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Unsolicited Advice

Over the past few weeks, several people have sent me messages or comments via Facebook or Blogger with the subject title: "Unsolicited Advice". They then proceed to tell me things they wish they would have been told, things they wish they would have known and information about their "lifesaver" items.

And. I. Love. It.

I am clueless. I am a rookie. I do not know what I'm doing. And your advice and comments are WONDERFUL. So, thank you.

Just yesterday a friend messaged me about this:

And I ordered it.

It's a fabulous invention that keeps you organized. It records the time between each feeding, diaper change, nap time, etc. all with the push of a button. I thought this would be easier than trying to remember or write it down in the middle of the night! I would have never known about this if it weren't for the "unsolicited advice".

There are countless other valuable things many of you have shared with me as I round the bases and slide into home. And today, I would LOVE if you all shared some advice with me. Anything! Things you wish you'd known, things you wish you'd done...anything! I want to hear it!!

Consider this solicited advice. Go!
I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.


  1. Ha ha! That thing is awesome! I still have the notebook I kept during Caleb's first few weeks and the middle of the night feedings are barely recognizable with my sleepy handwriting!

    Hmmm ... my advice would be to cut yourself some slack and be okay wearing sweatpants for a couple weeks--your journey is just beginning and it gets better and better with each step! Just hunker down and make it through that first month and you'll be golden. It's so worth it!!

  2. Okay, I promise this is advice and not a sales pitch because, frankly, I don't care who you buy this from, I just want you to buy it! lol... Here goes -

    Did you know that Johnson and Johnson baby bath products, Gerber baby bath products and other store bought brands that are labeled "tear free" are tear free NOT because they lack harsh irritants, but because they have a numbing agent that numbs your baby's eyes? Also, did you know that they're made with mineral oil (check the back of most store bought skin care products)and that mineral oil is actually NOT made of minerals - it comes from rendering plants which are places that take euthanized animals, road kill, sickly farm animals and restaurant grease, heats it all up to a level where it separates into levels - the levels are used for different things (the bottom layer is mixed with other stuff and used for road tar, the next layer has fragrance and color added and is rolled into lipstick, etc.)... WELL... the top layer is this foamy white layer that they label "mineral oil" and sell to skin care companies and cosmetic companies.

    There are reasons they're allowed to do this - if you ever actually care about why, let me know.

    Anyway, my point is, Arbonne has baby products that are pure, safe and beneficial and contain no mineral oil, no alcohol, no fragrance, no dyes... and I have TONS of friends who have testimonies about the rash or eczema or whatever that just wouldn't clear up that did clear up after using Arbonne.

    Find a consultant in your area and get it!! It's NOT expensive, it lasts forever, and you won't be putting mineral oil, alcohol, numbing agents, etc on little Levi's body.

    Actually, there is a test you can do to get a better visual of what mineral oil does to your skin - it's like putting plastic wrap on your skin... take 2 bowls, put a saltine cracker in each, cover one in water and one in Johnson & Johnson baby oil (which is pure mineral oil) and let them sit for 15 min. The one with water falls apart because the pores absorbed the hydration. The one with oil will harden and you can crack it. It didn't get moisture. Just like our skin.

    Anyway, I've been dying to tell you this since you found out about little Mr. Levi, but I didn't want to give "unsolicited advice". :) Can't blame me now! lol

  3. Wow! You're a brave woman. advice is advice that was given to me over and over again and I never took it because I'm a perfectionist. SLEEP WHEN BABY SLEEPS! Even if it's only 20 minutes and you never actually drift off, take the time to rest. Don't worry about cleaning, don't worry about laundry, order take out as much as you want and REST.

    And cuddle Levi. Oh it just makes me so sad how quickly the newborn phase passes before you have a crawling tyke. Cuddle him, look at him, remember him, enjoy him. This time is just so precious.

    3 more weeks!!!

  4. Yeah, I have to agree that the Its bens was a life saver!!

    Advice: Buy a ring sling! I have a Ella Roo Ring sling and it also saved my life when breast feeding. I was able to nurse hands free and get stuff done. The great thing about the slings is that they can be used a lot of different ways and can be used for a extended amount of time. Where as the front carrier we used maybe once or twice and when you drop $100 for it you should be able to use it a lot. I sold our front carrier and bought a ring sling. I still use it by the way and my daughter just turned one, she is 18lbs and it has been a life saver when shopping.

