The first twelve months after bringing home baby are a roller-coaster of milestones, mood swings and memories. Every parent who has been there and done that has a lot of could-haves, should-haves, and would-haves from baby’s first year—whether it’s sleep training, navigating teething or life-saving products. Keep reading to see our team’s top tips, which they share with every new parent:
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“Get a couple of preemie outfits and diapers for the first couple of weeks—unless you expect a very large baby.” -Jennifer S.
“Relax. For what it’s worth, I feel like the baby can feel your anxiety. So whatever you are doing, relax and the baby will relax, too.” -Laurie M.
“Fun trick that not enough people know about: Onesies have those flaps on the shoulders because many are designed to be pulled down over baby all the way in case of a blowout for easier cleanup.” -Jennifer S.
“An app called The Wonder Weeks saved our sanity multiple times. It tells you how the baby’s brain is developing and what is normal in terms of behavior and fussiness. I recommend it to all our new mom friends now!” -Sarah S.
“Get out as much as you can. The “potted plant” stage where you can carry them around in their bucket car seat is so much easier than the toddler years in a lot of ways.” -Kate L.
“Download a book on a Kindle for those nights that you can’t put them down but you can’t sleep in the chair, either. Holding them while they sleep at 4 a.m. is sweeter when you’re reading Tina Fey’s latest. Master the blue nasal bulb, and it will serve you well for years to come. If you feel like you’re failing epically at keeping the baby’s schedule consistent, just try to be consistent with your own schedule (when you exercise, when you eat, when you try to shower, etc.); control what you can control. Take it easy on yourself. You’ll be fine.” –Shelley M.
“Run a load of laundry every day, if you’re able. Getting ahead of it is much easier than it piling up and… it’s less folding. Just grab a clean burp cloth.” -Julie G.
“You don’t need a million toys. A few classic items will suffice.” -Gabby C.
“Don’t kill yourself trying to master the DIY swaddle. Get one of those Miracle Blankets and Velcro the sucker in there!” –Mimi O.
“Take LOTS of videos. Babies change and grow so much: You’ll want video to remember facial expressions, those first laughs, cuddles with grandparents, all the little, special moments.” -Eva C.
“Breastfeeding guilt. Let it go, mama. Breastfeeding is harder for some moms than others; don’t compare yourself. Do it or don’t, and for as long or as little as works for you. Your baby will get the nourishment they need either way. Breastfeeding doesn’t make you more or less of a good mom. Be kind to yourself. You just birthed a human. You’re doing great and you got this.”
“Remember: It’s just a phase. It’s actually unbelievable how consumed you are with whatever the latest issue is—feeding, nap schedules, rashes, etc. You feel like you’ll be stuck in that place forever. And then a few weeks later you aren’t and you’ve moved on to the next obsession. Take a deep breath and know that whatever it is, it will likely pass.” -Lauren D.
“Ruffles out! Diapers have ruffles around the legs. These are important for keeping the poop in. Ruffles out. Always.” –Jennifer S.