Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What To Expect, For Real

If you're a new parent or you're going to be one soon, there are some things you should know. If your baby has already arrived, you now know that your life has been irrevocably changed. If you're still waiting for the little one's arrival, then you are about to find out just how much your life will never be the same again. It took me awhile to figure some things out, despite my best intentions. I know with certainty that there's plenty more I haven't figured out yet. Here are a few things I wish I had known from the beginning.
  1. Nursing is hard and it hurts a lot. This is not to discourage anyone, but rather just to make you aware. Because I had no idea what the heck I was in for and it really really threw me for a loop. The good news is that it gets easier every day, and eventually it does stops hurting. And getting through those first couple super difficult months is so worth it. Also it's not terribly painful for everyone, but for me it was & I was not prepared at all for that. If I had been, maybe I would have stuck with it with Bethany and nursed Connor as well. I think with baby #4 it finally occurred to me to stop being a masochist and to utilize pain relievers to get through the really bad days. After you make it through the tough initial phase, breast feeding really is much easier than bottle feeding. If it's important to you, and you have a tough time getting started, don't give up. You won't regret it.
  2. Making baby food is easy. I used to see articles about, in my mind, over-achieving mothers, happily pureeing baby food, and I would skip past them, thinking to myself that that would take way too much time and effort. Again it took me 4 kids to actually try it. It's really just a matter of steaming and pureeing. I have a Magic Bullet for the pureeing part, and now they sell a Baby Bullet made especially for baby food. I've even seen a nifty gadget called the Baby Brezza that steams and purees. But a regular old vegetable steamer does the steaming part just fine, and I'm sure a plain old blender would suffice for the pureeing part. Homemade baby food is cheaper and the best part is knowing exactly what your baby is eating, with no additives.
  3. You can buy diapers on Amazon at a 30% discount if you sign up for their Subscribe and Save program. Basically you subscribe to automatic deliveries of diapers or other baby products at regular intervals (for example, every month, every 2 months, etc.). I normally don't like that sort of commitment, but you can easily log into your Amazon account at any time to change or cancel your subscription, and they notify you before sending another shipment. Sometimes the prices plummet even further. I just bought a box of 180 Luvs diapers size 4 for $25, delivered to my doorstep for free. Since prices on Amazon do often fluctuate, be sure to check to make sure the price is still right before your next shipment goes out. Also, just a note - not all items have the option of Subscribe and Save. If the item does offer that choice, it will be listed on the right side of the listing page under the price.
  4. Beware of accepting hand-me-downs or purchasing second hand when it comes to baby gear such as car seats and cribs. Car seats actually expire, and they should not be used after the expiration date (usually printed somewhere on the seat) for safety reasons. Also, car seats should be disposed of if they've been in an accident, even if they appear to be intact. Crib safety regulations have changed drastically over the years. Perhaps you've heard that cribs with drop down sides have recently been outlawed. Do yourself a favor and do an online search for recalls before using a second hand product. A reader sent me a link to this recall for ducduc cribs.
  5. Time really does fly at a much higher rate of speed once you become a parent. Savor, savor, savor! When my first born arrived, we were so excited and looked forward to each new phase with great anticipation. By baby #4 we finally started to get the hang of slowing down and enjoying the now instead of always looking forward to what the next stage would bring.
  6. There is something about the words "please quiet down, I have a headache" that is, for some mysterious reason, simply incomprehensible to kids of all ages. Just so you know.
I'm sure there are lots more items that could be added to this list. If you have something you'd like to add, be sure to leave a comment below.



DP said...

Great post, it's always refreshing to hear from a mom her personal experiences :-)

Hip Chick's Guide to PMS, Pregnancy, and Babies

alyaia75 said...

Thanks for coming by and commenting!