K. Thanks. Love you. Bye.
New mamas, unite! Some of the best blogging advice I've ever received came from Kate at The Small Things blog when I heard her speak at the Influence Conference. Her blog became wildly popular via Pinterest when she felt she was simply teaching people how to properly curl their hair. Never assume that people know the basics. I know a doctor's appointment may seem pretty cut and dry, but here's a list of things I wish I would have known before I braved Ella's first few appointments.
2. ((If your child is not yet walking)) Take your car seat. For her 6 month appointment, I contemplated just bringing Ella in without her carseat because she had such good head control. She's sitting up on her own now, so it's cute and fun to just carry her along. She looks so proud of herself. However, she fell asleep on the way, so I ended up bringing her into the office still asleep in her seat. I'm really glad I brought the seat with us. I needed the extra hands for my wallet, insurance card, etc. The car seat also made a good "catch all" for her pacifier, clothes, and other personal items...which leads me to my next tip.
3. Begin gathering your things as the appointment progresses - don't wait to pack up until after your baby has had her shots The first time Ella had her shots, I made the mistake of waiting to pack up until the very end. Poor Ella was half naked and SCREAMING while I gathered alllll our belongings (paperwork, shot records, toys). It was a mess. You don't want to pack up while someone is in the room with you because that might seem rude, but as they float in and out (as nurses and doctors usually do), use that as an opportunity to begin gathering small things like your phone, keys, jacket and paperwork. This will save you valuable time in the end.
4. Promise yourself a treat. This one needs no explanation. I always get Starbucks on the way home. Mama needs a coffee drink!
5. Find emotional support- Tim and my mom usually get several texts and phone calls before, during, and after her appointments (haha). Read: SOMEONE SAVE ME WHY IS THIS HAPPENING WHAT HAVE I DONE TO OUR BABY!?!?!?! You get the gist.
6. Wear an over-sized cardigan (for newborns / weather permitting) and bring a blanket for older babies. Ella was a fall baby. For her first few appointments, I would wear a huge cardigan and wrap her up in it (while still wearing it). This is one of my top suggestions for new moms- even at home. Ella loved to be wrapped up like that. Now I'm having flashbacks of my teeny, floppy baby.
7. Bring a comfort object (it will help you more than your baby...haha). For one appointment, I brought this little, white rabbit along, and I think it helped us both. It was nice to plunk her down in her little seat while she was hiccuping and crying and trying to be so brave with her little arm around her friend. Heartbreakingly cute. (For the record, I totally comforted her first, obviously, but she was still sad when I put her down. I don't know about anyone else, but I just wanted to get her out of there into the comfort and movement of the car)! We are trying to start weaning her off her pacifier during the day. I didn't even think to bring one to her last (traumatic) 12 month appointment (2 shots and a blood draw). In that moment, I would have paid $500 for a Binky. No joke. Bring the nuk. Grab the bunny.
Hugs to you. You are doing good work, mamas. Good-bye, Good Luck, and get Starbucks.