We’re closing in on A’s first birthday, and I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing over her first year. Specifically, I have been thinking about things I would have done differently had I known better. Not doing any of these things didn’t harm A in any way, but they definitely would have made my life a little easier. Here are five things I would have done differently and plan on doing differently the next time around:
1. Start pumping early and often
I didn’t even have a breast pump when we took A home from the hospital. I often wonder if I had started pumping earlier/with more frequency if I would have had better luck with it. Next time, I’m going to start pumping A LOT earlier and try to pump after she nurses every time (emphasis on try here, I was so exhausted with A I’m not sure I would have even looked at the pump if I had had it) to establish a better pumping routine.
2. Nap/sleep in crib earlier
I think the biggest mistake I made with A was letting her get used to falling asleep being held. It took foooooreeever to get her to sleep on her own, in her own bed. I didn’t mind bed sharing, per se, but it wasn’t what we really wanted to do. I would have much preferred her sleeping in her own space from the get go. Next time, I’d like to start putting baby down to sleep in her/his crib once or twice a day to avoid the sleep situation we had with A.
3. Take a longer maternity leave
I took about two months leave with A, and I really wish I had taken a full three months off of work to be with her. A was still in the throws of colic and NOT SLEEPING AT ALL when I went back to work, which made for a very unproductive employee and miserable mommy. Going back to work was enormously difficult for me, and if I’m still working outside of the home the next go round, regardless of how much paid leave I get, I will take at least 12 weeks for maternity leave. (Who knows, maybe I’ll be blogging fulltime by then or working for one of those progressive companies who offer six month long maternity leaves.)
4. Take more videos/Be in more pictures
I took a lot of photos of A, but not a lot of videos. I have a few of her at different stages of infancy, but I wish I taken more. I also took a lot of pictures of her alone or of her and other people, but I wish I had stepped out from behind the camera more often and let other people take the pictures for us and of me and her together.
5. Do more research
When it came to different baby products, I did some research, but not a whole lot. I just kind of blindly registered for items without a lot of regard to their actual use. Suffice it to say, there are several products I will definitely be selling in favor of replacing with other items the next go round. Stay tuned for part two of this post, all about items I will be doing differently with our next baby.