Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New Mom Advice

I am always very careful to not give unsolicited advice to new moms. Now if they ask then I will give some advice, but overall I do not want to overwhelm them with more advice when they have had other people throwing advice at them and of course the entire internet.

However, there is some advice I wish I had listened to, some advice that helped me get through the long days, and advice that I am so glad I ignored.

Advice I Wish I Had Listened To

Sleep when the baby sleeps. Why did I not do this? Whenever Landry would sleep I would decide to  clean or work on blog posts or shower. Those things could have waited. Sleeping when Landry slept (easy during those newborn days) would have been so much better for me. I've learned though, now at least once a week I take a nap while Landry does and it is SO nice.

Trust your gut. At the beginning I googled everything with Landry or read books or research. I never just trusted what I felt was best for my daughter. Each child is different and what works for one might not work for another. You know your child best! When it came time to wean Landry from the bottle everything I read said to gradually do it, but I just knew in my gut with Landry's personality going cold turkey would be better. I tried cutting back for a couple days and it was miserable. Then I finally did cold turkey and it went so smoothly even though that wasn't what "research" showed was best. 

Hold them while you can. My biggest regret from the newborn days was not holding Landry more. I was so worried she would become accustomed to falling asleep in my arms that she wouldn't nap in her crib so whenever she would sleep I would put her in her crib. Now I would give anything to hold her while she sleeps. 

Favorite Advice

The days are long but the years are short. This is my motherhood mantra. I seriously repeat this to myself most days. I don't remember who first told me this little nugget of truth but it really has stuck with me. Some days can seem never ending when you are taking care of a fussy baby, but then a year has passed and it feels like you were just in the hospital with this new life. It reminds me to not miss the forest for all the trees. 

It doesn't get easier, it gets different. I remember when Landry wasn't napping particularly well at 6 weeks old. I asked people if it would get easier and one wise soul told me... "it doesn't get easier, it gets different" which is so true. I thought with each milestone things would get easier and in some ways it does, but each milestone brings forth it's new challenges and trials. Parenthood is the one thing that you never quit learning. 

Tons of tummy time (from the pediatrician). I am so glad I listened to the pediatrician on lots of tummy time for Landry. She was rolling over at 3 months old, sitting up by herself by 4 months old, crawling by 6 months old, and walking by 10.5 months old. I really think that all the tummy time we did helped! 

Advice I am Glad I Ignored

If they're tired they will sleep. NOT TRUE! Landry went through a stage at 6 weeks till about 12 weeks that she really wouldn't nap during the day. I had sooooooo many people tell me that if she is sleeping she will sleep. LIES! You can't make a child sleep who isn't sleepy, but you can sure can't a child awake who is. Luckily we got her daytime sleep sorted out (she had to learn to self-soothe). Sleep is still one of my number one priorities when it comes to Landry. As someone who has struggled with sleep since pre-teens I know how vital it is to be a healthy person. My emotions and physical well-being suffers if I don't have adequate sleep. I can tell that Landry's disposition and demeanor changes drastically when she is lacking sleep. So people think I am a little crazy (they're right) but I'm the one home every day with Landry and I am the one who has to deal with a cranky butt if her sleep is off.

Make her take a pacifier. I didn't have anything against a pacifier, but Landry flat out wouldn't take one. I had people really try to push the issue and swear a paci would fix her sleep issues and crankiness. I am so glad I ignored them because she doesn't suck her thumb nor use a paci so I don't have to worry about breaking those habits. 

What is your favorite parenting advice? The advice you wish you had listened to? The advice that drove you nuts? 


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