Friday, June 08, 2012

Tips for First Time Mommies

We have a triple baby shower on Sunday for our dear friends. Can you imagine, 3 pregnant women in our group! Amazing! All of them are going to have Dragon Babies! Well, the two mommies already have toddlers while one of them will be a first time mom. So we decided to give her something special on this day. All 4 of us who are already mommies gave 25 tips each to this first time mom. Thought it might be helpful to other moms out there. Here's the list:

From Mommy Janice:

        1)      Take a few days off before your due date and just relax and pamper yourself ---go to the spa and get a massage (kahit different treatments for different days), eat delicious food. So you’ll feel re-energized when you go into labor (very tiring), and when the baby is with you--- start na ng puyatan and pagod J
      2)      When the baby comes out, make the baby latch on you kagad, kahit for a few minutes. Tell your doctor and the nurses there beforehand that you want the baby to latch on you paglabas before they do the tests etc.  This is good to begin milk supply and super bonding kagad kayo.
      3)      Opt for rooming in instead of nursery for bonding time with your baby. They’re used to being sheltered in your womb, continue to give your baby comfort by being with your baby 24/7. Tsaka syempre, good for milk supply as well.
      4)      Don’t use wipes to clean your baby’s poo poo or wee wee for the first few months. Use cotton and water to avoid harsh chemicals and abrasions.
      5)      Always have music in your room/nursery. Babies feel calm when there’s music.   Also, sing to your baby to calm him down.  Always talk to your baby and avoid yelling or shouting in the room (kahit na coming from the tv and not from you). They sense these things kasi and will stress them out.
      6)      Savor the time with your baby even though you feel so tired na. They grow up so fast.
      7)      Don’t feel ‘depressed’ because of change in lifestyle and because of sleepless nights (only 2 hours of sleep at a time). Your body clock will adjust after a few weeks (3-4 weeks).  Also, ask for allan’s help all the time and have alone time for yourself.
      8)      Malunggay and clam soup are good for milk supply. Also, some pastries can be bought online which increase milk supply too
      9)      Don’t let sick people (with cough or colds or fever, etc) near your baby. Super no-no yun, kahit relatives pa sila. Also, refrain from bringing your baby to crowded places until he has completed his 1st set of vaccines (around 6-9 months).
      10)   1st few days will be painful down below pala because of the cut.  I didn’t realize this or read about it, so got surprised to experience the pain.  Although Penny’s ob prescribed to her a stronger pain killer (sakin ponstan lang, dunno why, will ask my ob on my next visit J).  when I would sit down, I would sit on the breastfeeding pillow (u-shaped) , just like a toilet seat bowl 
      11)   I go for attachment parenting… always be there for your baby. Carry him when he needs comfort. Get a sling if you want, it also helps relieve your arm muscles in carrying him. He needs to feel secure at an early age.
      12)   At about 5-6 months (or even earlier so baby will get used to the habit), clean your baby’s gumline/teeth with lampin and water after feeding, especially before bedtime. Even before his teeth appear, this eliminates bacteria buildup.    
      13)   Avoid giving your baby candies or hard/chewy sweets until he’s able to brush his teeth properly.  
      14)   Visit the dentist at 1 year old so he’ll get used to the dentist’s chair and surroundings. Dentist will just talk to him and probably apply fluoride to his teeth. Then go every 6 months afterwards. This makes the baby not scared of the dentist since there’s no pain involved whenever his visits (no cavities yet).
      15)   Don’t buy so many shoes in the first few months. Their feet grow so fast and he doesn’t get to walk yet until he reaches 1 year old.   
      16)   Always talk to your baby, tell him made-up stories, read him books, sing to him. It increases his vocabulary and his imagination.
      17)   Don’t use pillows or comforters in the first few months and don’t let him lie on his stomach… this avoids Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
      18)   Go outside with your baby in the early morning and expose him to morning sun. It provides vitamin D and reduces risk of jaundice in newborns.
      19)   Choose a pedia who takes time to talk to you and your baby, who doesn’t rush you off, who promotes breastfeeding as well, and who gives her cellphone number to you.
      20)   Allow your baby to explore his surroundings.  Don’t get too protective when he starts to crawl and walk, just be always be there looking out for him in case he falls down or bumps into things.  Let him crawl on the floor, let him get dirty once in a while 
      21)   TV ---if you’ll allow him, let him watch videos that you buy (educational would be good or sesame street) instead of tv programs at an early stage. When he gets older, Disney Junior on tv will be ok as well. I recommend My Baby Can Talk video at about 10 months old---increases your baby’s vocabulary through signs/hand gestures.
      22)   Bring your baby to his grandparents, so he’ll get to know them.  Let him play with them.  Set up play dates (with us! J) so he’ll have interaction with other kids as well.
      23)   While still in hospital after giving birth, let the nurses bathe your baby and watch so you’ll learn how to do it.
      24)   Co-sleeping--- advisable to get a sleeper so he’s still beside you when he sleeps, easily accessible when time to breastfeed, but you won’t roll over and squish the baby.
      25)   if you have helper to wash laundry, cloth diapers during the day  (and regular diapers at night) are economical and good for your baby ---soft and no chemicals and environment friendly. Chino Pino brand is good, it’s shaped like a disposable diaper with Velcro, so easy to use.  You’ll use about 10-12 diapers in a day, so huge savings sya. We used cloth diapers on Stefan until he reached about 1.5 yrs old (nung di na kasya). You can buy diaper cover as well to put over the cloth diaper so wee wee wont leak.

