Grandma Does The Night Shift

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IMG_0365I am so excited to be a new member of the esteemed “Grandma Club.” My beautiful grandson is almost three weeks old, So as any good mom would do, I have been staying with my daughter and son-in-law to help out these first few weeks. And of course, I volunteered to take the night shift so they could get some much needed sleep.

Ahh, the dreams of being able to write my blog when my adorable, grandson sleeps like a baby. Just like we see on TV, right? Oh contraire…the memories of sleepless nights, poopy diapers, and crying babies came flooding back like the Hoover Dam! Oy, did I really forget that newborns not only can’t tell time, but don’t care? Daytime, nighttime, what’s the difference when the baby needs you NOW!

So I started writing at 10pm, thinking I had at least three good hours to gush and share my tips as a new Grandma. Exactly twenty-two minutes and three paragraphs later the tumult began. It was only an hour since the last feeding, the baby didn’t need to burp, a diaper change, was not too hot or cold, nothing is pinching those little pulkes; everything checks out. “Baby, what do you need? Oh, I get it. You just want Grandma to rock you for bit and then you’ll go back to sleep, right?” Wrong! Wide eyed, looking around, happy as a clam until I put you in the bassinet and the howls start over again. More rocking, walking, stroller ride, outside visit and nothing doing. My adorable grandbaby is not interested in any shuteye. “Grandma, just hold me!” So the laptop is closed, the baby is in my arms and now we are both happy as clams. I know he’ll go to sleep soon and I can finish my blog.

It’s now 2 am, the same three paragraphs are staring me in the face, but a happy, dry, full tummy, binky sucking, adorable sleeping baby is in his bassinet snoring away. But now, I’m ready for a nap! However, before I close my eyes, I want to share a few help tips for Moms and Grandmas.

If the hospital gives the baby a pacifier and it’s his favorite, ask for another one at each shift change. Many hospital pacifiers are impossible to find when it’s baby’s favorite and you need to buy more.

When the hospital breastfeeding brigade tries to shame you into breastfeeding when it’s just not going to happen for whatever reason, speak up and please don’t feel guilty. It’s your baby and your body. Just say “thank you for your information” and move on.

If baby keeps scratching his face, gently file his nails and put newborn mittens on his hands. No more scratches and what a great fashion statement.

If baby is having a cranky time and you are so sleep deprived you can’t see straight, asking for help doesn’t make you a bad mom (or Grandma). A few hours of sleep will make the world a better place.

Swaddle, swaddle and swaddle even if you think your baby doesn’t like it. What does he know; he’s only been here a few weeks. That cozy swaddle is comforting and doesn’t make the world seem like such a big place. Some babies don’t like their arms in so start the swaddle under the armpits making sure it’s nice and snug.

Grandma, if you have advice to share, (who doesn’t), say it once and then zip your lips. We all had to figure out what works best even though many times it’s the advice Grandma gave in the first place.

You won’t spoil your baby or set up bad habits those first few months. Pick up baby, cuddle, rock, sing and keep falling in love whenever the urge strikes.

This Grandma is ready for a power nap now. Hope I can sleep. I’m so excited; I can’t wait for him to wake up!

Blythe Lipman is the president of Baby Instructions. She is passionate about babies, toddlers and their parents. After working in the field for over thirty-five years, four award winning books, now available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Audible.com and all major bookstores. You can hear Blythe’s weekly radio show, Baby and Toddler Instructions each Wednesday, 11am EST @ www.toginet.com. Blythe is available for in-home, video and telephone consultations. You can contact Blythe at babyinstructions@cox.net or call her office (480)-510-1453. Become her Fan on Facebook and visit her website www.mybestparentingadvice.com

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