|Practical advice for new parents.|
This is the portion of advice that doesn't really fit anywhere else.
|The one with all the opinions and advice.|
- If you have a pool, get a fence for it. Or at minimum, put extra high up locks on all your external doors. We did this and we don't even have a pool, but our neighbor has a hot tub. I am terrified of a child drowning. And statistically, drowning is very high up on the list for toddler deaths, statistically speaking. When T Rex turned 2, he could open any door and walk outside. Even on ones we put child-proof locks on, he adapted and learned to open each one. So T Rex dad put locks up high on each external door out of T Rex's reach to keep him from walking out the front door into the street.
- You'll need to consider something for your stairs, if you have them. And teach them how to go up and down safely in case the barrier is not up. OR IF THEY CLIMB OVER IT, the way T Rex taught himself to do at 14 months.
- Once baby is born, turn off the TV. It may seem really tempting to sit down and watch the game with junior, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV until age 2. I know this sounds tough but it is doable (speaking from experience). But if you do watch some TV try to limit it as much as possible. Multiple studies out there supporting the AAPs recommendations.
- Continue prenatal supplements while breastfeeding.
- Emphasis again on having a birth control plan after baby is born. Breastfeeding works only if exclusively breastfeeding at least every 3-4 hours with baby sucking and stimulating the breast directly. And even this is not 100% perfect. My concern is for maternal and fetal outcomes - it is best to have at least 2 years spacing between births to reduce the risk of preterm labor, low birth weight babies, SIDS, and maternal death.
- Connect with other new mothers. Often the local hospital has these kinds of groups that meet weekly. Look into it - it was how I met the ladies and their boys who would become our playgroup.
- Just because it says size 3 months, that does not mean you start putting them in it at 3 months. T Rex was about 3 months ahead of clothing sizes. Until I realized that, we missed out on using a lot of cute clothes because he outgrew them so fast. Bebe Sister is the opposite - she's about 2 months behind the size chart. Keep checking back with your clothes. And always buy ahead on sizing.
- If those baby blues last more than 2-3 weeks, tell your health care provider. Call sooner if you feel like hurting yourself or others. Postpartum depression is real and affects many women. Get help. And know you're not alone.
- Keep a baby journal to record milestones. We have blogs for each of our kids so we can write down their growth and actions. It's fun to go back and read as well as see the associated photos and videos. Fair warning: it will make you tear up to go back and read those milestones.
- Save some carefully chosen tiny belonging of each child. We have each of the kids' going on home outfits, their first swaddling blankets, early favorite toys, etc.
- Take lots of photos AND video. It goes by so fast that before you know it, they won't be babies any more.
What other gems of advice do you have to add? These comments can count toward other entries into the 3 giveaways going on with this blog event through April 15th midnight MST.
And thank you all for you support through this very first event. It's been a lot of work but so incredible to see some of my most loyal followers offering their support. And also fun to make some new friends, too. Now go enjoy those giveaways!