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4Martini
Nov. 25, 2009, 01:39 PM
The stork is scheduled (as much as it can be) to visit us in two weeks. I'd love to hear stories/ advice from others when they brought home a baby. Also what you did/ wished you did on maternity leave!

Thanks!

FlashGordon
Nov. 25, 2009, 01:49 PM
Congrats, 4Martini!! Do you know what you are having?

We adopted our daughter in 2006, and she was released to us from the hospital 48 hours after birth. So while I didn't have any recovery, we were still dealing with newborn stuff.

One thing I wish we'd done was limit visitors. It seemed we had people in our house 24/7, who all wanted to hold baby and chat.... and it was exhausting. It's one thing to have a few family over, particularly to help you with meals, laundry, cleaning, etc. but hold off on the barrage of friends and extended family as long as you can! Or institute a policy that if they are going to come, they have to bring dinner or be helpful!!

Rest as much as you can! It is much easier for you and your SO to do 4-6 hours on your own and let the other one sleep, than both of you trying to stay away 24/7.

If you are doing formula, get one of those little containers that lets you pre-measure and just dump it into the bottle + water. They are great for when you are out and about and also at night when you are half asleep fumbling around. Also I did room temperature water... didn't want baby getting hooked on warm water, which can be tough to come by when you are out doing errands or something and need to give them a quick bottle.

Forget about minor details like cleaning, etc. as much as you possibly can... enjoy the time with your little family! It goes by so very quickly.

Wishing you a safe and easy delivery!

MyGiantPony
Nov. 25, 2009, 01:52 PM
Maternity leave? hahahahaha

When Seth wsa born, I owned a tack shop.

He was born on a Friday night. I was at the shop until I HAD to go to the hospital.

My sister covered it for me on Saturday.

I was normally closed on Sunday and Monday, so I was back to work on Tuesday, baby in tow.

He was socialized VERY young. Most of my customers wanted to hold him while I rang them up. :lol:

Erin Pittman
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:22 PM
I don't know if you're planning natural or C/S, but if C/S... GET UP AND WALK as soon and as often as you can. It'll hurt at first, but it will make life oh-so-much easier. I can't offer any advice about recovery from natural childbirth - sorry!

This may be TMI, but don't buy a nursing bra (if you plan to nurse that is) until several days after having the baby - your boobs will be gigantic and if you measure right away and buy one too soon, it'll be too big. Just use a "sleeping bra" at first - comfier anyhow.

We're now feeding formula (bf lasted 9 weeks with my twins) and found that we love the Dr. Brown's Mixing pitcher. You can mix a whole day's worth and keep it in the fridge. You also don't get little clumps of formula like you do if you just mix it in the bottle.

I don't know about limiting visitors - I guess it depends on your expectations. We had lots of visitors, but we made sure they *helped* when they came (laundry, sweeping the floor, bringing a meal, watching the babies while you shower or nap, etc.) - We didn't have to cook for about 3 weeks. :yes:

Get out and about and take the bambino. I went to an event 3 weeks post-delivery and took my twins. Walking the XC course took me a lot longer than normal, but we did it! It's nice to get out for a change of scenery. I think that the more you get them out, the more likely you will be to have a well-adjusted baby in terms of traveling. But maybe my twins are just exceptional travelers (:D).

Enjoy every minute of your maternity leave because it will FLY by and your baby will be changing so much in that time. I'm back at work now (in my 3rd week since coming off maternity leave) and I miss being home soooooo much.

If you don't already have it, buy The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. If you have a fussy baby, it will help you figure out how to soothe him/her. Buy it and watch it before the baby's born so you know what to do right away. I also bought Swaddle-Me's - much easier than swaddling with a receiving blanket (though the nurses will show you how to do that, too).

Be prepared for doing more laundry than you ever imagined possible. I think I do a load of baby stuff every other day. They spit up (and when they're really young - pee) on their clothes and you'll probably find yourself going through a couple outfits a day.

I'm sure I could think of more, but in case you didn't know, babies kill brain cells and my mind is a blank.

