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

Only a few of the things I wish I had known while I was pregnant

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​There are so many things I wish I had known but only learned through experience. I've tried to keep track of them, but can't remember them all. These are some of my regular tips that I tell pregnant friends, just off the top of my head. Nobody ever talks about these things! 

- You will be hungry and thirsty all the time if you are breastfeeding. 

- You need clothes with pockets, lots of pockets. Otherwise carrying an infant or even a toddler means multiple trips up and down the stairs. 

- Breastfeeding might be natural, but only in the sense that your body is made to breastfeed. Breastfeeding IS NOT EASY. It's OK to get the hang of it one day and to feel completely lost the next. 

- Any routine you start with the baby, be prepared to continue doing it when the baby is 20+ pounds or you are back at work. That includes lunges up and down the hallway for 20 minutes or singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" 30 times a night to get your kid to sleep. 

- When your baby is sleeping through the night, that it's only 5 hours. If you put your kid to sleep at 6 or 7, it really means absolutely nothing. 

- Try not to buy too many clothes ahead of time and the clothes you do buy, don't take the tags off until you're going to wear them. Babies do not all wear 3 months clothes when they're 3 months and all stores are sized differently. 

- Save all receipts for everything. Don't unwrap anything or remove tags until you are about to use it. Otherwise, you'll find yourself with a ton of stuff you can't return and won't use or didn't use before it was too late. 

- When you find a diaper brand you like, log the rewards codes regularly. They add up quickly and you can get great gifts, even for logging a diaper code 1x per month.  

- Before the baby comes, stock up on foods you can prepare/unwrap and eat with one hand.  Keep some dry goods in your bedroom. 

- Buy a sound machine. And a travel sound machine (for the car seat). 

- Skip the pregnancy book. Read the newborn baby care book before the baby arrives. There is absolutely no time to read it after. 

- Dr. Karp's 5 S's are no joke. So true and helpful to know. 

- Use baby apps to keep track of when your baby last ate, woke up, changed diaper, etc. so you will know what to do when you lose track of time.

- You will get really sick of people referring to your maternity leave as a "vacation" or "time off."

The best thing you can do is not be ashamed to ask friends or family if they have had the same problems because even though everyone's experiences are different, it makes you feel really good to know that you're not alone. 

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.