In life we often have regrets and replay times in our life wondering what we could or should have done differently, or what we would do differently next time.

So, what is an example of something you would (or have done) do differently since having your first, second, or third child? If you could give a new mom advice, what do you think is most important?

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I would have quit my job when my first child was born. I worked for 2 years and it was a mistake, a huge mistake. She needed me, not daycare for 10 hours per day.
I put off cloth diapering because I was intimidated... by all the options, the laundry, etc. Finally started when my daughter was 15 months and haven't looked back. Last Tuesday was interviewed by the local news on cloth diapering, so hopefully I will help other families who had the same worries I did. It is so easy, and I'm looking forward to starting from day one with our next baby.
I am a first time mom, and so far, I am pleased all-around with my experience so far. At this point anyway, I can't pin down something that I feel I would have done differently. We're a very happy new family.

However, I would like to share some advice to new mothers, as a new mother myself who didn't have a new mother to ask questions to or seek advice from. And I had, like I'm sure many new mothers have, PLENTY of questions. I ended up getting a lot of answers from experience alone.

Here are a few suggestions/tips/pieces of advice that I have to offer to new moms:

1. Share your bed with your newborn
My mom bought us a co-sleeper because I was unsure about the idea of bed-sharing, but my daughter hasn't slept in it overnight once! I found sleeping with her so easy and comfortable for both of us when it came to middle of the night feedings and diaper changes. When Ella gets hungry, her food source (my breast) is right there for her, and every night after her feedings, she falls asleep. We fall asleep together. Due to this setup, I've been able to get much more sleep per night, simply because I haven't had to get up and go to another room to get her or put her back down. The other benefit other than more sleep is the fact that we have bonded so closely. I remember getting to know her so well just in the first few days while studying her night time behavior. Another plus-skin to skin contact. It regulates and increases baby's blood flow/circulation and encourages steady breathing and heart rate. If you are worried about the risks associated with bed-sharing, I suggest doing some research. Bed-sharing can be dangerous if you sleep with your baby while intoxicated, are overly exhausted, or if there are too many pillows and heavy blankets on the bed. Also make sure that if your bed is pushed up against a wall that baby sleeps on the inside rather than risking the change of baby slipping between the bed and the wall. In our case, the co-sleeper is against the wall and the bed is up against it, and if Ella were to roll away from me, she would simply roll into the co-sleeper, which is just slightly lower than our mattress. (the co-sleeper is also strapped to the mattress so it can't separate, a provided part of the co-sleeper's safety)

2. A newborn babies needs few things: food, clean diapers and clothes, and the warmth of being held
When my due date was approaching, I felt panicked about not having what I needed to take care of my baby around the home. I asked my doula, "what do I need to buy?" She told me newborn babies don't need much. "Mama's milk, blankets and arms to hold her, fresh diapers and clean clothes." She was so right. So much time is spend cuddling, feeding and staring at each other. Other than all that, I was would say stock up on receiving blankets, cuddly warm blankets, burp cloths, onsies, socks, baby fingernail clippers, a booger bulb :), thermometer, hats, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol for cord care, a wrap/sling, baby lotion...and LOVE!!

3.Buy Cloth Diapers
The first month and a half of Ella's life, we got our diapers from a local diaper service. Then a good friend out west sent me a package full of All-in-one diapers, a brand called Knicker Nappies. They are fleece lined diapers with an opening in the back where you insert at "absorbent diaper insert." They are awesome. I canceled the diaper service (that we were going to have to pay for each and every month until potty-training) and bought Knicker Nappies and inserts that I wash myself that adjust in size with snaps. (visit www.knickernappies.com) Doesn't it make sense to buy your own cloth diapers (no matter what kind, of course) and pay one large lump sum rather than spend double, triple, or quadruple that cost over the span of two to three years?

4. Try to find a way to stay at home, or at least work part-time
I love being a stay-at-home mom. I think if possible, it's the right thing to do for at least the first year or two. It's too bad our government doesn't feel the same way. Try to figure out a way. It's so worth it. She really has transformed before me very eyes each and every day. I would hate to have missed this precious time.

Those are a few of my thoughts! I hope you find my suggestions helpful, new moms! Enjoy your baby.

