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What you wish you were told before baby #1

66 replies to this topic

#26 Chel085

Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:16 AM

Im a first timer with no relatives to ask,

This is a great thread!!

Edited by **Taylor**, 22 January 2014 - 06:17 AM.

#27 FeralAlpacaWarrior

Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:21 AM

Echoing Totes, a baby carrier can be a lifesaver, especially if you have a reflux baby. DD2 is 17mo and the Ergo still gets used heaps. Also, make sure you get an Ergo, Manduca or similar, where baby's legs are in a koala position. Bjorns are bad for the hips.

And car seats. Yep, capsule hire is the best for the first few months, until you know how big your baby is. Someone asked if there was hire available in Melbourne, here on Canberra Kidsafe do the hire so check with them. After that, look for something where they can continue rear facing for a while longer. Again, 17mo DD2 is still rear facing in her SnS Meridian, I love it.

And for ladies having baby number 2, you know those pelvic floor exercises the dr/OB said we needed to do, but we forgot about it? Get cracking on them now, because after baby no. 2 comes along if you have a weak pelvic floor you will wee every time you cough, laugh or sneeze (I learnt this the hard way!).

And also, second labours can be much much quicker than the first. With DD2, I went from "I think I need to push" to 3 pushes in 5 minutes and she was here. A big shock!

And last one for mums doing it second time around. Expect that your new baby may be totally different to the first. Your first may have been quiet and settled, your second could be a screamer with something going on you can't put your finger on. If in doubt check it out. It took 18 months for doctors to take my mum seriously about my sister, luckily for us we had a GP who knew something was up with DD2 and got on top of her reflux straight away.

It is hard with 2 children, especially with a toddler and a baby, but when that toddler shows love and affection to their new sibling your heart will melt :)

Edited by lovealpacas, 22 January 2014 - 06:26 AM.

#28 just roses

Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:35 AM

View Postperpectual_sound, on 21 January 2014 - 09:27 PM, said:

Just as a disclaimer RE the Maxi-rider car seat - my baby ended up taking after me in the growth department (I'm 4'11") and stayed a pipsqueak - we ended up hiring the capsule until he was 10 months and 9kg which was when we put him in the Maxi-rider.
OP, I like lots of things in your list. But this is an exceptionally bad piece of advice.

A maxi rider is a seat for an older child. It really should not be used for a small baby (9kg) as it's too upright.

You should not put a small baby straight into a convertible booster. It's far, far safer to have them in a RF/FF seat. A 9kg baby should still be RF at LEAST until 12 months. A small baby should be able to RF even longer.

But even if you want to FF from ten months, it should be in a RF/FF seat, NOT in a convertible booster. Most kids should be able to stay in a RF/FF seat, in a FF position, until they're four or five. At that point, you could go straight to a dedicated booster, which is generally safer than a convertible booster like the Maxi Rider, being used in booster mode.

Going straight from a capsule to a convertible booster just to save a buck is a very, very bad idea.

As for the baby carrier, yes, the Bjorn is bad for their hips. And bad for your back! I found the hugabub the best for the first six months, and then went to an Ergo until they were 2 years old. But you can get an infant insert for the Ergo if you want to use it from birth.

Edited by roses99, 22 January 2014 - 06:39 AM.

#29 Perpetual Sound

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:02 AM

Thanks Roses99 - thats what this thread is about - all of what you have said, I didnt know at the time and I now know for this new little joey. Other than the size of the seats, I didnt realise there is a difference between the convertable seats and the other ones.

As for DS being forward facing early - I understand that they are supposed to be RF until 12 months, however in OUR situation it was actually safer to have him upright - with his reflux, and him lying down driving anywhere was particularly difficult as he would scream the whole time and wherever we went.
We live in a rural area so every drive is a long drive. Having a screaming baby while driving is distracting and a huge danger in itself. As soon as DS was upright, the screaming stopped and I no longer had to worry about hitting a wandering cow because I was trying to distract DS from his pain.

#30 Lifesgood

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:11 AM

I wish there was some way somebody could have warned me adequately about just how big a shock to the system it is to have your first baby. I don't think it actually is possible though.

#31 Theboys&me

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:18 AM

Off topic but are those maxi riders ok for 23 month old. I've just bought DS one as new bub will be rf in the meridian he is currently in.

