T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Live and Learn Blog Event - Day 6 (Final Day)

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're pregnant or planning to get pregnant really soon, resist the temptation to get a pet. Princess Anya was our child for years before T Rex was born. She went everywhere with us. She even had her own car seat. Since the kids were born, she's been reduced to second class citizen. I feel badly about it, but the kids have to take priority.

- 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!


Charis's Mum said...

Read to your baby. (Almost goes hand in hand with turning off the television.) I've been trying to read to my daughter since she was born. It doesn't have to be exciting. One time, I was wanting to read an article in one of my critical care journals, and she just smiled and was quiet the whole time, but when I stopped she got fussy.

Camie said...

OH my I love your little tutu! I need to make some of those for my girls. Such a little princess.

Make sure you take video of them when they are learning to talk. I don't want to forget all the cute little ways that they say things.

I did see Connie's post on her flower pins. I'm dying to make some. They are too cute. Good luck on our giveaway.

septembermom said...

All great information once again. I also made my older kids, "baby buddies." They would love to be on the lookout for whatever they baby may need. That important role in the family helped those older kids feel important and necessary. It's tough when the baby gets so much attention in the beginning weeks.

I also love singing to your baby. I think it helps so much with language development.

Kim said...

Great job !! Lots of great information to ponder. Beautiful picture of you!!

Jenners said...

I just wanted to let you know that you did a great job with this blog event. I'm sure you helped a lot of new moms out!

Caitlin said...

Fantastic job with this event! I am sure it was a lot of work, but it was very informative and helpful but not preachy! Well done!

JKMommy said...

I don't know if I have any gems QUITE yet... I LOVE yours though. I need to set aside an item or two of Asher's in a memory box for him. I still have a 1st week photo album all ready to be assembled. Yeah I am a bit behind on the photos! :)

PS: I am terrified of my children drowning too - I hear about it WAY too often. I am even nervous when we do swim lessons, and I am holding him and there are people RIGHT there. But I want him learning EARLY how to be in the water.