<3, Kaitlin

PS - be my friend on facebook! (user name: Kaitlin Rose Parmenter)
I was talked out of doing what felt natural to me, by family, friends and the "experts". Luckily, I have gotten that second chance with my second daughter and this time, I did what felt most natural to me. I get criticized, I get a lot of negative comments, but I feel that I am doing what is best for all us. I hear a lot of new moms complain that they want to do something, but someone told them not to, so they are unsure. Trust your instincts, they are more powerful than any expert!
That is so cool! Please link us to the article/report when it comes out! Good for you! I also put off cloth diapering when my son was born and switched at 5 months with him.

Dr. Alyssa-Rae Zonarich said:
I put off cloth diapering because I was intimidated... by all the options, the laundry, etc. Finally started when my daughter was 15 months and haven't looked back. Last Tuesday was interviewed by the local news on cloth diapering, so hopefully I will help other families who had the same worries I did. It is so easy, and I'm looking forward to starting from day one with our next baby.
Very true! I did the same thing! "Live and Learn"

Andrea Goucher said:
I was talked out of doing what felt natural to me, by family, friends and the "experts". Luckily, I have gotten that second chance with my second daughter and this time, I did what felt most natural to me. I get criticized, I get a lot of negative comments, but I feel that I am doing what is best for all us. I hear a lot of new moms complain that they want to do something, but someone told them not to, so they are unsure. Trust your instincts, they are more powerful than any expert!
Thanks Jennifer! I also worked when my older 2 were babies and I feel I missed so much. I was in a situation where I *had* to, but it was still tough and I felt bad each time I was able to share a milestone with my son because I missed out on that with the girls. Thanks again for sharing!

Jennifer L. O'Dell Sample said:
I would have quit my job when my first child was born. I worked for 2 years and it was a mistake, a huge mistake. She needed me, not daycare for 10 hours per day.
I was told by my OB to stop nursing my son when he was 7mos. old and that my depression would go away. It made it worse and I beat myself up over it. Not this time, I'll wean #2 when I'm darn good and ready!

I didn't have many girlfriends to talk to and went from working mom to SAHM unexpectedly. Although it was a blessing to be home, I needed more girlfriends to talk to who could understand what I was going through.
I thought about cloth diapering when my son was about 16 months old, but talked myself out of it because we were *so* close to not needing diapers anymore, and I felt sort of like I would have not gotten as much use out of them to offset the cost. Now, he's 26 months and although we are getting closer to being PT, I still wish I would have CD when I had the urge!

There are some things I wish I could have changed, but I know worked out for the best. For instance, I wanted a natural birth and ended up with a C/S which probably saved my son's life. So I wish I could have had the natural birth experience that I wanted, but I wouldn't change it b/c I know its what we needed at the time.

My advise to new moms is to meet other new moms (meetup.com or a place like that is awesome for meeting like-minded mamas if you don't already have some in your circle)... it is great to balance out new mom relationships/advise with tried and true experienced mom relationships/advise. And listen to your mama instinct - I always tell my mom friends "you have feelings for a reason!".

Lastly, but importantly, be honest! I think a lot of moms don't share their doubts and fears, or mistakes and failures, but its so important. And when another mom is being honest, listen and appreciate it, and if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything! I remember a girlfriend of mine telling me that she was having visions of throwing her new baby out of the window during his frequent night wakings, and that although she knew she would never hurt her baby, she could see how unstable parents get to that point. I was so honored she shared that brutal honesty with, both because I knew she could reach out to me as a friend when she needed help or support and also because when I became a mom, and I had crazy sleep-deprived visions, I knew I had someone I could be honest with, too.

~Ami
Cloth diapering! I didn't do it with Becka and I regret it! I am doing it with this baby though!

I feel very blessed to have had wonderful support from people though: like Kate here! I don't regret a lot at all. Well, my hospital birth LOL. I nursed, coslept and baby wore. I feel I did pretty good as a first time mama! :)
I would not have had my daughter vaccinated for the first year of life. We stopped vaxing altogether after that but I regret doing any with her. :(
Mamas, this thread is such a great read, thank you for your honesty and for sharing your experiences!!!

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