If I Did It Again

So I’ve been thinking about the whole process leading up to having a baby and I thought it might be helpful to share what I look back on that I would have done differently with the 3.5 months of baby experience I have now. I thought it may be helpful to share since I know so many that are pregnant right now.

The first week: I thought I was going to be able to start cloth diapers right away. Turns out it takes a little while to heal and to feel like doing laundry. Had I known, I would have registered for a few things of newborn sized disposibles and wipes and probably a few newborn sized cloth diapers. It took a month for the Bum Genius 3.0s to fit him. If you’re set on cloth diapering, don’t let yourself feel guilty about temporarily using disposibles. You need time to rest and heal. That being said, do not expect to get anything done at first either. Cuddle your baby, rest, nap when baby naps and remember to eat.

Cloth diapers: I love the Bum Genius 3.0 but if I went back I would have registered for a variety of cloth diapers instead of just one. I find that different brands are appropriate for different situations. For example, SmartiPants are great for being out and about because you don’t have to pull the insert out when you get home. Prefolds are the cheapest. Bum Genius is the easiest transition to make from disposibles, and it turns out FuzziBuns has a fairly innovative method for sizing their AIO dipes…(more on that later). And I would have registered for cloth wipes (or made them if I had a serger).

Nursing: this was something I went into VERY blindly. I had no idea what I needed! Looking back now I would have taken the boppy to the hospital to help with the initial days of nursing. I would have brought lanolin for soothing the initial soreness and I would have registered for disposible nursing pads. I thought the lilypadz would be enough but they caused more of a problem for me! They are great if you don’t leak a lot, but it turns out I needed a more absorbant method than a barrier method. I also would have registered for nursing clothing – bras, tanks, shirts, etc. Also, make sure you have a heating pad for the day your milk comes in. Trust me, you will want it!

I also would have been more mindful of picking out maternity cloths that would be great transition clothes. Especially shirts that transition to nursing. I was very unprepared for my postpartum body.

What about the rest of you fairly new moms out there? What did you end up needing that came as a surprise for you?

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11 Comments

  1. Sapphire Lizard
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 8:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    As you’ve mentioned, I ended up needing a lot more sleep than I had expected. I didn’t follow the directions about “sleep when the baby sleeps.” I watched TV while the baby slept, which I quickly learned was not enough. I also went into nursing very blindly. If I had realized then how much help I needed, I would’ve spoken with the lactation consultant. (thankfully, that went a little bit better with my 2nd.) I also found myself in the same boat as you…being completely unprepared for my postpartum body. I’m not sure what I expected to happen, but I know I didn’t have much in the way of clothes that fit me.

    The one thing I didn’t have, that I wish I had was one of those Bungo Baby seats that you have. I don’t think they were selling those when my 1st was born. We had all sorts of bouncy seats and swings and such, but that thing would have been very helpful. 🙂

  2. Katie Rice
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 9:01 am | Permalink | Reply

    Dreft stain remover (maybe not a surprise, but relieved that someone had bought this for me), vaseline (for little red bottom-hers), and Mylicon gas relief (her doctor says it doesn’t do much except make parents feel like they are doing something- I agree!)
    Jude is 3.5 months already? Isn’t it amazing Beth how time just flies?

    • Elizabeth
      Posted October 7, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink | Reply

      Ahh good point on the stain remover! I use Biokleen Bac-Out and love it! It’s an odor eliminator too. We used gripe water for gas relief and Burt’s Bee diaper ointment for diaper rash… Although we haven’t had any diaper rash since we stopped using gdiapers and disposibles.

      It is amazing how time flies! I can get over how much has changed in 3.5 months!

      • Posted October 7, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

        A friend at work told me that rice water (boil rice – remove the rice & use the water) is a great gas relief remedy. Her son was colicky for months before she learned about it from her grandmother, and she said it worked wonders.

        She also told me that cornstarch is a great diaper rash remedy – and doesn’t have perfumes/etc. like the typical baby powders.

        Not speaking from personal experience, but I’ve logged a lot of her hints away for future reference!

  3. Posted October 7, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Ditto on the postpartum body thing. That was hard for sure (and still is, quite honestly).

    Also, I wish I would have relaxed a little more and trusted my gut. I was already crazy for doing cloth then (who knew that in two years cloth would kinda be cool?), but so many opinions were thrown at me about cosleeping, pushing the pacifier vs. thumb, getting the nightly routine down asap.

    You know what? All of those things worked out okay. I just wish I hadn’t been so rigid.

  4. charlotte333
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for the info! This is great. Though I’m wondering what makes maternity clothes more breast feeding friendly? Just buttons?

    • Elizabeth
      Posted October 8, 2009 at 8:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Basically any shirt that provides easy access. I have a couple shirts that were empire waisted (so good loose tummy coverage) and deep v-necked so you can pull each side off to the side without having to lift up the shirt. I wear a nursing tank with shirts like those for very easy access!

  5. Posted October 13, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience! My husband and I are praying about starting a family at some point in the near future and your advice is very helpful!!!

  6. Katherine
    Posted October 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Dido on not being prepared for the postpartum body. I actually was still retaining liquids after Nathan was born and had to drink Zen tea and believe it or not water boiled with the strings from the corn. It helped a lot and I was able to get back to not feeling so blowded. Of course the postpartum is still hard, I don’t understand my body anymore and it takes me hours to find cloth. I also wish I would’ve bought more cloth that would help me with breastfeeding. About the breastfeeding my grandma’ was the one that prepared me as much as she could…we have some old traditions that prepare your breasts for when the baby latches. Even then I still had to use the linolin. I also wish I would’ve been so naive about the pacifier vs. the thumb. Nathan still uses the pacifier but at first we were so against it. At the end of the day life and the baby just shows you that you just cannot plan everything but just be prepared and if something comes out differently than what you expected that day, it doesn’t matter go with the flow. The next day will be another day….at the end of the day they are our little bosses 🙂

  7. Posted December 25, 2009 at 7:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I, too, wish I would have brought lanolin to the hospital. I’d read up on breastfeeding and knew it would be more difficult than I could imagine, but it was a LOT more painful at first than I’d expected. I also was not prepared for just how unhappy my baby was for those first couple of days.

    I also wished I’d known, and been comfortable with, the idea that the first few weeks of having a baby are about survival. That is, you should not be expected to worry about spoiling the baby or getting anything done. You do your best to make the baby happy and make you happy at the same time. If that means co-sleeping, neglecting the house, and using disposables, so be it. I didn’t want to co-sleep, but I did for the first 7 weeks, and I know I got TONS more sleep that way, and it was a fine transition to get her to her crib in her own room.

    Also, I wished we’d started the cloth diapers sooner. I had my whole stash of BGs, but wanted to use up the newborn sized disposables first. My baby slept on her stomach from the beginning, and the disposables ALWAYS leaked out her front. I naively assumed that I was doomed to this – surely the disposables were more absorbent than my cloth would be! But, when I finally got to using my BGs, I had no more leaks!

    • Elizabeth
      Posted December 27, 2009 at 9:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I fully agree that the first few weeks are all about survival. As a new parent, your goal shouldn’t be to help the baby sleep through the night (thereby allowing you to sleep through the night) – it should be to fully care for every need of your child. Amen to co-sleeping, neglecting the house and using disposables.

      I think we should have started using BGs sooner too. I think the first one I put on Jude had faulty elastic in the leg = leaks. I didn’t realize that at the time.

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