22 Things to Know Before Baby Arrives

  1. Breastfeeding Isn’t For Every Mom-  If you are one of these moms, there’s no need to feel guilty about it.  I planned to fully breastfeed my daughter that first year of her life.  She was small when she was born, and those first few months of her life she wasn’t growing as fast as she should have been (weight under 5th percentile).  So, I decided to start pumping to see how much milk I was actually making.  I was only making about 3-4 ounces each feeding (there are women that can produce 8 or more ounces per feeding).  So, I tried breastfeeding and then supplementing with formula.  Baby didn’t like it at all, so I decided to stop breastfeeding and instead pump all my milk and mix with formula.  It took some time, but she eventually got used to it.  I did feel really guilty, but I made these decisions because that’s what I thought was best for my daughter.

  2. Diaper Changing Dads- If you are one of those lucky women like me, you will have a great husband that is willing to change diapers, it helps a lot when the baby is really little because you’re constantly changing diapers.
  3. Have a Clean House Before Baby Comes-  This isn’t possible for some parents if your baby is born early and it isn’t expected.  I was 1 day over 40 weeks overdue.  So, I made sure my house was pretty spotless, that way when we got home from the hospital the house wouldn’t be a disaster.  My mom came for several days when we got home from the hospital, and I think she didn’t feel like she was doing much because the house was clean and laundry done.  She was a huge help with the baby and emotionally.
  4. Take Pictures in the Hospital– You may want to think about getting someone (doesn’t have to be professional) to take pictures in the hospital.  I realized after we got home that we didn’t get a family photo and Tyson did’t get a pictures with the baby.  I really regret not thinking more about that, we had a lot of other things on our mind when we were in the hospital.
  5. Put Baby Before Cleaning- Sometimes when your house gets messy and your baby wants attention, it’s okay to put off cleaning and spend time with your baby.
  6. Spend Time Together When Baby is Sleeping- When your baby is awake, they will want attention, and your spouse becomes #2 to the baby.  Sometimes it’s hard finding alone time with each other, so take advantage of it while your baby is sleeping.
  7. Don’t Feel Guilty About Getting a Babysitter-  Gretchen is almost 18 months and honestly we are together pretty much 24/7.  There are very few times that we get a babysitter, and sometimes I have to leave her with Tyson while I go to a meeting or something.  I STILL feel guilty leaving her with a sitter and even if I leave her with Tyson I still feel a little guilty.
  8. Write Down Birth Story- Try to write down the birth experience and how you felt.  It is a really special time and you will want to remember the best parts about it (seeing baby for the first time).
  9. Birthing Classes- We took several birthing classes and they were pretty helpful.  We learned a lot about what to expect with the actual birth.  I’ve got several sisters and sisters-in-law that had babies before me, they sometimes would talk about giving birth and their experiences, but I had NO idea what they were even talking about.  They used so many words that I didn’t know what they meant.  So, the birthing classes are super helpful with that, although your doctor can explain that to you if you don’t take the classes.
  10. Diy diaper rash cream– I got this diaper rash cream recipe from my sister.  It does wonders when it’s so bad that it’s bleeding.  Use vaseline and either cornstarch or they have baby powder that is 100% cornstarch.  Mix together, adding cornstarch as you mix.  You’ll want it to be pretty thick.
  11. Weightloss-  They say that a nursing mother can lose weight easily, so not true for women like me.  Be prepared to lose the weight really slow, it took me 8 months before I lost weight, and it was a long hard journey.  Read my story here.
  12. Bottle Nipples-  You’re probably wondering why you’d need to know about this right?  Well, if you are one of those moms that needs bottles, you should know a little bit about the nipples.  So, if you’ve got a newborn you’re going to need SLOW FLOW, otherwise any other nipple is going to drown them.  I think slow flow has only 1 or 2 holes.  As your baby gets older, you’ll want to get different nipples.  I think the nipples range from 1 hole – 5 holes.  We didn’t know about that, but everyone kept telling us that we needed slow flow, and we didn’t know what they were talking about.  So, if you are feeding your newborn and milk is going everywhere, check the nipple holes.
  13. Lactation specialist-  This is #1 on my list whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding.  You absolutely need a lactation specialist.  We waited until the 2nd or 3rd day we were in the hospital.  She helped teach our baby to bring her tongue forward and suck, Gretchen was holding her tongue in the back of her throat, so every time we tried to feed her,the nipple wouldn’t go all the way in and she would gag and throw up.  The lactation specialist also helped us teach baby how to breastfeed, we didn’t get that down until we got home though.
  14. First After Birth Bathroom Experience- By this time, if you haven’t totally lost your dignity, you will.  You’ll need help to the bathroom and will need to get your hooha cleaned a little.  Just remember, those nurses do it all the time.
  15. breastfeeding is hard- I don’t think I need to say much about it besides be patient and stick with it.
  16. Babies don’t always sleep (especially at night)-  We were lucky to have a baby that only woke up once or twice at night.  When she was a newborn, she hated sleeping her crib.  So, she slept with us sometimes.  I didn’t love the idea because I was so scared that we’d roll over onto her.  But it worked okay for those first few months.  Then when she was 2 months old, she woke up and was a little fussy.  Tyson wanted to just give her the binky and see if she’d fall back to sleep, and she did.  Since then, she’s pretty much slept through the night every night, other than the nights when she’s teething.
  17. You know your baby best, don’t let anyone think otherwise
  18. Avoid Cat Litter-  Cat litter that has been used can cause toxoplasmosis. This parasitic disease can cause problems with your unborn baby. Don’t risk your child’s health; stay away from the cat litter.
  19. Take photos of yourself when you are pregnant- It was really hard for me to take pictures of myself as not only my belly grew,  but my body.  It’s fun to go back and see how cute my belly was when the pregnancy was early on.
  20. Your body will change- be prepared for this, your body is going to change.  You will most likely get stretch marks (drink tons of water, it supposedly helps), your ankles, hands, and face will swell.
  21.  Cervix checks- Before you have your baby they will start to check your cervix.  Web MD explains this as “Effacement and dilatation need to occur for a baby to be born through the birth canal. Effacement means that the cervix stretches and gets thinner. Dilatation means that the cervix opens.”  If you did not start to change, this could be very painful, so just be aware.  You do not have to get them if you would not want because this information may not help anyway.  Research cervix checks for more on this. What to Expect When You are Expecting may be a good resource for more information on this topic.
  22. Everyday tasks become more complicated-  I still haven’t totally adjusted to this.  If we are going somewhere, I have to give myself an extra hour to feed, dress, and get Gretchen ready.  When going out of town for family visits for example, be ready to pack the car to the brim with baby stuff!!  



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