Blog po polsku o życiu w Dolinie Krzemowej | Unsolicited baby advice from a mother of one

Things I wish I prepared before my baby arrived

Things I wish I prepared before my baby arrived

Learning how to use your breast pump and buy formula

You may be sure you want to nurse exclusively, but you really don't know what you're signing up for. There's nothing you can compare breastfeeding to, and there's no way for you to practice or prepare things to make it easier later. Some babies can't latch, some moms' anxiety gets worse while breastfeeding, some babies get jaundice and require extra nutrients - there's tons of reasons why you may need to use a pump or give formula. When your baby is 4 days old, crying of hunger, and your milk hasn't come in yet, you don't want to have to drive to Target to get Enfamil. Even if you do end up nursing exclusively, having formula can ease some anxiety, and knowing how to use your breast pump will come in handy when you're planning on going back to work and building up your freezer stash.

Setting up all the baby-related electronics

Technology has helped us so much - especially in the first month. Get your baby monitor ready (we recommend Owlet - see photo below), set up your smart home devices ("Alexa, turn on the bedroom"), and plug in that white noise machine. You don't want to have to do it when you have a newborn at home, and haven't slept in days.

Another thing that may or may not fall under this category - tracking diapers and feeding. We used an app (and set up Alexa so we could record it without looking for our phones), but many people opt in for just a notebook. Tracking, especially in the first 2 weeks is a must - your baby's pediatrician will ask you on how many diapers your baby has in 24h, as well as for how long and how often they're nursing.

Cutting my nails short

Scratching your infant is the last thing you want to do, especially if you have no experience with babies. You will be clumsy in the beginning - you won't feel comfortable picking up and carrying the baby; changing diaper will be taking you a long time, and the diaper will still leak; and don't even get me started on giving them a bath.

Getting the medicine cabinet ready

Imagine what would you do if your baby wasn't feeling well or got sick.

Talking to your partner about 1) photos, 2) labor division

Resenting your partner after the baby arrives is normal. While you carried the baby for nine months, hormones did their job, and you transitioned right into being a mom. Your partner - well - it does not as naturally to them. But the worst thing is that instead of DOING things proactively they will expect you to tell them what to do as if you had energy to feed the baby and manage them. What helped me was being very specific, ie. "before you sit down to watch TV, make sure all the pump parts are washed" or "

Going to a baby gear expo event

I know of two, but I'm sure there's way more - Gearapalooza and Biggest Baby Shower Ever. In the price of a ticket there's a huge bag of goodies - from formula samples, through full size bottles, to crackers for your hospital stay. That's how we discovered tons of great products I would not have found otherwise, like Avent bottles or Fatco baby butter. That's also where we got the formula we used in the first week of Francis' life when he had problems sucking. Plus during the event they organize tons of giveaways, so there's a high chance you get something really nice for free (we got a newborn photoshoot, but some people were going home with new baby carriers and strollers). And if that wasn't enough we signed up for a study with Stanford, and received $50 Amazon gift card for answering some questions.