Thursday, June 7, 2012

Advice With a Grain of Salt

It's almost Friday, but I've felt like it's Friday since Monday! Recently I have felt like we're in a bubble of babies with all of the pregnancies and little ones popping up all around. This got me thinking back to when I was pregnant and a brand new mom, and I wondered what I wish it had been like. Honestly, I don't wish for anything different! Sure, I'll be one of "those moms" for the moment who others would like to hang from the telephone wires by my ankles and throw things at. Fact is, we got incredibly lucky. Many people say it's due to our laid back lifestyle and acceptance that it wasn't going to be all rainbows and puppies, but fact is sometimes no matter what you do newborns have a different plan!
Trust me...this kid is plotting!

For example, Dablet started sleeping 6 hour chunks at 6 weeks old, and sleeping through the night at 2 months (8 hour chunks). By 3 months old she would go 10 hours, and for a while now has been on a 12 hour/night sleeping schedule. Crazy....I know. I know plenty of parents who have one year olds that still wake up at night. There have been times when our pediatrician has told me not to talk in a way that would allow other moms to hear me in their offices because we "had it so easy".
I'm a working mom. That's my title and it's one that I love! I work from home, and while I appreciate my flexible schedule that allows me to work from 7-11 each night because Dablet is sleeping in addition to the other sporatic times I get work done during the day!
However, everyone has an opinion about pregnancy and parenting (even people that aren't parents, because they had parents of their own!). Opinions are great and can be the best advice (at times), but "opinion giver" be warned...pregnant women and new moms need an element of tact. Remember people, CRAZY hormone changes going on!!
Some of the best opinions/advice I was given:
"Don't worry about cleaning your house, spend time with your baby. Let visitors help around the house" - This was from our pediatrician and was my mantra for a long time (still is in ways). The first several weeks are for bonding, yet you will have several visitors. Let them load your dishwasher, sweep your floors, or vacuum the rug. They'll feel needed and everyone will win!

"Learn how to use your crockpot!!!!" - Thanks Fairy Godmommy! This saved our lives for the first few weeks! I also cooked several easy things ahead and froze them. Kyle loved having baked ziti, and I loved that it was already made!

"Get out of the house!!" - The easiest way to get back to your routine post baby is to bring your baby with you! Grab your sling or baby Bjorn and attach them to you!

"Don't expect you're going to figure everything out from a book, and use your husband. You're in this together." -  I tried to tell myself this as I exploded at Kyle at 4am they day after Dablet was born running on no sleep and they were trying to run blood tests on my little girl. Mama bear kicked in combined with exhaustion, hormones, pain, and itchiness. He, however, had no problem sleeping through it all.... After my "reality check" with myself I accepted this was new to me life got MUCH easier!

Some of the worst opinions/advice I was given:
"Get all the sleep you can now, because you won't get any for the next couple years!" - First of all, not true...second - Someone tell me how you can bank sleep to carry it forward!

"Never let your baby sleep in bed with you, they'll get too attached and you'll have a ten year old in your bed" - *Guilty right here* Dablet slept in our bed for the first two weeks. I had a c-section...I couldn't get up to pick up a baby every two hours to do feedings. She sleeps in her own crib and puts herself to sleep just fine now!

"Don't rock your baby to sleep, they'll become dependent" - Do you want sleep? Then get your baby to sleep by any means necessary. Most of the time this is an issue, they cannot comfort themselves yet. Move to the "cry it out" phase later!

"Get your traveling done now because you won't be able to after you have kids" - HUH?!?! I flew with Dablet when she was 7 weeks myself! Don't be afraid of nasty people on the plane worried about a crying baby.

There are loads more to add to both lists, but I think you'll enjoy these next few product suggestions more! I'm entitled to my opinion right??
Baby Bjorn Active Carrier - available here
I used this ALL the time, including some nights around the house when Dablet just needed to be close and I needed to make dinner!
Activity Gym - available here
This isn't the one that we had (they don't make it anymore), but this is an essential piece of equipment!

Boppy Pillow - available here
I was told to get this, I was also told to get the "Breast Friend" pillow. My mom told me I didn't need either and it was just another "modern day luxury". Get whichever you like better. I like this because you can use it nursing and positioning, tummy time, etc. My mom even said after the fact that this is ESSENTIAL and she appreciated it tenfold!

Muslin Blankets for swaddling - available here
These are BIG and lightweight (perfect for summer or over long sleeves). I used them for swaddling and everyday since! 

I hope you can find some products of your own to love, and if you're expecting take everything people tell you with a grain of salt! Happy baby making!!

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