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    Baby 101: 5 Things I Wish I had Listened To During the First 6 Weeks

    By Sara Richmond Walls     

    Having a baby is one of the most joyful experiences in a mother and father's lives. While the overall emotions are those of happiness and excitement, having a baby is also a stressful, overwhelming experience. Many people tried to give me advice to make it through the first six weeks. If I had listened, perhaps I would have had a more pleasant experience! Here are 5 tips that I recommend any mother and father try to help it through the first six weeks:

    - Sleep When the Baby Sleeps

    I don't know how many people told me this when I was getting ready to have my baby, but I did not listen. After all, things still needed to be done! There was laundry piled up and dishes to do and the toilets needed scrubbing – I could fit all of those things in during the sleepy times, right? What a crazy way to try to be the first weeks of a newborns life. Mothers: You are healing. Take this time to nurse or bottle feed your baby, change diapers, snuggle and get some sleep!

    - Ask For Help

    Life does not stop just because you have had a baby. Dinner still needs made and dust bunnies still escape from underneath the bed even though you are recovering, not getting any sleep and spending 600 calories a day just nursing your baby! Now is the time to ask for help from your spouse or significant other, your mother, your mother-in-law, your friends, your church family. Be accepting of hot meals, offers to clean your house, etc.

    - Nursing Is Harder Than You Think

    A co-worker told me once that breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I would ever do. I thought, "It's natural. It can't be that hard.” Was I ever wrong! While it is true that some women never struggle, there can be obstacles such as poor latch, infections, milk supply, etc. The key is to be patient with yourself and your baby.

    - Use The Process of Elimination

    I have a good friend whose baby is two months older than my son. She advised me to use the process of elimination. If he is crying, check his diaper. Not wet or dirty? Offer a feeding. Still crying, chances are great that the baby is over stimulated and needs a nap. Obviously there are other concerns that tie into this such as colic, ear infections, etc. Use your discretion and consult your pediatrician if you are concerned.

    - Expect the Unexpected

    There is no doubt that babies are full of surprises! I have learned that they are smarter than you think, they are sensitive to being hot or cold, and there is such thing as projectile poop. Embrace the not knowing, the experimenting, the trial and error and treat every bump in the road as a learning experience.

    Written by Sara Richmond WallsRate this article:

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