He's super tall (gets mistaken for 2.5 - 3 yo).

Sorry for going off topic.

(Eta we had to ff him at 8 months due to him reaching over height markers in meridian. Ambo installer agreed it was safer to ff him at this point).

Edited by Theboys&me, 22 January 2014 - 07:20 AM.

#32 JinksNewton

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:27 AM

Some babies don't like being held all the time. Some babies don't get calmed down by long walks in the pram when they are screaming. Some babies don't want to be sung to.

This is because some babies get overstimulated  very easily, and when they do, most of the traditional calming methods with excess movement or noise just make things worse. With DS the only thing that worked when this happened was wrapping him tightly, putting a dummy in (because at these times BF just stimulated him more) holding him against my chest and rocking him,in total silence in a darkened room while patting his bum.

That being said, this didn't happen all the time. The same baby that screams and claws at you because they just want silence can also smile and laugh and then fall asleep in the middle of a bowling alley or Ikea or a crowded party.

You just have to learn to read the signs.

#33 Bethlehem Babe

Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:27 AM

Some days all the baby wants to do is feed. Get comfy, get snacks for any other kids and yourself and roll with it. You are not drying up, there is nothing wrong with your milk, it's just one of those days.  (Of course, get everything checked out if it is an ongoing problem).

What works for one kid won't work for another (both in and out of a family)

#34 Zachary Quack

Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:36 AM

From my mum: "In parenting, like in life, remember: this, too, shall pass. Also remember that babies can survive most things, even their parents - you did!"

I wish I had known that when your milk comes in, it can upset their tummies and cause them to cry for a whole night until they adjust, and that nothing you can do will make them settle. They won't feed well and they won't stop crying. Their poo will also be green and fairly liquid at this time, making you take a picture and send it via facebook to your paediatrician/intensive care doctor friend to ask "Is this normal?? Has he got gastro already?" Even better if it is day 3 and your hormones are all crazy, so you get to panic that he is becoming dehydrated and he will need to be admitted to hospital for IV fluids at 3 days old! Things will settle from that perspective in the next 24-48 hours.

#35 ItsTheSimpleThings

Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:39 AM

So much great advice!
As a Mum who battled PND with #1, this is what I wish I knew:

- Motherhood is the toughest job around, but it shouldn't be the worst job
- Baby blues are totally normal, but not for weeks on end
- If you feel like something isn't right, speak up and keep speaking until someone listens. Talking about how you feel and having someone acknowledge those feelings really helps lift the weight
- things do get better

#36 AllyK81

Posted 22 January 2014 - 09:40 AM

DS is 11 weeks today and I think we're only just emerging from the fog!

- no one can prepare you for the shock
- the witching hours are hell but completely normal. Our ergo and a fitball are indispensable.
- baby blues can be really intense. Mine lasted a good 4 weeks. I had no appetite and was crying over nothing. It did pass though.
- breastfeeding can be hard but it is worth persevering as it can also be rewarding and satisfying.
- don't set hard and fast rules (ie. I'll never use a dummy/formula). You need to do what you need to do to ensure the health of your baby and your own well being.
- be prepared for 'advice' and judgemental comments about everything from everyone. Mostly ignore it. You know your baby best and every baby is different.
- sleeping when the baby sleeps is easier said than done. By the time you get them down, eat something and return a phone call they may need resettling/be awake. I have a day time cat napper so I can't nap during the day.
- try and express so your partner can help with night feeds.
- if you have a Houdini get a love to dream swaddle me up. Best wrap ever and got our baby sleeping 8 hour stretches.
- be tough on visitors in hospital. It's both a special time and a difficult time as you learn to care for your baby and recover from labour. Visitors can be really burdensome.
- ask tons of questions in hospital and get lots of help with breastfeeding.

The first few weeks are hard and a shock but those first few gummy smiles and you'll forget all about it and start planning number two..!!!!

#37 FeralSingleMum

Posted 22 January 2014 - 10:39 AM

Great advice :)

Your baby is your baby, not other baby is like it. Trust your instincts, if you know something's not right then it probably isn't. The same goes for milestones, don't worry if they aren't rolling/crawling/walking exactly when all the other babies in your mums group are, they will get there :)

#38 Aphrael001

Posted 22 January 2014 - 10:46 AM

Awesome advice and I will be using some of this for baby #4 so I think that tells me that even after the first child this sort of information is gold!

