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Mom's Time Out

Advice to new mom's

Mary Angel

(10/2015) This month my article is a tribute. It is a tribute to all of the pregnant ladies I know (more at one time than ever before). I have asked friends and family to tell me the best "mom" advice they could think of to give to a new mom. I have gotten phone calls, texts, and even some responses in person. They have shared their own advice or advice that was given to them. Some even shared old wives tales, humorous advice, and downright crazy suggestions. For all the pregnant ladies out there hopefully this gives you some new ideas and at the bare minimum a good chuckle.

Letís start with some basic sound advice. A lot of the ladies said it is imperative to ask for help in the first month or so. Whether the help be from a new grandparent, a friend, an older child, or the new dad who is in this with you, just ask! Hand in hand with this advice is to always accept the offer of help. There is always something someone can do to help a new mom. The list is truly endless i.e., laundry, dishes, cleaning, making meals, running errands, or even just watching the baby so you can get a nap. Along the same line as that last idea would also be that you should try to nap as much as possible when the baby naps. At the beginning you will be tiredÖSO REST! The chores of the house will still be there after you wake up. Although it was not one of the responses I received for this article it did give me quite a laugh, "My house will be clean when the kids grow up and move out." I am not saying should wait to clean your house till the kids move out, but it is ok to let things slide when you are exhausted. This also goes for when they are older. Donít miss time with your kids at any age because the dishes are calling you. It is also ok to ask for help with this task if it is going to completely drive you mad. Lastly for this section was one of my favorites. Maybe it is because my parents were too poor to own a camera and there arenít many pictures of my family when I was young, but another shutterbug like me suggested taking lots of pictures. No matter how old my kids get I still love looking at pictures of them through the years. A little caveat to this is, donít stay behind the camera and miss being in the moment yourself.

The second category of advice I got was more about raising and caring for the baby. The number one suggestion in this section is to trust your instincts. If you feel something isnít right then call the pediatrician. What is the worst that can happen if you make that call, he says everything is fine? Your pediatrician is there to help you, never forget that. Several ladies also pointed out that many times your friends with kids have been through the same things you are going through now. Use your friends as a life line, as they used to say in an old television game show. Donít google (or research) every little thing. Let me just save you the time, no matter what you look up (even information about a hangnail) something horrible and life threatening will pop up. The internet and books are full of tons of extremely helpful information, however many times you have to wade through craziness, scariness, and ridiculousness to find it. Many rules change over the years; make sure you are current on what is best for your baby. This is so true, it seemed like the rule about back sleeping and belly sleeping changed so often that my babies were on a rotisserie. The bottom line is that things change as knowledge grows. Try to keep up to date by talking to your pediatrician and even checking out the posters in their office. I know the car seat laws in my state changed while my kids were young and I could always count on there being a new poster with pertinent information in the waiting room of the pediatrician. This leads me to my final point in this section; find a pediatrician before you have the baby. Interview them, ask friends for suggestions, and ultimately make the decision by going with who you are comfortable with. The more comfortable you are with your pediatrician the more likely you are to ask questions!

Here is the humorous section I promised you, that old wives tales regarding child rearing. I remember the day when I asked my pediatrician if riding with the windows down in the car would give a baby gas. When he was finished laughing he informed me no it would not. You donít want a lot of cold air blowing on the baby but the windows down were not what was causing my sons colic. As for the cat stealing a babyís breath is also completely unfounded (it actually came from the days of cats being associated with witchcraft). You do however want to supervise pets around your infant and never let them in the crib. If you cut your babyís hair before their first birthday they will have bad hairÖreally, NO! If you tickle a babyís feet he will develop a stutter. This too is not true! Although letting a puppy lick your babyís face after they eat will not prevent illness it will make for a hysterical picture.

There are so many tidbits of good and bad and funny advice for the new mom; So much in fact that it can be overwhelming. So I am going back to what I originally said, trust your own instincts, ask friends and family and use that resource known as your pediatrician. Above all, enjoy this wonderful time with your baby, it goes way too fast!

Read other articles by Mary Angel