There is a lot of advice that swirls around when you find out your pregnant for the first time and really for every time after. Everyone has their own ideas of what is best to do, and while a lot of that advice I just kinda shrugged off (because I am sorry I am not eating my own placenta.) A lot of it was kind of useful, even if it was cliche.
Here are some tips I got and some of my own things I wish I had known that I will DEFINITELY be doing this time around.
1. Puree your own baby food.
Although I know it's WAY better for you to make your own baby food purely for the nutritional value not to mention it's a lot cheaper, I have a VERY different reason why you should make your own: it introduces new and different foods to your kiddos pallet. Grace is the PICKIEST eater ever and I have no doubt that had we exposed her to different foods early on, she would be more adventurous in what she eats.
2. Drink a lot of water. A. LOT. OF. WATER.
I had an issue with milk supply and after I got an infection in both breasts at the same time, my milk quit all together. But keeping hydrated is key to having a good milk supply and when I was able to breast feed I had a LOT more to pump when I had been drinking a lot of water.
3. Shower at night.
I had an issue showering for awhile after Grace was born. I was SO paranoid about leaving her in her crib or leaving her anywhere I couldn't see her and I didn't want to be in the shower if she needed me...I was crazy. Not the point. Finally, we figured out a schedule. Shower at night when your spouse comes home. That way you can take the time to clean off the baby puke/poop/spit/food/milk/dirt. You can recharge your batteries. You aren't worried about the baby as much because they are in the very capable hands of your spouse. Then in the morning, you wake up clean and ready for a new day. It really helped me feel on top of things and at least not as stinky.
4. The first week your milk comes in, sleep with a towel down your bra.
Even when I pumped, I still woke up engorged and leaking EVERY where. One time I woke up thinking I had a ridiculous fever and was sweating up a storm. I woke Daniel up, panicked. I was thinking it was some sort of post-delivery infection and I was dying. As it turns out, I wasn't dying. My boobs just leaked EVERYWHERE. In my hair, in my ears, down my back. Once we figured it out, Daniel started laughing, I started crying. We changed the sheets, I went and cleaned up, then I got a large hand towel and shoved it down my bra until it was time to feed Gracie again. Save yourself the embarrassment of leaky boobs.
5. LET PEOPLE BABYSIT aka Accept Help.
Holy crap. I didn't (and still don't) let people baby sit Grace. I am too paranoid that something will happen to her while I am at Chili's or something. It ended up being way more than that. I had a big issue accepting help from anyone. I didn't want anyone to think I couldn't be her mother, or that I wasn't capable. But the truth is, those first couple of months of being a new mother is HARD. It's a BIG adjustment. You go from just taking care of you to taking care of a tiny human who relies on you for EVERYTHING. Talk about pressure. So when someone offers to take the baby for a little bit so you can shower, sleep, not be touched for a moment--take it. If someone offers to babysit so you and your spouse can have some alone time, TAKE IT. I wish I had, and I hope I will have the ability to with this one.
the most important one I can think of...
6. DON'T COMPARE
You will, or already have, heard your mother-in-law or your grandmother, or some mother in your life, tell you that they did it a certain way and their kid turned out fine. Or that their way works best. Well, poo-poo on them. NO ONE has had YOUR child but YOU. EVERY child is different. EVERY mother is different. You just can't compare, not only because it's not good for your sanity, but also because it's just impossible to compare apples and oranges and all children are a medley of fruit. I did this A LOT with Gracie and eventually just stopped. Gracie excels at so many things, she is so stinkin' smart and loves to learn. She loves music, she loves to color and the kid loves animals. So I am not going to focus on the fact that she doesn't talk as much as other kids. She talks when she wants to, and when she has something important to say (or when she wants something). She is perfect, just as she is, regardless of what another child her age is doing.
Go forth and parent the way you want to!