Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Bringing home baby: 10 tips for bringing home a new infant

I currently window shop --- that is, for babies!  I'm getting closer to 40 and think my baby days are behind me.  So, I visit younger friends and ooh and ahh after their infants, getting my baby fix, and then go home with my fill of baby love without the having to get spit up on, kept up all night or nursed on 24/7.   I'm not so far removed from babies, though, to forget what it was like to bring baby home for the first time.  We worried so much with our first, mainly because we had a dog and two cats.  So bringing home our baby was not done without some research!

1.  If you have pets, bring home baby's onesie so they can get used to the smell.  This is very easily done and you-r hubby can "introduce" you to your furry babies while you are still in the hospital.  Don't wash it - let them sniff it after it has been worn.

2.  Don't be shy about asking for help.  This was something I wasn't very good at.  I felt odd asking my MIL to do my laundry or wash my dishes.  If I had to do it over again, I would have asked her to help me out a lot more. 

3.  Don't say "never" to a binky.  I didn't want our first to have a binky based on books I'd read.  However, that notion went out the window when she wouldn't calm down.  A middle of the night trip to CVS later, my hubby brought back a binky and she was happy as a clam.  Don't say never - you might just be sleep deprived enough to cave and that's OK!

4.  Have an already established pet-free zone for baby's nursery.  I worried a lot about our cats hopping into our daughter's crib, so we kept the door closed and shooed the cats out of there even before she was born.  The cats learned not to go in there and we didn't worry so much about the cats climbing in bed with her.

5.  Sleep when baby sleeps.  This is way easier with your first child because there are no other older siblings to take care of.  Don't feel bad napping during the middle of the day because you'll need your energy for when baby is up at 3 AM.  Sleep deprivation helps contribute to baby blues and depression, so get your rest when you can.

6.  Don't worry so much about housework during the first few weeks.  Your energy is needed taking care of the baby, not making sure your house is spic and span!  The dishes will eventually get done and the laundry too.  Focus on baby and worry less about the white glove test that you think your friends and relatives are mentally doing when they stop by.  They really don't notice if your house is a little messy.

7.  Don't be shy about establishing a visitation rule.  If you are napping and afraid of people dropping by, place a note on your door asking people to come by later.  If you must, have your hubby run interference for you.

8.  Insist on handwashing for anyone who wants to hold the baby.  Germs spread so quickly and baby doesn't have the immunity that the rest of us do.  It may seem awkward, so if that's the case, just blame it on the doctor insisting that people wash their hands before touching the baby.  Wash your own hands too!  You may forget after going to the grocery store and grocery store carts are germ factories.

9.  If anyone stops by and even look sick, ask them kindly to leave and then disinfect.  They likely touched the door handle, so get out the Lysol and spray those germs away.  Germs can live a good while on surfaces, so protect yourself and anyone else who might touch what the sick person touched.

10.  Relax!  Parenting can't be done by the book.  Do your best when it comes to keeping up with your baby book.  Calendars are handy for taking notes that you can transfer later.

That's my best advice for bringing home baby for the first time - plus a few tips to get you through those first rough weeks.  Do you have your own tips?  Please share!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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