More Advice Please!

We had a great, long weekend with an AWESOME baby shower, good family time, a fishing trip for Dev, and sewing experience for yours truly. But I don't have time to post on that now...so stay tuned.

However, some of my favorite posts have been getting thoughts from my readers on various topics (most recently on mothering). I took many of your suggestions for good baby items to get and ones to do without. Maybe sometime I'll get around to posting about what I settled on. But for now...I'm asking for more baby advice if you're willing to give it. Popperton's due date is less than 6 weeks away! Crazy!

So...

- Any non-obvious things you packed for the hospital that you're so glad you had? Or things you forgot and missed having?

- Any good breastfeeding (and pumping) resources you would recommend? Lately people are making it sound a little more complicated than I had originally thought, so I'm thinking I should do a little homework.

- And lastly...Baby Wise? I'll have roughly 8 weeks before starting up work again and my goal is to have this baby on a really good schedule by then. (I do realize all babies are different and unpredictable.) Is Baby Wise the best resource for this?

I know I could spend lots of time online looking up these things - but it's more fun hearing it from people I know aren't crazy. :)

20 comments:

Rebekah said...

Hey Emily,
I don't know that I have that much advice but here are my thoughts:

bag for the hospital: I think with my first baby I just packed a going home outfit. So I ended up wearing a hospital gown while I was there. (I'm sure you're smarter than this and have already packed your own pjs, etc.) All my other babies I've worn my own comfy clothes in the hospital. It makes you feel a thousand times better. Those hospital gowns are just hideous and make you feel like a worn out sack. Putting my own clothes on always makes me feel so much better. And your own soap and shampoo is nice. They provide it but it's usually not great and your own stuff probably smells so much better. Once again, anything that makes you feel less blech those first couple days! haha.

breastfeeding: I don't know exactly how much homework you can do...I'm sure your hospital will have lactation consultants who will stop by and give you advice. You just never know how much milk you are going to produce and how it's all going to go. My advice is always try it, but if for some reason, God hasn't blessed you with enough milk or it just becomes a nightmare, do NOT feel guilty if you can't do it. You are not a better mom because you breastfeed or don't breastfeed. (off my soap box now!)

I did Baby Wise with my first baby. It worked fine. I am not a rigid person so I didn't do EVERYTHING in the book but followed it pretty well. I haven't used it with my other kids. But all my babies (minus Hans) has slept through the night at about 7 weeks. I think the best thing to remember is balance. There is a middle ground between rigid scheduling and letting your baby run the show. A balnce between showing who's boss and creating a sense of security for the child that his/her needs will be met.

That's about all I have...probably not very helpful! haha.

L, Ann and boys said...

Weeeeeel...I don't know if I'm crazy or not. But I'm feeling pretty with it today, so here are a few things I wish I'd known with Noah and figured out by baby number three or four. :)

Yes, pack your own clothes. I pack a compression cami from where ever...Target or some other basic retailer. It doesn't have to be an expensive postpartum wrap, I like the normal tanks with lace better anyway (by the lingerie). It will make you feel much more "control" right after having the baby and the support is good for your muscles that are trying to figure out where the baby has gone. :) Later on if you wish, the top can be cut off to make a bella band for less which is nice for nursing as you won't flash your tummy when lifting your shirt.
I also bring good smelling lotion or a small diffuser or essential oil so the room doesn't smell so sterile and foreign. I put mint oil on a cotton ball during early contractions and it really does chill me out to smell it. Later contractions you probably won't want anything but pain meds and that's okay, just wait as long as you can/like and don't get the guilts about doing it your own way. I refuse to take my bra off for delivery and give them permission to cut it off if it really is an issue. Helps me cope better mentally.
Don't head to the hospital too early...and don't eat heavy food if you think you may be going into early labor. Smoothies will settle much better right before heading in. Treat it like a marathon...what would you personally eat right before that? In that same line of thought, I listen to music while running.... and when in labor. :)


whew. Oh ya, breast feeding. Something I've never read anywhere but is such a basic thing is a pump is painful if you don't have water or oil or something on your breast before using it. Could be TMI but trust me, it makes a difference. I keep a bottle of purified water in the bag with the pump so I've got it when I need it. But I never forget, because it makes a difference. Pain, causes tension and tension prevents milk let down.