Good luck and ENJOY your new little bundle of joy!!! :)

Guin
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:25 PM
You want anyone who asks to bring you FOOD - REAL food that you can put in the freezer and microwave later, like casseroles, stew, stuff like that. Grocery shopping and cooking are highly incompatible with a newborn baby, plus if you're breastfeeding you're going to be starving all the time.

Also, if you don't have one yet, a battery-powered SWING is essential after the baby is about 4 weeks old. Babies just love them, and it gives you a safe place to put the baby down while you get a cup of coffee or let the dog out.

Erin Pittman
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:32 PM
OK - I realize you're not having twins like me, but here's a really useful thread about *stuff* on a twins forum I'm on:
http://www.twinstuff.com/forum/index.php?/topic/145590-most-useless-product-for-you-in-the-first-year/

goodhors
Nov. 25, 2009, 03:27 PM
Give your baby a bottle every day. Even with BF, you can save some milk for him. They WILL NOT drink from a bottle if you never feed them from a bottle. This can be rather important when you have to leave baby with someone else for a time. Or you get back late and Dad needs to feed him before your arrival. Especially important if you are going back to work, will be leaving him in daycare, he must take a bottle for them. I let Dad take the 2A feeding, with the bottle!

My boys put themselves on a 2hr schedule, while the girl went to 4hr almost immediately, in feeding times. I waited the full six months, before doing the cereal and food thing. Had no sensitivities with anything, which I think was from not rushing them. I didn't do the fruit juice and water stuff either. If baby was hungry they got formula when very small. Studies have shown giving the variety of drinks, will cause other nutritional lacks, low weight gain for age, because baby can only hold so much. Not getting enough food, with the other drinks filling them up.

I used the Nuk nipples and those modern types, which encourage baby to use his jaw muscles more than regular bottle nipples do. With the odd hole on one side, the baby uses his tongue and squirts his drinks up to his palate, rather than choking as drink shoots down his throat. The Nuk types are like BF in how baby gets his drinks, promote proper tongue use so baby is more likely to be better at talking when the time comes. Sounds silly I know, but does seem to work.

I used Distilled water for the baby formula. No problems from several babies because of water changes when you had to take them anyplace. NOT spring water, but the Distilled water, available at grocery stores.

They sell bottle heaters that plug into the lighter on your vehicle for any outing. I would NOT be feeding a tiny baby room temp formula. Hospitals heat the bottles so they are more acceptable to babies. Not sure about colicing and barfing, but sucking down cold stuff probably does not help. Most formula, is NOT nice tasting anyway, warming makes it more palatable, mixes better if using powdered.

The battery powered swings can be a LIFE SAVER! My babies LOVED being swung for long times, battery lasted forever. I took a catnap! However they seem to quit liking it after a while, can't remember the time, six months? Maybe sooner. Just do not want it anymore.

Dr. will probably caution about visitors. Do listen, and limit company, even if you have to be mean and they are FAMILY. YOU need more rest to heal, baby doesn't need all the germ exposure at such a young age. You may love everyone, but you MUST protect baby for some growing and immune developing time. Company, even with gifts, is stressful for a while after birth time.

Always pack at LEAST two outfits to go places, with spare diapers in the vehicle. Mine always used more clothing on outings! Many cute little bibs for the drooly faces, mine always wore a bib until about 3yrs! I HATE dirty faces, runny noses and drool, bib let me wipe them off often. Cute hand towels for self protection, over your shoulder when you carry baby. Drool and barf does NOT come out, stains, unless you put clothing to soak IMMEDATELY.

I tried to not let mine cry, could not stand the noise. Baby seemed to understand, gave the warning squeal, then listened for me or someone to come answer. They didn't scream and carry on like some babies! Answering the call fast, seemed to work most of the time, so crying badly was a sign of problem, often ear infection. I never did let them "cry it out". That sound just gets on your last nerve, in about 1 minute! Which is what it is designed to do, so you FIX baby's problem!!

Listen to the offered advice, but choose carefully what to use, just like with your horse!

You will learn MANY interesting things as you go along with baby, then child. Gives you NEW EYES as they see things for the first time!

I hope you have a short, EASY delivery. Practice your breathing ahead, does make it easier. Husband or SO at hand to rub your sore back is REALLY helpful in labor. Take hand cream if they have calloused hands or they can rub you sore! Blessings on your expected arrival, enjoy your time with them to the max. Hope your baby is as nice as mine were. Made everything so MUCH easier as we learned about parenting.

