Post-Natal advice: take it or leave it

Throughout my recent pregnancy, I was given many pieces of advice for the impending birth of my baby. Some I tucked away for future reference, while some I disregarded.

Countless times I was advised to sleep while the baby sleeps. In theory, this seems logical. However, somehow my 7-week-old seems to sense when I get comfortable and chooses that moment to wake up with a need to be changed, fed or played with.

The same goes for meals. I am getting really good at eating with one hand while rocking baby in the other.

* * *

Every baby book recommends leaving housework for another time. What the books don?t mention is that bowls with leftover ice cream residue encourage a trail of sweet-eating ants.

* * *

My childbirth class instructors told my class that simulating the womb would comfort and calm newborns. One key component of the theory is swaddling babies, making them look like little burritos. However, common blankets don?t work if your baby is Houdini. Instead, Brad and I use a swaddle ?blanket.?

The contraption has two parts. First, baby is inserted into a vest sack that zips from top to bottom. (In order to make nighttime diaper changes more convenient). The second part is a small section of fabric that wraps around baby?s arms and is secured with Velcro.

It seems to do the trick, as baby has a tough time escaping.

* * *

I registered for baby items at Babies ?R? Us and Target. Each place gave me a list of ?necessary? items essential to raising a healthy, happy baby.

Among items such as bottles, cribs, bouncy seats and swings, there is the practical burp cloth. What manufacturers don?t explain is that the so-called burp cloth only works for burps?not for the aftermath. I can have a burp cloth covering my shoulder, but as soon as spit-up appears, it bounces off the cloth and onto my shirt.

Unlike the burp cloth, my shirt absorbs the spit-up as well as the smell.

* * *

It was suggested to me to avoid using a pacifier for the first two weeks after the birth of my baby. The reason: to avoid feeding confusion. Next time around I plan to introduce a ?binky? right away to avoid becoming a human pacifier.

* * *

A common pregnancy symptom is moodiness?a symptom I bypassed. Apparently, however, some women experience extreme crankiness after giving birth.

Next time, instead of using pink or blue balloons to announce the birth, I plan to get a roll of police tape that says, ?Caution, do not cross.?

* * *

Experts recommend talking to newborns. At first it was unnerving to recite Pat-a-Cake, sing ?You are my Sunshine? or read books aloud without any response. I felt like I had lost my mind. All the insanity is now paying off, as genuine smiles have started to replace blank stares.

* * *

I can?t remember how many times during my pregnancy I heard ?you just wait? about any number of things.

You just wait until you can?t sleep through the night. (For the record, I haven?t slept through the night for nearly a year anyway.)

You just wait until your baby turns into a terror as a toddler. (For the record, my baby is a little angel.)

You just wait until you have your baby and you don?t have any time for yourself. (OK, that one has turned out to be true.)

I cringed each time those words tumbled out of a well-meaning woman?s mouth. But, after seven weeks of adjustment, I can now appreciate what they were trying to tell me.

Motherhood is hard.

I thought I was prepared for the change I knew would come after pregnancy. After experiencing relatively smooth transitions with other changes, I believed having a baby would be the same. It wasn?t.

There were many moments in the first weeks when, instead of sleeping when she slept, I cried when she cried.

* * *

The top piece of advice I have heard recently is ?cherish every moment?they grow so fast.?

And it?s true. Since April 16, baby has already gained 2 pounds and grown 1 inch.

So, despite my sleep deprivation and the level of difficulty of my new job, as I watch my daughter?s fingers get chubbier and face get fuller every day, I am enjoying my little bundle of a big blessing.

Written By
More from Malinda Just
USD 410 board meeting covers routine business
With little discussion on any of its public session items, the USD...
Read More