From Mommy Penny:
1) Make time for some "me time". a few examples: take a long shower, log on to facebook, SLEEP, read a book, get a haircut..
2) You don't have to follow everyone's advice. every baby is different, what works for one baby doesn't necessarily work for yours.
3) Ask for your pedia's cellphone number
4) Whenever you’re exhausted, just remember: 'Motherhood is a choice you make everyday to put someone else's happiness an well-being ahead of your own.'
5) Take lots and lots of pictures of the baby, he will grow up so fast.
6) Stock up on alcohol and hand sanitizers, it's important to keep your hands clean at all times
7) Before going back to work, go shopping for post-maternity clothes. Don't expect to fit into your pre-maternity clothes until after some months. And don't take offense if someone mistakes you for still being pregnant :) it happens to most moms
8) Go to Mothercare for super cute baby outfits! but dont buy too many baby clothes because your baby will outgrow them quickly
9) Download helpful iphone/ipad apps to help you keep track of baby's feeding schedule, vaccines, milestones, etc. One example is Total Baby
10) During your maternity leave it's ok to leave your baby at home once in a while to go out with allan or friends. As long as you have someone you can trust to take care of the baby, don’t feel guilty.
11) Listen to classical music, it helps to calm down baby
12) It's good to be well prepared to help give you the confidence to take care of your baby. Learn the proper way of breastfeeding, giving baby a bath, changing baby's diaper, etc. The nurse at the hospital will teach you the bathing and diaper changing techniques. But for breastfeeding, it's advisable to enroll in a class (or read cris' tips!)
13) Expect to be very sleep deprived the first few weeks as baby will be feeding every 1-3 hours (depending on baby). As much as possible try to sleep whenever baby is sleeping
14) Encourage Allan to also help in taking care of the baby
15) Try skin to skin contact to help soothe baby
16) Limit baby's exposure to crowded public places until he completes the important vaccines. Check with your pedia.
17) Baby boys usually get toys for gifts so limit buying them yourself
18) Learn to trust your maternal instinct
19) Take vitamin c, drink lots of water, wash your hands frequently. Must be extra careful not to get sick.
20) Don’t worry too much about the household chores. Ask help from your relatives/hire a maid to get these done. Your first priority is baby.
21) Read mommy blogs on the internet for ideas and inspiration
22) Spend several times a day just staring, smiling and talking to baby. He loves hearing your voice and seeing your face.
23) Download your favorite tv series so you have something to watch while breastfeeding baby.
24) Buy several breastfeeding-friendly tops for easy access
25) Babies are very sensitive to their environment, try to always stay calm and relaxed whenever you’re around baby

From Mommy Weng:
1. Breastfeed! Breastfeed your baby as long as you can. My professor in college told the class. "Those" were not given by God for anything else but to breastfeed.
2. Talk to your baby even if it seems that he does not understand anything.
3. When he starts (nearly 1 yr old) recognizing objects, read to him books and identify the objects/animals/etc. Next time, ask him to point to the objects. You'll be surprise how retentive his memory. 
4. Get a pedia that explains even the small details. Someone that also answers text messages and calls.
5. When he starts being malikot, make it a habit to put cloth diaper on his back to absorb sweat. 
6. When he starts crawling and rolling over, better to put the bed cushion down. Never mind the bed frame no matter how expensive it is.
7. We've also surrounded the walls with rubber puzzle mats to avoid bumps.
8. Don't cut his nails right away. Press the nail cutter first against his nails, if he does not have a violent reaction then you may go ahead with the cutting.
9. Learn and be brave to give your baby his first bath at home. It will make you very proud as a first time mom.
10. Burp!!! It's important for the baby to burp every after feeding especially when bottle fed. Let him burp in between when bottle feeding if necessary.
11. At night, when the baby is already few months old, use only a lamp. That way, he'll know that it's still night time when he wakes up and he'll go back to sleep again.
12. For his first foods, don't give him those that are too malasa and malinamnam yet. That will make him a pihikan. Gerber is a NO-NO "daw". Cerelac, according to our Pedia, is ok because it is milk based.

