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Things I Wished I’d Known Before Having a Baby
Before I became a mom I worked at a daycare center caring for infants for several years. Then I became a nanny for the next five years. I thought I knew everything there was to know about being a mom. In reality, there’s nothing that can truly prepare you for the deep love you’ll feel the first time you lay eyes on your newborn, or for the sleep deprivation that will soon follow. After having three children, I am now an experienced mother with some tips to prepare you for the joys (and overwhelming moments) motherhood will bring. Your life will never be the same again. It will be better.
If you plan on breastfeeding your baby you might have done a little research. There aren’t many books or websites that will tell you that breastfeeding hurts. Now before you get scared and decide to go with formula, let me explain. Most books will say that if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong however, from experience I know that it can be painful even if you’re doing it right, at least for the first week or two. It pays to stick it out!! Breastfeeding is so much easier than bottle feeding — no bottles to wash, no formula to mix, less to take along in the diaper bag and it saves a ton of money, not to mention the health benefits!
Most hospitals provide lactation consultants. See one before you’re discharged from the hospital for help getting started. I also visited one about a week after giving birth to my first born for some reassurance. Look for groups online or in your community too. It really helps to have some support and advice from other mothers.
Swaddle, Swaddle, Swaddle!
When your baby is born it will be swaddled. This helps comfort the baby as it transitions from the womb to life in the big world. Make sure a nurse shows you how to swaddle your baby with a blanket because it will be really useful at home! A crying baby can often be calmed just by swaddling. You can also find swaddle blankets that make it easier with Velcro or a special wrap technique like the Miracle Blanket.
Baby’s Tummies are Tiny!
New mothers are often very concerned that their child isn’t getting enough to eat. This can be especially hard when breastfeeding because you’ll have no idea how much your baby is actually consuming. As long as baby is gaining weight, there’s no need for alarm. The day baby is born, their stomach is the size of a cherry. You won’t be producing breast milk quite yet but there will be a small amount of colostrum which is naturally designed to be enough for baby’s first days. By one month of age, baby’s stomach is about the size of an egg and feedings will be around 2.5-5oz.
Let’s Talk Poop
There’s a wide range of normal when it comes to baby poop but it can be concerning to new moms who don’t know that! The first few of baby’s bowel movements will be very dark green or black and tar-like. This is called meconium. Gradually baby’s bowel movements will become yellow and seedy like mustard. It’s normal for babies to have several bowl movements per day. Babies should have at least one per day though it can also be normal to go several days without a bowl movement. Check with a pediatrician if you have any concerns.
Once babies start consuming solids, their bowel movements will change again. If you feed fresh bananas to your baby, be aware that their poop may appear to have worms. I totally freaked when I encountered this for the first time!
Not All Brands are Created Equal
I’m all for saving money and find many generic brands just as good or better than name brands. One area that I did NOT find this to be true is DIAPERS. All of my newborns used Pampers. It’s what the hospital used and what worked best for us during the first few months. They are designed to keep babies as comfortable as possible while also making parent’s lives a bit easier with the color changing wetness indicator which shows you when it’s time for baby to be changed. Pampers Swaddlers offer up to 12 hours of overnight protection and help minimize leaks.
If there’s one thing to stock up on and ask for on your baby registry, it’s diapers! You won’t want to run out and have to make a run to the store in middle of the night. Pampers offers a Super Economy Pack and an Economy Plus Pack to help keep you stocked up. These are available online only at Babies “R” Us. If you’re shopping in-store, there’s a wide selection of Pampers to choose from in all sizes and package sizes.
One More Quick Tip
Even with the best diapers, baby’s bottoms can get irritated. If baby’s bottom looks good but you just want to protect it, use an ointment like A&D. If baby has a rash that needs to be cleared up, products containing Zinc work best. There are quite a few of these that I liked including Triple Paste, Desitin, and Butt Paste.
Also, check out this post for more Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before Having Kids.
Pampers is hosting a #MileStoneMoments Twitter Party
Join me on Thursday, June 26 at 9 pm ET for the Pampers #MileStoneMoments Twitter party as we chat more about this topic! It’s going to be a lot of fun so be sure to join in and follow the hashtag!
Feeling lucky? Enter to win a Pampers Swaddlers Babies”R”Us Prize Pack which includes:
- $150 Babies “R” Us gift card
- Pampers Wipes (64 count)
A complimentary prize pack was provided for myself as well as one winner, however, all opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way. See Mommies With Cents disclosure policy for more details.
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