Sunday, March 20, 2011

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

11. Toys are good bribes.

As your babies get to be 4-6 months, it's good to bribe them with toys on the changing table and in the car. Changing table toys keep little hands away from the task at hand and keep them happy. Also, be sure to give them plastic, easily cleanable toys. The last thing you want is a fabric toy to land in that dirty diaper.

12. Stock up on those hospital blue pad things that your doctor and hospital uses for changing and weighing babies.

They're disposable and great for putting on who-knows-what's-been-there travel changing tables.

13. Brush your teeth in front of them.

Early on, I was so busy I didn't have a chance to brush my teeth. Or so I thought. If you brush your teeth in front of them (at least with an electric tooth brush), they're fascinated and stop everything just to watch you.

14. Don't buy a thermometer.

Yep, that's right. When I was leaving the ER for the SECOND time with James, the nurse gave me a regular electronic thermometer and said to put it in his armpit to take his temperature. I was originally told that when you take it this way (referred to as "axially") you need to add a degree, and when you take it rectally you need to subtract a degree, but according to this chart it's more accurate to add .5 to 1.0 degrees. It takes awhile to get an axial reading but it's a lot easier than taking a rectal temperature in the middle of the night.

15. Join a playgroup, go for strolls, and get out!

Kaiser's Newborn Club used to try to encourage me to go to Mom and Me classes when the babies were first born, and all I could think was, "Are you kidding me? I don't have time!" But now I realize it was more about getting the mom out of the house and around other moms. I wish I'd connected with other moms earlier. Although we have playdates with individual babies or sets of twins, I'm envious of people who see the same group of people every week for a playdate.

My babies at a playdate where they waited like vultures under their friend Ronan's high chair waiting for him to fling down chunks of tofu. (Thanks Stacy for the picture!) (14 months)

I also thought going for strolls was too big an ordeal - especially with twins - so I avoided that for the first two months. And then I went out with my mom one day and it was like a revelation - the babies were quiet during the stroll and JUST looked around or slept. Walks are a nice mental break.

Time to whip out our legs in different directions at the same time!

And lastly, when it's safe to take your baby out in public, definitely go out to restaurants. I thought it would be a disaster to go during the first six months, but who knew that they fall asleep in their strollers and give you a nice peaceful meal? This stage doesn't last long so take advantage of it. Because the doctor recommended my twins not be in public places for three months, my mom and I used to go to The Old Spaghetti Factory and sit in a spare room all to ourselves, and it was delightful.

Brendan and Lila join us in the Chevys bar even though it means they have to be in the presence of babies. (2 1/2 months)

James and Julia at Armadillo Willy's. For some reason this is Julia's favorite place to poop. She's gone three out of four visits (and that fourth visit we discovered she'd pooped when we got home so she probably was attempting some sort of fecal grand slam). (10 1/2 months)


  1. Playing blog catch up... I just love that you're keeping these advice posts going. They are the things you NEED to read, but never do in those fancy books you buy. :)

    Couldn't agree more with the toys while changing diapers suggestion. And the restaurant thing... ours are loving going out to eat right now. While it's a bit messy all around, they eat their veggies and meat FAR better when we're out and about. I had a friend confess the other day that she has been known to pack up her son and head to the mall food court (just her and him) just so she can get him to eat anything. :D

  2. I bought these on Amazon which a friend said were awesome...:

    ...but haven't used them yet. The babies are really difficult at meals (they get quite upset at times). I'm kind of afraid to try feeding them while out. I know I should try. Your mentioning that it's easier getting them to eat when out gives me hope.

  3. Oh you know what, one of my friends let me use hers the other day and they are GREAT! They catch a good deal of the food that falls off the table and minimize my public germies fear. I really need to place an order. Thanks for mentioning it!

    I hope they work for you. You should definitely give eating out a try. Highly recommend not doing it alone the first few times ;D I have only taken them out once recently with a friend.. here lately it's been about where I'm going and how I'll get them in the building. Always some type of obstacle!

    Oh wanted to let you know I picked up the Farm Friends book yesterday at a consignment sale and the Belly Button book. I love Karen Katz but didn't have that one. Thanks for the suggestions! I LOVE that mirror book... might have to Amazon it.

    Oh and you are very welcome for the shout out. Need to re-mention your other new posts. I really do think they are such a help to new twin moms!

    Have a good weekend!

  4. That's so cool that you bought those books. I hope your munchkins like them!!!