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What Do You Wish You Knew Before You Had the Baby?

The rumors are true: Parenthood doesn’t come with an instruction booklet. If it did, though, here’s what been-there moms would include.
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I wish I’d known… “…that you don’t have to buy a million things for a baby. I could have skipped all the cute little hats (you just reuse your favorite one or two and the rest take up drawer space); bags and bags of size 0 to 3 month clothing (they outgrow these in, like, two weeks!); a bottle steamer (hello, dishwasher). The one thing you really need? A great group of mommy friends.” —Teresa Sellinger, mom of three, Dubuque, Iowa

I wish I’d known… “…how to take a shower with a newborn in the house. I finally figured out that if you put the baby in a bouncy seat on the floor of the bathroom you can sing and talk to her, instead of worrying that she’s going to wake up in the other room and start crying. Life is so much nicer when you can have a relaxing shower in the morning.” —Leslie Cassidy, mom of three, Greenlawn, New York

I wish I’d known… “…to think twice about a pacifier. My first child had his paci with him 24/7 until we took it away at 20 months. Every time we walked out of the house we had to check if we had extras, and going cold turkey was traumatic…for all of us! With my second, I realized it was easier not to even give him one to begin with.” —Heather Bauer, mom of three, Goldsboro, North Carolina

I wish I’d known… “…to stick with no-brainer baby outfits, like Onesies and elastic-waist bottoms. Overalls look adorable, but there are too many things to unsnap. It’s all about how fast I can make a diaper change!” —Laura Feiner, mom of two, Davie, Florida

I wish I’d known… “…to read up on newborns before my due date. I spent all my time focused on pregnancy stuff, and didn’t look into bathing and feeding the baby. That would have been helpful; you don’t have a whole lot of time for reading once the baby is born.” —Melissa Morgenlander, mom of two, Brooklyn, New York

I wish I knew…. “to trust my Mom instincts. When my daughter was born, every time a relative said something like, ‘Should she really be eating that?’ I’d wonder if I were doing the right thing. By the time I had my son I realized that even though relatives may mean well, nobody knows my kids as well as I do.”
—Tracy Hammer, mom of two, Kirkwood, Missouri

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