YAY, Congratulations! You’re having a baby or maybe babies? This time in your life is so exciting, full of mixed emotions, scared, happy, nervous, and you probably have a million questions going through your mind. 

Becoming a mom for the first time or even for your sixth time is an amazing journey that you will never experience anything like this again. This life is a roller coaster, there will be good days and there will be bad and hard days. But as cliche as this sounds, enjoy the whole journey because it goes by in a blink of an eye. 

The goal of this post is to help you emotionally and mentally prepare for your baby and this wonderful transition into motherhood, even if it’s not your first, because each baby is different and comes with their own experience. 

Here is everything you will need to help you prepare for your new baby from, checklists so you don’t forget important tasks, to what to expect when you bring your new addition home. We want to help ease the stress and overwhelming feelings, because that is the first step in taking care of your bun in your oven. 😉

Remember to PIN to use this to reference to 

What to expect at your first doctor appointment when you’re expecting

You just found out you are pregnant. The first thing to do is to schedule an appointment with your OBGYN to confirm the pregnancy. 

Your first appointment they will either use a vaginal doppler or use a normal doppler to scan your tummy to hear the heartbeat, depending on how far along you are. You may even be able to have your first ultrasound and see your baby’s heartbeat. 

They will let know when your next appointment is usually it’s one appointment each month up to about 28 weeks; once every 2 weeks up to week 36; then every week up to the birth of your child. 

They will do blood tests and urine tests, and other screenings to make sure you and your baby are healthy. 

Be aware of normal and abnormal pregnancy symptoms 

When it comes to you and your baby you can never be too cautious, if you have any concerns at all call your doctor, don’t feel like you’re being annoying or stupid. 

I was lucky with my first two pregnancies, they were really to the books and smooth. When I was pregnant with my twins that automatically puts you into a high-risk pregnancy. I never bled when I was pregnant, but I did with my twins. 

It happened three different times and it wasn’t just a  little spot. I knew you could bleed or “spot” when you’re pregnant but this was like period blood. It was 3 am in the morning I woke up to go to the bathroom I wiped and saw a lot of blood. Of course I panicked and cried and  I went to the ER. Thankfully, everything was ok.

It happened two other times, and it never got easier I felt like it was like the boy who cried wolf, but I gave birth to two beautiful healthy boys. Although, there were a few scars in between like low heart rate, and growth percentage dropped, but everything came back to normal on it’s own.

So, even though the last two times I had a feeling it was nothing, I still was scared and wanted to double check and that is okay. Don’t let the worry of people thinking you’re being dramatic or paranoid get to you. You know your body, and the number one concern is you and your baby. 

Some normal symptoms during pregnancy 

  • Tender swollen breasts
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Moodiness
  • Light bleeding
  • Cramping
  • Food aversion
  • Constipation
  • Nasal congestion
  • Bloating
  • Hand numbness/pregnancy arthritis
  • Swollen nose, hands, feet, legs
  • Discharge
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Random hair growth on your body.. :/
  • Acne

 

Abnormal Pregnancy Symptoms

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe dizziness
  • Rapid weight gain or little weight gain
  • Abnormal discharge- smell, green-ish, burn, itch= infection
  • High Fever
  • Leg/Calf swollen on one side
  • Severe headaches
  • Baby’s energy level significantly declines
  • Contractions-dehydration

Checklist of what to do before your baby is here

Before you know it, your baby will be here, it’s exciting and numbing at the same time, but don’t worry. You will be ready. There’s some things that you’ll want to do before your baby comes just so you’re not overwhelmed when you get home, because you won’t want to do anything else but spend time with your baby and get sleep when you can.

So, to make sure you come home with confidence that you are ready, we have a checklist for you.

 

Get your house ready for your baby

Nesting is no joke when you are pregnant. I made sure every room was organized and clean about a week before my baby was due just so I know I didn’t need to take care of it when he came home. If you don’t want to do every room in your house you can just do your bedroom and the baby’s room, so those places are comfortable and you can relax.

