I originally wrote this when The Babies were 6 weeks old. Several girlfriends are pregnant or have newborns, so I thought they could benefit from the things I learned along the way.
1. Learn to swaddle! We feed the babies, burp 'em, swaddle, and put them back in the crib. They fall right to sleep. We swaddle the babies first in a receiving blanket and then in a Swaddle Me. That seems to work best.
2. Staging is everything. My OCD tendencies have come in handy as a mommy. Staging, as I call it, helps tremendously especially with two. After each feeding I wash the bottles so they are ready for the next feeding. I lay out burp clothes before hand and even put in a dvd at the end of the feeding. Then next time I'm all set in case the babies are screaming for food, I just push play. Same thing with the breast pump, have it all ready and set up. You get the idea.
3. Make a plan and throw it out the window. I've heard this expression before but I appreciate it in a whole new way. Besides coming home with two healthy babies, nothing else has worked out the way I wanted.
4. Research stuff now. I wish I would have looked into breastfeeding more before the babies got here. Maybe I wouldn't have gotten so upset because I would have known what was normal.
5. If people bring you food, have a notebook for them to write down their address before they leave. Then it's there for you to send them a quick thank you note. I thought of this but only asked one couple to write their address down. But it's not as though I've had time to write thank yous.....
6. Sleep when the baby sleeps. I'm sure people have told you this already but it is SO TRUE! Forget everything else, let your husband take care of it. Your priorities are you and the baby.
7. If you're breastfeeding....
-Meet with the lactation consultant at the hospital. Once you leave the hospital, you have to pay (a lot) for their advice. I met with a LC at home ($40 for the visit). She was amazing and totally worth the money. She gave me the confidence and reassurance I needed.
-Your milk may take a few days/weeks to fully come in.
-Fenugreek is an herb that will help with your supply if need be. We had to research to find out about it. When you smell like maple syrup, you know you're getting enough. One day I woke up and my armpits smelled like pancakes! True story.
-Start using nipple cream NOW. Breastfeeding is gonna hurt, so the sooner you can start toughening them up, the better. Your OB may prescribe a compounded nipple cream that it worth the money.
-You’re gonna have to eat and drink a lot. I tried to eat every time I breastfed, just so I remembered to eat.
-It helps to pump after each time you feed. Not that you’ll feel like it always but it helps increase your milk supply.
8. Let me say it again. Your priority should be to take care of you and your baby. Don’t worry about the other stuff.
9. If you’re cloth diapering, pre-stage the diapers. We use the bikini twist and it helps to prefold the diapers that way so when you have a squirmy baby on the changing table, it’s done. STAGING!
10. It’s not unusual for babies to lose weight the first week after being born. The average weight loss is 10% of their birth weight. We didn’t know this and I freaked out a little at our first check up.
11. Colace (docusate sodium) will be your best friend. And know that you can take up to 6 a day.