Here is a list of things of things that people have told me or I would have liked to have known before I had my little bundle of joy. I hope they help you too! I am just a first time Mom, not a doctor, so not all my information may be accurate. I am writing these tips as a new Mom with a two month old. I have been very lucky to learn many of these tips from friends and family. Growing up I was not around children often. This is advice that I would give any friend or relative that will soon be a proud Mom. This information may be different for everyone but I hope my experiences will help in one of the best events of a person’s life. I hope you read this information and collect other information to make your own decisions. If you are currently experiencing physical pain during your pregnancy remember the time will end. You are slowly creating life!
By the way, if you are trying to conceive you can buy test strips on amazon here. They are much cheaper than at the store. They sell ovulation test strips too. If you are already past that part maybe you are thinking of an Amazon Baby Registry.
Your wedding ring may become may be too tight to wear like mine. To make myself feel better to wear another ring on my ring finger while my hands were swollen. They may not fit for a couple months after either. Here are some more Taboo Secrets of Pregnancy: A Guide to Life with a Belly.
4. Laugh at Yourself
LOL! Laugh when your jeans will not button. Laugh when your belly button goes away or turns black and blue. Laugh at yourself when you can’t believe how well a maternity shirt fits you. Your body will change. Some things will go back to how they were before and some won’t. How lucky you are to have the body of someone who gave birth. Many Women would love to have that ability. By the way, those pregnancy feet may grow a little in size.
I tried breast feeding and even with lots of help it did not work for me. I feel if I would have read some books about people who tried to breast feed for the first time I may have done better. Breastfeeding made simple was recommended during my pregnancy from a friend. You may want to know how to make more milk, the natural laws of nursing mothers, or how to problem solve when things don’t go as planned. I tried to breastfeed and it only lasted about a week. I used a breast pump for two more before changing to a bottle. The more information you have now the better.
Enjoy your partner outside your house. I went to Vegas for a friend’s wedding. Even complete one more of those bucket list items: I went to Vegas and had a Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity. Can’t get to serendipity yourself? Buy yourself the gift set.
10. Read or Watch The Happiest baby on the BlockEither we lucked out, or we had some great tips from this book. My husband and I were never really around babies and the tips we got in this book really seem to work when our child cries. I think this is one of the key reasons we have done so well to this point. We use the Sleep Sack to swaddle. They now also have woobies to swaddle without arms. If you don’t like to read, you can find links on watch the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD with your partner. Then send the link to your husband.
You need to get out of the house!! Yes, maybe a week or two is ok after you little one is born to get some sleep and learn your babies habits. But the sooner you get out the better. If you think about places that are safe to start before you give birth this may help. Grocery shopping, coffee shop, woman’s group, a friend’s house, or possibly church. I started out by going to a friend’s house. Then church. View pregnancy discussion boards for help. You are not the only woman going through this! Start being part of pregnancy boards. I frequented TheBump.com. Ask questions and get answers. Many questions or feelings that you have already asked by other people. Or just Google your question to get the answer. Remember to find reliable sources! My friend from college became friends with a couple girls that were pregnant the same month she was. They now go to each others birthday parties. Here are 10 Things to Know Before Traveling with a Baby. If you really want to get out, here are some tips for flying with a baby.
Remember your pregnancy by taking belly pictures each week or month. What a life changing event to remember! Then put all the pictures together into one image to view the great changes your body has made. If you want to get those o-so-cute baby pintrest, they should be done in the first 2 weeks of the baby’s life. This means you might want to decide and kind-of schedule an appointment before the birth. You can create a board on pintrest.com to show the photographer what type of pictures you would like.
De-tag, wash, and sort all baby clothes by size. Put clothes in bins marked 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 12 month plastic containers. Or you may want to wait because you don’t know what size your baby will be each season. Here is a Baby Cloths Chart if you have trouble understanding sizes. Some things that we just loved are: Sophie the Giraffe – I know she was expensive, but this was the teether that our little girl used the most. I think she like it because it was similar to a human hand. Soft with different parts to chew on. Banana Tooth Brush- She loves chewing on this one too. I hope this will help her in the steps to loving her brush her teeth. Halo Sleep Sack – This is what our daughter slept in since night one! We got 2 from the baby shower, then the hospital gave us one as we were leaving for a present. Great gift! Sleep Sheep - This sheep was given to us to our friends who were just first time parents themselves. Before every nap and every night we turn on this sheep. We prefer the wave and rain sound. I switch it up to the whale sound too. Our daughter is getting big enough that we turns the sheep on herself sometimes too! and a Infant Car Seat – After you get the hang of it, car seats are not that bad. They let you have your freedom as a new Mom!