Even if you are doing everything right with latch on etc. breast feeding hurts for a few days at least. Even with the second and third and so on baby. After that irritation eases, it won't hurt anymore. I get annoyed that some books make it sound like it will only hurt if you are doing it wrong and yes, it's hurts worse if the latch is shallow, but you aren't doing it wrong if you're a bit sore.

I've never read Baby Wise, but I play-then nap- and then feed when they wake up. Which I think is the premise of the book. So I do agree with it. Though, if my baby falls asleep while eating...I'm not ever going to wake a sleeping newborn and will likely lay them down to get something done. :)

The end. :)

Andria

L, Ann and boys said...

Oh and I use a birthing ball (I bring my yoga ball from home in case they don't have enough of them or don't have one). will NOT deliver without one. I sit on those things and rock it out to my tunes until I'm at least 8 cm and need to get in bed. That being said, my sister used it for a few hours and was more comfortable in bed after that. So, whatever floats your boat. :)

Sarah said...

Don't know much, but for what it's worth:

Hospital: Agree with Rebekah about your own clothes...I suggest something that zips - like a light hoodie (easier for breastfeeding)...that's just me, though.

Also, I'm big on this and some people probably aren't. But I would pack a baby picture of both you and Devin...it's so fun to compare :)

I bring a guestbook as well because I want to remember who came and visited at hospital.

Breastfeeding: hate it with everything in me. Don't feel guilty not sticking it out. I'm a better wife and mother without it (made it 4 months with Emitt & 4 weeks with Otto). Again, my opinion :)

Baby Wise: never read the book, but have heard a lot about it and know that it would stress me out. We were pretty laid back with our babies (we did try to keep the every-3-hour-feedings during the day if possible). Personally we had very content babies who slept thru the night probably by 9 weeks or something so I haven't had to resort to Baby Wise. I know some people thrive on it and if that helps you, go for it!

Sandra said...

I have to agree with almost everything Rebekah said. My first, I didn't think about street clothes for myself so was in that nasty gown the entire time until I went home. With the last 3 I had street clothes and man, it makes you feel so much better. Getting up and taking a shower as soon as you can and everyday after is a must too as it just refreshes you:) while in the hostpital. Im a chapstick junkie so I needed that all the way up to pushing:)

I am pretty sure I am NOT NORMAL for the breastfeeding department. I make an absolute abundance of milk and it is downright rediculous. I hurt the entire 6 months I breastfed Ellie. I am done weening her and its been 3 weeks since she ate and I am completely engorged and in pain still. Im even at the point of doing cabbage leaves and sage Im that desperate:). SO unless you have an over supply of milk, then I won't be any help in the breastfeeding department. EXCEPT...if it doesn't work, don't do it. Its ok!! I breasfed Elijah 2 months, Caden 3 months, Liam 10 months and Ellie 6 months.

Babywise...never did it, never read the book. I dont' even know much about it. Elijah slept thru night at 3 weeks old(he slept on his stomach which is another issue I find interesting). Its a no no, but its the ONLY way E would sleep and I would keep my sanity(I had major postpartum depression with Elijah) A REAL SCARY THING!! Caden slept at 9 weeks old, Liam at 11 weeks old and Ellie at 5 weeks old. All slept on stomach EXCEPT Ellie who hated her tummy. Its a total guessing game and you just do whats best for your little one and for YOU!!!

alisonsutter said...

I will throw my two cents in...although I agree with a lot that's been said. Another item I would recommend taking to the hospital is Tylenol/any over the counter you might want. It's crazy expensive if you get it there. Now, the nurses will want to write down everything you take so if you ask them, they will say you need to get it through the pharmacy. Soooo, take it and then ask for forgiveness?? Clearly, I should just stop with my advice right now.

I didn't do baby wise but I think it totally depends on the mother. I wanted Kennedy to be flexible with my schedule, so I had to be flexible with hers. Baby wise wasn't for me, but it might be just what you need.

And Kennedy slept on her tummy too. My pediatrician told me it was okay.

Good luck!

Aaron and Jill said...

