What I learned

January 21, 2007

Things I found out, things people told me, things I wish people had told me…

First things first:

– Ask everybody for advice, but in the end only do what YOU think is best.
(and remember: every baby is different, every mother is different)

– You don’t need to be perfect, ‘good enough’ is good enough.

Taking care of yourself:

– If you take good care of yourself, you take good care of the baby.

– You’re allowed to take Tylenol after labour, even when you’re breastfeeding. They might not tell you this until three days later, when your milk comes in. Why they don’t tell you right away, when the stitches start to hurt, is beyond me.

– Sleep when the baby sleeps… great advice, in theory. Don’t fret over it. Lying down with a book is good too.

– Make your life as easy as possible: buy precut meat and veggies, go easy on the housework and accept all help you’re offered.

– Try to go outside everyday, preferably with a goal (like grocery shopping), preferably to speak to another adult (like the girl at checkout).

– To let cry or not to let cry: don’t just go by what you think is best for the baby. Take yourself into account too. Need a break? Good reason. Crying breaks your heart? Good reason too.

– If you feel like leaving the baby with someone else for a while: do it. If the mere thought of being without the baby stresses you out: don’t do it. Don’t force yourself into something that doesn’t feel right.

– If you have a partner: you’re both having a hard time. Recognize this, and keep talking.

It’s normal!

– There will be times you will NOT like the baby.

– In the early days, you might wake up not knowing where the baby is (under the blankets???), when you fed him/her and whether you put him/her back in his crib/cosleeper/whatever sleeping arrangement you worked out. Apparently, this happens to a lot of new parents.

– After a couple of months, your hair will start to fall out. Lots of it. Again, this is apparently normal and should stop at some point (still waiting…)

Oh, and:

– Baby sleeps through the night at six weeks? Great! Not there by far at six months?Join the club. If you don’t feel like discussing sleep with someone for the gazillionth time, just lie. ‘Oh, he sleeps like a baby, thanks for asking! Technically, that’s not even a lie.

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