Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Advice for New Moms: What We Eat

I'm excited today to announce the start of Odi et Amo's new fall guest blogger weekly series. This time around, I'm looking for some great advice for new moms (selfish of me, no?). Topics will range from product reviews and suggestions, setting up the nursery, and that sort of indispensable advice that you often only learn by experience. My first guest blogger is Christy, blogger of the food blog What We Eat and the private blog A 'Lil Welsh Rarebit. I've been following Christy's blogs for over a year now and always love her honesty, practicality and sense of humor. I had the distinct pleasure of having dinner with Christy this summer when I was in New Jersey on business and I can tell you that the Christy on her blogs is the Christy of Real Life. In addition to her sage advice, I've asked her to share photos of her darling children's bedrooms. I absolutely adore Fiona's sunny yellow, orange and pink bedroom.

{Fiona's "Big Girl Room" is a sunny yellow punctuated with hot pink and orange}

Dearest Averill (and Dave!),

Yahoo for your impending bundle of joy! Babies = bliss. You're going to LOVE being a mom. I just know it. I can't believe you were able to keep your pregnancy a secret back when we had dinner together earlier this summer! You're so sneaky!

{Big sister Fiona poses in Callum's nursery}

Babies bring incredible joy and love into your life, seriously....but they also cry. Sometimes a lot. You know what they want?! They want to feel warm and loved, and they want to sleep. A lot. Newborns sleep MOST of the time - even though it certainly doesn't seem like it, they actually do. And we've found that the very best way to keep them happy and sleeping is to swaddle them...and not just in any blanket, in the Miracle Blanket. Google them. Register for them. Launder them in Dreft, then be sure to bring one with you to the hospital! They seriously work wonders! Both of my kids were swaddled in the miracle blanket for the first few months of their lives, and both were good sleepers!

{Prints from The Black Apple and a mobile purchased on vacation
add personality and character to Fiona's room}

As for your and Dave's sleeping habits? One trick that worked really for us was taking turns sleeping in the guest room with a white noise machine. Hopefully Dave will be able to feed your little bundle of joy a bottle a few weeks after the birth. If you formula feed, he could clearly help out even earlier! Bonus!

{The two tones of blue in Callum's nursery are a great backdrop for art}

But if you're nursing, like I did, wait until your baby is a couple or a few weeks old, and then start pumping. Pump a few ounces, then in the evening say nighty night to Dave and baby and head to your guest room - your sanctuary. Turn on that noise machine and get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. BLISS! Let Dave take the first or first couple of night time feedings, then come get you when the bottle is empty. Then he can then take a turn in the guest room/sanctuary! I know it might seem strange, but seriously - taking shifts in the guest room restored our sanity just a few weeks after both our kiddos were born! I think that sleep is just about the most important part of a new mom's life.

{Fiona's room includes the perfect spot to cozy up with Mom or Dad for reading and naps}

The other most important part? Staying strong, staying nourished. Having a new baby is exhausting, and you definitely don't want to go hungry. But the old adage about not having time to shower or cook? Unfortunately, true. So, in the month or so leading up to my due dates, Matt and I made a ton of freezer-ready meals and we froze individual portions. My enchiladas and lasagna are delicious and taste great re-heated. (Shameless self-promotion!) When a new baby is in the house, there is no such thing as a schedule, and we were SO GLAD we had meals ready to be heated up at all hours of the day and night.

{Left: Adorable art Christy picked up at a street fair in London;
Right: Callum reclines in his adorable recliner}

My friends and family also were incredibly kind and delivered meals to our doorstep in the weeks after the births. A meal prepared by anyone except you will be music to your ears, take my word for it. Whenever your friends and family ask you if there's anything you need, I highly recommend that you say, yes, dinner please! Don't worry if two people want to deliver you food on the same day - your freezer will become your best friend. Some of our friends cooked for us, some brought us restaurant fare, and others sent us batches of deliciousness from Omaha steaks (their cheesecakes are to die for!). These meals were a LIFESAVER!

So there you have it - my advice on sleeping and eating. I know your other guest posters will have tons of fabulous advice on stylish baby gear and nursery essentials, so I thought I'd stick with my favorite new-baby related advice topics - sleep and food!


Christy (and Fiona and Callum, my two little cherubs without whom I wouldn't know what the heck I'm talking about...sometimes I think I still don't! ha!)


Janell @ House of Fifty said...

Wonderful new series, I hope word gets out to all the soon to be and new moms, what I would have given to have had all the wonderful advice in this post and what is to come. Sleep...yes!

It has actually been awhile since I had a new baby in the house so wondering exactly what I will write about when my turn comes to write for this series! Anyway...my advice now is to enjoy the pregnancy, I was actually one of those women who LOVED being pregnant, just such an amazing time. So try not to worry about the little things if possible and enjoy this special time! Janell

Christy said...

Thank you so much for having me Averill! This post was a delight to write - what new mom doesn't want to share her advice?! I am honored you included me in your line up and can't wait to read all the rest in the series!!!

Kelly said...

Great advice! My only comment is that Dreft detergent is scented and can cause sensitive skin to develop rashes, especially eczema. You can use any detergent and fabric softener as long as it is scent-free and dye-free when you have kids with sensitive skin/eczema.

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

What a great idea for a series! I'll have to file the advice away for--possible--future use.

René said...

This is going to be a great series, but phooey! I could have used advice like this back in the day.

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

I'm going to forward this series on to some friends of mine that will soon be new mommies. And while I know nothing about raising kids, any advice that includes more food and sleep sounds good to me! :)

(I tried to comment earlier but it didn't work for some reason!)

Sanity Fair said...

Love the combo of pink and yellow! Very cute.

Laura@JourneyChic said...

I totally agree about the Miracle Blanket. We made the mistake of not swaddling Junior for the first few weeks because he loved to suck his hands. Turns out his crazy hands were keeping him awake! The Miracle Blanket was/is the only swaddle that worked. It won't last much longer now that he's rediscovered his hands and fingers, but he still gets a grin on his face when he's put in his blanket and we talk about putting his arms, fingers, and hands to bed. :)

annechovie said...

I just read the news on Christy's blog. Congrats to you and Dave, Averill! How exciting!

Daniela said...

I would love to contribute!


katie said...

this is such a great idea! i am a mom who's a para. i write in a medical newsletter about advice for others in my situation. it helps out so much so i love your plan!


Averill said...

Kelly - Thanks for the tip! I use Tide Free now anyway because of my own sensitive skin so I may just go right on using it for Baby, too!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Adorable Christy! I love your kids rooms. They make me feel very ashamed at the state of our own children's sleeping arrangement at the moment... "The Opium Den" is awful. It needs to end....

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