If you can’t or don’t want to clean the house yourself, don’ta be afraid to ask friends or family members, I’m sure they would love to help you. 

Having your house clean and organized will really help you to not feel overwhelmed and help you feel like you have some control in your life. An easy way to keep you house clean is to clean as you go. If you see something that needs to be cleaned or put away, do it right then and there or else your list of things to do will add up and so will the mess in your house. 

One way I stayed organized with my baby is I made a nursing basket and kept it at the chair I would usually nurse at. In my basket I would have diapers, wipes, burp cloth, receiving blanket, nipple cream, nipple pads, and a pacifier. 

At night when you are woken up at 130 am and your so tired you don’t even know what is going on, having a night time basket by your bed was the best thing I think I did to make night time so much easier.

I pretty much had the same things I did in my nursing basket, I would add clean baby pj’s just in case they had a blowout or peed through. I also had diaper cream, extra bottles filled with water for formula. Or if I was pumping I would have my pump next to me and extra bottles for the milk I pumped. 

 

Prepare your baby’s sleeping area

Decide where you want your baby to sleep. Don’t worry about the talk about co-sleeping or not co-sleeping. I know people that have co-slept and people that haven’t and their child has grown up to be just fine. You can have them sleep in their own crib, in a bassinet or a pack in play in your room or those co sleeper beds in your bed with you.

They say it is better to have you baby sleep in your room rather than their own room at first until about 6 months to a year. This will help reduce the chance of SIDS because you can be near and know if your baby is okay- not suffocating, too hot or too cold. 

 

Create a semi birth plan

I say “semi” because not always does your plan go the way you want it and it’s okay! I hear so many stories about how they feel like a failure because their birth plan didn’t go as planned. Either their baby came early, they needed a c-section, or they ended up needing an epidural etc. It’s good to have a plan just so you have an idea on what to expect and help relieve the stress. But, if something happens unexpectedly, don’t beat yourself up, or get upset, or feel like a failure.

The most important thing is that you and your baby are safe and healthy. My plan didn’t go as planned with either pregnancies. I wanted to do all of my babies natural, but my first son I they wanted to put in an epidural to help relax because I was already there going on three days, and he was already over a week late. 

With an epidural they will have you lay on your side and switch sides every so often. His heard was dropping but I wasn’t dialating, and after a little his heart rate dropped while laying on one side so they decided the best thing was to do a c-section.

My second baby, some hospitals won’t do a v-back (vaginal delivery after a c-section) due to higher complication risks, but some hospitals are good, and have the experience in doing that so they might feel comfortable with performing a v-back. 

With my twins I had already had two c-sections and twins are already high-risk, so I had to have a c-section with them. All four of my babies were healthy, and so was I.

Talk to you doctor about going into labor

Talk to your doctor about the different stages of labor. How to know if you are actually going into labor or if it is a “false” labor. Have them teach you how to count your contractions to see if you are actually going into labor, or you can watch this video below to learn.

How To Time Contractions

There are different stages of labor. 

Stage one– is when your uterus is getting ready for the baby to come. Your uterus wall starts to thin, you start to have contractions. Then during active labor your contractions start to get stronger, longer and closer together. 

Stage two– You are fully dilated and you are ready to push and give birth to your baby.

Stage three– the delivery of your placenta which isn’t painful, it come shortly after your have given birth. 

 

Figure out insurance before your baby comes

Think about who’s insurance your baby will be on whether it’s yours or your spouse. If you need to be on medicaid, plan ahead so you aren’t trying to figure that out at the hospital. After you have your baby call the insurance company you choose to use and let them know you have a new baby and want to add them to the insurance. You have 30 days from your baby’s birth to add them to your insurance. 

The hospital will submit the papers to get your baby their social security card, it usually takes 4-5 weeks to receive the card. 

You don’t need  the social security number right away for insurance purposes, which you will get a few weeks after the baby is born, but you can let the insurance company know you don’t have it yet. Then once you get the ssn, call your insurance and let them know the number.  