Something I learned after my first (and was something I realised after having 2 and 3) is that baby is getting enough milk from your boobs and not stress about baby's weight gain, every kid is different and our boobs are made to feed and (well mine) do it very well!



#39 Bethlehem Babe

Posted 22 January 2014 - 10:49 AM

The ABA poo chart should be handed out when you have a baby! You will be talking poo a lot!

#40 TotesFeral

Posted 22 January 2014 - 10:50 AM

View PostTheboys&me, on 22 January 2014 - 07:18 AM, said:

Off topic but are those maxi riders ok for 23 month old. I've just bought DS one as new bub will be rf in the meridian he is currently in.

He's super tall (gets mistaken for 2.5 - 3 yo).

Sorry for going off topic.

(Eta we had to ff him at 8 months due to him reaching over height markers in meridian. Ambo installer agreed it was safer to ff him at this point).

I wouldn't be worried about putting him in one if he is super tall. We swapped DD over to a baby love Ezy combo at 27 months or 28 months, can't really remember. It was when we needed her other seat for DS though.
I would put a very young child in one though, even if they do say can be used from 6 months.

And agree with alpacas about second babies being different! DS has been pretty well polar opposite to DD. And those first few months with 2 are bloody HARD! And then you find a rhythm and, well, you just make it work :)

#41 RichardParker

Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:04 AM

That it's not the end of your dreams, goals and ambitions - it's just the start, because you realise how much you want to give this baby, and how hard you're now willing to work to make a good life for her.

That arguing with your partner over the right way to do something is pointless and destructive.  There's no right way - it's a baby.  And what works for one person in putting him to sleep won't work with another.  So embrace the fact that Dad does things differently, let him do it, even if he struggles and fails, and go out for a few hours to recharge.

Don't take seriously anything you say to each other at 3am after dealing with a screaming baby.  Neither of you mean it.  Just keep calm and make up in the morning.

#42 Musefan2010

Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:15 AM

Thank you so much to the OP.
I've been on EB for about 3 months now, first in a TTC group, now in the DIG for September.

This is by far the most useful thread I have read!

I had actually intended to put something up once I'd gotten through the first trimester to ask advice about what to buy new/second hand, any advice anyone has.

Thank you to everyone who has already commented, I'm definitely going to write some of these suggestions down!

#43 Chief Pancake Make

Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:35 AM

You will never sleep in ever again.   I know you have already heard that and think you are OK with it, but get some one to say it to you over and over again and slap you round the head every time they say it until you really understand.

I know some people's babies sleep - I don't want to hear about them!!!!*

I thought I knew this
- 3 months I thought its tough but I can handle it,
- 6 months OK when is this sleeping through the night thing meant to happen,
- 12 months - 5AM IS NOT MORNING!!!

At about this time other mothers started admitting to me that their child woke at 5.30am or didn't sleep through the night til they were four.

*Irrational hatred of people who's babies sleep through the night and wake at normal hours is completely normal.

#44 Bono25

Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:41 AM

This is an awesome thread!!  I haven't had my first yet, but the one thing I wasn't expecting was the constant pain.  No one ever talks about round ligament pain!! :)  Thanks for the advice about the carriers.  SIL was going to give us a baby bjorn, so I might have to find a nice way to say no. :)

#45 breezer_gee

Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:22 PM

Wow thanks ladies...some great advice for a 1st timer who has absolutely no idea what to expect!!

#46 Burro

Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:33 PM

Great topic perpectual-sound. I had different experiences to some of the advice but i guess that is another tip thats been noted, what applies to one mother or baby, wont necessarily work for the next.

Here are my top tips;

- dont tell anyone the names you are thinking about. A couple of times i said to someone "i quite like x" or "we're thinking of x", so not even asking for their opinion and they took the shine off a name by telling me about how awful it is because they once had a weirdo in their class who always had their hands down their pants with the same name. Or their aunties dog has that name. Only ask if you want to hear the negative as well as the positive.

- think hard about the pram. Excursions out of the house in the early days can be a bit of a mission without the pram making it more difficult.

