What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Advice for Mamas

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expensive toys are not necessary

I only have one child. He is only 9 months old. I certainly haven’t been a mom for very long, and there are a lot of mom issues that I am still struggling with. I’m pretty sure it’s always going to be like that and I’m pretty sure that’s what being a parent is all about. However, I have learned a few random things that I would like to share…

Those cute burp clothes they sell in the store are not big enough. MAYBE you can use them for the first month, but after that you are gonna need something bigger. I use cloth diapers as burp rags. I got a couple of packages at Target. They seemed as thin as gauze but after I washed and dried them they were perfect.

Babies don’t need shoes. Don’t waste your money on them (unless you have a lot to waste). In fact, there is a lot of crap for sale that babies don’t need or will only use for a very short time (like a month or sometimes even less) so think about what you are buying. It’s the baby you are supposed to be excited about, not all the stuff you are buying for it.

Get a crib rail guard before (the better option) or as soon as you see your baby chewing on the crib. I noticed el niño was chewing on the rail a little, and then one day I saw the crib from a different angle and the inside of the crib rail looked like a rat had been chewing on it! I strategically wrapped a sheet around it and ordered a crib rail guard thingy and had it sent to my mom’s (I have never seen one here, of course). Bebe and I are going to visit my mother in AZ this week so I will have it soon. I wish I would have had one to put on the minute he started pulling-up. The doctor never mentioned that wood and varnish could be introduced with other solids.

Go with the flow. You are probably going to have all these ideas of exactly what you want to do (ie have a natural birth or get an epidural, exclusively breastfeed, not give your baby a pacifier) but chances are, some of these things just aren’t going to happen exactly as you would like them too. You will save yourself a lot of heartache if when something changes, you just relax and adjust.

Put some hand sanitizer in your changing table/area. I have heard it’s not good to use this stuff a lot, but at some point you are going to finish changing a diaper and something is going to happen that prevents you from washing your hands.

Remember that this too shall pass. Whatever is happening now (baby is waking too early, not sleeping through the night, not taking a bottle) will probably be different next month, or tomorrow. Maybe for the better, sometimes for worse, but it will be different.

If you are going to use a breast pump, get a good one! They are expensive, but worth it. If you can’t afford one buy it from a friend (you can sterilize it) or off of Craigslist. Check out Goodwill. Those little pumps they sell for 30 bucks at Wal-Mart will just stress you out. You will not get enough milk and you will not be able to maintain your supply.

Onesies are the best. Put them with pants or shorts and there’s an outfit. In a very poopy situation you can pull them down instead of over your baby’s head. I always think little babies look so uncomfortable when they have stiff clothes on with all kinds of buttons and zippers. Again, excited about the baby, not their clothes. A few cute outfits for every stage (0-3 mos., 6-9 mos.) is good enough. Of course, if you have boatloads of money to spend, go for it, but c’mon, make sure the clothes are comfortable.

Those are just a few things off the top of my head. Remember, your baby is only going to be a baby for a VERY short amount of time. It can be a challenging time, but enjoy every minute of their sweet babyness. Que rico!

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