Thank you VTech for sponsoring this post. Check out the VTech VM342 Video Monitor with Wide-Angle Lens and Standard Lens to keep an eye on your little one!
When I first announced that I was pregnant on the ol’ blog, I told you that it wouldn’t become the number-one topic of discussion, so those of you who don’t have kids or don’t care, wouldn’t get too bored. And while yes, there have been plenty of posts that haven’t been related to pregnancy — it’s pretty clear this whole baby-growing-inside-me thing is a big deal, and I can’t stop talking about it — so sorry!
I’ve been keeping you updated on how my first and second trimesters went, and so it’s only fitting that I share some of the other baby-related things I’ve been doing behind the scenes to get ready to welcome the little guy into the world in a couple of months.
Ladies and gentlemen … two weeks ago, I hosted a brunch for some of my favorite mom friends to get their advice on having a baby, taking care of a newborn baby and what to expect. You know, the type of stuff that you don’t read in books …
Five of my lady friends, four of whom are currently moms to one or two little kiddos of varying ages, and one lady friend who is also pregnant and due with her first in October just like me, came over on a Sunday morning to eat, chat and get real. While I had only one question for these ladies, the conversation was entertaining, scary and non-stop.
Real-life advice on having a baby from moms to moms-to-be …
And here’s a taste of what I learned …
Giving birth and being at the hospital …
- Be very conservative with who you want to visit you at the hospital (if you choose to give birth at a hospital) or come into the room to see you, because you will be in all sorts of stages of undress during your stay. Believe it or not, you may not be interested in too many visitors at all. And let those nurses help you out as much as possible while you’re there, because you’ll miss that when you get home. Nurses are your friends!
- You are paying for absolutely every single thing that you use and need during your hospital stay (apparently you’ll get an itemized bill at check-out that even shows how many Tylenol you took), so ask for extra mesh underwear, baby beanies, diapers and wipes, and then plan to take all of that home with you. It’s all yours!
- Make sure you and your partner have tried using the infant car seat a few times before you give birth and go to the hospital (or birthing center). You can even take your car by a local fire department to have them check to make sure that you’ve installed it properly. The people at the hospital won’t help you get your newborn into the car seat safely (it’s your job), so do a couple of dry runs to ensure you know what you’re doing on the big day.
Baby care once you get home …
- Know that your baby’s temperature is actually naturally a little higher than an adult’s temperature. You can keep in touch with your pediatrician, but you really don’t need to take the baby to the doctor to get checked out unless their temperature is over 100 degrees, and it can be even higher as they get older. And to get a valid temperature, use the rectal thermometer. It’s not that bad.
- Speaking of pediatricians, don’t be scared to call yours for everything! Most of them should have a nursing team on staff ready to answer any and all of your questions, all the time. No question is a dumb one when it comes to your child. Better safe than sorry.
- Your baby’s doctor will want to know all about how often the baby is feeding and going to the bathroom, so you’ll have to track that. (This was news to me!) You can do it the old-fashioned way by keeping a notepad and pen by the changing table in the nursery, or you can download an app for it. Some good ones are Eat Sleep and Feed Baby.
- Babies don’t need a daily bath. But, when your baby is really small, make sure that you clean the little rolls in their necks, armpits and even behind their ears in between their baths. Little particles, like milk, etc. can accumulate in those hidden areas and start to smell bad or get infected. On non-bath nights, just grab a small wet washcloth and get to work. (Oh my.)
- Team-work makes the dream-work. If you’re the one who has to do all the feedings, let your partner or hubs do all the diaper changes. It’s only fair.
Self care after the baby arrives …
- You should be prepared to be very emotional and protective of your new baby soon after they are born. In fact, there’s a good chance that you won’t want other people (other than you and your partner) to hold or care for the baby at all the first few weeks. And that’s okay.
- Even though you may want to be productive, for the first few weeks after the baby is born, you really should try to nap when the little one naps. Give up the guilt of a full pile of laundry, and lay your head down to snooze. You need it!
- This is a big one, repeated among all the moms: Do NOT stay inside the house all day every single day. You should always have at least one outing to clear your head, which can be as simple as a walk around the block with the stroller. Plan that one outing and stick to it. It will do you a world of good. Bonus points if you can join a breastfeeding or new mommies group.
- Believe it or not, when the baby is under three months old and sleeping a lot, this can be a good time for you and your partner to go out to eat and bring the baby.
- If you have out-of-town family members who want to come visit to see the baby, tell them to schedule their visits at least one month after your due date, so that if you do go a couple of weeks past your date, you’ll at least have two full weeks at home with the baby before anyone comes into town. Once again, remember that you will be recovering, hormonal, emotional and very tired — so don’t overbook your visits.
