No matter how much you prepare, there are always something you’ll look back and think, “I should’ve done this instead”. You know what they say, hindsight is 20/20.
Learn from my mistakes and consider doing the things I wish I had done with my first born. Trust me when I tell you, they’re all worth the effort and I will definitely be doing them with Baby #2.
I REALLY wish I had photos of me with my baby on the day he was born. I have photos with my son and his dad, my mom, my in-laws, his godmothers, but none with me. How crazy is that? After all that hard work, you deserve some photos! And it was my fault, I thought I looked dreadful and didn’t want to be photographed.
Please learn from my mistake and take day of photos as well as mommy and me pics. You just can’t recreate those moments.
I also didn’t get those adorable, tiny baby morphed into a tiny ball photos. I was so concerned with having non-immediate relatives around my baby so I skipped it all together. Big mistake because every time I see newborn photos, I just want to kick myself for not getting them done for my son.
Here’s our family photographer: @rachiebamom. If you’re in Houston, I highly recommend her. She’s super sweet and extremely patient. And I really appreciate her fast turn around time. Below are a few pics from our most recent photoshoot. No, this is not sponsored, just my honest recommendation.
If you can’t afford to get a photographer, consider recreating images you like online.
Contact Lactation Consultant Before Delivery
Lactation consultants can be complete game changers in your breastfeeding journey. My lactation consultant literally saved me from giving up all together. If I had found one before having my baby I would have saved myself weeks of tears from pain and frustration. It probably also would’ve prevented my son’s weight loss.
The lactation consultant made such a big impact on my breastfeeding journey that I talk about lactation consultants in these posts as well.
- Third Trimester Checklist (In this post I share the FREE Houston LC foundation that I used)
- 11 Mistakes I Made While Breastfeeding and Pumping…and How I Fixed Them
- New Mom’s Guide to Breastfeeding and Pumping
Let me begin by saying, my son did not sleep through the night until he was ELEVEN MONTHS OLD. Want to know whose fault that was? Mine…and hubby’s.
We allowed bad habits to form and continue during his infancy, such as nursing him to sleep. We were so desperate for sleep, we took it however we could. But by allowing my son to fall asleep on the boob we:
1. prevented him from getting a full serving of breast milk (causing him to wake up sooner and earlier)
2. taught him to depend on a boob or bottle to go to sleep
Another bad habit we created was putting him down while he was asleep. By putting him down after he fell asleep we:
1. taught him to depend on being held in order to fall asleep
2. taught him that he was incapable of going to sleep on his own
3. risked him waking up if we didn’t lay him down just right. We’ve all seen the movie scenes where the parents slowly and gently place the baby down, then slowly and quietly back out or crawl out of the room, just for the baby to wake up…welcome to the first 11 months of my motherhood journey lol.
There are several different methods to train your baby to sleep and I don’t think sleep is a one size fits all. Not all babies will respond to the same method the same way and you have to see what works best for you and your family. Personally, I think I’ll take our pediatrician’s recommendation and try sleep training around month 4 with Baby #2.
Learn Baby Sign Language
I can’t tell you how many times I starred at my infant son wondering (and even saying aloud), “What do you want?” It’s so hard when your little one is upset and are unable to communicate to tell you why they are upset or what they want.
Learning and teaching sign language to our baby will help us to communicate better and hopefully reduce frustration.
Tell me I’m not the only mom that squints their eyes (as if to hear better) and repeats, “what” or “huh” when their young toddler repeatedly says something that makes absolutely no sense. It took me two weeks of social distancing and home schooling to realize that, “Favrie” is my son’s way of asking to listen to Sesame Street songs.
Now I’m not promising that Baby #2 and I will become completely fluent in American Sign Language, but I definitely look forward to my next baby being able to tell me, “thirsty” and “hungry” without flipping out.
Make All Baby Food
When my son first started trying foods I was all in with making anything that he ate from scratch. But as time went on, I got a little lazy and would buy pre-made baby food from big name brands that advertised as being healthy and organic.
One day my son tried one of those pre-made meals and spit it right out. Then he just refused to eat it. I got curious and tried some myself…it literally tasted metallic! I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know if the food in the packaging or what the problem was but honestly it didn’t matter. I didn’t give a damn why it tasted toxic, I just knew I would be preparing his food from then on. The inconvenience and time consumption is worth knowing exactly what is in my baby’s food.
Make Time for Myself
Oh this one is a big one. I’m sure every mom that reads this one knows it’s true. Do not skip this step!
It’s easy to get wrapped up in trying to be super mom, super wife, super employee/friend/sister/daughter/whatever. Girl, make time for you. Carrying a child for almost a year, giving birth, sleepless nights…you deserve a break, so make sure to give yourself one.
I shared in my PPD story and in my post on improving married life (post-baby), how essential taking time for myself was in my journey to healing from depression and restoring our marriage. Self care is a necessary part of the process.
A happy woman, makes for a happier mama. So take a long shower, enjoy a nice walk alone, go shopping get your nails and hair done, get a massage…do what makes you happy as a woman.
In all fairness, my Third Trimester Checklist prepared me for life with a newborn, but the preparation doesn’t end in your third trimester. We’re constantly learning and growing through our experiences.
Now that you know what I’ll be doing with Baby #2, I’d love to hear what you would do differently with your next baby. Let me know in the comments what you’ll do differently with your next little one.