Some Unsolicited Advice From One New Mommy To Another
1. Fuck Nursing Bras. Seriously. Find a comfy sports bra or bralette, a tank with a shelf bra, whatever. Basically anything you can pull down and whip your boob out of easily and don't need to mess with clasps at 4 am when you cant even open your eyes, let alone maneuver a god damn engineerial feat. Plus, they're way more comfortable on your abused boobies than traditional nursing bras, so you can sleep in them. Trust me, your giant, overused boobs will appreciate the nighttime support.
2. Invest in like 4-6 (depending on how often you do laundry) of the giant 47 x 47 in muslin swaddling blankets. My favorites are here and here. Then follow this youtube link to double swaddling. (For the record, I stop at the double swaddle, I don't put babe in a sleep sack as well..mostly because I am always freezing and keep my heat around 71-72) ..... Anyway, it will save your life. No joke. I (and hence...baby) was sleeping for 6-8 hour stretches at roughly 6 weeks (when I discovered this miraculous little baby oragami trick)
3. One item that you could live without, but shouldn't? ( If you like freedom anyway... ) Is the rock n' play sleeper (or a variation of said item). I used this little gem every single day, throughout the day, for the first 4 (ish) months of baby's life. It's super light and portable - think like one hand portable, since your clinger monkey baby will be attached to the other arm for a solid year or so. You can put it in the bathroom so you can take a shower, brush your teeth, etc....you can take it outside, baby can nap in it, or chill for a minute while you (ahem) relieve yourself....or throw in some laundry, what have you. Once baby can sit up, this little gem isn't safe for the nugget to play in, so it's in storage after that... but those first few months..ahhhhh. Lovely.
4. Consider a diaper delivery service. There are plenty out there for whatever diapering style you so choose. We here at the wild purple are quite fond of Jessica Alba's Honest brand diapers and products. Plant based, eco friendly AND ridiculously cute?! Oh, Jess..... you had us at biodegradeable. A few other mommas have shared love for the gdiapers, diapers.com, and amazonmom.com, among others. I promise you, getting any kind of diaper delivered to your door automatically once a month (and getting email alerts about it) is one less thing you need to worry about and thus, allows you to focus your (incredibly limited) energy elsewhere.
5. Since we're on the subject of diapers - just dress your kiddo in onesies and leggings when you're at the house. Easiest diaper changes ever. No pants = no problem.
6. Find and join (or create!) a group of other moms in your area. Share your stories, worries, advice, etc. Vent until your little heart is content, or just read what others have to say. It feels SO GOOD to know that other moms are going through the same things you are, that they have the same concerns, thoughts, heartaches, and triumphs. There are a number of facebook groups out there like this, look for one specifically in your area. A lot of the time the groups will have play dates, so you can meet the fellow momma's in your area. Even if you'd rather remain just a name, it's nice to have somewhere to get advice that isn't from your friends/family and is from moms who have been there.
7. Bind your belly. Right away. Like the day you leave the hospital. There are specifically designed belly binding wraps that you can purchase. (I'm fond of amazon.. (options!) but you can google specific sites - please read reviews!!) Spanx work too - especially if you already have them. Binding your belly is an ancient practice, and helps your organs to find their way back to where they belong. It is thought to help your belly muscles tighten up and help with postpartum bleeding and cramping. If nothing else, sucking all of that "baby space'' up in to a tight little elastic casing does wonders for your self esteem (when you decide to actually put on clothes and get out of sweatpants and hoodies), while you work on taking care of that nugget. (Let your momma body rest and recover before you go balls to the wall trying to get back your 20-something body... (hahahahahaha)... sigh.)
8. Speaking of post baby bodies. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, go clothes shopping for AT LEAST a few months after you have that little bundle of joy. Unless of course, you like crying in dressing rooms at kohls. Then, whatever.... knock yourself out. Don't bother weighing yourself either for like, at least 3 months. You aren't Kate Middleton (sorry) and unless you have a nanny watching your kiddo for 3 hours everyday so you can go to the gym, you aren't gonna have a six pack. The weight WILL come off. Eat right, don't be lazy, give it time, and don't be so hard on yourself. Your body just did some pretty amazing things.
9. Make sure your partner (if you are lucky enough to have one) knows EXACTLY what it's like to take care of that little creature for a full 24-48 hours (you can be there... because God knows men are helpless) but let him take the reins and don't help him unless he NEEDS you to, (or unless baby isn't safe!...let's hope that's not the case.) Let go. Put some ear plugs in. Take a long shower. Let the baby cry and let him figure it out, let him feed her, swaddle her, change diapers, rock her to sleep, let him get up 5 times in the middle of the night and feel like a zombie throughout the next day. Let it happen. Let him FEEL how hard it is to do what you do, day after day. You can tell him what it's like 100 times, but until he does it himself he won't understand (did I mention - men are dense?). Your man will respect you so much more after he realizes what you go through AND, hey, maybe he will like it, and take some of the responsibility on himself once in a while.
10. Last, and most importantly... Don't take anyone else's advice. Be polite, nod your head (tell them to go fuck themselves, in your head of course), and then do whatever you want. EVERYONE is going to give you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Especially when you are a first time mom. Realize they think they are helping you. It's annoying sometimes, but MOST of the time, their advice is coming from a good place. No one else knows what is best for YOUR child. YOU are the mother, you are STRONG, and you are CAPABLE. Trust your intuition, and your heart. Make educated decisions, believe in yourself, and love those little humans with everything you have, and you will not fail.
GOOD LUCK MOMMA!