To take to the hospital--nursing pads and nipple cream. Those were two things that I never would have known to take if someone hadn't told me, but they are very needed! And that kind of goes along with your second question, about breastfeeding...it can be pretty painful at first...you'll need the cream. (Lansinoh brand is great). After those first few days of soreness, though, it has gone great for me, and I absolutely love nursing!

I did Babywise with all three of my kiddos, and I absolutely love it. I think it makes life so much easier to know when your children are going to be sleeping, eating, and awake throughout the day. But I'm a pretty organized, plan-ahead type person. If you aren't like that, you may not like it as much. But, yeah, I totally, absolutely love it. I'm not sure of any other resources that would help with sleep scheduling.

So excited for you :) :)

Joy said...

Yes, your own clothes, Chapstick and slippers/fuzzy socks are a must for me at the hospital. Also, if your breast feeding, bring your nursing bras or just wear a nursing tank. A zip up hoodie is great like Sarah said too.

Breast feeding was hard with jayla because she stayed at the hospital an extra night and we went one (long story). I wasn't able to nurse her enough so I got extremely engorged. With Jacki, breast feeding was a breeze! When you can get them latched every 2 hours it's great! Don't be afraid to keep asking the lactation consultant questions. They are SO helpful. Really, they will teach you everything you need to know. And if your comfortable with it, they will even help get the baby latched on for you.

I read Babywise before Jayla was born. I was sure this is what I wanted to do. I wanted my baby on a schedule. This lead to frustration. When your tired, worn out, sore and emotional, your do anything just to sleep or get the baby to sleep. I wanted to follow Babywise, my friends were giving me advice and I was going crazy! Do what works for YOU! I learned this about 2 or 3 months after Jayla was born. When I finally started to relaxe and do what I thought best, things went smoother. Having a baby is like a guessing game....do I let them sleep or wake them up, should I feed them now or later, are they getting enough to eat, why are they crying, etc. I just had to pick what I thought was best and then try not to second guess myself. But with all the stress I went through jayla slept though the night at 8 weeks and with Jacki it was 7 weeks. And yes, I laid them on their stomach!
Sorry this got long!

Eric & Marissa Bahler said...

Bring peanut butter M&Ms... husbands may just be oblivious to all your hinting, so just cover for yourself on this one. Smuggle in some champagne or wine or something indulgent... Neither hospital provided this (or cake). Maybe this falls under the obvious category, but I'd also pack a pacifier. Neither hospital supplied this either, and when I remembered to bring it for #2, it made a big difference. Now that I think about it... maybe we just pick really cheap hospitals?

Breastfeeding came really easy for me, though I absolutely hate it. Both of our kids were perpetually famished, and I think maybe that helped them catch on easy too. I think it's one of those things that either works, or doesn't. I wouldn't stress a ton about researching perfect techniques. Alot of it doesn't make sense until you've done it, and the lactation consultant in the hospitals are amazing resources, especially with first time moms.

I didn't use BabyWise, although I would recommend feeding immediately after waking, which I believe it's a proponent of. We pretty much let the babies do their thing, but I can understand how a working mom wouldn't have that luxury. I would def. recommend putting your baby to bed awake from early one as opposed to rocking to sleep, etc. This feels awkward as a first-time mom, esp. when you're at home, have time, and want to snuggle with them anyway. I failed to do this with my first, and am pretty sure I'm still paying for it with a toddler who just can't. get. to sleep. by. him. self.

If I can leave one last piece of unsolicited advice it would be this: (I heard this advice at a friend's baby shower and have loved it) Raise your child from the beginning with the knowledge that this is God's child that you're raising for Him... not yours. Eric thinks this is a tad coldhearted, but every time I remember this it greatly strengthens my perspective in parenting... when I remember to dwell on it!

6 weeks! Hopefully the holidays will make it fly.

Rachel said...

Just a couple things...

For the hospital, I loved having slippers. The floor is cold and I hate walking around in my socks all the time. Also, bring music (maybe someone mentioned this...I didn't read all the comments). While I was in labor, we always had music playing. We aren't big on tv:) Nathan and I also brought a couple of games. I got epidurals with all of my babies (not sure what you will do) so I was able to relax for a few hours of the labor. Nathan and I had fun playing games:) make sure you bring chapstick! My lips always got soooo dry during labor! And I always made sure I had at least some makeup on...the pictures are not too flattering:) Makeup helps a little bit at least!

