Tip #1. Load baby into car seat, strap in, and drive home.
Wait... I've oversimplified. The fact is, bringing home a baby, especially a firstborn, is a subject that I (or any other mother) could write a thousand tips on, and still not cover all the potential topics that can arise. But I'll give you my top 10. Why? Cuz I'm awesome like that.
I thought I'd start at 10 and work my way to the most important, but you know what? On the chance that you're gonna read 2 seconds into this post and abandon it for the opportunity to enter a giveaway, I've decided to open with the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT TIP YOU'LL EVER NEED.
So, without further ado,
#1 tip, TRUST. It wasn't baby's birth that made you a mommy. It wasn't even your ability to have sweaty sex in the middle of a summer power grid blackout to conceive a whelp that made you a mommy. It was love. You love that little spawnling and he/she is yours. Trust in your ability to figure out the "right" in each situation.
#2 Enlist the help of the maternity ward nurses as much as possible. They have, literally, seen and done it all. They can teach you how to change a diaper, strap in a kiddo, put on a footie pajama, and even take care of circumcisions and more. Often, you can call them after discharge for their tips too. Ignoring them is like ignoring a library when you've got a book report due.
#3 Don't be afraid to ask friends and family for help. Many will offer, and you might feel as though you "shouldn't impose." Believe me, when it's their turn, you'll have plenty of time to reciprocate!
#4, No free rides. Out of town visitors who want to visit immediately after a baby is born should be put to work. End of discussion. Even your great nana who is 83 can help pair baby socks out of the washer and address thank you envelopes. Don't allow guests to overwork you during a time when you should be bonding and learning how to deal with the tiny human who is no longer happily pacified when mommy indulges in pregnancy splurges.
#5 If you're nursing (and the choice is entirely yours, don't let anyone force you to think otherwise) then it may take some time to get comfortable with it. When Dare was born, I was more committed to making breastfeeding work than I was with the other two. As a result, I spent the first 2 months wandering the house with nothing but a bra on (well, and shorts, but I'm betting you guessed that!). Don't let yourself worry about how you look. Just keep an old button down by the front door, so you can throw it on when the doorbell rings unexpectedly. Because seriously, the UPS lady doesn't wanna see your bits. Don't ask how I know this. We're under a strict don't ask, don't tell policy here.
#6 Some babies cry. A lot. Some babies don't. Neither is right or wrong, and neither is a predictor of your progeny's future coolness.
#7 Schedules are for schmucks. Of course, this is just my opinion, but really.
#8 Don't be afraid of being "That mom" you can call your doctor as frequently as you feel you need to. He or she gets paid for it, so they don't mind.
#9 Keeping a clean house is important, but don't spend your valuable nap-time obsessing over it. Use high quality cleaning products ( I use Lysol and Clorox products, because they seem to keep things clearner longer) and get the "main" culprits. Kitchen, bathroom, etc. The dusting can wait!
# 10 Relax and enjoy that baby!
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.