Lessons of Motherhood: 2 weeks

I've been a mom now for 2 1/2 weeks and there are so many emotions as well as procedures that I did not expect. I've been so busy adjusting to my new life that I've neglected my posting (sorry!) but this weekend permits me to sit and write (I'll explain later). I hope to try and give fairly frequent updates of lessons, products, advice, observations, etc from motherhood. Here are the first 2 weeks:

  • If you have a pet at home, it is important to make sure he/she still feels like part of the family. Even though Bridie doesn't understand English, we made sure to tell her that we still love her. When I remember, I try to give her the scratches that she loves. In general, she's stayed away from Maddy except for when she cries. Then, Bridie's maternal instincts go into work and she gets the look of concern.

  • It is hard to get into the routine of checking for 3 things when the baby cries. When the wailing begins, first check the diaper. If that is dry, pick Baby up to see if she just needs some company. If that doesn't work, then she's probably hungry.

  • I didn't read up on baby eating schedules so I didn't realize that I would be nursing about every 2 hours (or on demand).

  • I actually liked nursing (I'll explain the "liked" later). It's a real bonding moment to have your baby connected to you in that way. It's even more precious to engage in Kangaroo Care after nursing by laying her against my skin and letting her rest after eating.

  • Nursing does hurt at first and it is important to keep your suppliers from getting cracked, infected, etc. Lansinoh makes a great nipple cream that is safe for the baby. FYI-the FDA is warning against Mother's Bliss Nipple Cream over concerns for infant health.

  • Dr Brown's breast pads have been great for the leakage. Each pad is individually wrapped and has adhesive to attach to the bra. You can hardly tell you're wearing them.

  • Medela makes a handy manual pump, but their Single Delux Breast Pump is not worth it. It's very loud for one thing and the settings (Min and Max) do not do a good job simulating the 2-phase expression like you can do manually. I actually have to press on the power button to make it work well otherwise it would freeze mid pump. Maybe I got a faulty pump, but I still don't recommend it. You can see from the Baby-R-Us site that a lot of moms would agree.

  • Babies will sneeze and hiccup a lot but it's all part of the normal process of their developing bodies.

  • Your baby should have 6-8 wet diapers a day and ideally at least 1 bowl movement. However, a lot of breast-fed babies will not have regular bowl movements. It's best not to go by what your friend's baby did. Go by what your baby does. If your baby doesn't want to poop everyday, that's his/her deal.

  • You can easily warm up formula by placing the bottle in a cup/bowl of warm water and running warm water over it for a few minutes.

  • When feeding your baby formula, take a break every ounce ( or 1/2 oz) to burp. As I have experienced, if you let your baby slurp down 2 oz at once, they are more likely to spit (or throw) up the food. Take a break constantly in feeding. If you have to burp your baby for a few minutes until you hear something, so be it.

  • It is really helpful to have diaper stations in parts of the house that will be used most with you and the baby. I have diaper changing gear in our main TV/Living Room where the pack-n-play/bassinet is. I keep the wiper warmer there with a box of diapers, Vaseline, thermometer, cloth diapers (for spit up), extra receiving blankets (also in case of spit up) and extra outfits (also in case of spit up).

  • Be watchful of what you eat when you nurse. Cow's milk is a big culprit in infant gas. I learned that after I ate ziti while nursing (I've learned to multi-task very well).

  • Expect to have visions of your baby as they get older. Expect to worry about them going into the world on their own when they go to nursery school for the first time. Expect to be nervous when they are sound asleep and making no breathing noises. Don't feel silly about laying your hand on their body or looking at their blanket to make sure it's moving.

  • Don't forget that your hubby wants baby time too.

  • Definitely expect to have so much love for your baby that you get tears of happiness just looking at his or her adorable, precious and innocent face.

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