This post is on advice. Again, I polled several friends about the best advice they received or things they wish they had known before bringing home their bundle of joy.
Below are a few words of wisdom from women (and men) who have been there and done that.
#1. Trust your instincts.
No matter how much (or little) you think you know about being a parent, your instincts will kick in and a little voice inside you will point you in the right direction.
As my friend Laura said, "this was advice I got well into my son's first year, I wish I had heard this earlier and followed it, my gut instinct was always right."
* I didn't believe this until I became a parent, and I can say, never have truer words been spoken.
#2. Starting a schedule early on will save you in the future.
As my friend Dana said, "it made running errands, knowing when he was going to be hungry, and getting him to sleep so much easier. However, the important thing to remember is to not become a slave to the schedule on days the baby just isn't feeling it."
* I think Ben and I would would completely agree with this statement 100%. We had Elizabeth on a schedule from the beginning and it made our lives so much easier. I went back to work after seven weeks and having Elizabeth in a routine made the transition much easier for all of us.
** I also want to say, I know that not everyone believes in schedules. For our family, it was the best thing and I believe everyone should find the parenting style that works best for their them.**
#3. Put them in their own room.
You built a beautiful nursery, you should use it.
I asked my husband what his one piece of advice would be for anyone having a baby and this is it.
We put Elizabeth in her room starting the second night we were home (it would have been the first, but our heat had been off for three days and her room was freezing).
Now, full disclosure here- we had both agreed while I was pregnant that Elizabeth would sleep in her room. Then we came home. And I said, "oh, she is so little/ so cute/ my baby/ I want her in our room." And Ben kindly, but strongly reminded me that we had agreed she would sleep in her own room.
I am thankful everyday that he reminded me of our agreement. All three of us sleep better because she is in her room and we are in our room.
Now... did I go check on her 23023495 times? Yes.
Was she fine? Yes.
Did I send Ben to check on her 34903459 times? Yes
Was she fine? Yes.
** I also want to say, I know that not everyone agrees with us, and that is fine.**
#4: At the end of the day, what is most important is that your baby gets fed.
All doctors, nurses, and baby books will tell you that breast feeding is best. That you better exclusively breast feed or else.
Well guess what, THIS IS NOT TRUE.
The best thing for your baby is to eat.
If you can exclusively breast feed, awesome!
If you use formula, awesome!
If you breast feed and supplement with formula, awesome!
I have had friends that exclusively breast feed, I have had friends that exclusively used formula, and I have had friends that have done both.
As long as your baby gets to eat, is eating enough, and is growing; THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS.
Every couple has to decide what is best for them and their baby and that is a decision that can also be made with the assistance of a doctor. Don't ever let anyone make you feel guilty for your choice, or bully you into making a decision that is not best for you and your baby. Again, IT IS YOUR CHOICE. Do what is best for you and your baby.
* Again, I'm sure not everyone would agree with me on the above statement and that is fine.*
Happy Sunday! I hope you have a great week!