 

Get your maternity leave situated for after your baby arrives

Talk to your employer and let them know that you are taking leave. Think about how long you want to take off. In the US. under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), it is required that new moms get up to 12 weeks unpaid leave and have their jobs protected. Most moms take 6 weeks off because they can’t afford to take the whole 12 weeks off. 

If you plan sooner you can save up PTO if you receive that, or try to save money to help while you are gone. Hopefully, someday soon the U.S. will change their maternity leave!! 

Get your maternity leave situated for after your baby arrives

Talk to your employer and let them know that you are taking leave. Think about how long you want to take off. In the US. under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), it is required that new moms get up to 12 weeks unpaid leave and have their jobs protected. Most moms take 6 weeks off because they can’t afford to take the whole 12 weeks off. 

If you plan sooner you can save up PTO if you receive that, or try to save money to help while you are gone. Hopefully, someday soon the U.S. will change their maternity leave!! 

Get your babies things ready

This is probably the most exciting part, getting their room and all their accessories ready. 

At this time is a good time to wash all your baby’s clothes so they are clean and rid of any irritants that is in the fabric, and ready to be worn. 

Also, get their room ready by putting together the crib and changing table if you’re using one. What I would do to make night time easier because you’re half asleep is make a night time basket. 

If your baby is sleeping in it’s own room or in your bed, I had one in each room. What I would put in the basket is diapers, wipes, burp cloths, pacifier, clean pj’s in case of blowouts, formula and a baby bottle of water (if using formula), diaper cream, nose suction tub, Tylonal, thermometer, beanie, mittens, nipple cream, nipple gel pads, snack for you, water bottle(you’ll get thirsty while breastfeeding!).

I would also have my pump and clean bottle next to me in case I had to pump at night. I would only pump if I needed to increase my milk production, or if I was getting full but my baby was still sleeping- because you will wake up to a soaked shirt if they sleep through the night.

Start Planning for the day of your newborn’s arrival 

Schedule a day and time to take a tour of the hospital so you can see where you will be staying. It’s nice to see ahead of time, so you know more about the place you will be having your baby and make it less intimidating, more realistic and so exciting. 

Also, have a plan for when you do go into labor. Think of scenarios like if your spouse is at work and you are home alone what will be the plan, have a back up plan or person that could help get you to the hospital. While you take your tour of the hospital ask where to park and check in so you know exactly what to do when you arrive at the hospital. It will be less confusing and it will go a lot smoother. 

The best way to prepare for your baby is to RELAX

I’m sure you hear everyone say, get some rest while you can because you’ll need it, or get some sleep while you can. It’s true, well the sleep thing-kind of because it’s not like you can store the sleep lol. 

But just make some time for yourself, and enjoy the peace and quiet, because you won’t get much of that once the baby is here, and you’ll always have someone needing you or touching you. I’m not complaining at all I LOVE cuddling with my babies, but there are times where you just need to be by yourself with no one touching you.

Don’t forget to take a deep breath. I know you’re full of emotions, questions, and doubts, but you have this. Don’t think about the negative or labor parts. Don’t over think and freak yourself out. Instead think about holding your baby in your arms, the first time you hear your baby cry and then they stop the second you hold them because they already know who you are. The first time they hold onto your finger. Just relax, and enjoy this journey, and know you’re not alone. 

Install Your Car Seat

Make sure you install your car seat before going to the hospital so you get the hang of installing it and know how it works. That way the car seat specialist at the hospital can check it to make sure your car seat is installed correctly too. You won’t be able to leave the hospital unless you have a car seat.

Prepare for your baby’s diaper changing

It seems like cloth diapers are the way to go lately. I have never used them but I did think about it, but it felt like it was easier and possibly cheaper to do regular diapers, especially with my twins, and my toddler still being in diapers. If I knew about them with my first two I might have looked into it more. 