EqTrainer
Nov. 25, 2009, 03:37 PM
Seriously?

Get a nightime nanny :lol: All children IMO should come w/one. The lack of sleep was brutal. Neither of my kids slept much until they were over 6 months old. I have fibromyalgia now, which is possibly related to a lack of sleep for an extended period of time. Nice, huh?

Ok, I know that no one does, most people can't, but if I could do it all over again...

I'd pump milk and someone else would have fed them bottles at night.

Otherwise, I have never been so bored in all my life. The house was spotless, the food was cooked.. good god, what DO people do all day who don't have horses to take care of? Other than enjoying their wee selves, it was boring as hell.

petesperson
Nov. 25, 2009, 03:53 PM
It's been 12 years since the last one and I forget most of the wee baby era, but I do remember one suggestion from a childbirth instructor: stay in your nightgown all day during the first several weeks to remind visitors that you're recovering physically and can't be expected to entertain them like a regular hostess.... this should help to keep the visits short. A related piece of advice, which the nightgown reminded me of: nap when the baby naps! Otherwise, you'll always be sleep deprived (unless your baby is an amazing sleeper... mine weren't).

Enjoy your time with them - little babies grow up fast!

867-5309
Nov. 25, 2009, 03:57 PM
If you are nursing, organize so you can eat while the baby is nursing. It sounds crazy but was my best shot at eating a meal without interruption. The trick is to get yours ready before you started feeding the baby.

We found co-sleeping was effective rather than the baby separate in a crib. It helped w/the sleep deprivation. When I woke to feed the baby at least it wasn't full on up walking around heating bottles then having to try to get back to sleep. Co-sleeping is not for everyone and some dr's don't recommend it so do your homework.

The Happiest Baby On the Block book was GREAT as recommended to you upthread. Dr Harvey Carp (Karp?) his swaddling technique is grrreat! Best wishes.

hey101
Nov. 25, 2009, 04:19 PM
Seriously?

Otherwise, I have never been so bored in all my life. The house was spotless, the food was cooked.. good god, what DO people do all day who don't have horses to take care of? Other than enjoying their wee selves, it was boring as hell.

:lol::lol:
I agree! In fact I was so bored that I had my daughter in the jogging stroller when only a few weeks old so we could go out to the barn and go for walks on the trails around my house. They tell you not to put the kid in the car seat/ jogging stroller combo until it's about 12 weeks old (something about their neck muscles), but I figure- if the kid can ride in the car in the car seat, why can't she ride in the same exact car seat attached to the jogging stroller while I"m pushing it? Sure didn't do her any harm- she rolled over at 8 weeks, sat up at 4 months, crawled at 6, and walked at 9 mo. ;)

My advice- no matter how daunting it seems and how unorganized you feel at first, pack up that diaper bag, and GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Because if you are like me you will go INSANE if you are stuck in the house all day. Even if you go to the mall for an hour or go get a cup of coffee at Starbucks. The first few outings by myself with baby sucked. I forgot stuff, I didn't have stuff I even knew I needed, getting all that shit in and out of the car (someone told me pre-baby that getting the baby out of hte house was like packing for a horse show every day- once I had that analogy I was fine!). But just do it. Soon it will be so easy that you won't think twice about it.

My other advice echos someone else- listen to all offered advice, but at the end of the day you do what seems best for you and your baby.

Congrats!

winfieldfarm
Nov. 25, 2009, 04:30 PM
I had a spontaneously early birth of my baby 8 weeks early. 3lbs 14 oz! He was totally healthy, just little. 3 weeks in the NICU.
Wasn't even packed, no nursing bras, nothing. Pack early, be prepared!

And don't send your hubby to the store to buy a nursing bra when you wake up after labor with giant boobs! He won't get one that's big enough.

I really loved our baby tub that had the little hammock hanging in the water for infants. Lets you be hands free without worrying about infant slipping into the water. Hammock detaches when baby is bigger.

DEFINATELY nap when the babe naps.

Great crib tip- buy two or three sets of waterproof crib mattress pads and fitted crib sheets. Layer up the crib mattress with all the sets of pads and sheets.

