Maria wants to let Kate in on a little secret: "Bring adult diapers with you to the hospital to wear home. No one will know you're wearing them, and they're far more comfortable than the giant submarine-sized pads the nurses will give you. And that squirt bottle they send you home with to wash up with? Use it with warm water. You may never want to give it up."
When holding your newborn, don't be afraid you are going to drop or break her.
"Newborn babies seem fragile, but they're really very strong, so chances are you won't injure your child even though you feel like you're in danger of doing so," Monica says. "Also, trust your instincts — they will always lead you in the right direction."
"There is no substitute for simply being there for your kids," Molly chimes in. "Even though you have all kinds of helpers at the ready, spend all the time you can with your baby — even doing some of the dirty work like changing diapers and rocking her when she just won't stop crying."
Mary reminds Kate to lean on Will whenever she can. "Trust Daddy. He might not bathe, feed or diaper your baby the way you do, but give Dad every opportunity to be involved. It’s a great way for him to bond with your newborn and it relieves some of the overwhelming burden you may be feeling."
New moms often become frustrated when it comes to getting their babies to sleep, but Elizabeth encourages Kate to go with the flow. "Read all the parenting books you want but the bottom line is that your child is going to determine her own sleeping patterns, whether you like it or not. Read your child instead, accept her as she is, and simply sleep when the opportunity presents itself. Fighting what comes naturally to your little one — now and in the future — is a sure recipe for misery. Your whole household will be happier if you adopt the mantra, 'Let it be.'"
Maureen, who is currently expecting her third baby, says, "Motherhood is a constant wisdom-building process. One day, you will look back on the stress, dirt and germs and wish you had relaxed. You will look back on the lack of sleep and harbor resentment — until you look into your beautiful (wide-awake-as-always) baby's eyes. You will look back on the midnight feedings, remember the sound of your husband snoring, and possibly kick him in his sleep. These are all milestones. Embrace them. They go by in a heartbeat, and you will be astonished at what a child's laugh will erase from your mind!"
"Those middle-of-the-night feedings can be exhausting to a new mom, but treasure them," says Kim. "This period of time doesn't last long and it is such a special time to bond with your newborn baby while the rest of the house is sleeping, and before the craziness of the day has begun."
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