When I was pregnant I really wanted to learn about life with a newborn. I watched various videos and did Google searches, but I felt like I wasn’t getting the information I needed, but I didn’t know which questions to ask.
I am not expert on parenthood, but the I still clearly remember the struggle of the first few weeks. Here are some questions I wish I had asked:
What are the first days/weeks like? What can I expect in the first few weeks I bring my baby home? (The baby’s behavior changes rapidly in the first weeks. For example: the first few days they sleep constantly and my daughter would sleep anytime anywhere. Suddenly, she stopped doing that and I was slow to realize that I actually had to start soothing my daughter to sleep.)
What is the deal with burping? Why do we burp babies and what happens if you don’t? How do you burp a baby and how does it work?
What steps do I take to get breastfeeding off to a good start. If it doesn’t get off to a good start, what next?
When do you go up a size on diapers?
What causes gas? How do you soothe your baby/handle the gas?
Things I wish I Had Learned
How to setup my pump. The thing and all of the parts that went along with it were a mystery to me. As a result, I didn’t start using it as soon as I should have. It is actually REALLY simple. The best way to learn is to have someone who knows how to use one show you how. You could probably look up a YouTube video too.
To use my baby carriers. I had a BOBA, Ergo, a Maya Wrap and some others. I didn’t know how to use any of them. I was missing the infant insert for the Ergo. I would have been a lot less frustrated and much more able to get things done if I knew how to use these contraptions in advance. It was daunting to learn after the baby was born, and I no longer had the freedom to spend a lot of time learning, go to baby-wearing groups, etc. Going places with a baby is hard work and it stresses me out.
How to act around babies. This sounds dumb, but there are certain things babies like and don’t like. For example they don’t typically like loud noises, sudden motion, etc. (I am not known for being quite or slow and gentle.) The way that I learned to the most is to be around other experienced moms and then watch them interact with my baby. I noticed my baby was much less fussy. They responded to her cues faster and had the right tone of voice and movement to keep my baby calm. Watching other mothers with my baby is how I learned the most.