Why? because when little bambino pukes in the middle of the night, you simply pull off sheet and pad #1 and voila - clean, dry sheet and pad underneath. Our son would cry so hard he would puke if you weren't fast enough.

Dunsten Baby Language - (sp) look it up. Australian lady I think, that I saw on Oprah once. She has remarkable auditory memory and discovered a baby language of infants to 6 month olds. All babies communicate their wants through about 6 sounds. If you can identify the pre-cry sounds you can satisfy baby's needs long before they get crazy crying, saving everyone's nerves.

Oh and went you go into labor, if you aren't already, start taking big doses of stool softener. Trust me, that first time you poop, you do not want to be straining.

Erin Pittman
Nov. 25, 2009, 06:58 PM
Even better than layering crib sheets and pads is The Ultimate Crib Sheet. Snaps in over the regular sheet/pad and all you have to do if there's an accident is unsnap and wash, leaving the clean sheet/pad below.

Reynard Ridge
Nov. 25, 2009, 07:16 PM
Scheduled c-section, so I hired a day nurse for the first week. Relatives were ordered to STAY AWAY. Seriously, I had no idea what I was doing and did not want a single person I knew poking around while I was trying to work it out (I had never actually held a baby before I had one). I had met with the day nurse a bit before the baby was born, and she and I had agreed she would coach me, keep the house clean, cook, shop, do laundry and any baby care that I wasn't up for.

After a week, all friends, family were invited in, and we had settled in pretty well. :yes:

Agree with WALK as much as possible! By week two wee child #1 was strapped into car seat that fitted into jogging stroller and we were hiking up and down the hills. I had books on tape that I listened to, and was working on many projects at the time (selling house, buying farm, trying to sell my horse), so no time for boredom!!

I also HIGHLY RECOMMEND any local baby groups that you have time to join. There was one that met at my hospital for new moms; you were welcome to come in whatever condition you were in (people seriously came in their pjs, hair uncombed, and were offered kindness and support). Although I secretly made fun of the pretentious chick who named her kid "Greyson." :lol:

Also agree with posters who suggest making sure baby can eat from bottle. Both of mine were breastfed with formula supplement. They would eat from (TMI!) me, breast milk from the bottle and formula from the bottle. Proved invaluable for extra sleep when mom would come do night duty, when we were traveling, and that nightmare time when I was hospitalized for a day and my husband had sole custody of three month old baby. :dead: Thank goodness the young man was flexible!!!

Edited to add: I hear there are babies who are not flexible; I was luck enough to have had two that were. Part of it is personality, I think; both of my children are quite easy going - if you CAN, though, try to get them used to the idea that food can come in different forms.

So, good luck!

deltawave
Nov. 25, 2009, 07:37 PM
Lots of good advice, but I will add mine briefly:

Go back and read all of the above, and remove the words "ALWAYS" and "NEVER" because unless you're talking about loving and cuddling on the one hand, or smoking or shaking babies on the other, these words just don't really have any place in parenting. :)

Babies have been brought up every which way, for eons. It's like feeding/grooming/blanketing/wrapping a horse--many right ways, few wrong ways, and you'll figure out your OWN way. Take well-intended advice, glean what you need, and leave the rest.

Best of luck! :)

PhoenixFarm
Nov. 25, 2009, 07:47 PM
My wee one was born Oct. 9, via c-section, and I just got back from my "you're all healed, feel free to return to your life" Dr.'s appt.

I had the pregnancy from hell, so everything about the birth and caring for my baby have been a dang walk in the park compared to the last ten months. However, a few tips:

(and btw, it's funny how much advice varies--half the stuff people up above have said not to do, or that they were told not to do, is all stuff I was told to do, LOL, so just remember that).

Definitely get out of the house. I can't tell you what a mental health break that's been for me--especially as I was confined for most of the pregnancy. If you are going to a public place, pile blankets up on the wee one so to keep friendly folks from touching, or breathing to much on him (nurse gave me that tip).

Also, if you are dong bottles, not only would I do room temperature, but I'd do various temps--because you WILL be someplace inconvenient and need to feed them, and you may not have the setup to get them just so.

