Expecting a baby is a lot, whether or not it is your first. In addition to the stresses of pregnancy itself and adjusting to a shifting family dynamic as well as new demands on your time and attention, there is a horde of businesses eager to take advantage of your uncertainty and vulnerability.
When you are ready for a reprieve, join us for an evening of self-love and resilience-building resources for the next stage of your journey.
Maybe you didn't ask, but here is a short list of some important items. These are the kinds of things, when we shared them, friends and acquaintances wished they'd learned earlier. So here they are for you now.
Of course they may or may not apply to you. That's fine. We aren't here to judge or dictate the right way to parent. It's just ideas for doing it your own way, if you haven't quite figured out what "your way" is yet.
Babies have a broad range of normal for just about any aspect of their health and wellness. It is commonly accepted that normal weights, heights, and personalities cover a broad range. Why, then, is it so hard to imagine that a healthy baby will make its first words or take its first steps in a broad range of time?
As you assess your recovery and acclimation, and as you assess your child's development, try not to hold anyone to the narrow "deadlines" that we often see published. It will lead to less worry and a happier life.
Amber necklaces are like medicine for babies. It's that simple. They don't cost much, never run out, and bear zero health risks.
I'm not even going to pretend how they work, or that science backs up this idea. (But see how I framed that link to make it look like the scientific support is there?) Take it with a grain of salt, but I took the necklace off one of our boys when he was teething and it was a miserable couple days.
Whether it genuinely provides a low-level analgesic or just looks dope and helps with quasi-crystal-tree-sap energy (and woo noises) is irrelevant to us. The necklaces look great, didn't cost much at all, and clearly helped our kids. Just make sure you get a length that is safe and responsible for your children's use. Too small, and it could pose a strangulation risk. Too long, and it's also a strangulation risk (getting it caught on something) as well as a choking hazard. Safety first!
Other teething aids, like silocone necklaces, are not something we recommend as strongly. Whatever you do, just make sure it's food-safe! Fun-shaped silicon mold ice trays are cool for making teething shapes that babies can enjoy without choking risk, too. Ice can be so soothing to gum on..
We can give you no greater advice than this: Wear your baby.
(if you are able)
Strollers are a hassle. Wearing your baby means you won't need them. Clip in car seats are a hassle, and evidence is showing that they may encourage parents to leave babies in too long, potentially leading to cranial deformities. Wearing your baby means you won't need them. Babywearing provides so many benefits that alternative "conveniences" deny parents. Unless you are physically unable, there is no reason to not wear your baby.
As a father, I would wear the babies while I was doing housework or even sitting at the computer. It soothed them to sleep, it enabled us to bond, and perhaps most importantly, I was able to get some work done for a change!
For new parents who are accustomed to seeing live performances (of music, theater, or otherwise), a couple of simple recommendations will do the trick.
Disposable diapers absolutely horrifying. Seriously, they're beyond awful. They're more expensive, more hassle, more dangerous, and more harmful than cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers have become uncommon in the US, and that's a travesty. Between the tried-and-true tri-fold cotton nappies AND the double-gusseted blowout-preventing magic of Kanga Care Rumparooz, there's hardly more that you could ask for ...or is there?
Ok, the only thing that could be better than using cloth diapers is if someone else did most of the washing for you. And here in the Denver area, Bundle Baby provides diaper service! For an extremely reasonable price (still cheaper than disposables), you can leave a waterproof bag of super-stank nappies on your porch, and they'll magically be replaced with a fresh bag of super-clean ones!
Even better, you can add the service to your registry, allowing people to cover one or more weeks of service each. If nothing else, get a few weeks of service while you acclimate to your new life with baby. After that, you can determine if you want to save a couple bucks and launder the nappies yourself.
(Note that you scrape the poo out of the covers and launder those yourself. It's not that tough of a job, to be honest. And scraping the poo into the toilet is something you're supposed to do with disposables anyway. Seriously - check a package the next time you're in Target.)
In summary, cloth diapers are...