Sunday, April 22, 2012

For friends/family of new moms :)

As I'm getting more into the baby raising business ;) I am getting asked a lot about what helps and what I liked/disliked with my first baby. All my friends are in the stage where they are having their first or helping a new mon.

So for anyone that knows a new mom or a soon to be mom, here is my advice.

A few obvious:

Wash your hands! Always! Regardless of when you did it last, do it in front of her!

If you are sick, don't go around the baby. Don't let your family around the baby. Period.

Don't kiss the babies face/head or put your fingers in their mouth.

1. Dinners are amazing for the first week or so! If you bring her dinner, bring it in disposable containers that you don't need returned. Make sure she knows they don't need returned. (I stressed for weeks about getting containers and pans back to people that I barely knew, it was a constant nagging feeling.

Also, prepare food that is generally safe. (Don't put mushrooms in Alfredo sauce, or large peppers in a salad.)

It's nice to feed husbands too. Maybe it was just because we arent married, but people in our ward would bring small portions (barely enough for one person) over and we would end up having to cook.

If you volunteer to make a meal, make a meal. We had someone put a frozen pizza and a chocolate bar on our door after volunteering to do dinner for us, and that just sucked. I didn't plan anything because we were told we would get dinner, and then it was barely enough for me, and honestly, brand new, tired, breastfeeding moms don't always want frozen pizza. I just know if we volunteered to make dinner it would be something nutritious and filling and homemade. Maybe that's just me.

2. Don't show up unannounced. It's horrible when you have baby puke all over you or you are nursing and someone is knocking on the door wanting to visit. Seriously. I've ignored many a knock because I wasn't clean/decent/emotionally ready to chat for an hour :)

3. Ask a mother what she needs. Even if she has a registry we often have specific things we need. Clothes are nice, but a lot of the time we have so many for the first little while its overwhelming. If you want to get clothes ask a mom what size she needs, returns get stressful also. If you are unsure, always go for bigger sizes-we got so much 0-3 month and nothing for later on-it's nice to have new outfits for when they get older.

4. Diapers are the best gift! Buy bigger diapers or ask what size they don't have. Everyone gets size 1s. We ended up with 2500 size 1 diapers and nothing bigger. Again, lots of returns and exchanges. It's doable, but can be quite a task! Also, Big boxes of wipes are cheap and last forever.

(If you throw a shower- diaper showers are the best, we haven't bought diapers yet and still have a 6 month supply. It saves a lot of money and really, really, REALLY helps!) A pack of diapers and something small like baby wash, diaper cream, a pacifier or a toy is a great combo. It's usually the little things that get forgotten.

5. Call her and check up on her. We do get lonely! But at the same time we need our space. If you want to visit or see the baby, send a message that says "I would love to come visit, call me when you are ready!" That way we aren't put on the spot and can be prepared for it!

6. Stay indoors! I hated feeling pressured to go out or take my baby out to dinner. Its hard to tote a carrier around. I didn't want to leave him at home and I didn't want to expose him. Having dinner and date nights at home, at our apartment was the best for us and the easiest-all babies stuff was with us already.

7. Don't try to take over. I had a hard
time with people feeding or changing my baby for the first little while. That was my job and I wanted to do it. Don't bathe the baby or give him medicine or change his outfit or even bundle him without first checking with mama bear. We like to feel in charge and call the shots.

8. Keep your parenting to yourself. Unless you are asked specifically, don't comment on your disapproval of something. (Co-sleeping, nursing, rocking to sleep.) It will cause serious resentment and it's just not your place.

9. Sometimes the best help is just holding the baby while we do dishes, sitting with him while we are running errands or even just watching a movie with us at our house :) All the little tasks seem big at first!

10. Show interest. Even if you are at a totally different stage in your life, it's nice to celebrate something so special with our friends. The friends we are closest with are the ones who made the effort and showed love and care when baby was born. The ones who called or came to the hospital or brought cookies over or gave advice. That's really the most important and best thing you can do for a mom. Show interest in her child.

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