Lately I've been making a mental list of all the things I know now, that would have been helpful to have known those first few weeks. So, here they are in no particular order:
1. Swaddling works great at bedtime but it is also an effective tool for naps.
2. Bottle feeding has it's perks. This might have softened the blow of disappointment and guilt when breastfeeding was not successful.
3. You can rent breast pumps from the hospital.
4. Maternity leave (nap time) is a great chance to catch up on reading.
5. I've recently ordered what's called a Moby Wrap off Peppermint.com - it's a type of baby carrier that I think Evan will love - it holds the baby close, but can be wrapped to form different carrying styles and seems more convenient than the more traditional carriers. This would have been very nice to have when he was really little.
6. The better your baby sleeps during the day, the better he will sleep at night. I spent a lot of those earlier days trying to keep Evan up as much as possible during the day thinking it would get him to sleep longer at night.
7. Babies can take "catnaps" before bedtime and this doesn't mean you have to push back their bedtime. I used to get so stressed when Evan would want to sleep only a couple of hours before bedtime - come to find out, this is normal!
8. Babies sometimes want to eat more than every three hours and that's ok. Sometimes when Evan would be fussy I would think to myself, "well, it hasn't been three hours so he can't be hungry" - wrong.
9. Babies can take a bottle right out of the refrigerator. You don't have to waste all that time warming up bottles, it's whatever they get used to.
10. Cute baby clothes are nice for special occasions, but zip/snap sleep and plays are invaluable.
11. Those first few weeks when it feels like you'll never get your sanity back will eventually pass and then before you know it, it's time to go back to work. So, relish every moment, even the rough ones, because one day you'll wake up and realize "I'm having a lot of fun with him!"
I'm sure there will be more revelations along the way and I'm probably forgetting some, but I think it's pretty cool that I actually know a few things now. I've come a long way from the complete ignorance I felt in the beginning. Granted we still have a long way to go. Just this week I realized that 1. We'll eventually have to buy something called a convertible car seat (how'd I miss that?) and 2. Evan felt like he was outgrowing his car seat because I needed to move up his shoulder straps to the top notches, duh! Anyway, I'm looking forward to our continuing education!