advice for life with a newborn

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postpartum recovery: 
1// for 24 hours after i delivered, it looked like a car accident every time i used the bathroom. but the bleeding slows way down when you nurse & when you rest! by the time i was discharged from the hospital, it was like a really chill period. after a week, it was SUPER light. 

2// if you do buy pads ahead of time, keep the receipts so you can return them! i tried to be extra prepared and get some ahead of time....but I over killed it with enormous extra huge pads, when I really ended up needing more medium-level ones.

3// for going to the bathroom i got witchhazel pads, numbing spray, and a nifty squirt bottle from the hospital, and all 3 were SO useful. that squirt bottle made me feel freshly showered every time i went to the bathroom. glorious! 

4// when you nurse, cover the other boob while your baby happily eats away on the other side. otherwise, milk will come SPURTING OUT of the non-nursed booby, and you won't realize it until something (your baby's onesie, your shirt, the tv 15 feet away...jk it doesn't squirt out like that) is COVERED in milk. 

5// keep stuff closeby when nursing. you are temporarily immobilized, and it's hard to reach for the remote to turn on parks and rec (sorry, i'll stop tweeting about it someday) once the baby has already latched. 

6// cramps while nursing happened for the first 3 days after i delivered. stay ahead of the game and take ibuprofen/tylenol consistently.

7// sports bras. wait til your milk comes in to buy nursing bras, and in the meantime, just wear sports bras. then, buy this super comfortable inexpensive bra

8// button-down shirts make it so easy to nurse. flannels, chambrays, whatever. go get some button-downs. 

general tips: 
9// if you make food ahead of time, freeze individual/small portions, even if you make a large amount of that dish. having one giant thing to thaw takes forever! smaller portions heat up faster!!

10// everyone says it's so hard to go out with an infant. to which i reply, BABIES SLEEP SO MUCH. go out for breakfast! run to the grocery store! do whatever you want! because your newborn won't even come out of his infant carrier/car seat. and thus won't have contact with people and their germs. (going to church/parties is a different story though because everyone will touch him and hold him, so maybe wait a few weeks til you do that. my NICU nurse friend says babies don't have well-developed immune systems til 2 months, but i didn't know that and thus took aiden out way before then.) 

11// use motion/vibration when the baby is inconsolable (despite being fed, burped, and changed). when aiden starts to get inconsolably grumps, i put him in his swing or his vibrating bassinet. the movement helps him settle down pretty quickly.

12// you can't schedule a baby's feedings or sleep. the experts at kellymom said so. nurse whenever they want. :)

13// susannah taught me that every newborn is different, and she's so right. lots of well-intentioned people (like self-assured first-time moms who confidently write posts like this! ha!) will give you advice, but it may not go like they said. everyone told me "sleep when baby sleeps!" but this little guy sleeps in 4 hour chunks at night, so i don't need to run for a nap every time he drifts off during the day.

what would you add to the list? is anyone you know about to have a baby? share this with them to help them prepare. 

Keep reading with these baby-related tips! 


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