There are services where they will come and pick up diapers and wash them for you, and send you new clean ones. Sounds super convenient and great for the environment, but decide what is more practical for you and cost effective. 

If I had more time to do more research about using cloth diapers I probably would have done this option.

 

Checklist of items you need before baby is here- what to stock up on for baby and yourself

To make your life easier and not have to go to the store with your newborn, it’s a good idea to stock up on things you will need. 

Baby

 

You

  • Disposable underwear
  • Cloth underwear
  • Pads
  • Nipple cream  
  • Nipple pads
  • Snacks
  • Tylonal
  • Movies
  • books/magazines
  • Download tv shows
  • Frozen foods
  • Pantry items
  • toiletries

Checklist for hospital bag 

One tip I have when it comes to packing your hospital bag is to pack things that will make you relaxed and comfortable. Whether that is incents, calming music, whatever it is make sure you bring it.

These are items that are a must and I was so glad I packed in my hospital bag. These items are for you, your new sweet baby, and your husband. 

Items for you

Nursing Bra

Breast Pump

Pajamas

Loose pants/ pants that tie

Bigger Underwear

Slippers/warm socks

Robe

Going home clothes

Phone charger

Your insurance card

Your social security card

Toiletries/makeup

Your own pillow

Nursing Pillow

 

For Baby

Blanket

Going home clothes

Pajamas

Onesies

Pacifier

 

For Husband

Clothes

Laptop

Movies

Pillow

Pajamas

Snacks

Charger

Toiletries

Prepare for your baby way in advance

Make sure to pick your pediatrician

Pick your pediatrician way before you start to go into labor. The hospital needs to know where to send the baby’s info and records, and they won’t let you leave the hospital until you have a doctor picked out. 

Mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for your new baby

Lack of sleep

This is one of the hardest parts about becoming a new mom- your sleeping life will never be the same. This can affect a lot as far as your emotional being, moods, and your thinking. Sleep deprived is real and it is important to get sleep whenever you can, is it always feasible? No. But it is important, ask your husband, family member, or a friend if they can watch your baby for a little so you can get a nap.

Many times though, you might not want to sleep, you might just want to be by yourself where you don’t have to get up and respond to your baby crying. When you hear your baby cry and someone is there to take care of him or her, a relief kind of goes over you knowing you can relax and not do anything even if it’s for 30 minutes.

Sometimes you might just want to binge watch a show, and that’s ok. You need to what you like to do so you can keep your sanity. 

The first six weeks are the hardest

Not trying to scare you, but do know you won’t feel like a zombie for the rest of you life; your body will adjust. The first 6 weeks I think might feel like the hardest because your body isn’t used to waking so early so many times a night. Also, you and your baby are still learning each other, and learning the feeding process. But, you both will get into a routine and it will get better. I say 6 weeks loosely; for some it takes less, for  some takes a little longer, but don’t worry this part of parenting will get easier. 

 

The right feeding options for you and your baby

When it comes to feeding your baby, just know fed is best. With all the talk about breastfeeding your baby or formula feeding, ignore it. Yes, breastfeeding has more benefits than formula feeding but you know what life happens and for whatever reason you can’t breastfeed DO NOT let it get to you. Don’t feel guilty if your plan doesn’t work the way you wish, just focus on your baby and what your baby needs from you.

I wasn’t able to feed all of my babies like I wish, with working and pumping, I did not produce enough when I pumped. My twins and I couldn’t get the tandem feeding down, I was feeding around the clock- literally, and with two other kids around I wasn’t able to sit and feed all day with 30 minutes in between.

 I felt like a failure because I wasn’t able to give my babies what they needed. But, I finally came to accepting that I had to give them formula. They were getting fed and gaining weight like they needed to, and that’s all that matters.

There are so many reasons a mom might not be able to breastfeed her baby, and that’s completely okay. 

Setting routines help a lot living with a newborn

Have spouse or family member help

As incredible us moms are, we need help. Don’t try or let anyone let you take on everything on by yourself. It doesn’t matter if your husband works and you stay at home with your baby either permanently or just during leave, you need help.

