So, for the record or the moms to come, here are a few tips from the non-pro:
Read to the baby. Read the same book frequently (I've had The Cat and the Hat memorized for almost 3 years. Boo-yah.), and read a book that rhymes. Babies need lots and lots of repetition to learn words, and rhyming words allow Tiny to begin to anticipate sounds. This, friends, is how language is built. I'm currently loving this one, but Dr. Seuss or Goodnight, Moon are always good bets.
Invest in a solid monitor. And, if you're paranoid, a heart monitor too. This would have made my life soooo much easier the first time around.
Learn the 5 S's. Harvey Karp is a genius. I'm happy to tell you that both of my babies have been the happiest on the block. Okay, so Logan is giving us lots of opportunities to practice because he likes his milk straight from the tap and every two hours, but seriously, they work.
When you bathe your newborn, place a warm rag over his body to keep him warm (and keep him from turning on his own waterworks). Truly, one of the best tips I can offer, and so ridiculously simple. Thank you forever, nurse at the hospital. Also, holding a slippery newborn doesn't have to give you a heart attack.
Swaddle, regardless of what Junior thinks. Casey prefers the easy ones even though he's better at the baby burrito than I am; I think these are tops.
Hand-me-downs rule, and if you're not lucky enough to be on the recieving end, find a good consignment store and visit often. While we're at it, always invest in one size larger than you think you'll need. Too big is never a big deal, and they grow into it fast. Sometimes they wear 9 month clothing before they're 5 months, for example.
Get tough stains out with Dreft spray. All things California Baby are okay in my book. Babyganics makes great products for on-the-go and alcohol-free sanitizing.
My boobies are loving two new nursing bras. For the girl who spent her entire life as an A or B cup, I'm rather pleased to be a 34 D these days. Even if it comes with a side of muffin tops.
Beware the germs at restaurants and the grocery store.
The two things I use most often? Moby and the exersaucer. Whoever invented these two fabulous gizmos deserves a medal. Go right now and add them to your registry, I'll wait. You won't be sorry.
It's cliche and really only works if you're a first-timer, but nap when Baby naps. Don't feel bad about co-sleeping (we call that Attachment Parenting, in case you're wondering). Talk, sing, and smile often. Reflect and seek other's opinions in equal proportion, and then don't second guess your own decisions. Trust your instincts. Enjoy every phase.
Love the crap out of them, because before long, they look like this:
And, in the words of another blogger... for the love of all that is holy, don't watch the zombies before bed or you'll never sleep.