Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Advice for New Parents

Yesterday one of my dearest friends told me she is pregnant for the first time.  I am so excited!!  And talking to her last night about it got me thinking about first time parents.  Oh the mistakes we all make!  And all of the stupid advice we hear!  So many things that you need to decide on.  The whole thing is so exciting and at the same time so overwhelming!  So I thought I'd put together a few blogs on the subjects that I was the most interested in when we were first becoming parents.  I'm thinking that I'll post about cloth diapering, feeding baby, baby showers, and a few other things I'm mulling over.  But first I wanted to just put together some basics.  Of course it goes without saying, though I will say it anyway, that these are just my opinions and what worked for me.  Everyone and every baby is different.  And I'm only an expert in Jude, nothing else.

1.  You will get so much advice.  And the more pregnant you look, the more advice you will get from well meaning strangers.   Try to take it with a grain of salt and remember that no one is the expert and you are allowed to disagree with them, even if its your own mom.  People, even stupid rude people, are just trying to be helpful.

2.  Decide what is important to you and how you want to do things, but recognize that babies don't really care about the plans you make.  Some of the things you decide will work out just fine, others not so much.  Try not to let it bother you or make you feel like a bad parent.  As long as you and the baby are healthy and mostly happy, its not a  big deal.

3.  Get stuff done early.  It is so hard to get even the smallest things done at first when there is a new baby in the house, like really, even taking a shower is an effort.  So get done what you can that will be helpful as soon as possible.  For example, do you have an office or junk room that you are planning on making into a nursery?  Well, get it on it.  Start clearing the room out now and getting it ready.  Don't wait until you are 8 months pregnant and huge to do it.  Take will make it harder.  Have a project around the house that you've been meaning to do?  Get it done now.  Remember you will have family and friends all over your house once baby is here.

4.  Have fun.  Go to movies, eat fancy dinners, read books, sleep in, go shopping, have long conversations about adult things.  Do all of the stuff that is hard with kids in the house.

5.  Treat yourself.  Your body is going to get all sorts of wacky while you are growing this tiny human.  Do stuff to make yourself feel good.  Feeling frumpy and big?  Get a sweet new hair cut.  Feet swollen and sore?  Go get a pedicure, the good kind where they rub your feet and legs for 30 minutes.  And if you can afford it, get at least two or three pregnancy massages.

6.  Try not to buy baby clothes.  Trust me, even if you don't know anyone with kids, you will still end up with so much baby clothing.  You will get tons at any sort of baby shower you might have, a co worker will bring you a box of their kids stuff, etc.  And if you do have friends or family nearby with kids you will get their hand me downs.  So don't buy much if you can help it.  Babies don't really wear stuff out so chances are good that you will get hand me downs that are in good shape.

7.  Don't be afraid to buy stuff used.  There is so much stuff that is nice to have with a baby in the house, but you don't need half of it.  And the half you do need can normally be found in a thrift shop, a garage sale or Craigslist for a fraction of the price.  But don't start buying stuff till that spare office that is becoming the nursery gets cleared out!

Ok thats a pretty good start!

And PS I am so excited about the craft exchange!  I drew the name of a blog that I really love which makes it so fun!


  1. Hey, I didn't know you had a blog! That's very cool! And a great list of advice. I think these things are great for a first-time parent and also for someone like me who's expecting their second child after several years, because you forget a lot of the day to day stuff of having a baby in the house!

    I definitely agree with the not buying clothes thing. I'm having another boy so I have a lot of my older son's hand-me-downs that I saved, but I also know that most people just want to buy clothes. They don't care about getting you the stuff you really need that's on your registry--they just go for the cute clothes! And I'd also add that yes, baby clothes don't really get worn out so hand-me-downs are usually in good shape, but babies do poop on and throw up on their clothes a lot so I would say don't register for (or buy yourself) designer baby clothing. Plus, your kid will probably only wear the clothes for 3 to 6 months so that super cute dress or outfit that you bought for $50 will not really be worth it. Maybe splurge on one super cute outfit, especially if you have a special occasion like a wedding to go to, but otherwise it's just not worth spending all that money!

    Great advice, Liz!

  2. Thank you for these tips, and I'm excited about the upcoming ones (I was totally planning to ask you about cloth diapers!)! I'm already taking your advice from a long time ago and reading up now on babies instead of just pregnancy books :) (Brooke)