When we first had Olive, my brother suggested that I begin compiling a list of baby wisdom – things I had learned the hard way, so that he might be able to profit off of my mistakes and look like a perfect father whenever the hell he finally decides to hatch a baby, I presume.
The funniest part was that after he suggested this, he said that tips from me would be useful because I’m “not crazy” like some new moms. I laughed maniacally to myself the other night as I remembered this statement while taking down the pictures hanging above Olive’s crib (as I do every night) because I have a recurring fear of them falling off the wall and the glass breaking into a million pieces on her face.
HAHAHAHAHA! Not crazy at all!
ANYHOO, here are some piece of baby wisdom, I’ll add to them as they come to me. Enjoy them Liam, I’ll happily let you ride my coattails forever if you just give Olive a damn cousin already.
- Babies need your help to do everything. Seriously, they can’t do anything by themselves. You might be thinking, “Yeah, duh, I already knew that.” but NO, no you didn’t. You know that babies need to be fed and held and their heads supported, but did you also know that they can’t even fart by themselves? Seriously. I had no idea how many hours of my life would be spent trying to help my infant daughter fart. I also had no idea how happy a farting baby would make me – Adam and I cheer and clap and generally act like idiots every time she lets one go.
- On a related note, things that help with baby gas: Burping them halfway through feeding, keeping them upright for a half hour or so after feeding, Ovol drops, bicycling their legs, folding them in half and touching their toes to their nose (not as mean as it sounds), mom drinking Fennel tea (if breastfeeding).
- Babies like to be warm, and it also helps them sleep. When Olive is having a hard time falling asleep (see, this is another thing they can’t do by themselves)we double swaddle her, put on a little hat and wrap her in a blanket before rocking her. It’s much easier for her to sleep if she’s cozy.
- Get a glider. I thought this was a dumb, overpriced piece of baby furniture that we didn’t have room for and definitely didn’t need, so we never purchased one. Then I tried one on a recent visit to Adam’s parents house, they must have seen the look of bliss in my eyes because they graciously loaned it to us and I have used it several times a day every day since we got it. It’s like gliding on air and it’s so soothing – for her, for me, just get one. (there’s usually tons on Craigslist or baby buy and sell sites)
- Pacifiers. I didn’t think I would ever use one, but babies love to suck. It helps them soothe themselves and also helps relieve pain and provides comfort. In the first few weeks we didn’t have a pacifier, and Olive would often seem like she wanted to nurse, only to suck for a few moments and then fall asleep. Now she has a pacifier that does the same thing, and although I am eternally grateful to have it I am also adamant that she will be weaned off of it early because I don’t want her to be five year old walking around still sucking a soother. But as my mom and every other mom out there says, “You can take away a pacifier, but you can’t take a way a thumb.” So. Pacifier.
- Take videos. I have about a million and a half photos of Olive from birth to now, but only 1-2 movies and I wish I had taken more of her sweet newborn days.
- Snaps are horrible. Why does baby clothing have snaps on it? ZIPPERS, everything should have zippers. Some of her sleepers have snaps all up and down the inside of each leg and when you are bleary eyed at 4am trying to match up each snap with its partner while your alarmingly awake baby kicks with glee, snaps are the devil.
- Coconut oil is the best diaper cream. It’s natural, cures and prevents diaper rash and smells like she’s ready for a day at the beach.
I hope these help – do you have any to add?