When I was pregnant, I consumed everything I could find about pregnancy and life with a newborn. Also, it was my job — I was a co-host of a short-term NPR blog called The Baby Project. But despite all the time I spent preparing — literally months — there were still a few things that I didn’t know till C. was born. I learned these tips from friends and books over the past three months.
1. You actually have to order — and pay for — your baby’s birth certificate. I had no idea. I thought it would arrive in the mail, just like the social security card. Oh no, not so. You can get it online, but it costs extra loot. I thought the convenience was worth it.
2. When changing a diaper, consider using a hairdryer. On a low setting. Not directly on the wet baby, but near him or her. Someone in our birthing class passed on this tip, and little C. stopped crying during changes. In fact, changing is one of his favorite times of the day now — lots of giggles and coos.
3. Roll up a blanket and put it shaped like a U under the sheet in the crib. The baby is more likely to nap if he/she feels safe. At least, our baby is.
4. Nurse on one side, get the baby tired and relaxed, and then swaddle him/her. Then, when he/she starts crying, nurse on the other side. We just thought that C. hated to be swaddled. So we didn’t do it for his first six weeks or so, but then we learned this technique and it works like a charm.
5. It’s no big deal to nurse in public (I don’t think, as long as I use my nursing cover.) What’s hard is to find somewhere to change your baby. Turns out, a lot of places — restaurants, movie theaters, etc. — don’t have changing tables in the bathroom. What I do is charm the waitress/waiter and have them help me find a suitable spot. Like yesterday, while at a sushi restaurant, the waitress escorted me downstairs to the bar (the bar was closed), where I changed C. on a high-top table. Or, A. and I just change C. in the car (see previous post).