Find a Journal and start writing. I started journaling in high school.
18. Who Will Be in the Delivery Room?
Decide who you want to be on your team on the big day. The only person you can 100% count on being there is you! But planning for others and telling others no in advance should set you up for success. Are you interested in a Husband Coached Birth? Is Hypno Birthing something you are interested in? Would you like to ready about Faith-Based Births? The last book I will recommend is Your Best Birth which talks about many of your options.
By the end of your pregnancy when you cannot see all of your lady parts.You can start couponing now for items you know you will need.
You will need to deal with your milk coming in. You will need some support here. Also a tip, if you are going to try breastfeeding then decide it is not right for you, it may take a month or two to quit. This was painful to me when I just wanted to relax and enjoy my new one.
I don’t like clutter, so keeping online calender for your child is a great way for keep track all the events of her life. This is also a great place for medical information. For example if the doctor asks when you changed over to solid food, you can find it on your child’s online calendar on your cell phone during the visit. You can also purchase a baby calendar or put one on your baby registry.
Try to do these in the now while the nesting phase occurs. Trying to do them while a little one is crawling or walking around will be even harder. You can also go though your kitchen cabinets to make room for baby. Here is a food storage container organizer that may be helpful in your home.
Get excited to know that you are the luckiest person in the world to get to see your baby grown and learn each day right in front of your eyes! The most beautiful thing in the world is going to be in your arms soon! If you would like you can listen to the heart beat with a prenatal heart listener.
Want to stay comfortable? I bought this pillow to make the transition to sleeping only on my side easier when I became pregnant. It is a wonderful pillow.
25. Cervix Checks
Before you have your baby they will start to check your cervix. Web MD explains this as “Effacement and dilatation need to occur for a baby to be born through the birth canal. Effacement means that the cervix stretches and gets thinner. Dilatation means that the cervix opens.” If you did not start to change, this could be very painful, so just be aware. You do not have to get them if you would not want because this information may not help anyway. Research cervix checks for more on this. What to Expect When You are Expecting may be a good resource for more information on this topic.
26. Diapering with Amazon Mom
At the Changing Station you will need diapers, wipes, a changing pad, a changing pad cover and a trash can. I recommend putting the trash can on the right if you are a righty. This will make changing a diaper simpler. You could even have two of changing stations. For example up and down stairs. Keep clothes nearby in case a wardrobe change needs to happen. Adding a mobile hanging from the ceiling will provide entertainment to you and your baby. With a mobile the baby may stay still while you change them. At the Bottle Station you will need bottles, nipples, formula, bibs, and a bottle washing system. The items will need to be washed many times throughout the week. I put these items in a basket on my kitchen counter near the sink.
Make sure you have a place to write when you fed and changed the baby. See Baby Feeding/Diaper Schedule for a template to keep you and your helpers on track. This worked great for us the first month, but was not needed after that. You can buy a Itzbeen Baby Care Timer from amazon that can keep track of the diaper changes, sleep time, and bottles for you.
29. Go on a Baby Moon
Enjoy your partner outside your house. I went to Vegas for a friend’s wedding. Even complete one more of those bucket list items. I got to have a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity.
30. Read or Watch The Happiest Baby on The Block
Either we lucked out, or we had some great tips from this book. My husband and I were never really around babies and the tips we got in this book really seem to work when our child cries. I think this is one of the key reasons. We use the sleep sack to swaddle. If you don’t like to read, you can find a DVD on the techniques.
31. Make a Get Out of The House Plan
You need to get out of the house!! Yes, maybe a week or two is ok after you little one is born to get some sleep and learn your babies habits. But the sooner you get out the better. If you think about places that are safe to start before you give birth this may help: Grocery shopping, coffee shop, woman’s group, a friend’s house, or possibly church. I started out by going to a friend’s house. Then church and went from there.
