7 Pieces of Practical Advice For Surviving Baby’s First Year
We’ve already talked about the things that they forget to tell you about baby’s first year. Now let’s talk about things that might help you survive baby’s first year. These are tried (by me) and true methods that will help you navigate the first year of your baby’s life with ease. Or at least as much ease as life with an infant allows.
Feed the Baby
Let’s get this out of the way. The most important thing is that your baby is fed. It doesn’t matter what the packaging is-breast or bottle. If you’re feeding your baby, you’re doing it right. Stop the mommy shaming and don’t engage the trolls. Baby formula or breast milk, your baby will get the nutrition he or she needs to grow strong and healthy.
Travel Packs of Formula
If you are bottle feeding, the best thing you can buy is a box of travel formula packets. I let my husband talk me out of buying them for our first two. He said that we could make them with baggies, but hello? Formula expires when it’s been opened. I was out with Jack one day and had forgotten a bottle. I was in Target so I grabbed a box of formula packets and a new bottle so I could feed him in the parking lot. Let me tell you, this was the best purchase I’ve ever made. (Well, one of them. My box-set of Friends DVDs might be the actual best purchase). I keep them in the diaper bag and anytime we are out and Jack needs food, I whip one of those bad boys out and mix a bottle. Another quick tip is to keep a clean bottle at the places you frequent the most like grandparents’ houses.
For Boys Only: Vaseline
If you’re having a baby boy and have decided to go the circumcision route, you will have to deal with aftercare. The doctors and nurses will tell you to rub Vaseline on the penis between every diaper change to prevent the fresh wound from sticking to the front of the diaper. If you’ve ever used Vaseline, you know that it melts at body temperature and trying to get it to stick to your boy’s stuff is like trying to ice a hot cake straight from the oven. It doesn’t work. My advice, and I did this with all three of mine, is to take a glob of Vaseline and rub it all along the front of the diaper. With a big enough area, you won’t miss the spot where stickage could occur and everyone should be happy.
I cannot stress this enough. Buy or register for zip-up sleepers size 0-3 all the way through 12 months. Tiny baby outfits are super cute and super impractical. I know you’ll want to dress them up sometimes. Everyone does. Plus you’ll get a ton of impractical but adorable outfits at your baby shower. By all means, use them. But let the zip-up sleeper be your friend. It’s the perfect clothing for your baby. It covers their feet so they won’t be cold and they can transition from party time to bedtime seamlessly. Also, you don’t have to bother with snaps during the middle of the night diaper changes. After my first kid, mine lived in these sleepers. I’m not sure Oliver wore an actual outfit until he was about 8 months old.
You know the advice they give out now-back to sleep and no blankets or stuffed animals in the crib. You wonder how to keep your little peanut warm in the winter or the air conditioned summer nights. Sleep sacks are the way to go! They zip up and keep bodies and legs warm while leaving arms free to wave about like they just don’t care. My boys, once they were bigger, actually learned to stand up and walk around the crib inside their sleep sacks. They are honestly one of the best inventions out there.
Head and Shoulders
If your baby has a raging case of cradle cap (or baby leprosy, don’t let the cute name fool you), using Head and Shoulders will clear it up. My pediatrician recommends this and it totally works! After just a few applications it will clear right up. If it comes back (and baby leprosy might do just that), switch back to Head and Shoulders for a while and it should clear up again. Bonus: You can stay dandruff-free by sharing shampoo with your baby!
For The Itchy Baby
Two of my guys have eczema. Instead of soft, smooth newborn skin like my middle guy, my bookends have skin similar to a lizard. We don’t bathe them as often (in fact two days ago, I realized that I hadn’t bathed the baby in at least a month) and when we do, we don’t always use soap. For soap I would recommend a gentle baby soap or oatmeal soap. We just switched to oatmeal soap and it is great for my own skin, let alone my lizard boys. Lotion is a must, every night and after every bath. Don’t use anything with fragrance. The best that I’ve found and comes pediatrician recommended is Cetaphil (we buy the generic at Wal-Mart). It works great. We also use Aveeno for sensitive skin and that works pretty well too. Sometimes instead of using soap, I will just slather the lizard boys in coconut oil after a bath. Coconut oil is amazing for many things (besides cooking). I use it on my hair once in a while as an oil treatment.
If you guys have any extra tips or tricks, leave them in the comments. We all should learn from each other! I’ve left some links to products I like at the bottom of this post. Full disclosure-these are affiliate links and if you purchase something from these links I receive a small amount of money. I don’t know how small. It hasn’t actually happened yet!
Halo Sleep Sacks on Amazon
Carter’s Zip-Up Sleepers
Dr. Brown’s Bottles
Creation Farm Oatmeal Soap (I actually know the family who owns this company. Great products!)