Looking back at the past year and a half of being a new mom, I have experienced many firsts and have come to realize that there will always be something to experience for the first time as a parent. And with that comes questions. Lots of questions.
As Rylee’s second birthday is quickly approaching, I have been thinking back to all of the questions I had as a new mom and the advice I would give to those who have the same questions, now that I have some experience.
Here are the top 6 questions that came to mind. And after reading through, enter into my giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Visa Gift Card!
I knew as soon as I was pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed my daughter. I was able to do so for 6 months, but it was definitely hard for me at times.
Between getting Mastitis (Which was its own question – “What in the world is Mastitis?!”) going back to work and trying to pump to produce enough for full feedings, and getting Rylee to latch correctly without tremendous pain were all a part of my experience. You can read more about my Postpartum Rant and struggles with breastfeeding in the post I wrote shortly after hearing I was diagnosed with Mastitis.
Throughout my time breastfeeding, and especially when I wasn’t producing as much as I knew Rylee needed, I just kept telling myself that a little bit is still better than nothing, and that is what kept me going throughout the entire 6 months. My biggest piece of advice for those who choose to breastfeed their babies, is to do as much as you can and don’t stress over it or compare yourself to other moms if it’s not going as well as you had hoped or planned for. If you end up having difficulties, continue to do the best you can and don’t beat yourself up over it or feel like a failure, because everyone is different. You should be proud of yourself no matter what. Your a momma and you brought a beautiful life into this world! Plus, formula is not as bad as everyone says it is and it’s a great option for moms who have trouble breastfeeding. Which leads into my next question.
At my daughter’s first ever check-up, we found out that she was not getting the nutrition she needed from breastfeeding alone and that she was losing too much weight. This was heartbreaking for me to hear as a mother.
Well, at that very appointment, my doctor pulled out one of those “dreaded” bottles of formula and fed it to her right there. She slugged that bottle down in an instant, and that is when I realized that her getting the nutrition and nourishment that she needed to grow was more important than how she was getting it.
This is definitely not an unpopular question to have as a new mom. Actually, a nationwide survey of pediatricians, the “Pulse of Pediatricians” looked at the most common questions new moms will ask and found that feeding questions were the number one topic moms asked about. Other than poop and sleep questions, of course.
Many people have opinions about formula vs. breast milk and they are not afraid to vocalize them. My advice is to ignore what others think and do what is best for your baby.
Feeding my baby formula to help supplement breastfeeding was one of the best decisions we made. It gave me a break when I needed it most and gave Brett the opportunity to bond with Rylee.
And you don’t have to feel afraid about the quality of baby formula out there.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and other experts agree on the benefits of breastfeeding, but these experts also agree that infant formula is a safe and nutritious means to nourish babies.
And what most moms don’t know is that the FDA strictly regulates formula to keep little ones safe. Even store brand formulas, like Wal-Mart’s Parent’s Choice and Target’s Up & Up, are nutritionally comparable to national brands like Enfamil® and Similac® and meet FDA standards.
I wrote an entire post about using these store brand formula products and the money we saved as a family using them in my post, How to Effortlessly Save Money as a Busy Mom. Did you know that the cost of store-brand formula is half the price of the major brands? That is a huge savings! (Quick Tip: You can visit http://www.storebrandformula.com for more information and formula coupons!)
I didn’t know at the time how important it was for Rylee to have regular tummy time and to start early. Especially with doctors telling you now days to lay your baby on their backs while sleeping and the fact that swings and bouncers keep babies on their backs, they need it in order to prevent “flat heads.” We actually found out we weren’t giving Rylee enough tummy time at around 4-5 months and the doctor told us her head was a little flat! He was concerned, but we didn’t know that she could have been doing more tummy time when she was that little! We had to massage her head to try and round it out in order to avoid her wearing one of those helmets! It was a little scary!
Babies might seem so fragile when they are that little and you want to make sure that they are always comfortable. But you would be surprised at what they can do! My advice is to start out as early as possible with tummy time. Lay your little one on the mat and test out their strength. Just make sure that you are nearby to supervise your precious little one.
After I had Rylee I could not wait to be the best mom that I could be to her when we got her home. I thought that 6 weeks off for maternity leave was not long at all, so I would have to spend as much time with her as possible. And good moms don’t “want to get away” from their babies… do they? And that’s when the guilt starts to sink in. It wasn’t until Brett told me that is it OK to go out and continue to do the things I love. Just because I have a baby now doesn’t mean that I can’t and I shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to, either.
I was so thankful that Brett made this clear for me. And after experiencing how great it felt to get out and have some alone time, I realized how important this was in order for me to be the best mom I could be. Taking the time to enjoy the things I love doing made me happy. And a happy mom is a good mom. It also really helped me to appreciate Brett as a partner in this whole parenting thing, too.
Everyone says it. There is so much stuff out there for babies now that it makes it hard for you as a new parent to know what the essentials are! Rylee has so many toys now, and it is funny to think that she would rather play with the pots and pans than the awesome drum set kit she got for her birthday.
Every baby is different, I know. And you’ll have to learn for yourself what works best for your little one. But as a starting point, I do have a list of some of my favorite baby items that made Rylee (and myself) happy throughout her first 6 months. Check out this post, 5 Baby Things That I Could Not Live Without, to read more.
This one can definitely be a challenge for any new parent going back to work. There are many options to choose from — a daycare, a nanny or family willing to babysit. In our case, daycare was the best option and we could not be happier with our decision.
If you are looking for a daycare to bring your little one when you are getting ready to go back to work, here are some of my tips for finding the perfect one:
- Start your search as early as possible. We started late and all of the ones we thought we wanted were booked solid. Day cares book up fast and if you want a space at your daycare of choice, I suggest you start looking as soon as possible and hold a spot for your little one so you are prepared and ready to go back to work when the time comes.
- Choose a daycare close to home. I originally thought that I wanted Rylee’s daycare to be closer to my work so that I could visit her and breastfeed her when I was still doing so (typical new momma thinking). All the daycares that we looked at near my work were completely full with no openings in sight and so we started looking closer to our home. I am so happy with our choice. Now I am not soley responsible for dropping her off and picking her up and Brett can share that responsibility with me. Also, she doesn’t have to endure a 20-30 minute ride in the car to and from work AND I can make it to the gym after work on select nights without having to get her first.
- Find one with a great camera system. There are a lot of things I like about our school, but one of my favorites is the camera system they have set up so that I can watch her at work. I really feel like I know what she is up to during the day and don’t feel like I am missing out on too much while I am working.
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my post! I hope you were able to find some good advice to take a long with you!
Now it’s your chance to enter to win this giveaway for a $25 Visa gift card! Check out the widget below to enter:
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Disclosure: The product, gift cards, survey results and information have been provided by Perrigo Nutritionals Store Brand Formula. Regardless, all thoughts and opinions expressed in the post are honest and purely my own.