Be prepared for people to feel free to talk to you or at you, offering all sorts of unsolicited advice, and generally getting all up in your grill about totally inane things. This weeks highlight, a guy stopping next to my car while putting the sleeping baby in to it and announcing loudly to his girlfriend, that "That baby may be sleeping now, but next year when the government makes that lady put a new muffler on her car because it's too quiet (I have a hybrid) that baby will never sleep in the car again. Poor little guy" And then, his message of doom delivered, he wandered off. I was like :confused::confused::confused::confused:

I've also been told if I don't feed him organic food he will be brain damaged. That the fact I can't breast feed will make him a sociopath, and that if I really love my child, I'll make sure he's billingual. :confused::confused::confused::confused:

I wanted my family (parents and siblings) visiting and helping, BUT I did find myself overcome with a crazy momma lion protective instinct when it came to just about anybody else. I didn't want anyone not related by blood touching him. It was very weird, and very unlike me, so be prepared for some weird hormonal behavior.

Don't be afraid to let your husband help. If he's anything like mine, he'll want to, but not want to step on your toes. As soon as I opened that door, he's been sharing feedings, taking him for walks, etc.

Ditto the swing--you should also look into a baby bjorn (kills my shoulders but it's an instant fix for a crying baby, and you can actually accomplish stuff with it on), and I also like the vibrating chair my friend gave me.

Enjoy this time. They grow like weeds.

Pics of my guy can be found here:

www.phoenixsporthorses.com/page14/page14.html (http://www.phoenixsporthorses.com/page14/page14.html)

west5
Nov. 25, 2009, 08:02 PM
Babies have been brought up every which way, for eons. It's like feeding/grooming/blanketing/wrapping a horse--many right ways, few wrong ways, and you'll figure out your OWN way. Take well-intended advice, glean what you need, and leave the rest.

Best of luck! :)

Ditto I will add - remember your baby has never had another mother.

He/she will not know if what you do is "wrong", your way whatever it turns out to be will be "right".

PNWjumper
Nov. 25, 2009, 08:38 PM
The only additional piece of advice I have to add is, if you can, hire someone to clean your house before you come home from the hospital. We straightened up but didn't do a serious deep clean before heading into town to the hospital (I guess I never got the real nesting tendency!). When I got home I walked into the door and burst into tears at what a mess the house was (hormones anyone? :lol:)....my housesitter hadn't exactly tidied up while she was there for the 3 days either. My mom and my husband spent the first 8 hours home CLEANING everything floor to ceiling.

I didn't care nearly as much with my second child, but then I tore pretty badly the first time around (sorry if that's tmi) and it was fairly traumatic coming home from the sterile hospital feeling like half of my body was shredded meat. And then, of course, having the newborn too.

Good luck with your delivery!:)

rideagoldenpony
Nov. 25, 2009, 08:47 PM
Remember that those first few days/weeks, you are coming down off of a mountain of hormones. That can make for some weepy moments.

Your milk will likely come in around day 3. You'd really rather not have company on that day. Trust me.

Limiting visitors, especially during this current flu season, while the baby is really tiny is smart. It is also HARD, so I'm sure you'll be trying to think of tactful things to say.

Newborns often want to sleep during the day and be more awake at night. Until your baby gets days and nights sorted out, don't forget to nap when the baby does. Sleep deprivation is hard on everyone.

Enjoy every minute. It doesn't last very long at all.

4Martini
Nov. 25, 2009, 09:19 PM
Thanks everyone for your well wishes and advice!

We decided to keep the sex of the baby a suprise- I'm getting really excited to find out and meet the little one.

Mrs. Smith
Nov. 25, 2009, 09:53 PM
It's been 12 years since the last one and I forget most of the wee baby era, but I do remember one suggestion from a childbirth instructor: stay in your nightgown all day during the first several weeks to remind visitors that you're recovering physically and can't be expected to entertain them like a regular hostess.... this should help to keep the visits short. A related piece of advice, which the nightgown reminded me of: nap when the baby naps! Otherwise, you'll always be sleep deprived (unless your baby is an amazing sleeper... mine weren't).

Enjoy your time with them - little babies grow up fast!

