Hindsight is 20/20. And since I know many first time parents who are due soon, I thought it would be helpful for me to make a list of what I would do differently knowing what I know now. Getting through the first year is a challenge and a victory so here are my suggestions.
Now I will preface by saying I’m very much an attachment parent. So if you’re not, these may not work for you and that’s ok.
Things I would do differently in the first year
1. Get a convertible car seat from the beginning
We are very fortunate to have been gifted a nice and expensive travel system when J was born. And for the first month of his life, it actually got some use but not so much after that. We still have the stroller on the off chance we use it but it ended up not fitting our lifestyle. We switched to a convertible car seat at 6 months and the infant seat was in a car accident shortly after so it’s waiting for the next trade in event. The convertible just fits our lifestyle and will allow us to rear face for a few more years.
2. Side car our crib
We used a rock and play until J could roll over in it at around 4 months. And he hasn’t liked his crib since. At some point during a blur of simultaneous sleep regressions, teething and growth spurts we ended up bed sharing. It wasn’t my plan as I have a public health education but we both ended up getting sleep and it helped with nursing. I made sure to research safe practices and eventually I accepts it. Now I think I will take it harder when he transitions. I think if I had side car’ed his crib, he would be more comfortable with it but still be close enough for snuggles and nursing.
3. Started cloth diapers at the hospital
This one may be more practical with a second child because I had no idea what I was doing. Poor J had a consistent diaper rash with disposable diapers and wipes. We were able to still start early at 3 weeks once our gifted diapers ran out but next time, I’ll start right away.
4. Use wovens right away
I loved our stretchy wrap but now that I’ve found wovens, I wish I would have found them much sooner. Maybe J would be bigger into being wrapped than he is now. He’s a tula boy.
5. Waited longer to ask for nubane (spelling?)
I knew I didn’t want pain medication during labor but I was open to other less strong medications. I liked that nubane would still let me feel everything but relax me. But I asked for it right away in hopes that I could sleep. Which I did. Looking back though, I wish I would tried to see how long I could go without it.
6. Not been so enthusiastic about starting solids
We started on solids right at 6 months. J was not a fan of purees so we ended up doing more of a BLW approach at 7.5 months. At which point he started self feeding. I think in the future I would wait until the child could pick up the pieces on their own.
7. Not used any baby cereal
Even with it being whole grain exclusively, it still was hard on his digestive tract so I’d skip it in the future and start right in with vegetables.
8. Registered at buy buy baby instead of BRU
Because…cloth diapers. They sell the brand I mostly use and have a better selection of baby carriers. But I didn’t do enough research.
Social media is not a friendly place. And while I knew from the beginning I wanted to be smart about it, it took some trial and error to define what that meant.
10. Skip the jumper things
We used an exersaucer and a jumparoo. It took us a while to get into our babywearing groove. In the meantime, I used these things to babysit while I ate a meal. Granted, that was about 20 minutes but I think I would be able to wear or do free floor time next time around. I felt so detached from J when he was in them and I’m not a fan of that feeling.
We did however love the bounce seat and I would use it again.
This list is probably not conclusive but has been on my mind.
These things may or may not apply to you but I thought I’d share my experience anyways.