- But when your friends or family want to come by to see the baby, assign them very specific tasks. Rather than saying you “need some help,” give them one-to-two assignments that they can handle for you, like folding a specific pile of laundry, emptying the dishwasher, or running to the grocery store for milk, eggs and bread. This is definitely a time in life when you can be a little bossy with your requests, so don’t be scared to ask for help.
- Another common thing that all the ladies mentioned is the massive amounts of leakage from your breasts. (I find this gross, but I guess there is a lot of grossness in my near future … ) Apparently this is a real issue, so you should plan to have plenty of nursing pads on the ready (and in your purse and diaper bag when you go out), because accidents happen all the time. They all said that nursing tanks and bras are your friends, and you’ll wear all of that much longer and more frequently than you expect.
Baby gear and supplies …
- When you’re buying clothes for your future little one, don’t load up on too many newborn sizes. Believe it or not, some babies skip the newborn size entirely, and you’ll have a lot of unused pieces. You should get several outfits for the 0 to 3 months size from the outset, as well as larger ones too.
- Also when it comes to baby PJs, all of the moms suggested getting zipper jammies for night-time. You find a lot of styles in the stores with snap buttons, but apparently those are super inconvenient in the middle of the night, when both you and your baby are tired during feedings and changings.
- Baby wipes are your friends. Get the high-quality organic ones if you can, and use those wipes for you, your baby and even your house. Wipe it all down, and keep a pack with you at all times! (As a clean freak, I love this one!)
- You’ll need a lot of diapers, and they aren’t cheap, so make Amazon your friend, because the prices there are a little better than traditional stores.
And that pretty much covers it for advice on having a baby from these ladies!
Introducing the VTech Video Monitor
In addition to talking about all of that good stuff (yes, I took notes), one thing we also did during the brunch was pass around the VTech VM342 Video Monitor with a Wide-Angle Lens and Standard Lens, which I was so nicely gifted by my friends at CLEVER (who I’m partnering with on this post).
Dave are I still trying to figure out how to get our nursery in order, so we obviously haven’t actually used the monitor yet, but my friends were super impressed with the fact that this one offers a color screen and a sound machine — in addition to the wide and standard views of the room, with a range of up to 1,000 feet. You can switch back and forth your views just by attaching the wide-angle lens for panoramic shots when you need them. So fancy!
It’s pretty cool that this brand has enough variety to suit varying needs and has a good-looking design, which won’t stand out too much in the nursery or on the brunch table …
According to my mom friends, having a high-quality monitor is super important, because you will be using it ALL THE TIME. I’m glad I have this one on the ready to watch our little angel in his soon-to-be set-up room.
Here are some more details and product features:
- High-resolution, 4.3-inch color LCD screen
- 170-degree wide-angle lens
- Soothing sounds and lullabies (how cool is that?)
- Two-way, talk-back intercom so you can calm your little one
- Adjustable camera angle to get just the right view
- Up to 1,000 feet of range (perhaps in case you live in a massive place?)
- Vibrating sound-alert on the parent unit
- Temperature sensor
- 9-level sound indicator
- Full-motion video
- Sound activation mode
- Automatic infrared night vision
- Secure digital video and audio transmission
- 2x digital zoom (so you can a close-up of his or her little face!)
- Wall-mount bracket (helpful)
- Volume control
- Rechargeable battery with low-battery alert on the parent unit
I mean, that’s a high-functioning monitor, right? If you’re interested, you can find the VTech Video Monitor for sale at Target, Walmart, Amazon and on the vtechphones.com site. And take it from the experienced moms who’ve been there before us: Don’t skimp on your monitor, because it will be an integral parenting tool from early on!
Now, here’s your chance to win one of these monitors for yourself or as a gift for an expecting or parent/mom friend …
Giveaway: Enter to Win a VTech Video Monitor
One lucky winner will receive a VTech VM342 Video Monitor with a Wide-Angle Lens and Standard Lens ($129.95 ARV).
Rules: The winner must reside in the continental United States. This giveaway will close on Sunday, August 6 in the evening, so act now.
To enter, click on the giveaway widget below, enter your email (which will not be shared publicly), and fill out as many fields as you want. The more you fill out, the better your chances to win.
Thanks so much for entering and for stopping by the blog today to read all about advice on having a baby from some of my mom friends. Also, I’d LOVE it if you shared this post and giveaway with someone in your life who may need it!What to expect when you're expecting! Advice from moms and a big baby monitor #giveaway. Check it out from @apstyle ... Click To Tweet
Disclaimer: I was selected for this sponsored opportunity as a member of CLEVER, and I received compensation and a free monitor, but the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors who keep the lights on at A Lady Goes West!
Questions of the day
What’s one piece of advice on having a baby you’d like to share to a mom-to-be that’s not included here?
What’s one question you have about babies and baby care that you’d like answered?