So I'm a little late posting this, but last week, Thursday the 12th, after 30+ hours of labor, Henry came into our world.
And what a year it has been!
He's now 20.4lbs, and 29.5 inches long.
I've learned a lot of things this year. So many things I would do differently. So many things I would do the same.
I thought I'd share them with you today, along with a boatload of adorable baby pictures.
If you don't have kids, or they don't interest you, then I'd suggest some other post. (Maybe this one.)
Things I will do again:
- Try to deliver naturally. It didn't work with Henry, but I loved the freedom I had during labor, and I'll definitely try for it again.
- Stay at home. I love being active in every part of my baby's life. I know he's safe ad well taken care of.
- Breastfeed. I know its not for everyone, but its definitely for me.
- Potty train. I started Henry at seven weeks and its been great. We saved a lot of diapers, and there is no fear of the toilet like some kids have. We've also never had to fight diaper rash. At this point he wakes up with a dry diaper, goes on the toilet whenever he wakes up, and several times throughout the day, as I try to take him every hour or so, as well as takes himself to the bathroom when he needs to go (though sometimes he's a little late).
- Co-sleep. I love my co-sleeper, so the baby is essentially with us, but in his own safe place.
- Pick up a crying baby. If my baby is crying, I assume there is a reason for it, and I need to figure it out. I love that Henry comes to me when there's a problem, and that's a behavior I want to encourage his entire life.
- Let them fall. Long before Henry could sit I was helping him "stand" and walking him around on my feet. When he started sitting, standing, and walking on his own I didn't make a big deal about him falling (as long as I could tell he wasn't actually hurt). Now he doesn't either. He gets back up and keeps going.
- Say no. We started saying no almost immediately, and started enforcing it more seriously at four months. It saves a lot of baby proofing, and they're already trained to obey by the time they can start talking. We also said words like "come here", "sit down", and "owie".
- Essential oils and natural remedies. I used a lot on Henry when he was too young for real medicine, and even one he was old enough, and it worked wonderful.
- Wait to start on solids. I waited until he was 5 1/2 months old to start baby food, and I really liked I. He kept a steady, healthy growth rate and has developed no food allergies or other side effects from stating too early. He also had better control of his mouth, and could chew and swallow better, so choked less by the time I started him.
- Make my own baby food. I had a ton of fun with this and it made me feel better knowing exactly what I was giving my child.
Things I would do differently:
- Cry it out. A lot of people told me I needed to let Henry cry more, but I disagree. Obviously now that he's older he has tantrums, and I don't reward these. But an infant can't talk. Crying is his only way to communicate, so if he's trying I want to find out why, not leave him to solve it himself.
- Try and please everyone. Everyone has opinions on babies. If they sleep with you or not, when to start feeding, to cry or not. And they mean well, but you can't please everyone, so I don't want to try next time.
- Second guess myself. In the hospital I knew Henry was constipated, and the nurses told me that wasn't possible. I listened and it was two days of misery for all of us before he finally had a dirty diaper. I'll follow my gut next time.
- Compare him to others. Babies are all different people. They grow and act different. And that's ok.
- Well baby checks. I would do less of these next time. Most of his checks involved his height and weight, and nothing else but a huge bill. I started tracking his growth at home and only taking him in every few months, or when he was sick, and it worked much better. My doctor told me this was perfectly fine to do, so I think we'll stick with it.
- Worry less about tummy time. They told us at the hospital to start tummy time right away, and Henry hated it. I worried about it a lot, and finally gave up. At two months he started rolling over and did tummy time for himself. I won't worry next time if my two day old hates tummy time.
- Don't put so much pressure on milestones. All babies learn different. Sometimes Henry learned early, and some things he learned late, but both ways are ok.
- Don't worry about 'learning toys'. I tried so hard to get Henry to play with blocks, talking educational toys, and specific baby containers. In the end I ended up talking to him constantly, playing my music, dancing, and reading my books to him. He learned to stack cans of vegetables and put things in and out of my water glass, and never did care about the toys much.
- Let them sleep how they want. So what if a baby wants to sleep with you? I don't like being alone either. Henry couldn't sleep flat for two months, and then he started sleeping on his stomach. None of it has hurt him, and he sleeps just fine on his own now.
- Let them be different. At first, I worried because he didn't like pacifiers, or any certain toy. I let people try and make him take a paci, and I won't do that next time. If a baby can get along without something most kids want, that's alright.
- They wont break. For several months I felt like a prisoner in my own house because I didn't know what the baby could do, so we didn't do anything. Obviously there is some common sense involved, but babies can adapt. I'll go outside and do things and live life more next time.
So there you go. That's what I've come away with this yea. I know there is lots more to learn, and I'm sure we will keep learning it, trial and error. One thing is for sure, we love our little Henry, and wouldn't trade him for the world.