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PostHeaderIcon 10 Things To Do Before Having a Baby (9)

  Written By: Melainie

pregnantWhew! I barely eked this post out in time- I’m not sure how I will come up with the last points for my final “Things To Do Before Having a Baby” post next week. If you have any ideas, don’t hesitate to email me or leave a comment. I would love to hear your opinions on any of the previous posts in this series or what you are glad/wished you accomplished before having your baby. Don’t be shy- tell me what you’re thinking…

To Do Before Baby:

81. Save money for a new wardrobe- Yes, you will need maternity clothes- you will be wearing them even after the baby is born. But, you will also need to replace many items once you get back into shape after having the baby. Your body will be different, and your shape will change. Clothes may be the same size on you but the cut may not ever fit the same way.

82. Get a child friendly pet- When I found out I was pregnant we knew we would have to find a new home for our terrier because she was horrible with children. It was sad, but no amount of discipline would keep her from picking on and nipping at little children. We have since then gotten a few fish and our baby loves them. She will stare, mesmerized at the fish tank and gets excited when it’s time to feed the fish.

83. Get a family vehicle- When I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I were already in the process of looking for a new vehicle. We quickly decided on a safe, reliable, and roomy family car which has been very good to us over the past year and a half that we’ve owned it.

84. Strengthen old friendships or say goodbye- They may die out once you enter the mommy phase of your life. No matter what you may believe before having a baby, it will be very difficult to keep up friendships with even the closest friends who do not have a family of their own. For that matter, it will be hard to keep any friendships going while you are running on little sleep, days and nights blending together, and time flies faster than you can catch it.

85. Love your family, especially their quirks- So you have that crazy Aunt who likes to give out absurd, unsolicited advice (no I’m not speaking of any family member of mine in particular), but that is part of what makes your family gatherings so unique and special. When everybody gets together, certain tensions may erupt into a fight- that’s just life and it keeps everything from becoming too dull. Embrace the individuality of every person in your family and raise your baby to love them all.

86. Get over any needle phobia- Sorry but you are definitely going to get stuck a lot during your pregnancy. I am fortunate to not have a fear of needles, which would be awkward for me since I worked in a hospital laboratory. There are many tests that need to be performed on pregnant women to ascertain the health of her and her baby- we will save that information for another post, though.

87. Forget the “life after baby” fairytale- I told myself when I was pregnant that I was not falling victim to this mentality, but apparently I did without knowing it. I was a little distraught after 3 months went by and I was still not having a carefree, happy-go-lucky time staying home with my baby. Life after baby is not all about pushing a stroller in the park with the sun shining and birds chirping. Sometimes it is stormy, your baby is screaming at you, and all you want to do is sleep.

88. Drive/Ride on a motorcycle- This one is more for my husband than me, although I am so glad to have had the experience before our baby came along. I never thought I would love riding on a motorcycle- it’s just not the kind of person I am- but I had so much fun hopping on the back of my husband’s bike and cruising around town. Our motorcycle became pretty much obsolete with a baby, though.

89. Establish religious convictions with your spouse- Although my husband and I agree on the same religion and basic principles of that religion, some of our other religious convictions do not quite mesh together. There are occasions when we get into arguments about raising our baby with certain religious principles being a foundation for our family. Know where each other stands and make those important decisions now.

90. Prepare to be disgusted and get messy- There is not much in this world that will disgust me (other than cruelty and violence) and what used to bother me no longer does so. Working in the medical laboratory profession has cured me of any queasy tendencies when it comes to poop, vomit, or sputum. When you have a baby, you will get pooped on, spit up all over, and pee everywhere. Just a warning so that now you know what to expect…

PostHeaderIcon 10 Things To Do Before Having a Baby (8)

  Written By: Melainie

pregnantThis post was a little more difficult, because it’s getting harder to come up with new points without repeating myself. I have 2 more posts for my “Things To Do Before Having a Baby” list and it will finally be finished. If you have missed any or would like a review, you can find them all in my Pre-pregnancy/TTC category.

