Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Final Thoughts Month of September: Blog 1- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Ellie,

In less than one month, Will is going to turn one!  

This year has flown by!  Right now, a lot of my friends are having babies so put this entry away until you do too.  Here’s what worked for us adding a new addition to the family.    

Final Thoughts: Necessities and advice for new moms…

When you put your baby down, make sure they are semi or fully awake.  It will make them self-soothe and be better sleepers in the long run.  Don't rock them until they are fully asleep (it might be easier at first but you will create a monster)!

Get your baby on a fairly strict schedule by 4 months (meaning morning and bedtime routines and 2 daily naps and with regular feedings).  It makes putting them to bed and planning for trips or outings so much easier.

Lots of belly time and start early!

Make sure you have a good camera (or cell phone that takes great pictures that you can upload to shutterfly or some other site that you can order prints). I got month stickers from Amber, our cousin, who said she ordered them from Etsy and they are the coolest- since the baby changes so much in that first year (one of my girl friends actually blows up the pictures and uses them as decorations for the 1st birthday party to see how they grew that year).  I put them in a scrapbook and use them on the bulletin board. 

In both yours and Will’s rooms and in my kitchen, your Dad and I bought framed bulletin boards (I saw it in my aunt's house and fell in love with the idea).  Keep it in mind as your baby grows- it holds the latest art work (which is so much now that you are 4- I'm not sure what to do with it all!) and you can refashion it for holidays and birthdays so it takes on a different look every few weeks.  

Are you planning to breastfeed?  My milk never came in (which was just as well as I never really wanted to do it but boy did I feel the pressure).  I did try though with Kyle and you (you started to lose weight though- dropped below 6lbs before we left the hospital so we supplemented and I fully switched to formula within 2 weeks).  Because of all of that pressure and knowing that it wouldn't work for me, I didn't even bother with Will- he clearly didn't seem to mind (as he is a much better eater than you ever were).  Anyway, we used Infamil with our babies and Wegman's has an $11 cheaper generic brand that is the same thing that we love.

Treat yourself to a pedicure or hair appointment or something for you before hand- even though I had c-sections, it's great to be pampered and it may be a few weeks or months before you have that opportunity to yourself again because of time and/or money.  

If anyone gives the baby a book (you will get a lot for you shower), make sure they write a note on the inside cover (signed and dated) for your baby.  You at 4 years old still pick out books and read the inscription for who gave it to you and why and when.  It gives the book so much more meaning and it becomes a keepsake!

We used our Boppy (great for feeding and belly time) and Bumbo (for around 4 months to begin sitting and starting to eat solids- babies will grow out of it quickly though).

I credit Will’s amazing sleep cycles to the Rock n' Sleep (it wasn't around when I had you but it was the best thing ever for Will).  Don't bother with a bassinet if you get this thing.  We went right from this to the crib when he rolled at 3 months and the transition was smooth.  I credit Will's amazing sleeping to this.  One of my friends recommended it me and I thought she was crazy…. it wasn't until she got it for me for my shower and I was "forced" to try it that I was convinced.  However, I’m sure something even better will be invented by the time you have kids!

Invest in a good rocking chair and maybe a matching rocking footrest.  Even though I don't rock you and Will in it anymore, I use it to read now so it's a great investment (and a memory keeper for the time I had with my babies)!

Don't go crazy buying swaddles and clothes early- you really liked to be swaddled, Will didn't.  You were small and never fit into what we thought you would by season and Will is the opposite (and we had to give a lot away or return it because he outgrew it before the season began) so know that you can take your time with those things.  Get to your know baby first.  

If you have coupons or gift cards, invest in larger sizes of diapers (although with Will, he grew out of them so fast… he was in already in a size 5 at 9 months- you never were in size 5s and you were potty trained at 2) so my advice would be go with a box at a time so you don't have to return them.  And FYI, if your baby leaks out of them (esp. at night) that's the sign to go up a size.

Invest in a pretty diaper bag- you will be using it for at least 9 months (keep a change of clothes, socks, diapers, wipes, toys. and some ziploc bags for dirty diapers when you don't have a friendly trashcan to put them in)- gone are the days of cute small bags (although you can throw a wristlet into the bag- it's an easy way to transition from your diaper bag to your work bag).

When you are in the hospital, "steal" everything (all diapers, whipes, ointments, etc)- the nurses will encourage you too as well.  I swear, it will save you a few dollars!!!

And tell your hubby about push-presents (Justin gets so mad when I tell our friends about this!).  But tell him that you get a present for pushing (or in my case getting cut open).  I've been able to get 3 :)  Google it if you haven't heard of it… it should be sentimental- a piece of jewelry symbolizing the new baby or maybe a new diaper bag that you wouldn't get for yourself.

And trust me about this- put yourself in front of the camera in those first few weeks… I know you won't feel like it but down the road, you will regret it if you don't (don't feel pressured to put them on FB but for your personal albums, you should have them).  You don't have to look perfect but make sure there are pictures of you with your baby- several of them!!!  I promise that you will cherish them later.

You will be tired in those first few weeks.  But do remember your husband.  Do take a date night when you are ready.  Try not to talk about the baby too much.  Remember that your marriage comes first.  

But truly, there isn't much you need in those first few weeks… diapers, food (unless you breastfeed), and some basic clothes.  Register for some big things like the stroller, crib, highchair, and carseat that maybe a few relatives will go in on together.  Do your research too- some places will give you a discount for things that aren't bought on your registry for a short time after (Target is one)- we took advantage and got a good deal on a toddler carseat so put as much as you can on that registry because you can still go back and get things!

But remember, what works for one person, doesn't always work for another so trust your instincts!!!

Love you,

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