FTM series: miscellaneous tips.

by Janetha on October 10, 2014

in oh baby,tips

hi! happy 7 weeks to my baby! well, yesterday.


can’t believe it’s already been that long. time sure goes by a lot faster now—especially compared to when i was pregnant and it crept by slower than molasses.

it’s been a very rough week for me. i went back to work on monday and it has thrown me through a loop. so much, in fact, that i have run myself ragged and have a sore throat and my immune system probably hates me too much to fight it off. hopefully i don’t get super duper sick, i am taking a couple breastfeeding-friendly meds (ibuprofen, throat lozenges) and hoping for the best! i am just glad i survived my first week back!

on the upside of things, i get to take fox to work with me! i was nervous about how it would all play out, but it turns out to be working well. on mondays (my busiest, meeting-filled day) he stays home with marshall.. but he is with me tuesday through friday. i have a ton of baby gear at my office and fox is great about hanging out while i work.

he must have known we were going back to work this week, because starting on sunday night he dropped his 2 AM feeding and sleeps 7 or 8 hours now, waking up at 5 AM.. which also helps me be super early for work since i’m already up. ha. i will never need to set my alarm clock again…. anyway, i hope it’s not a fluke, because it’s pretty dang nice to get a little bit more sleep than before. especially now that i’m putting my 40 hours in again. i will have to do a post about having him at the office sometime. but today, i wanted to post miscellaneous tips i have been given or discovered since becoming a mom.


i am far from an expert on anything, especially on being a mom, but these are a few things that have helped me so far. and sorry if any of them seem common sense-ish.. i told you, i’m clueless.

mama tips

freezer meals. this is something i didn’t do before having my baby, and boy, oh boy, do i wish i had!! i had good intentions to make them. i even pinned some freezer-friendly recipes. but i guess i got too busy (and was making 3 weeks of randy’s homemade food to put in the freezer.) when fox came, we really didn’t have time to cook. for the first two weeks, friends and family brought dinner which was amazing. after that, it was up to us to figure out dinner and our solution was almost always to grab a burger and fries or chipotle. or we would eat cereal. i probably didn’t eat a single vegetable for the first month after having my baby. anyway—eating out is convenient, but it’s expensive! i wish i had been more proactive and had made freezer meals. at least a week’s worth or something. learn from my mistakes, mamas to be.

don’t buy all of everything. so, i had no idea what i would need to have on hand for postpartum, but i had the internet! so i bought lots of all the things! nipple cream, nipple pads, tucks, big maxi pads, etc. anyway.. as it turns out, i didn’t need all of that stuff. and i have, like, 3 boxes of nipple pads. but my boobs don’t leak. i thought that happened to everyone.. i guess not. and i don’t use nipple cream because my nipples don’t hurt. i have 4 tubes of it (i had one tube on my registry and several people got it for me.)

what i should have done is just waited to see. the hospital provided lanolin nipple cream and maxi pads. i could have taken that home and then bought more when i needed it. and if my boobs did end up leaking, i could have gone and bought the nipple pads (and just used a folded up tissue if they happened to leak and i didn’t have anything.)

anyway.. just wait and see what you need before you stock up. and if anyone needs some nipple pads, you just let me know. ;)

give in to postpartum hormones. hormones are a bitch! but you will have postpartum hormones and you will want to cry when your husband tells you your perfume is a little bit strong (even though you agree because you accidentally sprayed too much.) so go ahead and cry. and just know you will want to cry way more often for the dumbest reasons. and that’s okay. just give in and do it. i told marshall that i am a tender soul and i may just burst into tears at any minute and to just give me a hug if that happens. that worked out way better than trying to hold back and not let all the emotions out.. even if they were silly and senseless. that’s how it goes.

have a breast pump on hand. i got a free breast pump through my insurance (okay, i guess it’s not really free considering how much i pay for my insurance..) but i didn’t pick it up right away. my milk came in and i didn’t have a breast pump and my baby didn’t eat enough to relieve my freaking full boobs. it was SO painful! and it was at night, so i couldn’t go grab my pump. my sister is amazing and went and picked up her friend’s pump and brought it over to me. once i got my hands on that and pumped, i felt ten zillion times better. i was NOT prepared for that.

make a pump bra from an old sports bra. my friend jessica told me about this. it sucks to hold the pump parts to your boobs while you pump, and hands free bras made specially for pumping are like $30 or more. i just cut a couple little holes in the nipples of an old sports bra and BAM, free hands free bra. the only downside is it doesn’t work with some pump parts, i noticed it doesn’t work with the ameda purely yours since the shields aren’t removable, but if you have the medela it does work perfectly. and pumping goes by so much faster when you can use your hands to look at your phone. ;)