  5. I would love it if you would show us that nursery already!

  6. i love it when you post these. being preggo, i'm gaining just as much knowledge as you through people's advice! thanks!

    ps...can you send me the link where you ordered one of those?

  7. Oh I SO need one of these! My Isaiah is on a different feeding schedule every day it seems like, so this would really help. Thanks for the advice!

    Here is my advice to you (coming from a brand-new Mom): for diaper rash use pure cornstarch. Isaiah came home from the hospital with a terrible diaper rash. I put Desitin on him but it made it worse (apparently he is allergic to it), Balmex was okay, but my Mom suggested cornstarch ($.82 Walmart brand works just the same as the more expensive stuff). It cleared him up THE SAME DAY!! Just dust a little on Levi's bottom and you are good to go. Anyway, just a tidbit of info that may help you. It sure helped me!

  8. Hmm, well, since my husband was still in med school when our first was born, and a resident when our second came along, first I would like to say that you need to feel completely free to tell your sweet man that you have a doctor, and what you need from him is a husband. :o) I've had to say that more than a few times.

    Second, in the same vein, this is my single biggest little chunklet of advice that I tell every mom-to-be who's willing to listen:

    It does not matter how many years your OB or pediatrician have been practicing. It does not matter how many babies your ped has seen in clinic over the past 5 years. It does not matter how many children some other woman has. You may not know everything about medicine or every child, but YOU WILL ALWAYS KNOW YOUR OWN CHILD BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE CAN. You will be Mama! (melt.) So, once your little man is here, do listen to what people have to say, because there is a lot of wisdom out there. But above all, listen to your little one and listen to your heart.

    OH! And enjoy your labor and birth experience. It truly is a miracle, and we've found that it's been a really sweet time for us as a couple. (Especially when I'm laboring without any pain therapy. I know that probably sounds strange to a lot of folks, but I've been very unsatisfied with my pain therapy on both births, so next time I'm planning to nix it altogether.)

    Grace and peace to you! You make me so excited about having another little one. :o)

  9. I just read the comment about the baby bath products, wow! Good thing you got some organic soap at your shower! :)I can't wait to read what everyone writes.

  10. I don't have any because I'm not a mommy yet but I totally agree. With my first child I will want all the advise I can get!

  11. Pray. In fact, bathe Levi in prayer. You can do nothing better for him...but you know that. :)

  12. The best advice I ever got came from my dad. He said to enjoy being in the moment. While it is fun to say, "I can't wait for him to crawl...I can't wait for him to walk...etc.", enjoy what they are doing in that moment because it will go by SO fast!! It really made me stop and savor every moment with my daughter.

    And I completely agree with Anne!!!

  13. Lauren is spot-on! That little baby is YOURS! You are his advocate!

    And relax, somewhere, someone has experienced the same things you go through, talk to your "peeps" they'll help you through the hard stuff. And laugh or cry with you the whole way....

  14. Wow! You have some very wise young friends. I wish I had known some of this stuff with my first two. By the time Katie came around I had learned it. I will repeat probably, but here goes:
    1. You are the Mommie-you decide what your baby needs not anyone else.
    2. Hold him all you want and don't let anyone tell you differently. If you can live with it-that's all that matters.
    3. Enjoy every moment. Don't wish it away. He will be 11 before you know it and you will want to turn back the clock.
    4. Interesting stuff about the baby products. Check that out.
    5. I would have prayed more for my children if I had it to do over again. Like the one girl said, bathe him in prayer all the time.
    6. Bring him to see his Auntiev very often.

  15. One of the fist things I would say is don't buy a warmer for wipes. It will dry out your wipes.

    Make sure you have that little clip that holds rolled plastic bags for when you change diapers in public. You put the dirty diaper in the bag before throwing away.

    Don't be afraid to read books about your baby. I knew nothing about babies but I combined the advice from friends/family with stuff I'd read and decided what would work best for me.

    Take a picture every month of your baby on his birthday next to a calendar (the office kind that shows the day as one big number) as a fun way to see him grow.

    Lansinoh makes the best nursing pads.

    Remember to sleep when baby sleeps. Ask for help when you need it. Most importantly, enjoy this time. Your little Levi is going to do great even if you don't follow all the "rules" of parenting.

