Parenting- My 2 cents...

When I was pregnant with my first baby people gave me all sorts of advice about being a parent. So, I thought I was well prepared to take on the challenges of parenthood. Boy was I wrong. With my second, I came armed with the knowledge from my first and thing went smoothly. Currently I see lots of friends and family around me that either have babies or about to have them, so I thought I would put together my own personal list of advice on being a new parent, or just on dealing with those 1st few days...

There is a good chance some of this advice might not apply to you. But more information is always best in my opinion. 

* It's much easier to deal with night feedings if you're nursing. My daughter can find her "food source" in pitch darkness.....even when I'm asleep.  With bottle feeding, you need to get up, heat up bottle, sit up and feed baby......I think I would have gone crazy doing that. 

* Don't be embarrassed if your child has a tantrum in public. Most people don't even notice. 

* Spontaneity in your life will grind to a halt.  No more "just grab 2 outfits and drive out of town for the weekend". You now have to pack and plan for so many what-ifs....what if he poops, what if he gets a fever on the NJ Turnpike, What if he spits up on my nice top, what if we get stuck on the highway in the winter.....

* Kiss spontaneity in the bedroom goodbye.....for a while.

* When you go to the hospital (if you end up there), you will have hopefully one nurse out of the endless parade who is just awesome.....remember her/his name.....thank them later with a gift. 

* Get ready for "what-I- think-is-best-for-baby arguments" with your partner. 

* Write/record/photograph the important moments.  You might think you will remember it all, yet, they all fade because there are so many quirks that appear and then pass through even in a year. 

* You must keep a journal for each child. I do this and feel it will be the best present for them for when they come of age. I write an entry on each of their journals a few times a month. 

* If you are the one always taking pictures, make sure you make others take pictures of you with your baby. 

* Wait for 2-3 days to take pictures of baby......they get their best color after being out for a few days. 

* My hubby and I saved $884/year on putting Nora on washable diapers. We use the Bum Genius brand; it's one-size-fits-all, expandable, and has strong durable Velcro tabs. When we use them, we place the inserts on top, no in the pocket it comes with as indicated. And....I made extra inserts with extra cotton baby blankets we had laying around. My hubby washes off poop which helps.....I could not do it otherwise.  

* One thing I wish I'd ask for at my baby shower was "babysitting coupons". 

* At the hospital prefer you not do this, you can always have the baby room with you after birth......I had Nora in bed with me the entire time I was there the day after my c-section. It broke my heart to have her in the baby room screaming her head off. 

* If you are exhausted and need more sleep in your day.....get a huge bed and bring in baby with you....you both will sleep better.....oh, and about rolling over baby.....unless you are dead drunk, or drugged, I never worried about it. 

* Feeling like you are not getting anything done during those long nursing sessions and too much baby time?  rent some CD books on tape from your local library, rip them to your I-pod and relax.......

* As a pregnant woman you get all the attention.  Once baby comes, it's all about baby......Some women have a hard time with this......

* I wish with both my kids that I learned a lullaby that the baby would listen to and help baby relax.....oh well, next baby...

* Before baby is born decide on some new fun traditions you will add to your new growing family.....One we decided on was going to the Thanksgiving Day Parade each year and the photo of us there would be our X-mas photo for that year. 

* Don't waste your money on commercial photo places.....pics you take at home of your child in natural settings will always come out better!  

* YOU NEED a digital camera...you can take as many as needed to get the right shot....have it charged and ready nearby in case.....and save pics in folders labeled by month/year format ....(0902 is February 2009). You can back them up also by uploading them onto an online album such as Snapfish.com....(my favorite online photo place). 

* As much as you may want to quickly get to see how they'd be at 5, 8, 12.....21 and imagine all the fun things you'll be doing together then, put those thoughts aside and enjoy them as they are now......They'll never be this small again....Even tomorrow they will be one day older....

***The print above is a digital collage created by myself and could be purchased at my older Etsy store. 

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