***first off, thank you for the sweet congratulatory messages. we are on cloud nine over here and feel very blessed that baby davis has finally arrived all safe and sound. while we go snuggle our new babe for a bit, i’ve asked a few of my favorite bloggers who are mothers to guest post on the blog. i have loved what they’ve put together and i am sure you will, too! Be back soon with baby’s name and more…
“My husband and I prepared extensively for labor and birth by reading books, taking a full Bradley Method class, and learning everything we could about every possible medical intervention or emergency that could take place. So Alice’s birth was great. It was the afterward part that we had neglected to prepare for. And that was dumb. But we learned as we went and I would love to share those lessons with you!
1. Relax and tune into what your infant is telling you. In the first days of holding my child, feeling her breathing, and learning about her facial cues and body language, we developed an emotional bond that I never expected. Using meditation and relaxation techniques really helped me “hear” and comfort my daughter. You may be nervous because you’ve never been a mom, but your child has never been an infant either– you will figure it out together.
2. You need less than you think. As Alice’s birth became imminent toward my last few weeks of pregnancy, I was in a nesting-hormone-induced panic that we hadn’t bought enough things. All we had in Alice’s room was a tiny crib, a rocking chair, a changing table, and a bookshelf and bench that we already had. Everything turned out fine (of course.) Realize that you will get plenty of gifts so hold off buying anything but the essentials until a few months after your baby is born. You will probably be surprised at how little you really need to take care of a newborn.
3. Skip the “overnight” maxi pads and just get a pack of Depends. Post-partum bleeding can be really bad. I wish someone had told me what to expect.
4. To dads: Don’t be afraid to go out alone with the baby. “Think of you and your wife as a partnership. Don’t think of having a child like ‘Oh my wife is better at all the baby stuff than I am. I just go to work and take out the trash.’ You are both new to parenthood and you both have the ability to learn about parenting.” — Advice from Mr. Lasertron
5. Allow lots of naked baby time. Nothing is better than being free, and accidents are not that hard to clean up. Naked baby time also helped me learn how to anticipate when Alice needs to go potty by watching her body language. Then I just sit her on the toilet and have lots of hugs and cheering!
6. Write down everything. Take lots of pictures. (You can even have each year made into a book using an online publisher like Blurb!) Your child will love to see it someday.
7. Moms don’t necessarily know better than dads. It’s important for dad to have alone time with baby. I have loved watching Mr. Lasertron form his own rituals and routines with Alice, like singing when he changes her and playing different games with her in the tub than I do.
8. You are not weak if you let someone else help you. It doesn’t mean you’ve “failed” or that you “can’t do it.” I did not schedule time off after Alice’s birth and I went back to work three days later, taking my baby with me every day. I struggled a lot with accepting help and I had to let go of a lot of control. Finally I was able to accept that I was surrounded by a community of support and allowing their help was part of my own personal emotional growth as a mother.
The most important advice I have is that there are no rules. You can buy lots of books about parenting, but you are the only expert on what works best for your family. Alice’s bedtime is at 2am. She comes to meetings with me all the time. Her “security blanket” is a blue bath puff. This is all okay and following your baby’s cues and fitting her into your life from the get-go is good practice for raising your child to live her own best life. Being a parent is so much more special and magical than any book or blog post can explain. Congratulations to Naomi and Josh and I can’t wait to follow the growth of your sweet little one!”