We had been asked so many times for some advice as friends had babies, we ended up typing this up and saving it. We print it and add it to our baby gift.
Welcome to the Parent Club! The best advice we got was…”don’t take advice!” While that is actually a very valuable tip, you’ll likely find yourself looking for that “village” for some guidance and support. Just be very careful who you ask for advice…and if you didn’t ask for the advice, you certainly don’t have to listen.
You’ll find a whole support system among the unique experiences of your friends, families, and even strangers. Keep some of our numbers handy, right next to the list of restaurants that deliver.
Our Personal Specialities for the 1st Year We’ve got pep talks, tricks and information for extreme fussiness, coping with sleep deprivation for nearly 4 years straight, hospitalized newborns to include septic workups and kidney testing; struggling with breastfeeding, tear duct surgery, belly button hernias, medicated gastric reflux, 12 hour roadtrips with multiple toddlers/baby, relocations, homemade baby food, dropping the baby weight, and laughing all along the way. Call ANYtime!
Our Top 7 Baby Advice
7. Be HUMBLE…The answer to help is YES! Don’t be shy! Ask for FOOD deliveries! (Stock up your freezer) I asked my mom for the Merry Maids to come by about a month post partum with each baby after all the company had stopped coming. Put visitors to work! They love it. Clean, help with laundry, cook. And, while they are holding the baby, always sneak off for some “me” time! If this is your 2nd+ kid, have your friends and family make up some “kid food” to grab. No matter now tired I was, I always made sure I had some options ready to grab for siblings the next day.
6. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask people to wash their hands or give them a squirt of sanitizer before holding your newborn.
5. Never hesitate to call your Pediatrican and/or nurse number.
4. The answer to most issues regarding the 1st year is “it depends on your baby”. We’ve had 3 very different babies and what worked for one didn’t always work for the others. Listen to advice, but follow your gut. YOU will know your baby best, not a book or DVD or Aunt Lucy. Remember the baby didn’t read the books. Be aware and Beware of what works!
3. Don’t feel guilty setting boundaries involving your baby. You can say no. You can leave a gathering early. You can choose not to go places you just don’t feel like going. You can stay home at Christmas and make family come to you. You are in charge of who holds baby and for how long. We learned that after 2 week old Maya was passed every 15 minutes between 4 family members for 2 hours. After they left, she screamed for 2 hours straight. You are your baby’s voice until they are about 5-6 months and start voicing their own opinion quite clearly.
2. Miracle Blanket and 5 S’s: Watch the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD, much better than reading the book. The 5 S’s helped us manage our screaming insomniac pterodactyl firstborn.
1. Divide & Conquer: We mastered this technique with our firstborn, keep in mind I stayed at home those years. It worked beautifully for the next two babies. First week or 2 we were a team while John was off work and I physically healed. Then, we implemented the divide and conquer! John would sleep in the guest room. Yes, I said sleep, and I didn’t make him feel guilty about it one bit. Don’t keep track. Don’t say “your turn” with tone. It’s not helpful. Pay it forward. I was up with the baby throughout the night. This allowed one of us to be sane. When he was home from work he was fired up to help like an all star. He’d clean, cook, and cared for baby/kids with a positive, funny attitude while I napped, showered, or whatever. Then I was recharged for my next “shift” and we were able to stay happy as a couple, without letting sleep deprivation win. Teamwork doesn’t mean doing everything together at the same time!
Don’t worry about messing up. You could do the exact opposite of our above advice and have a wonderful experience. Don’t stress. You won’t love every minute, but you’ll love that baby more than you could ever imagine. Life will never be the same in a thousand ways. You won’t like all the changes or phases, but you’ll grow through them. Stick together. Laugh as much as you can. Embrace the chaos!
Love Always, John and Shelisa