13. Don't hesitate to ask questions (even if you think it's silly) from other mommies. That will take away your worries.
14. Teach Allan to change diapers and other stuff. You'll need as much help as possible from him.
15. Enjoy every moment, Ang bilis kasi nila lumaki. You wouldn't want to miss anything.
16. Register in They give week per week advices, baby development, etc.
17. Don't spend on too much clothes (especially shoes) at the same time because they grow very fast.
18. Don't buy things right away if his baptism, birthday, or Christmas is already near. Malay mo may magbigay naman as a gift nung kailangan mo. :)
19. Use the money that the baby will get as a gift to buy important things/matters. In our case, we bought him insurance.
20. Allow yaya or whoever that’s also taking care of the baby to go inside the pedia’s clinic during check ups so she’ll get informed as well.
21. If there are times that you can’t go with your baby during check ups, write your questions for the pedia. Ask the pedia to write also his / her answers.
22. Write all your “bilins” to the yaya in a piece of paper (e.g. dosage of vitamins). I do this especially when my baby is sick and I really have to be in the office.
23. “Down there” will be very painful (in my case it was 2 weeks). Eat papaya or prunes days before and after giving birth to avoid constipation. Wash it with lukewarm water. I also tried washing it with nilagang dahon ng bayabas. I think it helped (but it’s your choice). Bleeding will also take weeks (1 month ata in my case).
24. Always iron his clothes, bib, cloth diapers, etc.
25. Don’t’ buy too expensive toys. Itatapon lang nya yun.

From me:

1. Breastfeeding is natural but it’s not always easy. Persevere in your breastfeeding – it is a mindset. Think milk, milk, milk and the milk will flow.
2. Your milk will come on the 3rd to 5th day after giving birth. So the first few days your baby is drinking your colostrum. When he cries, don't think that he’s still hungry and then give him formula. That's not true. New born babies are not yet hungry when they come out.
3. List, list, list – you’ll find yourself being forgetful after giving birth. 
4. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed when the baby won’t stop crying after you did everything you need to do. Sometimes you’ll find yourself crying, too. Just let it all out and cry with your baby. 
5. Sometimes, too, babies cry just because they want to. They’re not hungry, they’re not wet, they’re not sleepy. They just want to cry.
6. Pump milk weeks before going back to work to build up your milk supply. 
7. When you get back to work, leave a used item of clothing with the baby just so he’ll still smell you and think that you’re around. He will miss your scent when you leave him for work. This way, it will be easier for him to be away from you.
8. If in case the time comes that your baby will prefer the yaya, don’t be jealous and always remember you are the mother. Yaya’s will come and go, but he will always have you.
9. Pray for your baby.
10. Remember: you are first a wife, a mother second. It’s easy to neglect Allan after the baby comes but after you’ve settled, try to set weekly dates to keep the fire burning.
11. If you give birth the normal way through the V, it will be painful to have sex for the first time. I don’t care what your OB says that it’s okay to have sex after 6 weeks. It’s painful hahaha! Use KY jelly *wink wink*
12. It’s the digital age but try to have your baby’s photos printed out – photos or photobooks.
13. Sing to your baby. Sing when he’s fussy, sing while you’re breastfeeding, sing him to sleep, sing to him when he’s awake. It doesn’t matter if you’re out of tune or not, he will remember your voice.
14. Comfort and carry your baby when he cries – don’t care if the old folks tell you dahil masasanay magpabuhat ang baby. That’s not true – comfort your baby whenever he needs you.  
15.  Breastfeed on demand. Don’t count the number of hours in between feeding and the number of minutes per feeding. Breastfeed baby when he’s hungry. This will make you feel like a human cow but it’s definitely worth it.
16. Swaddle your baby. It will keep him feel comforted and sleep better because he will feel like he’s still inside your tummy.
17. Put mittens on your baby so that he will not scratch his face with his fingernails.
18. Diaper rash is usual in babies. Don’t panic! Just use a good diaper rash cream to treat it.
19. On your first menstrual cycle after giving birth, the discharge will be heavier than usual and longer, say a week if your usual is 3 days only. Drink iron supplements during your period. Your first period will be months after giving birth.
20. Breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive especially during the first 6 months if exclusively breastfeeding.
21. Call your pediatrician if you worry about your baby. Don’t be shy to call even if it’s the middle of the night. It’s their job to answer your call. Aside from their cellphone number, get their residential number as well.
22. Give your hubby and baby their own time to bond together.
23. Don’t buy too many toys. You’ll be surprised that your baby will enjoy the most common household items like the remote control.
24. Read to your baby. During the first few months buy soft cloth books that he can play with and bite. Use these until you transition to board books.
25. As working moms, we should not feel guilty that we have to go to work and leave our baby at home. Spend quality time with your baby when you’re at home. Quality trumps quantity.

Hope this helps you, Mommy!

Day 29 of 30 (x2)


~currant7 said...

the list rocks! thanks for sharing this, sista! :)

cris said...

you're welcome! I love that list, too! I've learned a few things as well :)

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