But we've all found out way. :-)
I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned and maybe it'll help you if your expecting your first (or second, or third!) to know of some things that might help you in the future!
- Hiccups. Its something every child will get. Sure they don't enjoy it (especially babies) and neither do we when we see them get upset when they don't go away as quickly as they 'think' they should! Something I read on another blog/website (can't remember where) and I was like yeah right but it actually works!!!! SUGAR! Whenever Makayla would get the hiccups when she was a baby, I'd either dip her pacifier or my finger in some sugar and pop it in her mouth for a second. It doesn't take much, they like it (of course!), and for me anyways, it worked like a charm every...single...time!
- Speaking of which, I learned to keep extra sugar in my diaper bag for 'hiccup emergencies' because it worked so well (and the fact that Makayla got them a lot). Best tip for you momma's out there, next time your in a restaurant, grab a few sugar packets thats on your table and toss them in your bag. Perfect amount and doesn't cost you anything!
- Along with the hiccups comes tummy aches from time to time. When your breastfeeding, you find out quickly that sometimes certain foods you eat will affect your baby and give them a sour tummy. For me, I had to stay clear of lemonade. For others, it spicy foods, chocolate, or anything from a-z basically. Its a matter of figuring it out as you go along the journey. But..a must have is GRIPE WATER. Its fabulous stuff, all natural, and works brilliantly. I kept a bottle in my bag, at my mom's house, and at home. Nuff said.
- If you do plan on breastfeeding (which I think is awesome, btw), know that it takes some time to get the hang of things. Don't give up too soon. Every mother I've known thats breastfed had a hard time at some point in time or another. But it does get easier. For me in particular, I was doing pretty well until we took a mini vacation when Makayla was 5 weeks old. Having to breastfeed in the rental car (with no tinted windows, mind you!) in crowded parking lots quickly became VERY hard. So, I decided to pump and give her a bottle of breastmilk. Worked great! Only problem, when we got back home and back into our normal routine, she wanted a bottle and not me! You may be thinking, 'oh thats not so bad, at least you wouldn't have to worry about breastfeeding in public anymore', oh no honey. Pumping exclusively = double work. Its something you will not have the time for (or energy). Think about it, do you really want to get up in the middle of the night to feed your baby a bottle, burp her, and get her back to sleep, only then to have to pump for 20 minutes before you can go back to bed? So what was my solution?
This was my #1 must have while breastfeeing. If you do enough research on these, a lot of websites/blogs will tell you that you shouldn't use them for very long because it can make your milk supply get low. I am going to tell you that I used this from the time that Makayla was between 6-7 weeks old and 16 months old (when she self-weaned)!! It did not dimish my supply in the least and if it hadn't been for the nipple shield, I don't honestly know what I would have done or if I could have continued breastfeeding. Thank you Target.
And some other things I learned, but most people probably already know (I counted myself as extremely on the dumb side when I stepped into motherhood because I had never been around babies but maybe 3% of my life)....
- Babies like to be warm. As in, it can be 100 degrees outside, but they'd still prefer to be in long clothes (while inside an A/C house that is). Of course, you wouldn't want them to be overly warm if you were outside...
- Do what works for you and forget what everyone else tells you. YOU are their mother, not the world!
- If you breastfeed, drink lots and lots and lots of water. More liquids=more milk. :-)
- When your baby starts solids, be prepared. Their diapers will change (you know what I'm talking about!). Don't freak out! Get some baby pear juice (not apple, its binding!!), works like a charm and tastes better than prune.
- If someone wants to help, let them! Don't ever pass up the opportunity for someone to cook you a meal or clean your house if they offer. Because lets face it, it won't last!
- Rest when you can.
- Get a sleep sheep, its a great thing to help a baby get to sleep.
- Go with the flow (and I'm not talking breastfeeding here..lol), now that my baby is a toddler, I have to pick my battles. Everything is a lesson. If she wants to make a mess, let her. But she's also got to learn that she'll have to pick it up.
- I still use my shopping cart cover to this day and recommend you get one and I'll tell you why. Germs. Last year, I wasn't able to get Makayla a flu shot. I was digilent about using my cover all..the...time. She never got sick. I'm not saying thats 100% why, but I do believe they help!
- And finally, enjoy this time in your lives. Your baby is just a baby once (no matter how hard you want to wish they'll stay little forever!). Hold them, snuggle them, and take lots and lots of pictures. Trust me, you won't regret it one minute. :-)