Monday, May 21, 2012


Another one of Robbie's future prom/homecoming/Sadie Hawkins day dates entered the world last Thursday.  Welcome to the world, Baby Johnston!

Robin and I have been chatting often as I remember those first few days and weeks.  As I told her, it is just about getting through. 

I got lots of good advice that I was passed on, and thought I'd crowdsource this one out.

What's the best piece of advice you received in the first month?  What do you wish you had known before hand?

Included in my list that I passed along:
  • No "helping".  If hubby is going to do something, let him do it.  Don't correct or suggest or "lend a hand".  He's grown.
  • Drink LOTS of water, and those extra 500 calories are no joke when BFing.
  • Put yourself out there.  It's like being a freshman in college.  If you see another woman walking with a baby, introduce yourself.  Exchange phone numbers.
  • Get OUT of the house.  Take walks.  Go shopping.   Grab lunch with a friend.
  • This too shall pass.
Welcome to the world, Baby V.  You got some awesome parents.


  1. Lots of great advice from when I posted this on Facebook for my small "blog" list:

    My biggest piece of advice would be to research breastfeeding before the baby comes. Be prepared in case your boobs aren't.

    Have a snack next to the bed for those middle of the night feedings...for you, not the baby. You'd be surprised how STARVED you can get. Don't turn down people bringing you food. The last thing you'll want to do is cook and you really should have something other than pizza every day. Set limits. It's your baby, you'll have lots of visitors, but unless you want someone to stay over and help, don't. The quiet times after people left were so blessedly quiet.

    Realize that things probably aren't going to go exactly as planned (with labor, feeding, sleeping, etc) and that you have to be at peace with making whatever choices are right for you and your baby, and not for someone else. If someone had figured out the perfect way to parent that applied across the board, we'd all know it by now!

    Most likely, your baby is going to cry a lot for the first ten weeks. Don't let it drive you crazy. Sometimes a diaper change, feeding, nap, or cuddle will help, sometimes they just cry.

    Also: go easy on the Amazon Mom. It's really easy to spend thousands of dollars having baby gear delivered when you're stuck at home with a fussy child and ready to drop $100 on any item that promises a little quiet time!

    Accept help. Whether it be in the form of a meal or someone watching the baby so you can nap/shower/do something for yourself. No mom can do everything everyday with so little sleep.

    Try to take a shower every day. It'll make you feel more human, plus you'll get about 10 minutes of alone time! Don't worry about milestones; they'll get here soon enough - enjoy your little one while they're still little.

    You are the best mom that your child has ever known. S/he has no idea you've never done this before, just that you are awesome and full of love.

  2. I had done SO MUCH RESEARCH and thought I knew what to expect. I had a plan. And people would kind of laugh when I told them "I'm not going to use a pacifier." "I'm going to breastfeed, NO FORMULA." Well, it seems funny now.

    My son (now 7 months old) was a SUPER COLICKY baby. He never. stopped. crying. No, not crying. SCREAMING. It was AWFUL for about 4 months. When I finally started using the pacifier, it did what it was supposed to do! It pacified him! IMAGINE THAT! WHY was I so opposed to it?! Oh yeah, I'll tell you why. Because I was trying so desperately to breastfeed, and the Nazi lactation consultant I was going to made pacis seem like an invention of the devil. No joke. AND she made formula seem like baby poison.

    So, for 6 weeks, I BF'd and sobbed (PAIN), and got $50 Rx's for my crazy painful nipples. And it still didn't work. It wasn't me. I was producing enough to feed a small village. It was my son. He couldn't latch on correctly to save his life. I did everything I could. A few people were telling me "Oh, stick with it. It's best for the baby." Even though I was MISERABLE. Finally, after 6 weeks, I said "NO. This is AWFUL for me. I am in PAIN. Sorry bout it, but no thanks." It was the BEST decision that I could have made for myself. Other people BF with no problem at all. But it's not for everyone, and I'm glad I realized that when I did.

    Also, I was suffering from postpartum depression pretty badly. I didn't realize it until the lactation consultant was about to leave the room after one of our fruitless appointments and said, "Are you depressed?" It really caught me off guard. But I reluctantly, I said "Uhhhh.... yes." She asked if I wanted her to recommend someone to talk to, but I politely declined. I don't like to admit when I can't handle things. I'm superhuman after all, or so I've always thought. I wish I had talked to someone though. Might have helped.

    A piece of advice that's tried and true: Sleep while the baby sleeps. Because if you don't, you won't sleep. Ever. Or at least for the first three months or so (if you're lucky).

    This is getting long, I know, but if I could do it again, I wouldn't purchase all of my baby "gear", clothes, stuff, before the baby is born. We literally have SO MANY CLOTHES that he can't even wear them all before he grows out of them! All you need for the first few weeks is maybe 5-10 sleepers, 5-10 onesies, 5 pairs of socks, a couple hats. I mean, really. And now I'm getting all of his outgrown clothes together to sell, and it's making me sick. Just buy stuff as you need it, then there's much less waste. Babies don't need super cute clothing. They look cute in ANYTHING because they're so small!

    Oh, and the Miracle Blanket saved our lives. He would wiggle right out of the traditional swaddling blankets. The MB is like a straight jacket for babies. He HATED it at first, but by night 3, I'd say, he would smile when I would wrap him in it. And it made him sleep like a log!

    And one more thing (I promise!) when my son was colicky and crying nonstop, I would freak out because there was nothing I could do! My mom gave me the best advice. He's probably crying for one of three reasons: he's hungry, has a dirty diaper or is tired. When those needs are met and he's still crying, then try other methods: rocking, reading a book, his FISHER PRICE JUNGLE MOBILE (LOVE!), swing, etc.

    The first few months are tough, but it DOES get easier :) I'm very passionate about this subject, as you can tell! GOOD LUCK!

  3. I stumbled upon this at the tail end (please dear God be the end...) of a marathon middle of the night feeding session with my three week old. Thanks, Susann, for posting this. I've been lucky and my guy has been super easygoing, but most of the advice above is still relevant to me. I especially agree with the bit about being flexible as things don't go as planned. That's been huge for me.

    A huge congratulations to Robin and Ed on their beautiful baby!

  4. A couple more from the Facebook...

    Don't beat yourself up or get stressed just because your baby is crying. It's natural. They can't talk, (or complain) so they cry. Check them once to make sure all is well, then it's ok to let them go.

    Enjoy the time that they are easy to get dressed and change...when they can roll, flip, and turn, life gets much more interesting (and a 2 minute diaper change turns into 10 minutes of hoping poo doesn't get all over the place and chasing after a butt naked toddler).