- you can still buy lots of stuff after the baby is born. It doesn't all have to be there before.  Things like pumps, rockers, wraps, accessories in general. You dont know what kind of baby youll get or what their quirks will be and a trip to the baby shop is a nice outing when you are on mat leave.

I completely agree with the person who said they concentrated too much on pregnancy/birth and didnt read up on actually having a baby. I was the same. I think it was denial and fear of giving birth.

I had an ergo and a baby bjorn. The first time i tried to use it i really struggled to get it on with a crying baby and ended up in tears myself. Hot tip - work it out with a teddy before the baby is born and prepare yourself for the idea that your baby might still hate the wrap/pram/carrier and/or rocker youve bought them.

In victoria you can hire baby capsules from your local council.

You can hire hospital grade electric breast pumps from chemists.  

Cold cabbage leaves feel great in your bra.

Lastly, people can get weirdly competitive with things like sleeping and milestones. Some people dont like to share the tough bits or their worries or doubts so dont feel alone if you are struggling a bit.

Edited by Burro, 22 January 2014 - 06:38 PM.

#47 bindy30

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:27 PM

Great thread :

Hydrogel disks godsend for sore nipples when you first start feeding. Despite what the lactation consultants say breastfeeding intially can be uncomfortable even if things are going well.

You don't need lots of clothes 0000 - 000 people give you heaps of this stuff as gifts and the smaller things baby grows out of.

Make time out for yourself even if it is half and hour in a coffee shop on your own whilst your partner/family member looks after bubs. I initially felt so resentful that I was chained to a child feeding them all time whilst my husbands life seem to go on per normal. I started swimming again at 6 weeks. It was great hubby would  bring bubs to the pool just in case whilst I swam laps.  This stage doesn't last forever but it is important to take small breaks when you can.  Don't feel guilty if you feel like this motherhood is a huge change to your life whilst wonderfully fulfilling it is a big adjustment.

Don't put pressure on yourself to return to your prebaby weight/size as soon as you walk out of hospital. I spent precious rest time whilst my baby was sleeping on the exercise bike. 6-12 months post baby is a more realistic timeframe to lose the weight and some clothes will just never fit again as your body as changed!

#48 Yogurtbliss

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:38 PM

Can I add how great this post is?!
VISITORS: think about what you would like in terms of hospital visitors and let your nearest and dearest (and hospital staff) know your wishes.

People will visit at home. Have a few packs of bickies and tea/ coffee/ sugar out so when someone drops in and you are feeding/ changing bub you can say "feel free to make yourself a cuppa, I'll just finish this feed" don't put pressure on yourself to be a host.

Have a little kit of baby first aid stuff- thermometer, nappy cream, paracetamol, nail clippers.

Time will go fast and slow at the same time!

Oh and try to find a GP/ MCHN that you get on well with. Some are very opinionated and can brush you off or even make you feel tiny, but mostly they are a wonderful support. Ask at mothers group etc for recommendations.

Enjoy your precious baby. Print photos regularly.

Oh and I wish I had been more organised with thank you cards and had a stash ready to go!

#49 Kay1

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:57 PM

That some babies just cry a whole lot no matter how relaxed, how prepared, or how experienced their parents are. And that listening to that crying was the hardest and most stressful thing I would ever experience and that I would be alone in my stress because no one else felt it and talking to anyone about it did not help because all they do is make you feel like a failure (thank god for EB support!).

That a baby who is miserable and impossible for months will not grow into a miserable, impossible child but may in fact turn out joyful, loving and quite delightful.

That if you have a tough time in one stage (conceiving, delivery, newborn, breastfeeding), chances are you will have a cruisy time in another....you just have to ride it out and try not to compare with others.

That the newborn stage does pass quickly, even if it feels endless. I hated hearing this when I was in the midst of it and yet just yesterday I was sorting out baby clothes for donation and I ended up smelling each of them and remembering my babies in them and getting all teary... :blush:.

Edited by Kay1, 22 January 2014 - 08:15 PM.

#50 Theboys&me

Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:59 PM

One thing I wish I had one pre-birth was list ALL important contact numbers on one piece of paper stuck on fridge so when you are sooooo sleep deprived and cant remember your own name, you can refer to list and contact help/support if you need help.

Breastfeeding - ABA number
Mchn - number

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