Motherhood is a 24 hour job 7 days a week with no breaks or vacations. As great as it is to be a mom, you need a break and take some load off of your shoulders. If anyone offers help, you take it, no need to prove anything to anyone, because they already know you are a super mom- because that is automatically our title. 

How to prepare your night routine with a newborn

Have a nighttime routine is place so your evenings don’t seem so hectic and everyone stays calm. As you might know babies strive on routines, so it’s a good idea to have a routine in place during the day as well. But, night times can get hectic, you need to make dinner, clean up, give baths, and prepare for the next day. 

Ask your husband to split up the tasks. I had a schedule in place where we planned who gets a bath on certain days of the week and who gives them. The person not giving baths will clean up the kitchen and do dishes. I can’t stress enough how much this helped, because it didn’t feel like one person was doing everything while the other one did nothing. 

Have doctors number in phone don’t be afraid to call

Store your doctors number and your baby’s pediatrician’s number in your phone. Earlier I mentioned to call your doctor whenever you feel like something isn’t right, don’t be afraid to do the same with your baby.

Some moms, including me, feel like a burden or like we’re overreacting, but when it comes to our kids, you can never be too safe. You can always call the nurse and if it’s during the night you can call the on-call nurse and see what they think you should do.

If it’s during the day you can listen to your instinct and call the doctor and make an appointment. My oldest was feeling sick, I thought it was allergies because he gets them really bad, but it lasted about 2 days and he just seemed to get worse. 

He is one to not sit still, so when he’s laying on the couch and not wanting to do anything I knew something was wrong. Family members were saying, “oh, I bet it’s just allergies.” But I just had a feeling that it was more.

I’m so happy I took him in because his oxygen was way below what it should have been and was diagnosed with pneumonia. He had to stay overnight at the hospital because his oxygen levels wouldn’t stay where it needed to be. If I hadn’t taken him in, who knows what could have happened. 

So, always listen to your motherly instinct. 

If it’s during the night, call your normal pediatrician’s number and it will direct you to the on-call nurse and you can let them know what is going on.They will tell you if they think you should go to the ER, or what to do at home if it’s not an urgent matter. 

This goes the same for you if you are experiencing anything during your pregnancy.

How to care for your body after baby

I’m not going to talk about working out here. I feel like too many moms worry about that, and you know what? Be proud of your body. If you want to “tighten” up again then that’s fine, but don’t feel bad if you have a little mom pouch, or if you have gained weight. You just created a human being, that’s freaking incredible!! 

Your kids will not care that your body doesn’t look the same. My kids say I’m pretty all the time, do I feel like it? No. Doe my body look different? Oh my gosh yes. But, that’s not going to keep me from having fun with my kids and putting on a swimsuit.

And right after you give birth you will look like you’re still pregnant for a few weeks after. You grew a baby in your belly for 9 months, it’s going to take time to make the swelling go down and your uterus needs to take time to get back to it’s normal size.

Prepare for your baby by figuring out work/childcare

This part is definitely the least fun about having a baby, but it’s still important. Think about what you want to do after the baby if you are going to continue working or if you are able to be a stay at home mom.

Either way, don’t feel guilty about your decision. Your baby will still love you if they have to go to daycare, and they will be just fine. Do your research for a good daycare, and read their reviews. It will be hard for the first week or so, but it will get better.

If paying for daycare is hard and you need help there are federal funding programs to help with daycare, you just need to talk to the daycare provider and see if they accept it. Visit childcare.gov, there you can find a child care provider whether it’s an in-home care, care center, preschool program etc. They will also help you find a way to help pay for child care. 

Preparing for your baby means rest

Make sure you take time for yourself and relax, this isn’t just for you but for your baby too. Stress can be harmful to your baby, and your job is to make sure you take it easy. Putting your feet up will help with your feet and leg swelling and your blood circulation. You deserve this, so let someone else do the dishes for you for once. 

