We've all heard the saying "Babies don't come with an instruction manual." Darn-tootin-straight, they don't. What do newborn babies come with? Lots of people giving you advice. From your pediatrician to your bestie to your great-aunt Flo, once you pop that kiddo out, hints, how-tos, and some family lore will be coming your way. Sleep when the baby sleeps, vacuum under her crib when she naps (so she gets used to napping with sound), tickling her feet will help her burp ... and you may try them, you may not. FYI, the tickling her feet didn't do squat for bodily functions.
But I have to say, the best baby advice I got had nothing to do with sleeping or breastfeeding or diapering. Nope. Had to do with my baby's wardrobe ...
The best baby advice I ever got was: "For the first two or three months, don't put anything on your baby that goes over her head." I was told to get zip-up onesies, onesies with side-zips or ties. Odd, right? But, I tell you, it was the best advice ever.
Why? When you get your little bundle of joy home -- especially first-time parents -- she looks so tiny. She looks so fragile. You have her on the changing table, getting a new outfit on, and the last thing you want to do is hurt her. But you are afraid you will. Sure, you saw the nurses handling her like she was a tough little football, and you know she will be fine, but here you are, alone, beyond overwhelmed with feeding schedules and sleeping schedules and you yourself are healing and she has this wobbly little head as those newborn neck muscles are a bit lacking. So, take the issue of being nervous about pulling something over that tiny wobbly head and itty-bitty beautiful face out of the equation.
Seriously, it helped. Not just me, but my husband who was really afraid he'd hurt her. I know, it's an irrational feeling, and we all know now that babies are tougher than they look, but in those first days and weeks, dang, you are just treading water here in the Parent Ocean. It made one thing I did every day -- a few times every day -- easier, it gave me confidence ... which is priceless when you are a new parent.
It isn't hard to find those kinds of shirts and dresses. We had a lot of those kimono-style shirts and side-tie dresses, and Kiddo practically lived in her zip-up-front, footie sleepers. By the time we did pull something over her head, she was a bit stronger and so was Mama.
What was the best baby advice you got?
Image via simplyla/Flickr