Monday, March 7, 2011

Kathy's Unsolicited Advice for Parents-to-Be, Part II

6. Take monthly photos of the babies next to a stuffed animal.

It's fun to see the babies grow and change, especially the first year, and especially the first couple months. I wish I'd started earlier than 11 days since they were so tiny.

James at 11 days and James at 1 year.

Julia at 12 days and Julia at 1 year.

7. Get a white noise machine but not for who you think.

The white noise machine isn't for the baby - in fact, there are some studies that cite their connection to delayed language development - but for you. When it's not your shift and you want to sleep, you want to cover up the sounds of the baby crying.

Don't wash new clothing too early.

Don't wash or take tags off of new clothing the first year until your baby is big enough to wear them. (At size 12 months and above it takes longer to outgrow sizes.) Your baby might never wear those clothes if they're unseasonable. Also, babies (50th percentile and larger) always seem to be wearing the next size up from their chronological age (so if they're 6 months they're wearing 9 months, etc.). Gerbers runs particularly small. Right now the twins are nearly 15 months and Julia, who is perfectly average in size for her age, has best fit in 18 month sizes for a few months now, while James who is 60-75th percentile in weight and height best fits into 18-24 month sizes. So be careful buying clothes the first year and predicting what season they'll be worn in.

9. Get a Mother's Helper.

I don't want to be a broken record (see #10 on this page) but do it!

10. You may cut a finger while cutting fingernails.

My friend April warned me that cutting fingernails is tricky and to expect to see blood a few times. I mentioned this to some other friends and they said she was crazy. And then I mentioned that to some OTHER other friends and they said my other friends were crazy. Anyway, in my experience, until you get the hang of it, you may lop off a tiny piece of the baby's skin while trimming fingernails. The first time this happened Mark said, "No maiming, Julia!" I offered him the chance to cut her fingernails instead and of course he declined so I kept my position as finger cutter, er... fingernail cutter.

I only cut their skin twice and then I got the hang of it, and it's never happened again. If you're right handed always make sure when you get to the left edge of the nail that the left edge of the nail cutter is in the air and not touching skin.

Julia's first manicure. (2 weeks)
I was afraid to cut their nails for awhile so I used a nail file (which is pretty ineffective) for as long as I could.


  1. Yep, I'm using a nail file... totally petrified of cutting nails...

  2. I don't think I used fingernail clippers for a month because I was afraid. But at the same time, cutting them might be better than the alternative of them scratching themselves...