To Do Before Baby:

71. Realize that you cannot be in control of every situation- Sometimes circumstances arise that are outside of your control and you have to just accept it- like if you plan to have a natural childbirth and end up needing an emergency c-section (that didn’t happen to me, but I’ve read a few stories where it did). I am a control freak by natural, but I have learned that you cannot be in control of everything- especially when it comes to a screaming baby.

72. Work the night shift just to see what it’s like- When I first began working third shift it was kind of fun and exciting, something new and different. I was staying up all night and sleeping when most others were awake- I guess I just enjoy trying out new experiences. When I was pregnant the fun ended for me- I hated trying to sleep during the day and trying not to fall asleep all night.

73. Enjoy hour long bubble baths with candles and relaxing music- I can vaguely remember the days of not worrying about the baby crying and waking my husband. I could soak in the tub any time I liked and as long as I wanted to. Now that my baby is sleeping 10 hours through the night, I can ocassionally make time for a bath after I lay her down.

74. Take up scrapbooking as a hobby- If you have never tried it before, I suggest getting an all-in-one starter package. It’s a great way to show off your creative side and put all of your pictures to good use. Plus, when you have a baby you will want to make your own memory book and catalog your baby’s development.

75. Learn all about FMLA and plan accordingly- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a wonderful job security law that gives you the ability to stay home with your newborn baby for up to 12 weeks. Certain states have even better postpartum laws, so find out what is available to you and plan ahead with that information in mind.

76. Take a good, long look at your belly button- It will never look the same again. *Sigh* I miss my belly button, but I have given up on it every returning to “normal” again. It was a slight innie to begin with and now (9 months after giving birth) it still pokes out as much as it did in my third trimester.

77. Break those bad habits- If you smoke, take illegal drugs, or drink alcohol then you would obviously have to quit before getting pregnant. But, there are other “addictions” that you might want to take control of or get rid of altogether before having a baby. My husband and I realized we spent way too much time and money on television, so we canceled our satellite service before the baby was born.

78. Learn to fall asleep quickly- With only a 2 hour break between feedings you have to fall asleep immediately whenever you get the chance- thank goodness that didn’t last for more than a week. After being sleep deprived for a month, I became very adept at falling asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

79. Get really good at multitasking- Although scientists are now saying it is bad for your brain, you have to do it when you’re a mom. When you are trying to cook, clean, and care for a needy baby and husband you have to be good at multitasking at least ocassionally. Sometimes, I am not so good at it and end up running around getting nothing accomplished other than getting myself stressed out.

80. Spend an entire day reading- Find a good book or break out a favorite that you haven’t read in a while, and take the whole day for yourself curled up in your favorite reading nook. Ahh the peaceful tranquility of getting lost in a good book- I miss that. There are no days off from being a mother- it’s a 24/7 job- so no long days devoted to reading a book from cover to cover.

PostHeaderIcon Top 10 Baby-Proofing Overkill

  Written By: Melainie

baby hazardsWhile I was reading up on various ways to baby-proof a home I ran across several things that I considered to be overkill and just plain silly. Once I had decided how much baby-proofing I thought I should do, I realized this is a great opportunity to write a fun post of the more ridiculous suggestions that I found in the process. Although I believe these points are overkill, it is just my opinion and you have to use your own judgment- “please don’t check your common sense at the door.”

Baby-Proofing Overkill:

#10 Corner Guards- I can understand wanting to pad baby-proof cornerssharp corners in the nursery (if you have any-I don’t) but everywhere else seems silly to me. My baby is learning to walk right now and has been cruising the living room furniture quite well. Occasionally she falls and bumps her head, but it’s not a big deal.

