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The Big Picture

New Babies 101

Hope is six weeks old, and for the tenth time, I'm in love. 
There's nothing like a new baby.  Without fail they remind me how brief the time is.  And because I thought I wouldn't have anymore after Silas, I realize more than ever what a gift Hope is.  I cry when she smiles at me, squeal with delight when she coos.  And I spend a lot of hours in the rocking chair. Last night, in fact, I inhaled the scent of her head over and over like an addict on drugs.
Having a new baby has given me ample time to once again ponder the first few months of mothering, to narrow down what I consider the essentials.  So here they are.  Some advice has been passed along to me, the rest I have figured out on my own. 
After all, I've had lots of time to think about it.
Baby Advice: Top Ten from a Mom of Ten
  • Get the epidural if you need it.  Eight out of ten times I have been induced.  Eight out of ten times I have had an epidural.  Ten out of ten times I have needed it.
  • Take advantage of the overnight nursery while you're at the hospital.  Like the nurse so knowingly said, it is the only time a new mom will get to sleep.
  • Bathe the baby every evening.  I learned this from my own mom (mother of 8) when I moved in with her for three days after I had my first baby.  She believed a bath in the evening relaxes the baby and sends a signal that it is almost bedtime.  I have followed her advice with all ten, and I agree.
  • Accept all help offered.  Ask for help if it isn't offered.   My church family and a few friends volunteered food--ridiculous amounts of food--for two weeks after I came home.  I froze half and over a month later I still had meals in the freezer.
  • Keep the baby home for a month.  Just solid, common sense advice.  Target, TJ Maxx and even Walmart will go on without you. 
  • Nap when the baby naps, then get done whatever you can.  (A mentor of mine passed on to me to try and make your bed every day.  Since the bed takes up most of the room, she said, making it every day will give you a sense of accomplishment even if that is all you get done.)
  • No screens for infants.  I am certain there are dozens of studies out there that show face to face time is crucial to healthy development. 
  • A no nonsense nurse simplified feedings for me several babies ago: Wake the baby up for feedings during the day. Let her wake you up during the night. 
  • Allow siblings to help with and play with the baby.  Dorothy likes to pick out her clothes, Silas likes to give her horse back rides on all fours (with my assistance, of course).  And how many Sims kids does it take to give Hope a bath?  Six is the record so far.   
  • Live in the moment.  This is hard with the first one, a breeze with the tenth one.  But it took me a long time to get here.  Three babies just to learn to relax, six to really let things go. 
And with the tenth?  I am nothing but a noodle.

11 Comments to New Babies 101:

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Amy on Tuesday, February 07, 2012 10:54 AM
It brings joy to my heart to know you are all doing so well. Love to you and your family!
Reply to comment
Margie on Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:07 AM
miss you, Amy!

Janice on Tuesday, February 07, 2012 12:49 PM
You and your family are a joy to know, Thankyou Lord for sending you our way!
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Margie on Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:07 AM
awe, thank you, Janice. So glad to be part of MOPS with you!

Debbie on Wednesday, February 08, 2012 3:53 AM
I still remember some of those days with my own and now I am a Grandmother of 7! Sweet baby Sister -you articulate it all so well!Love you!
Reply to comment
Margie on Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:08 AM
Dee Dee, I miss you!

Amber on Friday, February 10, 2012 7:29 PM
Margie, I have been following your blog since you visited our MOMSnext group in Rome, NY last year.... we truly enjoyed your visit! I am sooo happy for you and for your family! What a blessing little Hope is! She is just beautiful!
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Margie on Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:10 AM
Amber, so great to hear from you. And hope your MOPS group is going strong. I agree--HOpe is a blessing, a real gift!

Kelly Riley on Friday, April 13, 2012 10:26 AM
Absolutely accept help and don't be ashamed to tell people what your family likes to eat. I've got stuff I tell soon to be moms. Not sure if they want to hear it but I give it anyway.
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New Baby Hampers on Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:27 PM
I was looking forward such kind of post new birth 101.I have been much benefited to get this informative site. Thanks a million friend. Carry on.
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