#1- When everyone tells you when you are pregnant to "enjoy sleep now" and you want to tell them to go shove it up their rears because you don't really sleep when pregnant?? Well, they were right. Enjoy waking up to pee every two hours and then getting to go back to bed immediately afterwards. You can't bank sleep, but you can savor the precious memories of it.
#2- All that cocoa and shea butter crap to stop stretchmarks that I started at 7 weeks pregnant? Worthless!!! Week 37 was universally cruel to me. Not only did I explode in a spiderweb of stretchmarks under my belly, but the Hemmorrhoids hit as well. Horrid.
#3- Wait to buy baby clothes until after baby is born. I was absolutely convinced my child was going to be ginormous, so we purposely did not buy many newborn clothes and predominantly went with 0-3 and 3-6. Well, lo and behold, Mr. Teeny Weenie didn't even fit in newborn and we had to go out and buy 5-8 lb Gerber kimono-style onesies to get us through the first two weeks without looking like he was buried in a sack of baby clothes. :) One quick trip to the Carters outlet and we were set with all the sleepers in the world, which he lived in for the first 5 weeks of his life.
#4 - Buttons rock. When you have a blowout, any clothes that go on via the head result in a dirty baby that needs an immediate bath. Which sometimes isn't fun at 7am.
#5 - Long live the video monitor! Worth the money. Wish we'd registered for the more beefed-up version, because we love it. Derek was in his crib at the 2-week mark because DH couldn't sleep with him in the room in the bassinet.....so the video monitor has been worth its weight in gold. (And added sleep)
#6 - Breastfeeding sucks. Everyone says it's fast and free, but I think that's only true if you lucked out. Between the 2 lactation consultant appointments, Boppy, pump, pumping supplies, 1-month hospital pump rental, milk storage bags, nursing tanks, sleep bras, Soothies, and Lanolin, I am likely out $700 from breastfeeding a 7-week old. Insanity!! Breastfeeding is not free, people. Seriously. Once I realized that I could have blister-free nipples, pump, feed, and clean up in less time than I could breastfeed Derek, I decided to exclusively pump. (Except on days when I need to increase supply -- then I suck it up and put him on the boob, and hate every second of it)
#7 - The instant "I'm so in love with my baby" moment that everyone talks about after baby is born? I had a traumatic birth, and I did not have this at all. It was more of a "thank goodness that's over. Can I have more drugs please?"
#8 - Sleep Sheep = best invention ever. Ocean waves equal sweet sweet dreams.
#9 - Square swaddle blankets or bust. And they must be big. Something like the Woombie is preferable to the Kiddopotomus or Sleep Sack with swaddle attachment. But I do love my sleep sacks when I don't feel like swaddling my escape artist.
#10 - Swings in every room -- genius! Derek always kind of like swinging, but now he adores them. We have two right now...we are finding that the small plug-in one doesn't swing as aggressively as it used to now that he's becoming a porker. So spring for a nice big, robust swing IF baby likes it. Start with a travel swing first, that way if they hate it you are only out $50 vs. $150. And you can take it with you when you need to get dressed, shower, use the bathroom, etc... I currently use an infant bouncer, but it's not very exciting these days....so travel swing it is!
#11 - We love our Diaper Genie Elite. So much so that we have one on each floor of the house. No smell at all, and for $5, I am not complaining too much about the refills.
#12 - We use the pack n' play quite a bit to change diapers -- but the changing table "droops." So if you need one, look for a pack n' play that has a robust changing table with supports on both sides!
#13 - Nobody told me that after I delivered, I would swell to gargantuan proportions. It was so painful! The best thing for the swelling was a brief walk around the neighborhood, even though the hoo ha hurt.
#14 - About that hoo-ha. A few days after birth, I did a little exploring and was appalled to find myself swollen and disfigured beyond all imagination! The horror! I was convinced things would never go back to the way they were. And to some extend, they haven't....but it's a heck of a lot better than it was at the beginning.
#15 - Sexy time. I thought I'd want some, but I don't. Something about a still-open episiotomy creeps me out. He can wait!
#16 - Why did nobody tell me that they grow so fast? I should have book a photographer and set up photo sessions when he was a newborn. Now he is clearly NOT a newborn, and all I have are snapshots we took. I'm so sad!
#17 - The diaper bag is a critical piece of equipment. Seeing as how it stores bottles, burp clothes, diapers, wipes, clothing changes, pacifiers, and blankets, it has to be big. The cute small ones don't do it. And a diaper bag for Dad? Waste of money. He just makes me carry mine. So now we have a backpack for nothing.
#18 - The wash clothes with all the cute frog appliques?? Useless! Abrasive! Who does this?? We love our little gerber washclothes the best.
#19 - So many people said that if you don't go natural in childbirth, your baby will feel the effects of the epidural or other drugs and be listless when born. Well, I'm happy to report that not only was my epidural brilliant and quite possibly the biggest positive of my birth experience, but my baby (after his initial Apgar of 3) was wide-eyed and alert for two hours after his birth. Everyone commented on his alterness! So take that.....I felt no pain AND my baby was totally with it.
#20 - I could go on forever. Having this baby had been such a huge learning experience....one that has differed from everything I have read and one that I never could have adequately prepared for!
So now I need to run, because the beast has awakened from his catnap and I must entertain him!