It seems fitting on NYE to make a post about what I've learned this year. However, that would be just way to much so I'll just focus it on what I've learned since Dec 5:) Some is silly, some is practical, and some is well, I'm not sure what to call it. Take it at face value and hopefully it will be helpful to someone.
1) I prefer Pampers over Huggies. Don't know why, they just seem to fit Sophie a teeny bit better. However, if given the choice I'll take Target's generic brand of diapers (Up and Up) over Pampers, b/c of price. They run a bit bigger, but otherwise we've had great luck, and they are cheap-O. Same with Target brand wipes.
2) Dr. B's butt paste works like a charm. Sophie had a small red spot on her bum, I used the butt paste for a day and spot is gone. Can't beat that.
3) Sophie has no problem with nipple confusion. She can go from bottle to pacifer to the real thing with no problem. Thank.goodness.
4) Breast feeding may be natural, but it doesn't come naturally. There is a huge learning curve on the part of both mom AND baby. It's hard, even after you think you have the hang of it. It can be discouraging at times, but also the best feeling in the world when your goal is accomplished:) I've take the advice of "never STOP breastfeeding on a bad day" and so far it has worked.
5) A meltdown (on mom's part) WILL happen. Mine came on the 2nd night home from the hospital. Being in the hospital and caring for your baby really does NOT prepare you for bringing baby home. I can't even tell you about our first night home, other than I remember very little sleep. That night however, PALES in comparison to the 2nd night. The official "high" of bringing Sophia home had worn off and reality set in. I remember being with her in the nursery with the door closed (b/c Dan was sleeping--I'm so nice). My milk hadn't come in yet (didn't until day 5), I felt so guilty b/c I assumed she was starving. In hind sight, she probably wasn't *that* hungry, but I was convinced she was. After breastfeeding going no where, I decided to pump like they had shown me in hospital. There I was,,,sleep deprived...pulling pump out of box at 2 am (never seen it before) and throwing tubing and parts all over the room trying to figure out what went where. I finally figured it out and was thrilled to get what was the equivilant of about .5 oz of milk. Put it in a bottle and gave to her (swore I wouldn't give her bottle). Still hungry. Broke down and gave her pacifer (swore I wouldn't give her pacifier).
6) Don't make rules for yourself. Most likely you'll break them and feel like even more of a failure. See #5 re: bottle feeding and pacifier. Sleep deprivation leads to choices you don't think you'll make. In hindsight, I'm glad I gave both, b/c they have been so helpful to us ever since. I still feel bad about promising those things (to myself) but whatever, I'll get over it in time.
7) You'll learn to see that 8 hours of uninterupted sleep isn't really all that, and that 3 hours at a time will seem like a miracle, and even allow you to be functional:)
8) Babygear (swings and bouncy seats, etc) will be your best friend. Use them (and don't feel guilty).
9) I never knew how much I'd enjoy holding her. Even when Dan offers to take her, or the swing is right there, I usually prefer to hold her. Sleeping, awake, fussy, doesn't matter. I just want to soak it all in.
10) I never knew how much I'd grow to low the 6-7 am feeding/wake-up. For the first few weeks I dreaded this time. To me, it represented the last feeding of the night, which was the icing on the cake of complete exhaustion. Now though, this is her prime awake time, from 6-9 am. After feeding, she is just SO happy, and alert and her eyes are so full of wonder. She has started focusing on faces and I love to just hold her and stare and her and have her stare right back. It really is the best feeling ever. Now, I'm slacking a bit as she is in the bouncy seat next to me (wide awake) watching me type, at 7:30 am, so must go.
Happy New Year:)