Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Parenting Lessons (so far)

We haven't officially been parents for very long, but I already feel like we've learned so much! I wanted to compile a list if things we've learned...more for ourselves to remember with the next one (obviously not anytime soon!) and just to remember where we were at in this stage with Emma.

• Go to a lactation consultant asap!
We thought breastfeeding was going great but just had a few questions on how to make it better and just to confirm we were doing it right (because really how are you supposed to know as a first time mom?!). Turns out Emma had a tongue tie and after getting that fixed she is still struggling to properly use her tongue. We're starting exercises to train her tongue, but if we didn't go and do all of this, my abundance of milk supply that I have right now may have dwindled by 3 months. My insurance covers visits with a lactation consultant, but even without that I'd go again in a heartbeat!

• Get out of the house.
I went completely stir crazy the first month! I'm used to being at home a lot, but days and weeks at a time is hard. Hand off the baby to hubby after a feeding and get out once a day, even if it's just to grocery shop. We're still hesitant to take her out too much, but have had some really enjoyable outings as a family by taking the 'risk' of going out. I know other people take little babies out all the time and it's no big deal, but it's been a struggle for me.

• Don't feel bad for taking offered help or saying no.
I never understood why moms would always ask if I was ok while holding their baby, but I get it now. As a mom, it's a 24/7 deal and you forget that others just love that hour of holding a baby, even if she fusses. Also, it's ok to tell people no or it's not a good time and you shouldn't feel bad about it. We've learned that evenings are typically rough for Emma (and us) with her getting tired, me trying to make and eat dinner and Mike trying to get to work.

• Don't be intimidated by the things you have committed to and are determined to stick to.
For us this was cloth diapering, babywearing and even exclusively breastfeeding. All those things seemed so overwhelming at some point, but we just dove in and did them. We're enjoying most the things we planned on trying, but of course there's rough moments with everything. By the way, cloth diapers are not nearly as scary/overwhelming/gross/cumbersome as everyone tries to tell you (which, by the way, is always people who have never tried it!). Mike loves cloth diapering now and even got excited about a new spray bottle for our wipes and AIO diapers we got from the new cloth diaper store yesterday.

• Help baby with a routine.
At about 3.5 weeks we started Emma on the EASY routine (eat, active, sleep, you time). We don't do a schedule with times since she is still too young for that and one if our goals is to be flexible with her, but she has reacted very well to a routine. The days we don't so her routine, she seems to crash by the end of the day and things aren't as smooth as her routined days. We also have a bedtime routine and she seems to really love it and it helps her calm down and relax before bed. We're going to start trying to initiate a dream feed right before we go to bed as recommended by our LC, but both if us are a little nervous to rouse her to eat when she's in a deep sleep!

It feels like every day we gain more and more knowledge about parenting, can't wait to see what the next month brings us!

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