#9 Stove Guard- This sounds like an important safety feature for baby-proofing but I think it baby-proof stovewould just give parents a false sense of security in the kitchen. Instead, I would rather keep the kitchen completely off limits to the baby unless I am in their paying close attention to her. This is especially true for when I am cooking, if the baby is with me I stay by the stove and keep my eye on her at all times.

 

#8 Hot Water Indicators- What’s wrong with just using your elbow to baby bathtest the bath water as many professionals suggest- oh I know, because you don’t spend frivolous money doing it that way. I have never needed a temperature gauge for my baby’s bath time and I have never scalded her yet.

 

#7. Potted Plant Guard- I know that this product just makes life easier baby-proof plantsfor parents, but that’s not what parenting is about. Sometimes you have to go along the more difficult path to achieve the desired outcome. In this case the desired outcome is a well-disciplined child. I want to raise my baby to have respect for other peoples things and my authority. I don’t want to protect everything from her destruction just because she does not know how to obey.

#6. Door Pinch Guard- Once when I was a little girl I baby-proof doorgot my finger caught in a door, and it really hurt. I quickly got over it and I learned not to stick my finger in places it doesn’t belong. I hate to see my baby cry just as much as any other parent, but I know that she has to learn and I can’t completely shelter her from life.

 

#5. Refrigerator Locks- Since the baby can’t kill herself from anything baby-proof fridgein my refrigerator and I only keep her in the kitchen if I am with her, this seems completely unnecessary to me. Actually, I think it is really a device to test the patience of parents because I know I would get annoyed with it really quickly.

#4. Toilet Seat Locks- If the last product was meant baby-proof toiletto test my patience, this one is meant for torture. When you HAVE to go in the middle of the night, do you really want to turn the lights on so you can fumble with a latch while trying not to pee? There is not a whole lot I can accomplish when I am groggy from sleep, and I’m pretty sure this would have me beat.

#3. Baby-Proofing Books- In all of the research I bookshave done on baby-proofing, I found so much more information than I would normally think of on my own that I don’t see why anybody would want to spend money on a book. If you can find the information free, then buying baby-proofing books is a complete waste of money- unless you just enjoy reading them for some strange reason.

#2. Baby-Proofing Professional- Another waste of money in my opinion. Why do Americans baby-proof careerconstantly try to suppress their own common sense and better judgment? If you just consider what all your baby can physically do, then you can figure out what would be dangerous around the house. I know very well how terribly hazardous my house is, and I didn’t have to ask a professional to figure that out.

#1. Baby-Proofing Classes- This is worse than hiring a professional, because with the previous point you at least have the excuse of being too lazy to do it yourself. Common sense and clutter control are my main ways to baby-proof, along with the First Aid and CPR class I took a while back. If you are that adamant about baby-proofing, use that time to declutter your house and search the internet for more information. I sure hope you didn’t shell out cash along with your wasted time for those classes.

parenting

If you enjoyed this post then you will love my most popular post “Top 10 Worst Baby Products,” check it out if you haven’t read it yet.

PostHeaderIcon How Much Baby-Proofing?

  Written By: Melainie

baby hazardsNowadays, safety and germs have become the most popular obsessive-compulsive disorders especially with moms. There are so many different products out there to keep your family safe and healthy, and when I was looking through the baby proofing isles I began to feel a little overwhelmed by it all. So, now I am wondering what sort of baby proofing is necessary and how much is too much?

Minimal Baby-Proofing:

baby-proofingI am not one of those obsessive hyper-parenting types, and really just want to do what I believe is absolutely necessary for my baby’s safety. So, I am much more attracted to the idea of minimal baby-proofing as opposed to the all out helicopter parenting style. Maybe if I had plenty of money to throw around I would consider hiring one of those professional baby-proofing services, but I’m sure I wouldn’t keep all of the safety features up for very long because I would end up losing my patience with it all.

The following is a list I compiled as I browsed various baby-proofing websites that I am using as my guide. It’s short and simple but I think that is all I need right now- along with a little dose of common sense of course.

