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20 tips you won’t probably find in a baby book.

Okay, I admit I’ve only been doing this for three and a half months. But I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two from the experience.

  1. Buy lots of bibs once the baby is around two months old and starts to drool a lot. Keep them on baby all day except when he is lying down to sleep. Don’t bother trying to color-coordinate a bib with his outfit; you’ll probably be changing it in an hour.
  2. Get easy-on, easy-off clothes one size too large. Zippered sleepers are the best. Rompers that snap all the way up the front are your friend, as are onesies and T-shirts which have a very stretchy neck. There is no need for an infant’s pants to have a snug waistband—they’re not walking anywhere, and looser waistbands are easier at diaper time.
  3. Yes, you can have too many onesies.
  4. You’re not supposed to put a blanket in the crib with the baby (to avoid suffocation,) so get several wearable blankets instead. They’re like fleecy sleepers, but the bottom is like a stitched bag for baby’s legs to move freely within.
  5. Another way I’ve found to keep baby warm in bed is to put a thick, fluffy blanket under him. It holds in considerably more body heat than the sheet does, and our boy’s hands stay warm at night this way. It probably won’t be as safe once he can roll over, but for now it’s great.
  6. When the baby is fussy, run through these five questions in your head:
    • Is baby hungry?
    • Is his diaper wet/dirty?
    • Is he tired/overwhelmed?
    • Is he bored?
    • Does he need to burp?

    These should rule out most of the reasons he’d be cranky.

  7. Play all kinds of music for your baby, not just Mozart. Play “Jungle Boogie” and dance him around on your lap. Bonus points (and baby smiles) if you sing along. See number 8.
  8. Always have a burp rag on hand for spit up.
  9. Take even young babies to the park and the zoo.
  10. Some sources tell you that babies don’t need lotion. I’ve found it invaluable for keeping baby’s skin healthy all over, especially since ours is prone to eczema. Massage baby lotion all over your baby except the diaper area. Baby oil (mineral oil) is great on baby’s scalp for healing cradle cap. The images below show Theo’s skin before I started a lotion regimen, and two weeks after:
  11. Not all babies like to be worn in a sling. If you can, borrow one to try out before shelling out 40 bucks.
  12. Slide a cushy blanket in between the hard plastic shell of baby’s swing and the fabric cover. The padding in the cover is hardly enough for baby’s tender skull and body.
  13. The Graco Travel System stroll/car seat combo is a marvel of modern technology. Get it. No, this is not a paid endorsement. It has storage underneath (great for blankets and burp rags), cup holders, a snap-shut bin on the handlebar (great for pacifiers), a clock and temperature display, and adjustable canopies. The lower seat lies all the way back for naps and for diaper changes on-the-go.
  14. Get a bassinet with storage underneath and wheels. We keep extra diapers, wipes, blankets, and burp rags under ours. The bed itself is great for daytime naps—you can move baby without disturbing him—as well as an undressing and drying area for bath time.
  15. Don’t own a two-door coupe if you can possibly avoid it. Especially if you’re 43. Getting baby’s car seat in and out of the back seat—even with a base installed—multiple times a day—is something my body will never forgive me for.
  16. If you have a light sleeper, clipping baby’s nails while he sleeps probably won’t work. Instead, have Daddy clip while Mommy feeds the baby (or vice-versa.)
  17. If you’re on a tight budget, avoid the baby section of Target/Wal-Mart unless you need something specific. It’s too easy to walk away with a hundred bucks worth of cute stuff in your cart. I ignore this advice regularly.
  18. Mylicon does not work. Clinical trials have shown that it does not work. Many mothers think it does work but that it takes some time to be effective. By that time, baby’s probably dealt with the gas on his own.
  19. Compile a list of things to do that entertain your particular baby. It’s great for those times when baby’s crying and you can’t think. It’s priceless when grandma or grandpa come to babysit.
  20. If you can afford it, get a high-quality digital camera. Take a ridiculous quantity of photos every week. We have a DSLR (Canon Rebel), and the pictures of the baby we get are amazing.

2 replies on “20 tips you won’t probably find in a baby book.”

– Let the baby be in as little clothes as possible whenever possible. In hot weather a diaper is all they need. Plus, saves on laundry and it’s cute to see their little tummies.

– Always carry extra clothing when you leave home… for YOU and the BABY.

-Don’t be afraid to try ANYTHING when it comes to solid foods. Babies don’t have that “icky” reflex yet. Exposing them to different tastes and textures early will help them to not be picky eaters… (watch for allergic reactions to eggs, peanut butter, chocolate and nuts) – – Dylan’s favorite food EVER .. is Avocado….

-Realize your house is not “your house” anymore.. nor will it be for several years. Baby toys, clothes and sparse furnishings/lack of knick knacks are inevitable with a growing baby/toddler.

-Never underestimate the power of baby proofing.. even if it means your house looks like a barren landscape for a few months.

-Remember that taking your eye off a mobile baby/toddler for 2 seconds.. roughly translates to nanoseconds in their time and plan accordingly… (ie… never take your eyes off of them)

I can go on and on…. but it’s nice to have someone in the same situation as me…. trading experiences and notes and remedies… is a great resource.

LUCK!

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