One More To Adore: DIY Hands Free Pumping Bra Tutorial

baby tips

tuck the weenie. maybe this is common sense, but not for this first time mom. the nurse at the hospital advised us to tuck fox’s weenie so it points downward in his diaper so when he pees it doesn’t come out the sides or top. yeah, seems like a no brainer.. but i would never have thought of it. i hadn’t changed many diapers in my life before fox.

place the clean diaper under before taking off the dirty one. this was another tip the hospital nurse gave us. we always place the clean diaper under fox before taking the dirty one off and it makes for super speedy diaper changes! it also gives him less time to pee on us. ;)

waterproof pad liners. fox has been known to bust out the fire hose on occasion and that gets his changing pad cover wet. jessica turned me onto these waterproof changing pad liners and they save me from washing the whole cover all the time. i have six of them—i think they are like $9 for three at target.

gripe water. another tip from jessica. don’t know what i would do without her haha. i had never heard of gripe water, but it’s awesome! it’s a natural way to remedy gas, colic, upset tummy, etc.. it may not always work, but we found it to bring fox some relief. i just found it at walgreen’s. you want to make sure to get the alcohol-free one.

rectal thermometer to remove gas. fox had some gas issues (still does, occasionally) and his pediatrician recommended we use a rectal thermometer to help get the gas out. i have also heard you can do this using a q-tip and vaseline, but the thermometer has a little mark that tells you how far you can go.. the q-tip does not.. so i am scared of trying it that way, ha.

saline solution for eyes. often times, i will see that fox has a hair in his eye (probably because we have a furry house) or some other gunk junking it up. the solution is simple, we just rinse his eye with some of my saline solution. the first time i saw a hair in his eye i panicked and was like “how the hell am i gonna pull that out of there.” but, no, saline usually washes it right out.

pacifier clip. if you are going to use pacifiers, GET A PACIFIER CLIP. fox spits his binkie out approximately 427 times a day. we have this one and i love it. and, because i think he’s cute, here’s fox modeling the clip in a few shots. ;)




use baby aquaphor instead of lotion. lotion can actually dry your baby’s skin out more when you think you are moisturizing it. we use aquaphor on dry patches instead, and it works perfectly. it also works wonders on diaper rash! oh—but i should mention that there is this layer of skin that peels off babies around 2 weeks or so. i thought it was dried milk on his hands at first, but it’s skin. this is normal and fox’s doc said you shouldn’t put anything on it.. it will just shed and then their skin will be baby soft and smooth again. his all peeled off and cleared up by the time he was 3 weeks.

put clothes on from the bottom up. jessica gave me this tip, too! apparently it’s not too common, but it works well for us. we put fox’s onesies and PJs on from his feet up, like you would pants, instead of over his head. it was awkward and hard to do it over his head. but onesies and jammies have notches in the shoulders that allow the clothing to stretch and pull on seamlessly from the bottom up. if you are challenged at putting tiny clothes on your baby like i am, maybe try this method.

warm up their bed. so.. fox has the habit of only wanting to fall asleep in our arms. or, i should say HAD the habit. we have broken him from it and warming up his bed helped a ton in the process! his bedtime routine (which is very beneficial, by the way! he sleeps so much better since we’ve started it) is bath then tummy time then pajamas then story then swaddle sack then feeding then bed. while i am feeding him, marshall puts a warm corn bag in his rock & play (where he sleeps) and then when i finish feeding him and take him to bed, it’s nice and warm like a human body. he loves it and doesn’t make a peep when i put him in there.


those are my only tips for today! i am sure i will have lots more to add to this list as i go. i feel like i learn something new every day! this baby thing isn’t easy by any means, but it is a lot of fun and i am enjoying the process. it’s easy to enjoy when you have such a sweetie to stare at all day. ;)


1. mamas.. any tips to share with the class?

2. weekend plans? 

xo. janetha g.

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jessiker October 10, 2014 at 6:38 pm

What would we do without each other :) Yay shout-outs! Lol. I love the cute photos. Another tip: Loud ass static (so loud that it will make you rip off your ears and pull out all of your hair) will RELAX your baby. WTAF. Lol got that one from you and it works like a charm.

Lee October 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Not sure if Fox takes a bottle, but a bottle warmer is awesome. Alexander was formula fed and for the first like 3 months, I was heating a cup of water in the microwave and then sticking the bottle in the mug and it was just a pain. I kept thinking a bottle warmer was a waste of money. It wasn’t.

Jessi @ Our Midwest Nest October 10, 2014 at 6:47 pm

That corn sack trick is so clever! We’re expecting our first little in December – I definitely took some “notes” from your post. Thanks for sharing!

JessB October 10, 2014 at 7:06 pm

I’m about 5.5 months pregnant with my first. I appreciate all your tips! I toggled between this post and my registry about 3-4 times… Thank you!