  16. Please make a compliation of those emails and messages! I would love some unsolicted advice from YOU when you learn more about what I won't yet konw about in a month... my baby is due in July!

  17. This new Mom stuff is mind boggling! I'm due in one week and appreciating ALL this advice. Thanks for opening up your blog to a "forum."

  18. My best advice: Pray, cuddle, love, smother, kiss, dance, simply breathe in that sweet baby smell every chance you get -- because it goes way too fast and you turn around and they are flying out the door with car keys in hand and you wonder where did the time go. So, savor every little moment!

  19. Oh! I saw one of those things in a magazine and I wanted one, too! Thanks for reminding me! I'm going to order it right now!!

  20. When you go to the hospital-
    1.) Bring snacks- if you have a c-section you will be there for 4 days and nursing makes you HUNGRY! You will want to eat and you are up all night when the cafeteria is not open.
    2.) You will want your mom. I know Husby will be there but that next day when you get up and they make you walk and use the potty and take a shower- you can barely stand up (espically if you have a section). You would rather have your Mom there to bathe you than a nurse. Make her spend the night if she is willing.
    3.) I disagree about the wipes warmer- mine came from Target- my son loved it- he screamed when he had cold wipes and they didnt dry out at all.
    4.) Anne is right- you are not going to want to try and sleep during the day because you can do laundry and write thank you notes etc. but you really need to sleep when the baby sleeps.

    Have you heard the new Darius Rucker song "It won't be like this for long?" It is so sweet and so true. It goes by so fast. Enjoy it!

    Good luck- I know Levi is blessed to have such a great Mom!

  21. 1) Don't buy any of that Johnson & Johnson crap. Too many people I know have had their babies get skin problems from using it. Someone put it to me this way - an adult has thicker/tougher skin than a newborn. An adult can also absorb enough nicotine through their skin (via a patch) to satisfy a lifelong addiction. What can your baby absorb through his?

    I use California Baby products. They're all natural, free of allergens, and you can pick them up at Target or Whole Foods. The Overtired and Cranky bubblebath is my favorite. For lotion - plain old 100% cocoa butter is as natural as you can get, and works great.

    Desitin, Balmex, A+D, etc are CRAP. They stink and leave your baby gunky. A friend turned me on to Dimpleskin Naturals Bum Bum Balm and I've already hooked two other moms on it. It's AWESOME. Again, all natural, light, and smells nice. Bubba is 7 months old next week and nary a pink bottom to be seen around these parts!

    B) The Angelcare motion sensor monitor made it possible to sleep at night without getting up every ten minutes to see if the baby was still breathing. Video monitors are nice when the babies are older, but when they're still small, you can't SEE a movement that small.

    c) Boppy. You need one.

  22. Actually, Miss M, you're right - it's been proven than anything put on your skin enters your blood stream within 26 seconds. Crazy.

  23. the most profound piece of advice we received before noah was born came to us from our childbirth class teacher. she said to give yourself time to find your "new normal." everything changes after you have a baby. your priorities, your lifestyle, your relationship with your husband, your prayer life, your schedule...EVERYTHING. eventually, you find your groove and you settle into your "new normal." but give yourself time. i was just realizing yesterday that we were finally settling into our "new normal" as a family of 4 instead of 3. sam is almost 3 months old (wow!!!), which proves something else i was told before noah was born- there is such a thing as the "fourth trimester." those first few months are full of learning and growing and changing (both for you and your baby). they can be tough, just as each trimester of your pregnancy brings new challenges. so, be patient, ask for help, pray A LOT, and just get to know your baby.
    also- try to at least get a shower every day. even after a sleepless night, a shower can go a long way in helping the way you feel.

  24. Hey, My advice to you is to PREVENT diaper rash from happening with your rash doesn't take a whole lot, just enough to use as a barrier.
    NOW, here's the real advice. If/when he gets a red bottom/area...DO NOT use any of the WHITE creams...they contain zinc oxide and it WILL burn his bottom. Use like A.D. ointment clear or Balmex clear or Desitin Clear.

    That is my advice to you.

    Well, here's a bit more. TRY not to stress too much, relax with your baby, nap when he does, chill. If you are crabby and uptight, then HE will be as well.

    I love babies and motherhood, you will too.

  25. Whitney,

    I'm not a mom yet, nor pregnant, but I am really enjoying your blog. I have been learning tons of interesting baby things since you announced you were pregnant. You make me laugh....I like that too.

