This weekend after chatting with my pregnant friend, she asked me, what would you do different either in pregnancy or post pregnancy. I told her a few books that helped. The usual, What to Expect When You Are Expecting, What to Expect the First Year, and then I strongly suggested that she pick up a book called From the Hips. In my humble opinion, that was an honest truth book about what to expect. Like you should definitely buy a box of Depends and have it ready at home. You will have some stuff coming out of you that will be disgusting at best, and frightening at worst. Your hair will fall out about a month after you give birth, so don’t treat yourself to $300 highlights and hair cut. You won’t be balded, but all the hair that did not fall out (naturally) during your pregnancy can fall out at once. So wait for that, then go spend $300 on pampering yourself.
A good book that I think deals with sleeping patterns from the beginning is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. As she was getting older, I was concerned that O wasn’t eating enough at her 7 pm feeding (I know it’s unbelieveable that that problem would even cross my mind, looking at her fattiness now), so I would wake her up at 10 pm and feed her again. After awhile, she started rebelling during he day, and was super fussy. I was at my wits’ end. I reread the section in the book about, and decided that she wasn’t getting enough sleep. And that in the end, she would wake up on her own to tell me she was hungry. And that’s how bedtime started at 7 pm.
Searching for a link for the various books, I also told her about The Second Nine Months by Vicky Glembocki. Really fun book to read, might scare a few.
But then I stumbled open this gem: It Gets Easier! and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers by Claudine Wolk. Now I haven’t read it, so my expertise on this will be limited, but the Look Inside on Amazon feels like it would be an honest book.
So my advice to my pregnant friend:
- You might not really like your baby right away. I mean it’s this bundle of screaming, pooping, crying, and sleeping mess. It has no personality. But hang in there…. once the first smile comes, it changes the ball game all together. Even the crying now, although drives me mental, I understand it becuase there is a reason, and both O and I understand what that reason is… tummy ache, diaper rash, too tired to sleep, etc.
- Put the babies in the nursery at night while you are in the hospital. You will need your sleep
- Make sure to pack slip on slippers and ear plugs especially if you are sharing a room in the hospital
- The night feeding you should do with a bottle, that way the baby daddy can do it. And try to space it out more than the day feedings. That way baby will get used to sleeping through the night much more quickly.
- Keep track of what time the baby eats, and how much. I took it one step further and kept track of diapering schedule as well. Space out feedings every 2 to 3 hours.
I kinda know why the honest books post baby are hard to come by. You are too tired at the beginning to write down your thoughts. And by the time you have time, all those helpful thoughts have left you becuase now you are faced with new challanges and problems solving techniques.