Jenn @ Mark My Miles October 11, 2014 at 3:48 am

I can’t believe he is sleeping so well for his age. You are super lucky for this. We couldn’t get our little one to sleep past 3 to 4 hour spans for almost 8 months! I wish we would have thought of warming up his rock n play. Great idea!

Juli D. October 11, 2014 at 5:14 am

That lanolin cream is awesome for chapped baby lips/baby drool rash. Keep it around! We still use it on our 1 year old when she has chapped lips.

Kristen October 11, 2014 at 5:57 am

I wish I had thought of the warm-up-the-bed trick! It sounds like you’re doing great New Mama!
Honestly the newborn stuff is all a blur so no real tips. I guess my tip is to realize that the hard phases pass.

Traci G October 11, 2014 at 8:58 am

I love love love these posts! My baby is due in 10weeks and I am going to be a first time mom as well and love reading about these tips. Thank you!

Heather October 11, 2014 at 9:12 am

We love the changing pad liners. Best decision ever! So much easier to wash than the whole pad cover. We love the boppy newborn lounger = portable baby bed for when we are chilling on the couch etc.

Kim October 11, 2014 at 9:22 am

I appreciate these tips! My baby is due in January and I’ve been struggling trying to figure out what stuff I actually need in advance vs what I can run out and grab at Walgreens.. And like you, I mighttt have held a baby once, so I have no idea about anything.

Alyssa October 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm

I just need to say that I follow a good handful of pregnancy/turned new mommy blogs and yours is not only pretty much the only one I don’t hate, but I actually love it.

These are awesome tips! I definitely agree with don’t buy everything. I have a closetful of Tucks and Dermoblast and 3 pacifier clips and like a dozen pacifiers and an intact hoo-ha and a baby who doesn’t want a pacifier. The weenie down trick is also key – I was lucky to have two friend have boys while I was pregnant so I knew it from the getgo.

I would like to request a full explanation of the rectal thermometer/gas tip please. Also started the put clothes on bottom up and I no longer fear my neighbors calling social services while I get him dressed. We have the same issue with the rock and play so I’m trying to heat it tonight!

My tips: cut a hole in a pacifier to give meds (he sucks the gripe water through the pacifier this way, although he won’t take them any other time) and get sleep any way you can. My husband is a night owl so he takes over the middle of the night stuff (I still have to feed him, but once I get it together with bottles/pumping hopefully not) and he sleeps in while I take over in the morning.

Super jealous he gets to go to work with you. Longest comment ever. Sorry!

Janetha October 14, 2014 at 10:01 am

I love your tip! And thank you for your kind words :) So, with the thermometer.. you just put it in there when they are acting like they have gas (straining, pulling knees to chest, etc) and it helps release a toot haha.

Ashley October 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Oh GOSH he is cute!!!

Nikki October 12, 2014 at 6:01 am

My tip is to give babies stroller rides in your home. We live on the second floor of an apartment and it’s not easy for me to carry our heavy jogging stroller up and down the stairs while my husband is at work. We don’t have much room but my son loves sitting in the stroller while I eat lunch and even just pushing him back and forth, he loves.

Janetha October 14, 2014 at 9:58 am

That’s a great idea!

Colleen October 12, 2014 at 7:07 pm

I”m due with #2 in 4 weeks, and this post totally reminded me I need to get new parts for my pump, engorgement is no joke! My tip would be for calming the baby if they are crying; up/down motion activates some sort of calming reflex and they almost immediately calm down. I would hold my son on my shoulder like normal and do squats (fast down, slow up to give them that weightless feeling) my husband’s method was to put him in the carseat and do upright rows. It really worked!

Janetha October 14, 2014 at 9:46 am

What! This is an awesome tip, thank you. I can’t wait to try.

Carolynne October 12, 2014 at 9:38 pm

I really love the tips, thank you!! I am so glad that I follow your blog because I feel as if I am learning so much for my upcoming arrival (only a month left!!). I love the idea about warming up the bed before he gets into it. I have a couple questions about the stories you read to him. What kind of books do you have? DId you just go to the store and buy a whole bunch of random ones? I really want to read to my little one each night, but I have no idea where to start in the book department. Also, do you read to him before naps and stuff or only at night? Thanks.

Janetha October 14, 2014 at 9:46 am

You are so close! Hang in there!! So for the books, I received quite a few at my shower. Then we bought some Dr. Seuss ones because we like them. Here are a few links to my favorite ones so far.. we want to get more, actually! We will probably head to the book store soon and pick out a few others. It doesn’t really matter what you get, they just love to see colors and hear words. We started right off the bat! Anyway, here are the links..

Julie October 12, 2014 at 11:44 pm

These are things I would never have thought of. They were so interesting that I read them all… even though I have no child and am not close to having one! Haha.