Baby’s Home :Things to Keep In Mind

Things to look for in a newborn

Poop color, texture, and frequency

Gross, I know. But keeping an eye and notice your baby’s poop, because it can tell you a lot. Paying close attention to how often your baby pees and poops can let you know if they are getting enough to eat. 

Your baby’s first poop will look like tar and a greenish color, which is completely normal, it’s called meconium.

If your baby is being breastfed your baby’s poop will be more yellowish and looks like there’s sesame seeds in it.

Breastfeed babies when they are newborns will poop about 6-10 times a day, after about 6 weeks they will start to poop less. It’s completely normal if your baby poops once a week, no need to panic. 

Formula fed babies poop looks a little creamier with a tanish color. It’ll smell different. When they are fed formula they tend to poop more after at age 6 weeks; they usually poop right after a feeding. 

If your baby’s poop is black and/or looks like there is blood in there call your doctor and let them know. Many times breastfed babies might have blood because the mom’s nipples are cracked and they digest the blood. But, if you aren’t sure always call the doctor to make sure there isn’t anything wrong with your baby’s digestive system.

Another one to look out for is if your baby’s poop looks chalky and is a clay consistency, this could indicate gallbladder and liver failure. Call your doctor ASAP. 

Prepare your baby’s sleeping area

When it comes to your baby sleeping arrangements,  you might be wondering if you should have your baby sleep with you, in their own bedroom or in a bassinet in your room.

It is completely up to you. There is no wrong or right way in choosing where to have your baby sleep.

I always wanted to have my baby sleep with me in the bed but my husband was terrified he was going to roll over our baby (this was before co sleepers were made). I didn’t want my baby to be far in case I couldn’t hear him cry so I had all of my babies sleep in a pack and play or bassinet in our room.

There are so many options now as far as co sleepers which I really wish they had when my babies were younger.

You can have one that attaches to the side of your bed with an opening making it easy to grab your baby and feed him or her when they start crying.

There is also a co sleeper where you put it in your bed in between you and your husband, but there are walls so there is no way you or your husband will roll over your baby. If your bed is big enough, I think this would be great. 

If they had these around with my kids, I would have totally used a co sleeper. 

SIDS how to avoid them and what causes SIDS

This is every parents nightmare and scary thought when they have a newborn baby. SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It’s a scary thought that this can happen, but some  of the time is can be preventable. 

SIDS can be caused by a physical or environmental factor. 

Physical could be brain defects- where they are born with some kind of brain defect and their brain might keep their bodies from working. 

If your baby was born with a lower weight like a premature baby this could be a cause of SIDS. If your baby is low weight it could affect your baby’s brain which could shut down their breathing and heart.

Or respiratory infection, could be another cause of physical cause of SIDS. Your baby might have a cold and it made it difficult to breath causing SIDS. So, if you are worried when your baby is sick talk to a doctor about things you can do, like keeping their nose clear using a suction bulb and saline and other ideas. 

The environmental causes are usually preventable. 

An important one to know about, and a lot of people don’t realize this, is that baby’s regulate their body temperature just like adults. I know it’s easy to think that they are tiny and when you go out in the cold weather you need to bundle them up with a warm onesie, blankets and coats, but do not do that, it will overheat them and they could die.

Or while they are in their bed sleeping; socks, footed onesies, warmer pj sets, beanies are all examples you can use to keep your baby warm enough while they are sleeping. 

So, if you are cold they probably are, but just put them in what you would but on yourself. In the car you don’t need to blast the hot air if you feel comfortable, so do they. 

A new(er) thing that parents are being told to do is don’t put your baby in their car seat with their coats on, instead put it over them AFTER you have buckled them in. The reason is because the coat is so padded the buckle can’t secure them tight enough, leaving a lot of room between them and the straps. If you get in a car accident they could be thrown from their car seat. 

So what I do is either put their coats on walking to the car and then take it off and put it over them, or put a blanket over your newborn and tuck her in tight so you don’t need to worry about it covering their face. 

