I was struggling with what to call this post. It sounds like things that people get mad at you for not knowing as a new mom, which granted, is a lot, but still, annoying to be reminded of. Really, it is meant to be about the things that no one told you! And with lots of friends expecting this spring, I have been talking about a few things that no one told me, but luckily, I figured out by constantly texting my mama friends. So wanted to share what I learned with you. Remember- just coming from another mama here. I’m not a doctor or a pediatrician!! And other mamas- chime in!
1. Getting your whooping cough vaccine! Most ob/gyn’s will offer this to the new mom close to your delivery date (which some people refuse b/c it is still a fairly new practice). Since babies can’t get their vaccine until their 2 month appointment, doctors have suggested that giving the mother the vaccine will help the new baby avoid pertussis until their own vaccine. Not to mention, it’s a good booster for you to have so you don’t contract pertussis. What I didn’t know was that anyone else that is in frequent contact with new baby should also have the vaccine (ie, the father, nanny). So ask your Dr. about it if you haven’t already.
2. Call your Dr. if your newborns under 8 weeks old has a rectal temperature over 100.4F. They will likely recommend that you go to ER, which is a good reason to keep these little ones away from other kids or crowded indoor areas as much as possible.
3. Our pediatrician recommended that we not give our baby under 6 months of age Motrin. Tylenol only. Once they are 6 months, they can have Motrin, which is preferred since it is processed differently and more difficult to overdose them on (but still….I am a crazy woman about dosage according to weight/age!)
4. No sunscreen or bug spray (that I have heard of) for babies under 6 months of age. Luckily, there are lots of clothes/swimsuits these days that offer UV protection.
5. Do some research on your baby carrier. You’ll notice that your newborns are really good at doing the splits, and it probably looks very uncomfortable. But it’s good for their hips. Here is an article about ensuring that their hips are being taken care of in the carseat and in the carriers.
6. Make sure you know how to buckle your infant safely into their carseat. A couple tips:
- Take them out of blankets/swaddles to buckle in. You can place a blanket over them once they are buckled. (The royals made this mistake taking baby George home- haha!)
- The chest buckle should go high across their chest, between their baby boobies. It also keeps the straps from falling off their shoulders. Straps should be pretty tight, but not too tight of course.
- You can take your car + carseat to a fire station where they will ensure it has been installed correctly.
- Strongly recommend that carseats are rearfacing until age 2.
7. Babies don’t really drink water until they are 1-ish (or constipated!). They get their fluids from breastmilk/formula.
8. Doctors recommend that mamas who just delivered don’t drive for 2-3 weeks depending on your recovery period. So plan accordingly. Luckily, there is amazon and instacart to bring you what you need! And I definitely had friends bring me newborn diapers b/c I didn’t realize how quickly I would run out!
9. New babies WILL pee/poop as soon as you take their diaper off. So don’t make the mistake of changing them on your white comforter or brand new carpet. In fact, we even got some disposable pads to put on her changing table to save us from washing her fabric changing pad once/day.
10. You will notice your newborn’s skin flaking or peeling in the weeks after delivery. It’s the transition from being in fluid for 40 weeks to air, and no amount of lotion will help. Trust me…I tried.
Ok, that’s all I can think of for the moment. Would love to hear what other mamas wish someone had told them!