanket!) My son uses the baby blanket that I was born with. Its a little girly, but the sentimental value of him using it, is sky high!
Don’t get too crazy with the nursery. The main items that you will need are diapers, wipes, swaddling blanket, bottles (if you plan of formula feeding or so someone else can) breast pump if your planning to pump right away, crib or bassinet for the baby to sleep in, bath soap, towel and a ton of just plain white onesies! Thats really all thats needed in the first few months. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a bunch of toys or clothes or even if you don’t have the nursery painted and ready to go. The baby will not know the difference! I promise! We decided to go with a more sophisticated, natural look for the nursery. Well wait till he’s a little bigger and starts liking cartoon figures, then we’ll get crazy with it!
Birthing Plan- Have you seen these? It’s a written out note of what you want and what you don’t want when it comes time to give birth. I made one, but I never even gave it to my Dr. I honestly felt silly. Some women write out this huge long list of what they want, lighting, music, soft voices, purple gloves and white linens only? WTF?! Basically the important part of this plan is to let the staff know if you are against an episiotomy or if you would like or not like your newborn to have certain shots, if you would like to the bath the baby or the nurses, if you would like skin to skin and important things like that. Sometimes Mom is either so overwhelmed or drugged up that it can be hard to make decisions at that exact moment, so a plan is helpful. My plan was very simple and it was something that I discussed with my Dr rather than printing it out on colored paper and shooting perfume all over it thinking I’m being cute! It’s not a love note, so don’t be weird about it! Talk to your Dr about this so everyone is on the same page!
Names- I never knew how hard it was to name your child. As a little girl, I thought of what my wedding would look like, who my husband was going to be and what our kids names would be. But when in that moment, without seeing a face, it’s not that easy! We had a few names picked out, if it was going to be a boy these names and if was a girl those names. We already knew the sex of our baby so it was easier to stick to one gender. If you plan on being surprised, pick out a few of each, then maybe wait till you see the newborn and make your decision then. The hospital allows you a few days to think about it but will not let you leave without a name. When your at the hospital, you will fill out paper work for their social security card and birth certificate. The SS card will come by mail in about 8-10 weeks and the cert is available for pick up roughly 30 days after the baby is born. Berth certs (here in Reno) are located at the NV Health Dept off of Ninth St and Wells Ave. They are only available M-W-F. Cost is $20 per copy.
After the baby is born. Make sure your comfortable with their carseat and know how it functions. The hospital may ask you to bring in the car seat and they will do a carseat test. They put your newborn into the carseat and keep a very watchful eye out on the little one for about an hour. This is meant for premature babies and smaller size newborns, the reason is for them to make sure that your newborn will be safe in the car seat for long periods of time and make double sure how they fit into the seat and that there is no chance of suffocation. Considering we live 30 mins from town, this was very important to me and my little guy was 4 weeks early (little bugger)
Once home- If you have dogs like me. I wanted my whole family, pets included to all get along and be happy. I was determined to not end up like one of those 4 legged moms that now because I have a newborn, throw my dogs outside and continuously yelling at them because I am frustrated! The first thing we did is allow them to smell the babies blanket or piece of clothing to get used to the new smell. We allowed our dogs to see and hear the baby all while safe from high up. They were so intrigued and always trying to reach up to lick the baby, that they finally understood what this little ball of noise is. It took me about a weeks time to get them used to our newborn, that now they get confused when they don’t see the baby and run all over the house looking for their sibling. They smell him, lick his little feet and just stare at him. When he cries, if I happen to not be right there, they run over to me and tell me that the baby is crying. They are pit bulls and NOT ONCE have I been scared for my child around them or have had to reprimand the dogs for being too close or too pushy. Like any dogs, just be mindful and watch their actions around the baby.
If your a clean freak like me, you’ll try your ass off to keep the house in order. I lost lots of sleep maintaining the sanity of my home. My OCD would not allow me to let it completely go, but I did just enough to keep me sane, LOL! They say sleep when the baby sleeps, which I did, but the other half of his sleeping time allowed me to keep up on daily chores. I faithfully keep the house clean so doing a few little things everyday really helps. The bigger stuff can wait for the weekends when the hubby is around or allow family to help if they ask. If they don’t ask, ask them! Don’t get stressed about this part, it will all come together and the baby won’t be mad at the end tables you didn’t dust!
I was on maternity leave for 6 weeks and it went by way too fast. There were days that I felt depressed and overwhelmed, the hubby was at work and my family was not in town yet. I felt alone at times and my brain went to really weird places. But don’t let it take over you or let yourself get to stressed out. Postpartum depression is very serious and affects a lot of women. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it. If you start to feel depressed, remember one thing. The newborn phase and your body getting used to all these new things and especially being sleep deprived. It only lasts for so long and next thing you know, you forgot what it was like at first. You’ll be out of the depressed phase and loving every moment of that little face who loves you so much!! Spend as much time as you can with your newborn and make those memories! .
The dreaded or lovable pacifier? I am still on the fence about it. I did give in and allow my littles to have a pacifier but it was against my better judgement. For the first 6 weeks of his life, we did not use a pacifier. It was not needed, he didn’t even know what it was. But shortly after, store trips and his overall fussiness, I gave in. At first I told myself that sucking was a form of eating not soothing and I didn’t want him to confuse the two. I didn’t want him to think that it was feeding time just because he was getting fussy. I soon realized that I was partially wrong. I have read mixed views that some babies do just fine with out one and that babies that young do not have the capability of soothing them selves. Once he had the taste of that pacifier, he seemed to be a lot happier with it. There are times that he just spits it out and doesn’t need it, but other times, he’s happier with it. I tell myself that at least we can take that away some day, you can’t remove his thumb!
These are just literally just a few tips that will at least get you started in the right direction. If you ever have a question or want to know my opinion, shoot me an email. I’d love to talk your ear off about my adventures! I think of myself as a new, progressive modern mom, so along with being easy and creative, I’m also super cool and sort of a rebel when it comes to how I perceive things with my newborn. I read, I do research and I use common sense. It may not always be politically correct, but now days, who is? I get the job done and with a smile. Till next time, love your little bundle of joy while loving living in Nevada!