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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ideas for New Mommies

By Guest Blogger Rachel H

Although it was over five years ago that I was a first-time Mommy, I do remember getting way more advice than I ever needed on parenting. Some was good, some was bad, and sometimes I just had to learn the hard way on my own. There are a few ideas and suggestions that have stuck with me over the years. I have tried to include the ones that are not based on how to raise your child, because everyone has their own style. Instead I have included just a few fun suggestions and tips that I hope that some of you first-time Moms will be able to use!

Buy a “Baby’s First Year” calendar.
Each day write one quick sentence on the calendar about your child. It is quick and easy. It is also beneficial to have in case you do not get started on a Baby Book or Scrapbook until much later. This is a great tool to help you look back and remember all the little things that we seem to forget too soon.

The cuter the burp cloth, the less absorbent it will be!
Now I know this does not apply to ALL cute burp cloths. Actually, I often buy monogrammed burpcloths as gifts because it is always fun to have a few nicer ones. BUT, I still think the best way to go is to buy a package of cloth diapers and use those. They can clean up even the biggest mess!

Take a picture every month of your baby.
If your baby was born on August 9, take a picture on September 9, October 9, etc for a whole year. Choose the same stuffed animal to sit next to your baby each month and you will be amazed to see how much they grow.

Buy a Memory Box.
My favorite place to get these is a Home Goods store or TJ Maxx. They come in all sizes, but I like the large memory box because it can hold a lot and you can just slide it under the bed. They are usually covered in a cute material. It is an easy way to keep track of anything you may want to save for the future. Inside my children’s boxes are cards we received hospital bracelets, baptismal certificates, candles, first lock of hair after a haircut, footprints, favorite blanket or stuffed animal, photos, etc.

Take pictures of your friends, too!
You will more than likely have many visitors in the hospital and when you arrive home. Make sure you take pictures of these family members and friends holding your baby. Once you have a child, it is easy to get wrapped up in always taking pictures of just the baby. You will love to be able to look back one day and see everyone who met your baby and was there to welcome them into the world! It also adds a little more excitement to the scrapbook one day since so many baby pictures all look the same!

Don’t register for bibs or blankets!
Tell me if you disagree, but most of my friends all received way more blankets and bibs than they could ever possibly use. Family and friends are going to purchase these for you whether they are on your registry or not. I suggest not registering for any and once the baby gets here, you can always buy some then.

Never take tags off baby products until the day you decide to use it!
I know you want to get the baby’s room all set up and looking great, but there are often gadgets and clothing that you think you will use, but never do. If you keep them in the package, you can always return them for a store credit.

Try many different diapers before you settle on one brand.
Different babies do well with different diapers, but make sure you give some of the less expensive ones a try! I have a boy and a girl, and they both used the Wal-Mart brand diapers during the day and at night. They used these up until they were potty trained, and I thought they worked great. They were very inexpensive. I did major price comparisons on diapers when we were using them, and this brand was cheaper per diaper than the bulk packs at warehouses. The money you save on diapers really adds up in the end.

Get a picture with Santa every year.
And please don’t pay the outrageous prices that some places charge! There are so many opportunities to get a photo with Santa that you can take with your own camera. Keep them even if your baby is screaming in them! Those are the best later on! I was at a friend’s house the other day, who now has two teenage girls. On her mantle, she had about 13 framed pictures of her girls with Santa over the years. The pictures were so fun to look at and to see how her girls have changed over the years. I thought this was the best idea.

Keep a “Thank You Note” list handy.
You never know when a package will arrive in the mail, or when a neighbor will drop by with dinner for your family. Keep a list handy to jot down all of the kind things others have done for you so that no one is forgotten when it is time to write your thank you notes. And no, you will never have a free day to write them all, so go ahead and knock out a few each day when baby is content.

Now it is time for all you Smarty Moms to add a comment to my blog and give us some ideas and tips of your own! There are so many more out there that I am sure I have forgotten!


Heather said...

I had never heard of organizing dinners for new moms until I moved to this area. If you know someone who is expecting, it is always a wonderful gift to organize dinners for them. Just have their friends sign up to deliver a meal one night over a span of a few weeks. It is amazing how much these dinners helped me out when I had my children.

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