I wanted to compile some of the best tips and advice I've gotten in the last couple months because some of these have been really fantastic (some of what I've gotten is not helpful or borderline rude so I'm just skipping over those). These are tips from other moms and one brave dad. If you have any to share, I'd love to hear it and then quickly write it down so I don't forget.
- Skip the ottoman. For one friend, this turned into an extra seat if it was being used at all or simply took up extra space in the nursery. So find a comfortable glider or rocker but skip the foot rest.
- Whether you get a rocker, glider, or some wild contraption that will be popular soon, get something with enough height to rest your head. Babies are a blessing but at 3 am, rest is a beautiful thing as well. I’m pretty sure I’ll be trying to sleep while standing come December so I love this tidbit.
- Get a diaper bag that can stand up on its own and won’t slouch or fall over. This way you avoid items shifting all around (my keys already play hide-n-seek with me and I’m pretty sure I don’t want the baby wipes hiding after a blow out - yes, I’ve already assumed our child will have regular blows outs). You especially want to avoid milk or any other liquids spilling.
- If the child has a favorite blanket or toy, get a back up or maybe three back ups if you have a dog. To this day, Alan and I each have our childhood stuffed animals. I nearly lost mine when Mackenzie tried to remove most of BooBoo’s face. Having a backup for something that precious might just save a broken heart.
- Go to the bathroom when you can. Yup, I just got real serious and brought up the bathroom but we’re friends now, right? This tip includes doing the big business which often slows down during pregnancy. In “The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy” the author recommends going when you think you can so you don’t miss the opportunity. I might or might not fear constipation more than a detainment in Guantanamo so I am taking this tip seriously.
- Even if you know you would not alter your pregnancy, still have the nuchal translucency exam. Just for the simple fact that you get another sonogram of the baby.
- Start reading “What to Expect: The First Year” now. Don’t wait until you’re a fresh, new parent, sleep deprived, and completely mystified by a new poop texture to start reading (oh boy, back to the poop again).
- It’s ok to let the baby cry. This comes to me from advice my grandmother told my parents. She cited benefits such as patience in the child and building their lungs. She also had six children so someone in there definitely shed some tears and was not assisted right away. I’m not sure about the lung building part. However, after reading “Bringing Up Bebe” there is some very interesting truth to the patience piece. Babies that can self sooth, put themselves back to sleep or entertain themselves even for brief periods seem to also be the babies that don’t require the “cry it out” method (or at least not the thirty minute, heart wrenching "cry it out"). And let’s face it, I’m not tough enough nor do we have a big enough space for this method. So the idea of letting the baby cry for very brief moments in the first weeks, rather than swoop in before they have the chance to self sooth, seems logical and promising.