I didn't read much on breastfeeding, I guess I just learned it as I went. Main thing is, I loved it! I kinda miss it, actually:) Oh, and I HATED pumping. With a passion. But when I did have to pump, it helped me SOOOO much to pump on one side at the same time my baby was eating on the other. The milk let down a ton easier that way. I could fill up a bottle so much faster.

Oh, and babywise...I did like using it, although I wasn't rigid on it. But I think the book has lots of good points, and it is really a quick and easy read, so I would suggest just reading it to see what you think!

Keep us posted! I can't wait to see pics and hear your baby name:)

Amber said...

Drowning in advice yet? : ) Let me help that . . .

Nightgown and slippers are huge - even a nice robe is really nice so you can stay comfortable and covered with visitors. My sister bought me a nice nightgown and robe as a baby gift and that ended up being one of my favorite gifts! Maternity stores have nursing nightgowns that were great too - it's just nice to feel a little feminine even as your body is recovering.

I'd encourage you to definitely read up on breastfeeding. It didn't come easy to us for various reasons and I'm convinced the only way I stuck with it was the fact that I had read up and just had realistic advice. set little goals at first - don't worry about nursing for 6 months. Set the goal of 3 days, then a week, then a month . . .etc. You'll see big progress at each milestone and won't be so overwhelmed that you're supposed to do this for "how" long?! If the two of you can hit a groove, it's a really special thing. Ava took longer than the twins .. .and the expensive creams ARE better than the cheap ones fyi.

I'm a huge fan of baby wise . . .but you're going to find people who use it very differently. I think it's a great read through to get an idea of the STRUCTURE of it versus SCHEDULE. And the structure is just what I would aim for at first. You can figure out from then, once baby is there and you figure out how you want your days to flow, how rigid or flexible you want to take it. We' were somewhere in the middle.

What I did love with baby wise was even the times I wasn't following it closely, I felt like any time I hit a hang up with sleeping/schedule/feeding/etc, I could go look up my baby's age in the book and there would be some reference to what I was experience (like waking up early from naps consistently, etc). So I think it's a great reference book even if you don't follow it closely for that alone.

And the other big piece of advice, SOAK up this first baby. Nap when baby naps, let laundry slide until grandma comes to help : ). I often would nap with Ava in the morning when she was a baby and that is one of my favorite memories. Maybe it's that the twins came so soon after, but I just loved that I let our days be lazy when they could as there is just something with that first baby you never get back.

And then just wanted to encourage to stick for a routine, but don't push yourself too nuts trying to have a set schedule in place when you go back to work. I always felt like our more predictable schedule, per se, starting emerging between 8 - 12 weeks and I know I had my nurse practitioner say she usually thought 12 weeks was a good estimate for a schedule to be in place. I don't say that to discourage you, not in the slightest! I would say by 8 weeks we always had a definite routine done . . .but when the days began varied still some. So we'd start out day when it began . .. and then begin the schedule from there.

Don't know if any of that helps - you have lots of good advice . .. bottom line though is that at the end of the day, you guys are mommy and daddy and know best and all of us are just white noise. : ) You'll do great!

Betsy said...

Well, for starters, make sure your maids are fully prepped for serving your guests BEFORE labor begins. Have two dallas of coffee because you never know if one might be lukewarm. Get the biggest platter of chocolates you can and have the balloon doorway arch DELIVERED instead of trying to have Devin pick it up after the baby is born. {err, wrong country....} :)

I think everything has already been said that I would have added. Chapstick, iPod, slippers, you're good to go. Skim Babywise at least. Better than that is Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child(especially because it's is written by a physician). You and Dev will do great - I just know it!

Rebekah said...

Hahaha! Betsy, I died laughing at ur comment! Isn't it funny how differently each culture approaches this?

Heather Hoerr said...

It was fun reading through some comments - I learned some things!

Not too much to add, but for the hospital I wish I would've had a short lightweight robe to cover up a little more. If you're wearing huge pads for bleeding and have visitors, it's a little awkward to get out of bed if you need/want to and aren't covered up a little. or maybe you won't need the huge pads. :) I have heard some people take their own thinner ones, but I didn't think of that.