32. View Pregnancy Boards
You are not the only woman who has ever been pregnant! Start being part of pregnancy community by joining a pregnancy chat boards. I frequented TheBump.com. Ask questions and get answers. Many questions or feelings that you may have were probably already asked by other women.
33. Take Belly Pictures
Remember your pregnancy by taking pregnancy pictures each week or month. What a life changing event to remember! Then put all the pictures together into one image to view the great changes your body has made.
34. Choose a Baby Formula
Decide what baby formula you are going to use before your big day. I didn’t think of this, and they gave my little one Gerber. Now that all the coupons are gone, I wish I went with a cheaper brand. Even if you are going to try breastfeeding, they may give your baby formula at night. Decide now so when they ask you after the craziness is over you have an answer.
35. Make a Meal Plan
Decide what you will be eating for a week or month out. The earlier you start doing this the better. When people ask if they can help before you have your child, tell them that they could make a dinner to bring over in the future. Try to add as many fruits and vegetables as possible to these meals. They will hydrate you. You may also want to snack less.
36. De-Tag, Wash, and Sort Baby Clothes
De-tag, wash, and sort all baby clothes by size. Put clothes in bins marked 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 12 month plastic containers.
37. Walk, Walk, Walk
Try to walk as much as you can. Then waddle to the end! I even walked in the grocery store and couponed when it got cold.
38. Start Journal
Find a journal and start writing.
39. Buy Thicker Toilet Paper
By the end of your pregnancy when you cannot see all of your lady parts, you may need it.
40. Buy a Larger Bra
You will need to deal with your milk coming in. You may need some support here. Also a tip, if you are going to try breastfeeding then decide it is not right for you, it may take a month or two to quit. This was painful to me when I just wanted to relax and enjoy my new one.
41. Birth Plan
A birth plan is a guide for what you would like to happen on the big day. But since God laughs at the plans we make do some research now before you are in the situation at the hospital and need to make a quick educated decision. Research C-Sections, epidurals, and an episiotomy, just in case.
42. Create a Google Calendar for the Baby
I don’t like clutter, so keeping online calendar for your child is a great way for keep track all the events of her life. This is also a great place for medical information. For example if the doctor asks when you changed over to solid food, you can find it on your child’s online calendar on your cell phone during the visit.
43. Home Renovations
Try to do home renovations before you have a child roaming your house. Trying to do them while a little one is crawling or walking around may be even harder.
44. Take Advice or Leave It
You are not the first pregnant person in the world. Many people may offer advice. You decide what you will try and what you don’t want to worry about. Some may be old wife’s tales. As a new Mother, you should follow your instinct. 10 Things to Know Before Traveling with a Baby includes baby travel advice that you can take or leave.
45. Choose a Pediatrician
Before leaving the hospital the nurses will want to know the name of your pediatrician or office you would like to take your child. This is also a good idea because she may need a checkup early.
46. Choose a New Birth Control Method
The morning after I giving birth the doctor had a half hour chat very early in the morning with me about deciding when to have the next little one. This is a great idea since getting pregnant in the next couple months seemed like an out-of-this-world idea to me. Do your research before getting to this moment. Remember if you are going to try breastfeeding you can’t take the normal pill and breastfeeding is not a true birth control in itself.
47. Create a Home Binder
Create a home binder that is a binder with folders to organize important information. Label folders that may include baby documents, tax, retirement, and insurance information.
48. Print Baby Sitter Sheets
After a couple weeks you may want to leave your awesome addition to your family at home for a couple hours while you get out of the house, but may not have time to leave that information for someone. Creating a sheet with important information before you have your baby may make this process smoother. You can always add more information to the sheet after the birth. Add this document to your home binder. See Baby Sitter Sheet.
49. Collect All Retirement Information
Get all your retirement information in one place. This may come in handy if you are going to be a stay-at-home Mom. Try to add money to the fund even if you are not working.
50. Get Excited!
Get excited to know that you are the luckiest person in the world to get to see your baby grown and learn each day right in front of your eyes! Laugh when your jeans don’t button. Dancing in the shower always made me feel better while pregnant and after giving birth. Laugh when your belly button goes away and turns black and blue. Laugh at yourself when you can’t believe how well a maternity shirt fits you. The most beautiful thing in the world is going to be in your arms soon!