Marie-Sophie October 13, 2014 at 12:56 am

First: You GO girl for surviving your first week of work! I honestly admire you for going back to work with a six week old!! And I am so happy for you that Fox seems to adjust well to that change.

Second: What an awesome post! I am currently 38 weeks along and so thankful for your first time mom series! My plan to make freezer meals somehow got lost along the way (I was really motivated somewhere in the middle and now first trimester nausea took over again and I can’t even think of anything I would want to eat after birth) but I should make at least some bolognese (for pasta and lasagna) or something. Oh, and about that “don’t get everything and also not a billion of it” … I so had to laugh! AT one point I was watching a lot of youtube videos of US mom bloggers, complete with “what’s in my nursery” (I know, completely pointless, but that’s how pregnant people like me sometimes tick ;-)) – and SO many of them had like 50 packs of wet wipes, 20 packs of diapers, pacifiers from all brands and in all sizes etc. … and I was thinking “what if your baby is allergic to the wipes or what if that diaper brand just doesn’t fit your baby’s butt? What if it hates the pacifier and you have a stash until eternity? I actually just ended up getting a little bit of some of the things that are useful to have at home (like a packet of wet wipes and a pack of newborn diapers) – and then we’ll see what she likes or needs (swaddled or not, is she into sounds, does she like to be carried etc.). Few things can’t wait till next morning.
– end of ramble – ;-)

Janetha October 14, 2014 at 9:04 am

You are so close!!! Good luck with these last couple weeks–ah! <3

Dalia October 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Your babe is so cute! Can you describe what a corn bag is? Do you put it under the Rock & Play cover or under? Such a great idea.

Janetha October 14, 2014 at 9:00 am

Hey! A corn bag is just a bag of corn kernels you heat up in the microwave–so it’s like a hot pad without the electricity. You could use any type of heating pad to warm up the bed. We place the bag on top of the rock’n play cover for about 5 minutes and then move it as soon as we lay him down. Here is a link to an example of a corn bag.. my mom makes them! http://www.corn-bags.com/

Dalia October 15, 2014 at 8:50 am

That is so cool! thanks for sharing..

Emily R October 14, 2014 at 8:30 am

Congratulations on becoming a mom. Fox is so adorable!
Thanks for this awesome post! I just wanted to give you some other tips that worked for my son. I have been using Coconut Oil on my son for everything since he was born. It works wonders on dry skin, cradle cap, bum rash etc… and its natural (win, win) Also don’t under estimate the power of Breast Milk. It’s not only a great source of food for Fox but also great for blocked eye ducks, pink eye, cradle cap, stuffy nose (just put some breast milk into a bottle or medicine dropper and put some into his nose) This worked really well for my son when he had a stuffed up nose! This may sound a little weird but Breast Milk is amazing for many things. Google it ;0)

Courtney October 15, 2014 at 9:11 am

These are awesome tips! Question from this clueless FTM.. do you just wear the pumping bra all day? Do you cover the nipple holes? Or do you change bras when you are going to pump? Seems like an awesome idea!!

Janetha October 17, 2014 at 8:13 am

funny you ask that! so, when i was on maternity leave, i changed into it because i had time. now that i am at work and pumping, i am just wearing the bra all day with a camisole over it so my nipples aren’t on high alert lol. it’s way easier than taking everything off/putting back on. but what i want to get is a sports bra that fastens in the back, so i can just pull up my shirt, take my normal bra off, put the pump bra on, without having to take my shirt off and do the overhead stuff. sorry for the long reply haha.

Jennifer November 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Just wondering how it has been having Fox at work with you? I also get to take my baby to work with me, starting next week, and I’m having major anxiety about it! I’m worried I won’t have time to interact with him or that he will be so active that I won’t have time to work. Any tips would be greatly appreciated :) Love your blog posts!

Janetha November 2, 2014 at 10:00 pm

he has been awesome! i have a LOT of gear there– a play mat, a rock’n’play, a bouncer.. lots to keep him entertained. he is good for now, but he is still too little to really NEED much interacting. that is why when he hits 6 months i won’t take him any longer! right now i get there and he is sleeping, and then he wakes up a couple hours into my shift and i feed him, then he has tummy time or plays on his play mat for awhile, and i put him in his vibrating bouncer on my desk and he watches me work and i talk to him the whole time. then he takes a long nap. then i feed him again and we do that playtime stuff all over again, he takes another nap, then i feed him one more time and we go home. it’s pretty routine and it’s nice that he likes to nap. i think the vibrating rock n play really helps with naps! i don’t know what kind of office you work in, but hopefully you can have the gear your baby enjoys in order to keep him happy. don’t worry about not interacting with him–as long as you are talking to him and he can see you, that’s great interaction for a super little babe!

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