I agree that the lactation people at the hospital are helpful for breastfeeding. I had to pump alot since I worked and I would say to just buy extra parts for your pump so you don't have to be Constantly washing everything each time you use it. It makes things go faster at work and I would just wash it all when I got home.

I already told you I liked Baby Wise, but it depends on your personality. As a working Mom, you are going to have to be more scheduled with your baby, which can be helpful. You will likely have the same start time to your days, which gets the baby into it's feed/sleep routine for the day. I wasn't really rigid on the book and Beck fell into a schedule well, but overall I feel like it helped him sleep and eat when I needed him to. :) It's nice to be able to tell sitters when they can expect the baby to eat/sleep.
Also, as mentioned, I liked being able to reference the book when Beck started a new stage and knowing when to cut down feedings, etc. I was all about feeding him the fewest times possible during the day! Another thing I recommend that Baby Wise suggests is putting your kid to bed without rocking/singing/etc. They might cry a little but it's so nice when your kid can put itself to sleep and it isn't always a process!
But overall, with working and other people watching the kiddo, you have to be flexible b/c they might not always do everything like you do or stick to your schedule. But you are the mom so always make recommendations as to what you prefer, I think.

You'll do great!

Anonymous said...

You don't know me in the sightest, but my advice is to take earplugs for the hospital. You will hear your baby, don't worry about that,but it will dull the sounds of nurses talking in the hall right outside your door, the random beeping of machines, etc., when you're trying to sleep.
As for Baby Wise--good ideas, but take it with a grain of salt.

L, Ann and boys said...

I came back to read everyone else's comments. :) Betsy, you make me so happy. :) And I brought chocolate and was really wanting some coffee...so maybe I would jive with the indians running the show. ;)

ps-I second the pretty robe and your own smaller than pillow "feminine hygiene items" :) Gee wiz, they always frighten me when I see them stacked in the bathroom! ;)

Sara Huber said...

Wow, you got some really great suggestions! One thing I love about women is how we love to share advice with one another...seriously! And I'm pretty sure all of this advice comes from some pretty amazing moms, so even better!

Anonymous said...

Came across your blog from Rebekah K, and crazy enough i think i stayed with your family a long long time ago as i used to be in the young group in bloomington il!
Anyway, here is my bit of advice, although you have gotten alot of great tidbits already.
-Lanisoh cream is definitely a nice thing to have
-along those lines...when wearing nursing pads, I found the cloth pads to be much more comfortable..
-I also have not ready baby wise, but will attest to swaddling babies. My three kids loved it, and it seriously soothed them.
-Lastly, when I got home I tended to snack mainly, because babies innately tend to know when you are sitting down for a meal! so stock up on quick high protein food.

Your in the home stretch, and before you know it, you'll wonder how you had a life without your beautiful baby!
Sunita K

Nick and Adrienne said...

Em- Gobs of advice on here already, and I know I'm a few days late, but for what it's worth I'd add this on...
1. Everything covered already with hospital packing stuff is spot on, you'll be fine. And you'll have lots of visitors I'm sure if you think of something you can't live another minute without:)
2. Ahh.. breastfeeding. Give it time. USE the lactation nurses (even after you leave the hospital). And if you are interested in a kind of wacky but awesome milk saving product (ie, save the milk from the boob opposite of the one you are currently nursing off of) google "milkies". Loved it:)
3. I loved Baby Wise. And I loved Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Baby even more. I'd say both are worth a quick read, or at least scan through the appropriate chapters. You will learn a lot at the very least, and then can always decide as the time comes what tactic you and Dev will try.

Love ya! See you this weekend at Christmas:)

T and M said...

You've gotten tons of advice, so sorry if this is a repeat...my advice for breastfeeding is to introduce a bottle for one evening feeding, maybe supper, at 3-4 weeks after baby is good at nursing. This gave hubby a chance to feed the baby & me a couple hours out of the house alone if I needed it. Plus, this helps baby be able to eat out of a bottle OR nurse, if you have an emergency or have to stop nursing for a couple days, but then want to go back to it. Came in handy for us.

I liked babywise for their schedules, but that was about it. Some kids are babywise, and then some are just not! I prefer Baby Whisperer, and liked her E.A.S.Y. routine for baby. (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You-time for yourself). Congrats on this exciting stage of life!