They do have car seat covers where you can have your baby nice and warm and so cozy in your car ride or stroller. This cover is complete genius, you can even use it while you’re wearing your baby carrier.

How it works is there is a whole in the back so you can place it right on top of the straps and buckle. Then you lay your baby in the car seat and buckle her up and then the cover/blanket wraps around her. I wish they had this when my babies were babies! 

Another cause of SIDS is not having a safe sleeping area for you baby. Don’t have a pillow, stuffed animals, or any thing in their crib that can cover their face and keep them from breathing. 

Have them lay on their back not on their side or their tummies. They aren’t strong enough to move their heads if they are faced down. You can have them in warm footed onesie to make sure they stay warm while they sleep or have them in a tight swaddle when you lay them down. 

Having them in swaddle is good too, because they will feel more secure and it will help them sleep better. Newborns can’t control their hands so sometimes they will move their arms, scratch, or hit themselves and can wake up. 

One thing for me though, my babies wouldn’t sleep on their backs so I had to improvise safely. I had them lay on their side but I had a receiving blanket rolled up under their fitted sheet. I placed one behind them and one in front of them so they wouldn’t roll forward and suffocate. I would but it starting at their chest not their face. I didn’t have them completely on their side but a little prompt up. All 4 of my babies liked to sleep on their side. 

When they got bigger about 5-6 months they only slept good if their head was a little propted especially my oldest because he was always stuffy due to allergies.

So, I would put a pillow not too fluffy under the fitted sheet to give them very slight elevation for their head. At this age they are able to move their head and roll over. They have more control of their head so you don’t need to worry about their head falling forward and cutting of their circulation. 

But newborns do not prop their hear at all since they can not hold their head up, causing their airway to be cut off.

Why is your baby crying and what to check

This one is so hard for new moms. Obviously your baby can’t tell you want they want so it can be challenging to figure out what they want. But, don’t worry shortly, you will learn their cries, each one sounds a little different and you will know more of what they want. 

One thing to check is to see if they have a dirty diaper. If they are clean you can think about the last time they went poop or pee. Sometimes they can be gassy or constipated, so it’s a good idea to take note of when they pooped last.

They might be hungry. Even though they might have just eaten they might be going through a growth spurt. Try feeding them and see if they will eat. When they are growing they will eat a lot more it may seem like every 30 minutes, this will help you produce more to keep up with them too. The more frequently they are nursing the more your breast will make. This can last a couple days then they will go back to feeding less frequently. 

See if their nose is stuffy. Babies hate when their noses are stuffy because they can’t have their pacifier, it make eating super hard, and it keeps them from sleeping well, being babies are nose breathers. Use a suction bulb or nose sucker. I love the nose sucker because it really gets the snot out, you don’t put it in their nose so you don’t have to worry about harming them. Some people won’t try it because they think you will get snot in your mouth, but the way it’s made it’s impossible for it to get in your mouth.

Trust me, I was grossed out when I first saw this, but a friend told me to try it and I love it! Also, use saline that will help reduce swelling and help them breath better.

If your baby is 6 months or older see if maybe they are thirsty and give them some water. Never give a baby under 6 month old water, it will kill them. 

Some times they are so overly tired and nothing will work. Some say don’t do the cry it out method, some say do. I say do what works for you. With my first two crying it out didn’t work. With one of my twins to keep my sanity I had to try it because NOTHING worked. After about 5-10 minutes he always calmed himself down. 

I wouldn’t go longer than 10 minutes when they are newborns, but that’s just me. If they are screaming and sound like they are hyperventilating, then I would go and hold them and maybe try to rock them to sleep. 

You can take everyone’s advice as a grain of salt, because every baby is different. Only you know your baby the best. Do what you need to do to keep your baby safe, happy and healthy, and keep your sanity- not even kidding! 

What to do if your baby is constipated?

