How to Prepare for Breastfeeding Your Baby
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I know it hasn’t been long, but I still can’t believe I’m a mom to three boys! It feels so weird to be carrying a newborn while running after my big boys… But then, at the same time, it feels so natural. Since I’m basically a pro at having a newborn in the home by now *cough*yeahright*cough*, I knew to be prepared for a crazy “fourth trimester.” I mean, I have a preschooler and toddler I’m chasing around so adding a newborn into the mix would be more of a challenge than having a single newborn or even a newborn and a toddler. I needed to set up a game plan for how to live life with my three amazing boys. As I processed what life would look like once Daniel arrived, one of the biggest areas of concern for me was feeding time. First off, I knew I needed a plan to keep my body healthy in order to sustain a milk supply that would feed my little man. And, secondly, I knew I needed ways to keep my big boys entertained as I feed their baby brother for hours a day.
How to Prep for Breastfeeding Your Baby
Note: This post is in no way intended to be looking down on moms who are not able to or choose not to breastfeed. I know it’s totally cliché but it’s true, fed is best and every mom and child needs to do what works best for them!
Make a Plan for Eating Well
Not too long ago a friend of mine confessed that she did a really poor job of eating well. She said that she tends to just go about her day finishing the food on her kids’ plates instead of preparing meals for herself. Since she wanted to make changes, she decided to spend a week collecting that food that she would have eaten into zip lock bags to see what she was typically eating over the course of a week. What she found upset her! She was eating all sorts of junk she never would have chosen for herself. Isn’t this how so many of us mamas are? We finish off our kids’ plates of food, we skip meals, we binge on treats… And once we have a newborn in the house things get worse! Now we REALLY don’t have time to plan out healthy meals. Instead of just giving into that way of eating, be intentional NOW, before your baby is here, to go shopping and plan out meals. Put things in the freezer, purchase healthy and quick options, and make sure you have fruits and vegetables on hand. Eating healthy isn’t about getting your pre-baby body back – it’s about making sure you are as able as you can be to provide proper nutrition to the newest addition of your family. When your body is at its best, it is able to function to way it’s supposed to in breastfeeding.
Drink Plenty of Water
I get SO THIRSTY while I’m breastfeeding and it makes sense – breastfeeding mamas literally have another person sucking liquid out of your body. Breastfeeding a baby is seriously one of the quickest ways to get dehydrated. In order to keep your body healthy, you need to be replenishing your fluids by drinking around 100 ounces of water a day and that doesn’t come easy without being intentional about it! A great way to make sure you’re drinking all the water you should is by having a Primo® First Steps Bottom-Loading Water Dispenser in your home. This dispenser is great to have in a main living area of your house so it’s always right there whenever you need a drink. Our family hasn’t had it very long, but we’re all obsessed with our First Steps Water Dispenser. We love that it gives everyone access to safe, great-tasting Primo® water! The dispenser provides cold, warm or hot drinking water with the warm option supplying water at 98.6-104o Fahrenheit—specially designed for mixing baby formula for formula feeding moms! At first, I was a little hesitant to get a water dispenser that has a hot water option with Caleb and Josiah running around. They were sure to get themselves burned… But the Primo Water Dispenser has already thought through that so it doesn’t happen! The piping-hot water has a child-resistant safety feature so little people can’t get hurt! It puts my mind at ease since I can’t always be watching to see what my toddler and preschooler are up to! Why should you choose Primo? Well, it is the only brand that delivers best in class dispensers for the home and has both bulk exchange or refill water. This dispenser sets up in minutes so you can start hydrating in no time, no tools, plumbing or installation required. All we have to do to replace the bottles is head over to our local retailer (find the newest fill station near you here) and pick one up! Since I’m home with just the boys most of the day, I love how easy the bottom-loading design is – even for a weakling like me. All I have to do is push the 3 or 5 gallon water bottles (sold separately) in the cabinet! I don’t need a man helping me… But, I’ll admit, it’s nice when he does. 😉
Plan Fun Activities for the Big Kids
While you’re feeding your baby, your bigger kids are bound to get into all sorts of trouble. Even good kids! I’d definitely say that Caleb and Josiah are good kids but earlier this week I found Josiah dipping his sippy cup into the toilet and drinking it so keeping them busy is a must! Before your newest little one arrives, start getting the bigger kids used to playing by themselves. Get some fun busy boxes prepared for them that they’re only allowed to play with during nursing sessions. Reiterate over and over to the bigger kids how proud you are of them for allowing you the time to feed their younger sibling. Make breastfeeding sessions fun for them so they don’t feel like they’re missing out on your attention. During the newborn stage, when your baby is basically latched to you at all times, your bigger kids will have to fend for themselves a little more than they might be used to. Let your bigger kids know where they can get snacks and water for themselves while you’re busy with the baby. That way they won’t need to drink out of the toilet like Josiah. 😉 This is another reason we love the Primo Water Dispenser! It really is perfect for the whole family! Caleb is great about getting water for himself and Josiah and we love that this dispenser will grow with a family’s needs as the options for icy cold and hot water are also part of this station.
Get the Rest You Need
Sleep when the baby sleeps is a joke – especially if you’re a mom to multiple little ones. That being said, it really is SO important to sleep as much as you can. Since you’ll be up with the baby at night, think about creative ways you can get sleep into your life. If your bigger kids are still napping that is a perfect time to get some shut eye yourself. If they’re not, maybe start implementing a quiet time for all of you. You need it! If there’s no way napping can happen for you, plan your nights so you get the most sleep possible. Go to bed earlier than you typically would – even if it means leaving your husband up with the baby. If your bigger kids are early risers, have your husband get up with them while you sleep in a little. All that’s important is that you’re keeping your body healthy – it’s for both you AND your little one!
Talk to Your Husband About Your Needs
Although men can’t lactate and, therefore, can’t breastfeed the little one, there are ways they can help in the feeding process. Every couple is different so you need to discuss as a couple how you’re going to work as a team to get your baby fed. Tell your husband if you need more help with the older kids while you’re nursing the baby. Ask your husband if you need another cup of water from the water dispenser. Let your husband know if you need him to start giving the baby a bottle every now and then. Even breastfeeding mamas might want to supplement with formula every so often. For those of you who aren’t breastfeeding or are supplementing with formula on occasion – You need the First Steps Water Dispenser in your life too! I mean, choosing your water is as important as the formula you choose! It doesn’t get much better than knowing that Primo’s Purification Process removes or significantly reduces the presence of chlorine and chlorine by-products, bacteria and parasites, heavy metals including lead, trace levels of pharmaceuticals and more! It’s gross to think those contaminants are in our tap water! Since pound for pound, a baby’s body can’t filter contaminants like adults can, you want to make sure you’re using quality water! Besides the quality purification process, the Primo Water Dispenser is the best option for making your baby’s formula bottle because of the temperature. There’s seriously a button on the dispenser that is specifically for formula bottle making. It dispenses water at 98.6-104 degrees Fahrenheit – the perfect temperature for a baby bottle! It takes all the guess work out of how warm you need to make your baby’s bottle. The self-sanitizing function boils water in warm water reservoir to ensure quality and makes it ideal for the littlest member of your family! Best yet, dad can and should be helping get the bottles ready and even feeding the baby from time to time. He needs to bond with your little one too!
Interested in the Primo water dispenser for yourself? Get one here or, even better, add it to your baby registry so someone else can buy it for you!
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