Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Works-for-me-Wednesday: Advice Shower

There are only three more hours officially left in Works-for-me-Wednesday, but I thought I'd buck tradition and jump in with more of a question than a solution. I figured after visiting over 200 sites telling you how to better your life, you might be ready to dish out some advice.

Last week, my brother and his wife welcomed their first baby. I'm simply looking for your best piece of advice that you would share with a first time mom or dad. It can be on any aspect of parenting, fatherhood, motherhood, feeding, sleeping, playing, etc.

C'mon, help me welcome my new niece! Think of it as an Advice Shower.

For more tips, ideas and just all around great advice, visit Shannon over at Rocks in my Dryer.


nikki said...

My best advice is this: When your niece 'decides' what her favorite 'lovey' (blanket, stuffed animal, doll, etc.) is, buy several of them and keep them ALL in rotation. They need to smell the same to her (meaning, don't keep one out of sight and then bring it out only when the original is in the wash, she might not accept is if it smells differently). Congratulations on your niece!

Jeni said...

I absolutely agree with the first comment!

My suggestion is that they learn the joys of swaddling a baby. There are the rare babies who don't like it, but for the majority of them, a good, very snug swaddling will really help them sleep. Newborns have spastic arm & leg movements that wake them up, and swaddling helps contain that. It also simulates the confines of the womb.

To swaddle our daughter, we used two standard flannel receiving blankets. The stretchy ones didn't hold her very well. We'd swaddle her in one layer, and then do a second layer. The flannel fabric makes it much less likely she'd wiggle out.


Gray Matters said...

Almost impossible to do and everyone's probably already told them, but sleep when the baby is sleeping. And don't stress over doing everything "perfectly" for instance, if nursing doesn't work or is difficult it's okay to stop. A relaxed, content mommy is always better.

Daiquiri said...

1. After having 4 babies of my own, there are several things that I will buy my sister when she's expecting her first: stability ball (sit on and bounce with baby), sling (I like New Native Carrier), a good swaddling blanket, GAS DROPS (I shoulda bought stock!), and a binky.

These things in combination will most certainly calm even the crankiest baby.

2. Make it a team effort...both parents caring for baby and for each other.

3. Babies will cry sometimes. You must shower from time to time. You must use the bathroom from time to time. You must step outside for fresh air from time to time. Crying for 60 seconds will not hurt the baby one bit...I promise.

4. Take tons of pictures.

5. Make sure daddy holds baby lots too. New babies bond to the sound of a voice and the smell of a body. Make sure baby knows daddy.

6. Trust your instincts over any other well meaning parent, friend, doctor, or book. YOU know your baby better than anyone. YOU are fully capable of providing all that baby needs. YOU can do it!

7. The sleepless nights...they'll come to an end, I promise. The first 6-10 weeks are brutal, but it's much easier after that. Hang in there.

Oh opened a can of worms asking me for advice! I'll stop now. What a great thing you're doing for the new mom and dad!


Heart of Wisdom said...

I suggest that they love the little one one day at a time enjoying every minute. Don't worry about tomorrow...just enjoy and thank God for every day as you live it with this new precious one.
God bless this new family.
You have been tagged for the "What’s On Your Refrigerator?" meme. It is a Meme and a contest! I'll be giving away two free books. Read all about it at

Promises Fulfilled said...

My advice is to teach your baby how to sleep through the night by putting her/him on a schedule - even if you have to wake the sleeping baby during the day to feed is worth it! (I know that you already know this, but that is my advice! :)

My 6 week old is already doing a 7-8 hour stretch at night -unfortunately, I start this stretch at 7pmish, but that is when I want the baby's bedtime to be. So, last night, I only had to get up once during the night and then the second time was 6:30am - and I stay up after that feeding.

Mom2fur said...

I have two pieces of advice (this is a 52-year-old mom of 3 adults and one teen talking):

1. Don't stand when you can sit and don't sit when you can lay down. Giving birth is called 'labor' for a reason, and you need your rest whenever possible. This goes for daddy, too! Let the house go in favor of holding the baby. If anyone makes snide remarks, hand them a broom. ( clean with, not to indicate 'witch,' LOL!)

2. These years fly by way, way, waaaay too fast. Throw away all the books and magazines that tell you how it 'should' be. These were all written for other people's children. Trust your instincts, enjoy your baby. Smile and nod at everyone giving you advice, and then do what feels right to you. Trust me, the kid isn't going to break.
And...congratulations! There is no magic like a first baby!

Livin' Life said...

My humble advice is to realize quickly those late nights with fitful sleep and endless feedings is gone in a flash. I would have never believed that until my third. Those nights were such a beautiful time because I knew this would end all to quickly. Now they are grown and I miss those times of prayer and cuddling.

fern said...

My best advice comes from a poem, so I cannot take any credit.

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,
For babies grow up, I've learned, to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.

Jack's Mommy said...

what great advice! i'm 7 months pregnant with my own first child - and i thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and the comments. :) thanks!

The Gang's All Here! said...

My advice is similar to Livin' Life and Daquiri's - treasure the moments and "wallow in them" as long as you can. Sleep schedules, feeding schedules, routines, laundry, dishes, etc - all that will always be there to be tweaked, taken care of and modified as life goes on. These tender first months of newness will not. Especially after the first one passes thru them.

Enough of life is regimented by the outside world, let this early season of parenting be all about reveling in becoming a new family. The outside world will demand your attention and attendance soon enough!

Sasha @ Cherished Moments said...

My best advice is to join the parenting group at your local community health centre. Not only will you be hooked up with other parents who all have the same zombie looks on their sleep-deprived faces (and are going through the same issues as you), you can make good friends. And the effort of getting showered and dressed, putting on some lipstick, brushing your hair and getting out of the house once a week can keep you feeling like a human being, for at least a few hours a week!

Kathleen Ellis said...

What a blessing, and I love her name!
Everyone has contributed such valuable advice for you.
My advice, as the mother of 3 wonderful adult children, who still like to come and visit! would be....
remember that these moments will never come again...these first few years pass by sooooo quickly, you won't beleive it! so take the time to cuddle, pray, read, teach in these first, days, months and years. Create memories together.

remember that children have an incredible capacity to learn...much more than we realize many times...and they observe much...take advantage of that in teaching them what to do & say as well as what not to!

remember, although it seems impossible right now, one day your "little ones" will leave the nest and it will be just the two of you again....invest the time now and on a regular basis to nurture your marriage relationship...keep your intimacy with each other, do fun things together, just the two of you, learn and grow in new ways, keep romance alive. then in a few years when you're "empty nesters" you won't want to "fly the coop" yourselves!
Blessings to you!