Hi everyone, today's post is in response to a writing prompt at SocialMoms.com asking "What two pieces of important advice would you share with first-time or soon-to-be-parents?"
Well I'm a first-time mom myself and still new at this, at 6 1/2 months deep. But I will share some advice, based on what I've learned so far. The main thing for me: what was I going to feed my baby. That became the main focus. So my first advice of course, is to BREASTFEED your baby. It has been the best, most rewarding thing I have ever done in my whole entire life...besides having a baby of course, ha ha! :-) Make that strong commitment to breastfeed your baby for at least six months, before you conceive and/or give birth, that way quitting will not be an option and you will stick with it through both the easy and tough times. Six months are the recommended bare minimum...but why would we only want to do the bare minimum for our babies right?? My epiphany: I did not wait this long to have a baby to half-ass it. That's my philosophy with all things baby-related anyway :-P My goal was to do it for one year, but now I'm really confident that I will go longer, maybe 1 1/2 years. The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous and I have experienced these benefits first-hand. To give you an example, my baby as I mentioned is 6 1/2 months now and she's never had stomach problems, colic, fever/cold, diaper rash, she sleeps good at night, has gained the proper amount of weight, and our bonding experience has been amazing and beautiful. You can read more about all the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding if you peruse my blog here, or visit my section The Benefits of Breastfeeding.
My second advice, again, has to do with what to feed your baby. I recommend making your own baby food. It's not as hard or time-consuming as it sounds. And babies in the beginning, only eat about 1 tablespoon (if that) of food per sitting. I recently introduced solids when my baby turned six months, which is when it's best to do so. I even wrote a little song about it called the "12 Days of Solids." Up until then, all she ate was breast milk and she is healthy and very active. You will also save so much money since you won't need to buy any formula or baby food jars and boxes. I buy her fresh, organic vegetables, steam them, purée them with a little bit of breast milk instead of water until I get the right consistency and viola! I recently started making her brown rice cereal as well which is super easy and she loved it! I got great advice on introducing solids and some recipes from the fab moms over at SocialMoms.com. You can store the food in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze food in ice-cube trays (one ice-cube of food is about 1 tablespoon, which is all you need per feeding) that will last you for weeks. If you dedicate one day during the weekend maybe, you can make the food and then freeze it so you have it ready during the week. The benefits of making your own baby food, is that you know exactly what is going into your baby's body. No preservatives, no sugar or salt or extra flavorings, just fresh food from the earth. I hope this has been helpful and encourages you to consider getting your baby off to a great, healthy start :-)