I feel lucky that my mom was a neonatal nurse, so every time I had questions about my babies I could call her and she would help me. One of my twins were always gassy and fussy and I couldn’t understand why. I think part of it was because he had to be on formula, and  he was sensitive to certain kinds of formula. One made him projectile right after eating, another he took well but made him back up.

We thought maybe he is constipated once because he didn’t poop right after eating like he usually does, and he seemed to be pushing hard and nothing would come out.

My mom told me to get a suppository. They make non-medicated suppository and that’s what doctors use for babies and little kids, it’s really just a stick of wax. You cut to about 2 inches and you place it up their bum.

Be sure to have a diaper underneath because when they are ready it will all come out! Just place it there and have your hand over their hole because they will try to push it back out. Their body will make the wax melt and help move the poop out.

It worked like a charm. They will hate it but once they poop they will be so much happier.

Another trick you can try first if you want it a Q-tip dipped in vaseline. You take the Q-tip and rub it around their rectum, you can have it go in slightly. I know this sounds brutal and gross but this gets them stimulated and helps them push and poop out. I have tried this a few times with my oldest and it works and it also helped him toot, because he was always gassy. 

My sister-in-law told me her doctor had her do this and it did the trick.

Should you wake a baby for feedings?

This is a question everyone has. Your doctor might tell you to wake your baby up every 2 hours to feed, other doctors might say it’s not necessary. So, what are you supposed to do? 

If your baby isn’t underweight it is okay to let your baby wake up on it’s own. They know when they are hungry and they will let you know. In my experience I did wake my first son up because that’s what I was told to do, and it got him into that routine where he would just wake up every two hours, then he would never fall back asleep.

The doctor said my other boys were at a good weight, and that they can sleep and wake up on their own to eat. I got to sleep a little bit longer and it seemed like they fell asleep better since they woke up on their own.

If it is during the day and they have slept for more than 3 hours then go ahead and wake them up to feed. They shouldn’t go longer than 3 hours during the day without feeding. At night it’s okay because they got most of their feedings during the day and both of you need your sleep. 

Never give a baby under 6 months water!

This may be something you already know, but there are new moms out there that don’t. I know it could be confusing thinking all they drink is milk how can that keep your baby hydrated?

Well, our breastmilk is magical. 🙂 LOL But really our milk will keep them hydrated they get all they need from us. As far as formula fed babies it’s the same. Only put the amount of water in the bottle that the instructions say.

One story on the news I saw a mom had tried to stretch her breast milk out by watering it down. This messed with the electrolytes in the milk causing her babies brain to swell. 

There have been stories that moms try to stretch their formula out because they don’t have anymore. Never do this because they can become over hydrated and die. 

Babies need to be at least 6 months old before you give them water and at that age you should only give 1-3 ounces at a time, then more when they reach one year old. 

Don’t feel guilty for wanting mom time

Many moms feel guilty because they have the thought of, “When is nap time?” Or bedtime because you just want to relax. Every mom thinks that! Don’t feel like you have to hold your baby and be with your baby 24/7, you are allowed to have time to yourself, that is good for your baby too. 

You are a mom, but that isn’t all you are, you still need to do things you like to do, and not lose your identity. Even if that means all you want to do is sit on the couch and watch your show- that’s totally me, and it’s ok!

Or if you want to watch your shows and have your baby sleep in your arms that is perfectly okay too, I loved doing that. It’s great to bond and relax at the same time; don’t worry about the laundry or dishes, make something easy for dinner. You don’t need to do it all! 

I hope you find this super helpful. Coming from my experience and other mom’s experiences this is being a new mom in a nutshell. And don’t think you need to memorize this and do every advice you are given exact, because this is your journey, but you can use this as a guideline.

If you need help, or can’t remember something or have tried everything and nothing is working, and all you want is for your  baby to calm down so you to calm down, this post is something you can hopefully reference to. 

Please feel free to share to any other new moms you know. 🙂

Congrats momma, you’ve got this!!

how to prepare for your new baby

 

prepare for baby

 

how to prepare for you baby