Both times I was pregnant I was on internet boards and occasionally moms would come on after having their baby and offer their advice. This was even more laughable when I already had a toddler, but I still ended up checking it out. This exercise always reminded me the cardinal rule that every baby is different. For example baby swings: for Jason we got a used one at a consignment shop and Jason hated it. I blamed it on the swing so for Elizabeth we got a nice new swing and she liked it okay, but not nearly as much as some of the other babies I heard about. All the same here is a list from some of the moms in my online group and some from me.
- Don't worry about getting a bedding set. You can't use the bumper for SIDS concern and you will get more than enough blankets that you don't need the comforter. Go with some sheets that coordinate and spend more money on the room decor
- Learn how to swaddle! I wish I had made a video of the unique way my mother in law taught me when Jason was born because the hospital way didn't work for very long. I almost forgot between Jason and Elizabeth, maybe I will still make a video, check back for that.
- If your baby gets fussy during dinnertime try sitting them up with you. Most high chairs or booster seats recline
- Go on a fun trip for just you and hubby. In the first trimester with Jason we went on an Alaskan cruise with my parents and before we got pregnant with Elizabeth we went on a Mediterranean cruise (I wanted to drink that time) and it was really great to have that to reminisce about when I was up all night with a fussy baby.
- If you can't get away for a big trip at least go out to dinner and a movie! Seriously, that is the thing I miss most about being without kids. We rarely ever get to spend time together alone and I miss just being us some times!
- Don't buy a ton of bottles, pacifiers, whatever before the baby is born. I breastfed, but planned on pumping and using bottles sometimes, until of course neither child would take a bottle.
- On that note, we have all heard that the breast is best and I was able to nurse for a year for each child, but if you have to do formula for your baby don't beat yourself up! If you are determined you can breastfeed and there is lots of help that you can use if you want it. If you need to formula feed you aren't poisening your child, you are doing what is best for your family.
- Your life as you know it is over, but don't worry, you'll have a better one!
- Ask your partner for help and don't correct them unless they are doing something dangerous
- I'm so happy we didn't get a travel system! We got an infant seat, snap and go and after about 6 months got a jogging stroller (that was the envy of all my walking buddies) and an umbrella stroller for smaller trips. Thank you cheapskate hubby!
- Cuddle and kiss that little bundle because they grow up too fast and want to wiggle away!
Most importantly trust your gut! You know your baby best and you can do this!
Parents, please add your tips in the comments!