I had some very positive feedback on Facebook regarding my previous Tips for First Time Parents post that a did a little while back. A few days after I published that blog post, I started thinking of some more tips/tricks that Kurt and I have picked up over the past ten months. I thought I would jot a few more of them down and for those of you who may have missed my first post, you can find it here!
If you’ve been following me since I started blogging, then you probably know I made a lot of my own baby food [see here and here]. Through that two day experience I learned SO MUCH! I had been warned by a friend that if I was planning on making my own I should start a few months before Nate was actually ready to start eating solids. I didn’t listen thinking that maybe she was just exaggerating a bit but boy was I ever wrong! This is my first tip for those parents out there wanting to make their own baby food. START NOW! Basically, as soon as your baby is around two or three months old, start preparing your own food. I spent almost eight hours in the kitchen for two days straight and I was beyond exhausted by the time I finished. I wish I had actually listened to my friend and started when Nate was a couple months old. I would’ve saved myself so much time and stress knowing I already had food ready for him to start trying.
Another tip for you first time parents out there is to wait until you’ve had a baby shower thrown for you before you start buying your little one clothes. Yes, this can be hard because everything looks so darn cute and you just want to buy the entire store but trust me, you’re going to end up with more clothes than you’ll know what to do with. Nate has outfits that he never even wore because he had far too many clothes that Kurt and I had bought for him. Even if I wanted to change his outfit two or three times a day, he still wouldn’t have worn everything he had! I remember stressing out about where I was going to hang his clothes because he literally had no room left in his closet and his drawers were completely filled. It might be tempting to buy every outfit you fall in love with but you can always register for it instead and then pick it up later if you don’t end up receiving it from someone.
It’s also a good idea to try and do a large grocery shop a few weeks before your due date. This can sometimes be difficult considering babies can be born prematurely but if you’re approaching 37 weeks and all seems well, I suggest heading out to Costco or your favourite grocery store and stocking up. We were fortunate enough to have family and friends who brought us over dinners as well as frozen meals but we did manage to stock up on some food before Nate was born. Things like bread, soups, cereals, frozen veggies, and snack items really come in handy those first few weeks after you bring your baby home. Especially, if you’re breast feeding! Trust me! You need the extra calories because you’re going to feel just as hungry as you were during your first trimester!
Try to get out of the house every once and a while. I know it’ll probably seem overwhelmingly stressful the first time you go out by yourself but even a small walk around the block helps. It’s always nice to get some fresh air and remind yourself that there’s an outside world; even if it’s in the middle of winter. Kurt and I took Nate out a few times when he was only a week or two old and then I ventured out to the grocery store by myself when he was about three weeks. I was a nervous wreck being alone but we really needed milk so I figured I’d be ok going for just one item and you know what? Nate slept the entire time. I ended up being able to walk through the store for about 20 minutes just looking around before I decided we were ready to go home. I felt so accomplished I had gone out alone that after that I would try to extend the amount of time I was gone for by 5 or so minutes until I eventually didn’t even realize I’d be out for longer than an hour.
It ok to feel like a failure every once and a while but it doesn’t mean you are one! I’ve mentioned before how colicky Nate was for the first three months of his life and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned how many times I felt like I was a bad mom because I couldn’t help him. It doesn’t matter how much you rock them or snuggle them or how many times you take them for a middle of the night drive; sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do. You might feel like a failure but you just need to remember that it’ll pass. You’re a good parent. You’re doing your best and tomorrow is always a new day!
I also think it’s so important to take time to still be a couple. You might be first time parents, but you’re also still in a relationship and it’s good to remind each other of that. Whether you go out for a date night once a week/month or just leave little sticky note “I Love You’s” all over the house. You need to still be who you were prior to becoming parents. Yes, your lives are different now but try to remember to take some time for each other.
Thanks for reading and if I think of any more tips or tricks I’ll be sure to post! Don’t forget, I love hearing from you so if you think of anything I haven’t mentioned, feel free to comment below!