Welcome to Baby Week here on GeekMom! This week we’ll be sharing our best advice, tales from the trenches, must-have baby items, product reviews, and more for you GeekMom-To-Be’s out there.
Before I became a mom myself, I had no idea what it would be like to have a newborn. Luckily, my friends at my baby shower had me covered: They filled out the best tips and advice they had from their own experiences, and put them in a jar for me to peruse when I was in need of some help.
The GeekMoms would like to take this opportunity to share our own advice with you, whether you are going to be a new mom, or might need some handy reminders about the newest member of your family on the way.
Before the Baby is Born
- Update your wardrobe. Buy comfortable clothes that are nice enough to wear outside the house without having to change. Get rid of the items that show too much butt or cleavage when you bend over, because you will be spending the next 5 years hunched over while chasing a rugrat. Buy shirts with easy boob access for breastfeeding; stretchy bras and v-neck t-shirts worked well for GeekMom Ariane — things with buttons and snap are a pain to close back up one-handed while holding a baby.
- Arrange care for your pets. While they may be near and dear to your heart now, your pets will soon become just one more annoying task standing between you and sleep. Dogs and cats may be too attached to their owners to make good candidates for temporary homes, but pawn off lizards and other small critters to family members and friends who are willing to care for them for a few weeks or months. Ariane wishes she would have done that for the family’s bearded dragon, and he probably does too — he got fed a lot less once baby arrived.
- Most baby gear is optional, and some downright unnecessary. Think about the space that you have and fill it accordingly. Don’t stock up too much. For example, Ariane bought tons and tons of disposable breast pads and diaper rash cream before her daughter was born assuming those were necessary items, but turns out her breasts never leaked and her daughter rarely ever had a diaper rash.
- However, there are some baby items that are the exception to that rule: you can never have too many onesies for babies. If you’re having a boy, stock up on Vaseline and gauze if you are having him circumcised (who the heck knew!).
- Stock up on healthy things to eat that are easy to grab and eat one handed.
- Print birth announcement address labels beforehand; when you get the urge to send them, you won’t have to think about it too much.
- Don’t take jeans for your journey home from the hospital, even if they are maternity jeans.
- Ignore the scorn from other “righteous moms,” be strong in yourself. Even when you’re pregnant and everyone is telling you what to eat, drink, do, buy, and think. Even how to pee.
Your Newborn Arrives!
- Let people hold the baby for you. You’ve got plenty of time, and you’ll appreciate the twenty minute nap more than you’ll remember not holding them for twenty minutes!
- Sleep, eat, shower, everything else, in that order, whenever the baby doesn’t need you.
- Let go of the guilt if you reach for formula, a pacifier, or a disposable diaper.
- Going on an outing? Whenever you think you’ve packed enough nappies, wipes, changes of clothes, etc. to last the length of your trip, add around a third more.
- Sometimes driving a baby around to get them to sleep works. Learn the drive-thru restaurants in your area so you can get the baby to sleep, go through the drive-thru window and eat in relative peace in the car while the baby sleeps.
- Carry a change of clothes for yourself as well as for the baby. They often don’t confine their messes to themselves.
- If you have a big baby, get an oversized baby blanket to swaddle the baby. The small ones just won’t do the trick.
- Trust your doctor, but not blindly. YOU know your baby best.
- Say no to visitors if you don’t feel up to it. They’ll get over it.
- These three words can equal an extra hour sleep or more: velcro swaddle blankets.
- Trust your own instincts, starting in the hospital when nurses and doctors can give you conflicting information, and continuing on when people yell at you on the street that you’re doing it wrong.
- Don’t be too exacting with your spouse about baby-care; the two of you won’t do things precisely the same but the baby survives both methods and needs to bond with both of you and have two competent, confident, hands-on parents.
- Nap when the baby naps, or take some time just for yourself. For goodness’ sake, don’t clean or do laundry! It can wait.
- Although it is vital to sleep when you get the chance, you may find it is equally important to have some “me” time occasionally. It’s okay to wish for a few minutes alone. Staying UP when you could be sleeping once in a while (not routinely) can help some of us feel like we are still in control of something.
- Reading grown-up books, magazines and newspapers, playing video games, watching TV or movies with your baby helps to keep your sanity, which has a trickle-down effect on baby’s health.
Going Back to Work
- If you’re going to be pumping for work, don’t buy a cheap pump.
- If possible, see if you can get a webcam and make a video call to whoever is caring for your baby. You’ll be constantly thinking of your baby, and you’ll need the reassurance. If you time it just before you take a pump break, you’ll probably make more milk.
- Look up safe handling instructions for milk and formula, so you know them before you have to use them.
- Get your car seat checked out and installed before your baby is born, so you’re not fumbling with how to use it.
- Bring a change of shirt and extra bra to work, just in case.
- Sleep when you get home if you’re tired. It’s really okay to take naps at 6pm. Just because you’ve returned to the workaday schedule doesn’t mean you don’t still have a baby waking you up.
4 thoughts on “Tips for New Moms From the GeekMoms”
Yay! I’m very glad it’s baby week, since I have about 9 weeks before I become a Geek Mom for the first time!!!
I love this list! My only qualm is the constant assumptions about “the hospital” and “the doctors.” I think GeekMoms know that there is a healthy, growing trend toward midvife-attended, non-hospital births. No assumptions, please! Thank you from a future GeekMom.
If you are expecting boy/girl twins
— get a lingere bag and all white baby socks. Wash and dry the socks in the bag for ease and all white socks will save time in not having match up socks plus losing a sock won’t be a big problem. Grab and go!
— keep your diaper bag stocked with gender neutral items. less hassles in hunting through the bag trying to find particular items.
— carry a light weight but long blanket. Can be handy as a floor blanket or a privacy cover for your long stroller if you want to get thru a store with out the comments and gawks.
Ditto what Laura said. No need to assume everyone has a Doctor or goes to a Hospital.
I’d actually also have to respectfully disagree with the “never have too many onesies” comment. I hate onesies and gave all of ours away after our first baby. We cloth diaper part time (usually with fitteds and wool pants or shorts) and do EC the other part, and onesies just get in the way of both of those activities.
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