What to tell a new mom

April 7, 2006

My dearly beloved sister-in-law is pregnant with her first child, and I’ve been sending her little articles of advice, tidbits, helpful things I’ve learned over the past 5 years of parenthood.  All of this comes with the caveat that I fully expect her and my brother to create their own way of parenting, and ignore my advice if it doesn’t suit their parenting style.

Having said that, what advice would you give to a new mom?  What things do you wish someone had told you when you were pregnant?
Here’s a few of the tidbits I’ve passed along so far…

–don’t overprepare for childbirth and underprepare for parenthood (i.e.: read more about baby care [which lasts for months] and less about childbirth [which lasts a day])

–Be very aware of the potential pitfalls of co-sleeping with your child (difficulties maintaining intimacy with your mate, difficulties getting the child to his/her own bed).  Not saying “don’t do it,” just saying “know what you’re getting yourself into.”

–read up on nursing, and go to La Leche League meetings to get more info and support, if that’s what you choose to do (I found it so helpful just to see how other women did it)

–store-brand diapers are just as good as name brands, and usually several dollars cheaper

And the one piece of advice I give every expectant parent:  SLEEP NOW!  Sleep at every opportunity! ‘Cause you won’t be sleepin’ well for about 2 years after the baby comes….