I just got back from visiting my brother and sister-in-law for the weekend in Newport, Rhode Island, a quaint sea town on the North-Eastern coast of the United States. While Newport is definitely one of those destination cities, my reason for going there was not for sight-seeing. Nope! It was to get to visit my siblings AND to meet my brand spanking new, 1 month old nephew, Aiden. Oh boy is he sweet. Talk about a head of hair!
It was a weekend filled with laughter, serious talks, naps by both baby and adults alike and delicious food. We ate “Five Guys” cheesburgers, oatmeal pancakes, homemade pizza, guacamole, crepes and….salad (had to throw that in there to make myself feel better).
It was also filled with lots of learning about both newborns and parenting. Here are a just a few of the things I learned from the trip:
1.) Swaddling is NOT a straight jacket. While your child may resemble a taco when swaddled, it actually makes them feel safe and secure and will prevent them from waking themselves up with an accidental fist to the face.
2.) Poopy diapers are worth celebrating! Who knew there was a time in our lives that parents celebrated our bowel movements? It’s a sign that baby’s digestive system is healthy.
3.) Newborns eat a lot! In fact, every 3-4 hours to be exact. 3 hours if they are awake, but it’s ok to wait a little longer to let the little guy/gal sleep before waking them for breakfast. Just try not to pass the 4 hour mark.
4.) Sleep when baby sleeps. If you don’t, you’ll be running ragged in no time!
5.) Delay the “baby meets pacifier” introduction. If you wait to introduce a pacifier to your baby, you may avoid “nipple” confusion early on. Aiden definitely liked his paci, but it wasn’t always a necessity. In fact, sometimes it just helped him fall asleep, but was removable mid-slumber and left his lips in this funny shape…
6.) Always work ahead! (i.e. Make a sandwich for lunch (even if it’s only 7AM) because Lord knows when it’s time to finally eat, baby will want to eat too!)
7.) Water only! Use water when washing baby’s face, not soap or some crazy name brand baby face wash. (Jenny was proud she answered this question right at Aiden’s last check up! Go Jenny!)
8.) Feeding time can be mommy time too! Not everyone thinks at first to find a good book to read or tv show to watch while feeding your baby in those wee hours. Sometimes it can take 30 minutes for baby to be satisfied so get something done YOU want to get done.
9.) “Shhhh” = security! Saying “Shhhhh” really close to baby’s face is not rude (although do this to any living adult and they might think so). This sound actually makes them feel safe and secure and reminds them all is right in the world.
10.) Safety first. It’s important to make sure baby’s head is supported, especially while riding in the car. Disregard the fact that it may make your child look like a martian. Thanks Aunt Betsy Ross for creating a baby quilt that seals the deal!
These are just 10 of the wonderful things I picked up on while visiting Newport, but probably the most important thing was something Jenny told me during conversation early one morning. She said, “It doesn’t matter how messy your house is or how little laundry you got done each day, all that matters is that your baby is safe, healthy and loved. If you can end each day accomplishing that, than your day was a success!” Thanks for the awesome words of advice!
Well that’s a wrap from two of the newest parents in the world, who have a LOT to look forward to! Aiden is in really good hands…