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Challenge: Bringing Home Baby: What Do You Wish You’d Known?

6 Useful Tips for First Time Parents

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​You are about to bring your first born home from the hospital. Your overnight bag is packed and the car seat has been pre-loaded. Now let the waiting game begin! While you wait, here are a few tips to get you started off on the right foot when you get home.

1.Baby Calendar: Accept the forgetful “Mommy Brain” and deal with it by getting a calendar with room to write. Of course you have a phone that has 'your life in it’…but that’s not the same thing as a baby calendar. One day you won’t have that phone or the technology will be out of date and all that data will be lost. Buy a good ole paper calendar and when a “First” milestone happens, you can quickly write down a few words about it and move on with your day. It’s fast and easy and will accurately show how old your child was when they did that first miraculous thing that you thought was adorable. There is another more functional use too, write down things like doctor appointments, fevers/illness and dates medication was taken. You never know when this can come in handy during a doctor's visit. The more you know about patterns your child has the more you will be able to help if they develop allergies or get sick for no reason. Having a chart of events can be a tremendous tool to a doctor. If you are anything like me, you will have every intention of writing their milestones down in their baby book. Maybe someday in my unrealistic future I will get that done…or I may just bequeath them their first year calendar! It’s that good!

2.Make Friends With Your Pediatrician’s Nurse: A nurse friend can be a valuable asset. Your Pediatrician’s nurse however, holds the keys to the kingdom. Do not be rude or snippy with her if you had to wait in the lobby. It is not her fault, she doesn't do the scheduling. She does hold the keys to your doctor’s day though! Instead of making an appointment for every ailment and sniffle. Call your Pediatrician’s office and ask to speak your doctor’s nurse. 99% of the time they will be busy and you’ll have to leave a message. Tell them you don’t want to jam up their day if it’s nothing, and then give them your child’s symptoms. If it’s nothing, they will tell you it’s nothing. If it’s something that needs to be seen, more than likely they will tell you to come in and THEY will find you a spot in the day. The nurse knows how the doctor’s day is going more than the scheduler. You are more likely to get in, if needed, by being nice to the people who hold all the keys. Not only that, but they will remember you as someone who didn’t want to waste their time. It never hurts to be friends with people in the medical field.

3.Make Some Noise: Don’t keep everything quiet so the baby can sleep. They slept in your stomach with the noises of your life for nine months. Don’t stop now just because they are on the outside. Dana Cox, a nurse says, “Remember it certainly wasn't quiet at the hospital! The nursery is a busy place!” Keep the TV on, play some music and run the vacuum. Your little one will get used to your family patterns. You will thank me later when your baby doesn’t cry for every single little peep you make.

4.Photos: FACEBOOK IS NOT REAL LIFE! Not every photo needs to look like a fairy tale. No one wants to see pictures of children being perfect all the time. If you want to make an impact learn to laugh at yourself and your children!

It takes 1000 of these…

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To get one of these…and everyone likes the top one better.

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5.Baby Stations: There is nothing cuter than a nursery with a changing table, but a little bit of pre-planning goes a long way! Take a cute basket and fill it with diapers/wipes then tuck it under a coffee table in the room you use most often, out of sight. Don’t get stuck toting a child off to another room or even another floor of the house just to do a quick change. Save your time and energy for more useful things! Also, don’t just keep diapers in your changing tables and diaper bags. Stow one. I can’t tell you how many times I have used the single diaper I kept in my glove box for emergencies. If I packed enough for my child, I always had a friend who needed one for their child.

6.Food Prep: If you are getting that nesting feeling right before the baby comes, put it to good use by preparing portions of your meals ahead of time. Side dishes are usually pretty quick, it’s your protein that either needs to be thawed or cooked. A few weeks before your baby is born spend some time browning hamburger and dicing chicken and pork. Season a few pounds with taco seasoning or Italian seasonings so you have a variety. Then, if and when you find yourself sleepless or unmotivated to cook you can still have tacos on the table in less than 10 minutes!

Here’s what a few other Supermom’s had to say when asked “What’s the one thing you wished you knew when bringing home your first child?”

* Let other people serve and help you- even on the yucky stuff like laundry and cleaning, food etc. ~Ashleigh Loeber

*Every stage is temporary - the not so great parts and the awesome ones - so make the awesome ones last as long as they can. ~Heather Carter

*Do not waste your money on gadgets. You do NOT need everything you see. ~Sandy Lord-Hunt

*Each baby is a unique human being. You cannot force them to sleep, and no one method of rearing will work for every baby or every family! ~Jaci Johnson

*I wish someone would have told me I wasn't coming home from the hospital in regular clothes. ~Kari Hoopii

*Understand that you will make mistakes. No parent is perfect. Some days you will just be thankful everyone is still alive. ~Jennifer Renner

Join the conversation! Comment below on what YOU wish you’d known when bringing home your first born.

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