Baby-Proofing Checklist:

• Secure all window shade cords, internet cables, and other various wires

• Put down slip-resistant surface in bath tub

• Cover all electrical outlets in easy reach

• Move chemicals to an upper cabinet and secure with a lock

• Secure furniture in the nursery

• Install a baby gate at kitchen entrance

This is what I consider to be my minimal baby-proofing checklist, but if you want some more ideas on baby-proofing, WebMD has a more extensive home baby-proofing guide. In my next article I will talk about what I consider to be baby-proofing overkill and why. In the meantime, what do you think about baby-proofing? How much is too much?

PostHeaderIcon 10 Things To Do Before Having a Baby (7)

  Written By: Melainie

pregnantWe are getting close to the end of my huge list of things to do before having a baby. If you missed some, you can find them all in my pre-pregnancy/TTC category. If you would like to make any suggestions, I would love to hear them so go ahead and leave a comment.

To Do Before Baby:

61. Go to a live orchestra performance- I love classical music and I have always wanted to go hear an orchestra play for the experience and the enjoyment of the music. This is obviously not a place for babies and to do something like this after having a baby, it takes a lot of planning ahead of time. I have yet to keep up with schedules I make a day in advance, so going to the orchestra seems like a daunting task for now.

62. Write a book- Just to say that you did. I guess this doesn’t have to be done before having a baby, but it would be easier if you at least begin the process before having a baby to take care of. Plus, once you get your name out their and get a taste for writing, you might want to stay home with your baby and write for a living.

63. Invest in a good camera/camcorder- I had decided long ago that I was not going to be “one of those parents”- you know, the type of parent that thinks their child is the best at everything and every moment must be recorded to prove it. Well it’s sad to say, but I believe I have turned into that myself and I needed my camcorder and camera to catch every amazing moment.

64. Take a Yoga class- I took a class in college and absolutely loved it. I strayed a little from exercise after college, but my yoga knowledge is still with me. When I was pregnant all of the yoga stretches and poses really helped me relieve and prevent so many pregnancy symptoms. After giving birth, yoga was an great way to ease back into an exercise routine, plus it made me feel better and more energized.

65. Babysit- Practice childcare on other people’s children. :) I think I am a little more confident as a mother because I have “practiced” it so much beforehand. I spent my teenage years babysitting and I have worked a little in a daycare- both of which, I believed help to prepare me for parenting.

66. Discuss philosophy with your spouse- It’s best to come to terms with any differences now, and it’s a great way to become closer- really getting to know each other. Learn about your spouses beliefs on life and what path you both want to take. For example, what is your philosophy on breastfeeding or childbirth? Thinking of your baby’s education may seem silly this soon but it might become a strong disagreement between the two of you.

67. Decide on important values you want your children to learn- With children you need to show unity and teamwork from the very beginning, so you might want talk about these things and understand where you can compromise together. What moral guidelines do you believe should be taught to your child?

68. Learn how to argue and resolve the argument together- This sounds like marriage counseling 101 but it is even more important if you plan to have children soon. We decided before having a baby that we would not argue or fight around our children. We haven’t always stuck with that decision, and found out how important it was when our baby would get so distraught from our arguments.

69. Learn to relax and not be uptight- Sometimes I literally have to force myself to relax, before I have a nervous breakdown. With all of the chores and baby care, it is impossible to get everything done every day. I would get so angry with my husband for the smallest messes because it just added more work to my impossibly long list, until I decided it wasn’t worth all of the stress.

70. Look for the simple pleasures that every day brings- The most wonderful example I can think of, is my baby’s beautiful smile and she is so generous with showing it that I can’t help but smile with her throughout the day. The other day I was playing outside with my baby and we both were enjoying the wonderful weather, hearing the birds chirp, and just enjoying God’s creation together. If you learn to focus on these things before baby, then you can teach your baby those simple joys too.

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