This week’s Monday Listicles theme is all about advice for new moms. We adopted at birth so I had the odd experience of being a brand new mom with all the worries and lack of experience that comes with it but none of the pregnancy, labour birthing, recovery or breastfeeding. Still, I learned a lot in that first year. I’m pretty sure I could write 100 tips without blinking but I’ve limited it to the required ten in no particular order.
1. Your new baby gives you carte blanche to bail on everything and anything. Take advantage! Don’t explain, just don’t show up. And for goodness sake, let go of your A-type obsession with being on time.
2. Don’t spend oodles of cash of fancy baby items most of which, if needed at all, can be picked up for next to nothing second-hand because babies don’t need anything for very long; they develop so fast. Further to this, you don’t need everything before the baby arrives. Theo slept in a wicker basket (basinette) for 10 weeks, and he was three-months-old before we decided on a stroller.
3. Take advantage of babydom (which ends rather abruptly once they start crawling) to hang out at cafes where everyone will ooh and aah over your stunning future genius.
4. Don’t sign up for mom & baby activities. You’ll spend a lot of money on things you will rarely attend. Further to this, you child will get almost nothing out of them. If you want to get out of the house or meet other moms, join a moms group.
5. If you have a biter (as in a baby who like to bite other kids), it’s not your fault. There is nothing you can do about it (other than follow your child around and physically removing them), and your baby will grow out of it.
6. Babies don’t sleep properly until they are 18 months to 2 years old so don’t think your child’s inability to sleep needs to be fixed.
7. Use Baby Advil for teething babies if they need it. Don’t waste your money on flakey teething solutions; they don’t work.
8. If you adopted a baby, don’t feel any compunction to induce breastfeeding. Give anyone who suggests otherwise a withering look and walk away.
9. Most of the things you worry about now – all the agonizing decisions about food, sleep, bottles, childcare – won’t make a whit of difference later on.
10. Trust your instincts when it comes to your baby; you know them better than anyone. Oh, and enjoy every bit of it because before you know it, they’re off to college (well that’s what they tell me anyway).
Feel free to add your advice for new moms!