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Rookie Mom : 10 Things I Learned in the First 6 Months

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Rookie Mom : 10 Things I Learned in the First 6 Months

Christie Harrington has been one of my best friends since we used to watch TV on the sly together in college (TV wasn’t allowed, long story). She lives way, way too far away in Anchorage, Alaska, so I haven’t met her gorgeously chubby cheeked son, Jonah. Born August 16, Jonah just passed the 7 month mark. (Side note: Christie had the same due date as me with Caroline (Aug 29) - no fair that she delivered early!)

As a self-described “rookie mom,” Christie reflects below on 10 things she learned in the first 6 months. I’m having a little trouble picturing my squeamish friend washing off poop, but kuddos on the cloth diapers!

Great pieces of baby gear:
1. Moby wrap: At first I was totally intimidated by this cloth monstrosity and put off reading the manual.  Yes, it has a manual.  However, once I experimented with it for 10 minutes I was angry I hadn’t done it sooner.  An AMAZING baby carrier that can be used from newborn through 35 pounds.
2. Breast pump: I had taken a breast feeding class prior to giving birth but once Jonah came along I realized there was so much that no one ever told me! I wish I’d had a breast pump before Jonah was here.  My breast pump has been one of the most valuable pieces of equipment ever!!
3. Bouncy chair: Enabled me to take a quick shower while he was entertained and safe.
4. Bumbo seat: A lifesaver once Jonah was able to support his head on his own. Because the seat is so deep and supports the baby so high on their torso, they’re able to sit safely and comfortably.

Pieces that weren’t as wonderful as I thought they’d be:
5. Baby bath tub: I found it easier to use the sink and once Jonah was larger we just took baths with him
6. Tummy Tub: An item that I wrestled with purchasing. All the research I’d done seemed to say it was ideal for bathing a baby. However, once I had it, I discovered it wasn’t as easy to use as I thought and seemed to require more time preparing to use it than actually bathing Jonah. 

Other learnings:
7. Cloth diapers are not as intimidating as most of us may initially fear; they’ve come a long way since our parents used them. I waited until Jonah was 10 lbs before using them - on the recommendation of another mom who was using them (with newborns it’s easier to use disposable because you’re changing diapers so frequently and disposables have the notch cut-out for the umbilical stump). I haven’t hired a diaper service. I do all the work myself and I personally don’t find it totally disgusting. It is a little more work than simply throwing a diaper in the garbage, but I figure I’m doing my part for the environment and saving myself a lot of money! Totally worth the effort.
8. I make my own baby food and again, like cloth diapers, not as time consuming as many of us may think.  I love
9. I believe every parent should read one or two sleeping books prior to their bundle of joy arriving.  Once your baby arrives, one thing you desperately need is some good sleep but it’s virtually impossible because someone else always comes first (a hint: it’s not mommy). Having a game plan for sleep training ahead of time will help you instill good sleep habits early, and you’ll have less headaches in breaking habits you didn’t know you were teaching. Two good books: The Baby Sleep Solution and Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child.
10. What would I do differently? I would focus much more on resting when Jonah was sleeping during the first 2 or 3 months. I can only recall taking three naps during that time and I know I needed much more sleep than I got during that period.

What are your newborn must-haves? What totally disappointed?

P.S. Be on the lookout for the next post from a Pro Mom who shares 10 learnings from 30 years of experience!

P.P.S Don't forget to enter our fabulous giveaway!

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