10 biggest new-mom surprises (and how to deal)New mamas weigh in on all the things they wish someone had warned them about before baby arrived.
The surprise: Breastfeeding isn’t always easy.
"No one prepared me for how hard breastfeeding was or how much it was going to hurt. I even took a class, and the woman basically sugarcoated it. Someone should have just given it to me straight. That's what I do now for anyone who asks me about it." -- Jen1231
How to deal: If you’re not getting the hang of breastfeeding right away, don’t beat yourself up. Despite what you may have heard, it doesn’t always come so naturally. And whether baby’s not latching right or you can’t seem to boost your milk supply, there are tons of potential frustrations -- and they’re all totally normal. But before you throw in the towel, make sure you’ve read up on possible solutions to your breastfeeding problems; you may find that a small change to your routine is a real lifesaver. It’s also important to realize that you’re not alone. Head to TheBump.com breastfeeding boards, chat with other new mamas or join a support group like La Leche League International for advice.
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The surprise: Most newborn clothes will go to waste.
"The biggest surprise for me was how quickly my son grew in those first couple of months. Unfortunately, there were many clothes that got little to no wear." -- JesykaC21
How to deal: Yep, despite all the sleep deprivation and constant exhaustion, those first couple months sure do fly by. And the likelihood that baby will get a decent run out of every newborn outfit in his closet? Pretty slim. Here’s a tip: Don’t go crazy registering for or buying up tons of adorable outfits in newborn sizes. And whatever you do, don’t go nuts with newborn shoes either (cute as they are). Baby will likely spend a lot of those first three months in and out of onesies instead of fancy outfits, and you’ll be changing him so much thanks to spit-up and diaper mishaps that most of them will hardly see the light of day.
The surprise: Newborns poops are noisy.
"The way a newborn poops really surprised me. It's this explosive sound, which often made my husband and I laugh. I had no idea such a tiny little thing could make such a noisy mess!" -- sakidavi
How to deal: Noisy, smelly and, yes, sometimes explosive, newborn poops are certainly not for the weak-stomached. But hey, it’s all part of the job. Something else to keep in mind: Baby’s poop will be pretty liquidy in that newborn stage, meaning it won’t take much to send it flying. Our advice? Always carry a change of baby clothes.
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The surprise: Going back to work is hard.
"I was not at all prepared for the separation depression I felt (and still feel) about working. Work has always been a big part of my life. I loved my job. But now I wish I could spend every day with my son. We can’t afford for me to stay home and I still can’t believe I even want to, but I dream about it." -- amr
How to deal: Heading back to work is rough on every mama, and missing the little guy when you’re away can be overwhelming. But it does get easier. Before you head back to work, make sure you set up a child care situation that makes you 100 percent comfortable, whether it’s a live-in nanny, a day care system, or a friend or relative. Then do what you can to stay in the loop during the day by asking your nanny to give you certain updates or calling the day care periodically to check in. Keeping the lines of communication open will make you feel less disconnected from baby.
parenting, education, activities and more
You just had a baby? You're a superstar! All those diapers, all that spit up, and you're makin' magic happen. But you're also likely tired - really tired - and busy (so, so busy). Taking time for yourself might seem like an indulgence but a happy mom makes for a happy baby. Here are 7 things you should definitely do to keep your sanity intact and your spirit high. <more, below>
Summertime is on, and the kids are out of school. Every mom knows that for these three months it's more important than ever to keep the kids busy. But you don't have to schedule your life away with camps, or drop a bundle on activities and games that come in a box. You can make your own fun, and even include the kids in the prep, with some simple, inexpensive DIY crafts that will keep them playing 'til the lightening bugs come out. Make your own fingerpaint, bubbles, and crayons. Create a fort-building kit and superhero capes that will kick their imaginations into overdrive. Here are 10 of our favorite kid-friendly DIY crafts to fuel your summertime fun.
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The task of finding an eco-friendly, safe-for-baby gift parents-to-be will actually use is kind of challenging. Add to that a price limit of $50, and the feat suddenly feels impossible! Fortunately, we combed the marketplace for some of the prettiest, most useful, sweetest gifts for baby and family. Many are fine on their own, while others would work well as part of a bigger basket — you know, if you wish to achieve that shower-goer hero status.
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Remember the concept of weekends being a time for rest, relaxation, and togetherness? No? Us either. Between soccer games, playdates, dragging your kids to see the new exhibition at the local children's museum, and we need to pick up a gift for that birthday party that starts in . . . 20 minutes, juggling a busy family's weekend schedule can be more stressful than a weekday. While we know it's simply not realistic to cancel all your plans and obligations moving forward, clearing the calendar for just one weekend can be just the refresher that your family's craving. Here's why.
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