I love this advice and will remember it next time. (My neighbor dropped off his middle school-aged daughter unannounced a few times!)

Our hospital encouraged us to take just about everything in my hospital room that wasn't locked down and I'm glad we listened to them. Even though I thought my nursery was organized, it was nice to have a supply of diapers and wipes handy when we got home. (Plus it was my first baby, so I didn't realize how many supplies I needed for myself! The hospital sent me home with enough that I didn't have to go out shopping for a few days.)

We bought a La-Z-Boy for the nursery and it's my favorite nursery purchase - comfy for feeding and also napping close to the little one.

Receiving blankets are so versatile. I always pack a few extra in the diaper bag. My daughter liked to be swaddled in them, I used them for spit-up clean-up and diaper changing pads.

As for going back to work, I just went back in October and was glad I did a daycare test run one day the week before I started. I got my hair done and some errands run, and it gave her teachers a chance to get to know her while I was still close enough to stop by, if necessary. Turned out to be unnecessary, though.

Also, if you're paying for childcare, see if your employer has pretax flex-spending for dependent care costs.

We have to label all of her bottles for daycare and I bought a Brother P-Touch label maker for the task. I handwash her bottles and they have held up really well.

I wish I would have changed my cell phone plan and gotten more minutes when the baby was born. We don't have a house phone and I had lots of people calling to ask about the baby. I loved to talk with friends and family, but went over my plan for the first time in years.

hey101
Nov. 25, 2009, 11:57 PM
Remember that those first few days/weeks, you are coming down off of a mountain of hormones. That can make for some weepy moments. .

OMG SO TRUE!! Our awesome neighbors who have become our close friends showed up at our house to bring us baby gifts and I burst in to tears because it was "too much" having people there so soon (SO UNLIKE ME). And they are the most low-key laid back people ever. With four kids of their own so they got it. I hid in our bedroom until I talked myself down off that ledge while my hubby hung with them.


Your milk will likely come in around day 3. You'd really rather not have company on that day. Trust me. .

SO TRUE!



Enjoy every minute. It doesn't last very long at all.

SO TRUE!

arizona101
Nov. 26, 2009, 02:00 AM
My little guy just turned 6 months old and he was born Via C/Section. I agree with the advice of getting up and moving as much as possible. We did have visitors but most were considerate and did not stay too long. I dont have a "real job" per say but I teach the beginner lessons at my farm and had a hard time staying away too long and went back to teaching at about 3 afternoons a week after he was 11 days old. I was bored to death and really struggled with turning my horses and farm over to someone else while I was away on maternaty leave. Plus I wanted to be out of the house.

Just enjoy your little one as much as possible! They grow so fast!

rideagoldenpony
Nov. 26, 2009, 02:01 AM
One more thing.... cloth diapers (purchased new for the occasion) make wonderful burp cloths and are a super duper thing to have plenty of around. Babies can be messy little creatures!

MDLawGirl
Nov. 26, 2009, 06:12 AM
Even better than layering crib sheets and pads is The Ultimate Crib Sheet. Snaps in over the regular sheet/pad and all you have to do if there's an accident is unsnap and wash, leaving the clean sheet/pad below.

Will second the vote for this little invention. LOVE the Ultimate Crib Sheet and still use them.

thatmoody
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:14 AM
Pee in the shower - it hurts. Plus that way you get to take a shower.

I did stay in my nightgown for like 8 weeks - I even fed the horses in my nightgown with baby in a sling. My mare was a saint at the time and LOVED the baby, and I loved remembering that I had horses and a life before the baby :D. After she was a bit older I'd put her playpen under a tree and ride my mare or work with my colt while my neighbor mowed my yard and kept an eye on us - I loved my neighbor, too - he and his wife were older and really took care of us.

I had bad postpartum depression, trouble breastfeeding, had to see a psychologist, and was totally miserable - don't be afraid to ask for help if you have difficulty; I wouldn't have made it through without Zoloft and La Leche. Oh, and she had colic, too - babyhood to me is something to be endured rather than enjoyed, but don't believe that if you don't bond then that you won't have a good relationship, because we have a GREAT relationship now - she's 14 and we're not having that typical teenage crap, even. She's been a joy to me and I adore her.