Words of Wisdom for New Moms
1. Intake triggers output. This is the most important thing I have learned in the last few weeks. Simply put, feeding your baby causes poopage as you feed or immediately following the feeding. Hence, diaper changes are best left till after the feeding.
2. The baby will sleep for hours on end happily snuggled in your arms, but will immediately awaken if you attempt to put her down in her seat or bassinet. This means you will get nothing done around the house, meaning that meals are best left to microwaveables if you don’t have a husband at home.
3. Sleep is relative. I have been blessed with a baby who actually sleeps through the night at the tender age of just several weeks old. I know that all the books say to wake one’s baby every 3-4 hours (since she is a formula baby) to eat, but I have discussed it with the pediatrician, and Grace’s marathon six hours straight of sleep each night is no problem. What this means is I get six hours of unbroken sleep if I go to bed when she does. Of course, I never get into bed until midnight, which leaves me with four hours of continuous sleep, but that is way more than most new parents.
4. Corollary to #3: Sleep when baby sleeps. This is probably the second most important piece of information for new parents. Most people say they cannot sleep during the day, but if one’s baby is normal (mine is definitely abnormal, just like her mommy *wink*), she will awaken every 2-4 hours during the night and spend 20-30 minutes feeding while you struggle to keep your eyes open. You will be tired enough to sleep during the day. There is a minor corollary to #2 as well, which is to cuddle with the baby as you both nap. I’ve been told babyhood passes you by quicker than lightning, so I have been trying to savor these moments of cuddling. Besides, Gracie keeps me warm. :o)
5. Newborns are boring. No offense to anyone, but they are! They don’t smile or coo yet, unless they have serious gas, at which point you’re probably looking at the precursor to a really nasty diaper. Grace doesn’t seem to even realize I am there, although she does calm down when I hold her and she does focus on my face, but if there is something else more interesting to look at, which includes the mini-blinds in the living room, she does not notice me. But every so often, she’ll gaze into my eyes as I feed her, and it makes my heart melt.
6. Try your darnedest to breastfeed. The benefits to both you and the baby are amazing. But most importantly — the poop of breastfed babies doesn’t stink!! Grace’s poop certainly does, and because I use cloth diapers, I now have the extraordinarily fun task of rinsing the diapers in the toilet before they go into the diaper pail.
7. Enjoy your baby — they’re only this little once! :o)