    Because I'm not a mom, I can't give you some of the advice those who have children can...but I can give you advice from what I've seen through the raising of my 5 (almost 6) nephews and 2 nieces.

    1) Choose whichever form of discipline you will use and use it from the start. I know some will think, "WHAT?!?!" But really. Sure he is too little now, but be ready. I see lots of children who's parents were expecting to begin discipline at two, but a lot of damage as already been done. (I know, this is the less fun of parenting.)

    2) Enjoy each and every moment. Like someone else said, breathe in that sweet baby scent. Don't wish away the tough times, to be longing for the next stage, enjoy and pray over each and every moment.

    3) Have Bible study as a family. As the Levi grows he will be use to sitting with you and your husband, reading and praying as a family. There will be much learning and growing that will come with that practice. :D

    I can't wait to "meet" Levi!

  26. You should post ALL the unsolicited advice you get. I just read one comment about the Arbonne compared with other baby bath products and I'm thoroughly DISGUSTED! Ewwwww!

    And where's the link for that nifty device?!

  27. On Becoming Babywise....a must read before baby gets here! I loved this book and used it with both my boys. They were the best babies ever! They loved routine and were so very happy and so very smart!

  28. I was the same way. I loved all the advice.

    I liked what Elizabeth said about baby products or any products. I like California Baby and consult with the before buying anything for myself or my kids.

  29. I second the "On Becoming Babywise" recommendation!! You will for sure raise kids adults will enjoy being around and brag on. :) That's saying a lot these days.

  30. Sorry, you don't know me...and I don't know you...but I found your blog somehow, lol! And I enjoy reading it. I have a 7 month old baby girl named Rylie. During my pregnancy, my friends told me all the GOOD things and told me how great it was to be a mommy. And although I completely would have been nice to hear that it is not easy, that it is okay to feel overwhelmed, and that it's perfectly normal to stay in the same sweat pants for two days in a row (or maybe even three, lol). But because everyone focused on the good things, rather than the "not so pleasant" things...I felt GUILTY for not necessarily enjoying EVERY minute. I thought something was wrong with me. But...after a few calls from some of my closest friends and realizing that everyone goes through what I was experiencing, I learned that it was okay to feel overwhelmed, scared, or even anxious. Also, I read this somewhere and I found it to be true with me. Although you will love Levi with all of your heart, don't expect to feel a true and instant bond with him. People feel that they will automatically know their baby from the very beginning...but that's not really the case. It will take some time to truly get to know him and during that learning transition, you may not feel an instant bond. I love Rylie with all of my heart, and have from the time she was in my belly...but it took some time to actually get to know her...what she liked, what she didn't. But now, I FULLY understand what my friends were telling me and feel how GREAT it is to be a mommy...the good and the bad!! I have learned and know Rylie...and I no longer feel overwhelmed or anxious. Good luck!!! I'm anxious to see pictures of that nursery, too. Your house (and your moms', for that matter) look gorgeous!

  31. My biggest accomplishment is that I'm a calm mom for the most part - the late night feedings, screams & all the stuff that makes you sleep less, shower less - I feel like I took it in stride instead of taking it out on Bub or Mike - I just kept telling myself, he'll sleep eventually & then I can too :-)
    Sleep deprivation was the hardest part for me because I LOVE TO SLEEP.
    & also, don't feel guilty if he's 4 weeks old and you want a night for yourself & your hubby!!

    Also, we have thousands & thousands of pictures - there are 4 cameras between my sister, mom & me - not including video cameras - I can scrapbook when he's a little older, but I need the memories now because my memory is horrible - Just get a little notebook & jot EVERYTHING down that he does...that way, you can make it "pretty" later :-)

  32. Pray often. Snuggle him to your heart's content, and enjoy his sweet little baby smells. Trust your husband. Know that you will probably be afraid, and that there will be moments where you feel completely unqualified for what you're doing; that's perfectly normal. Be consistent. Try not to compare yourself as a mommy or to compare Levi to any other babies. Remember that God chose YOU to be the best Mommy for Levi. Accept help. Freeze some meals. Write things down, because you really won't remember; and yet, don't feel guilty about things that you don't write down. Pray against despair, discouragement, and depression. Remember that God is using Levi to shape you...and shaping is never easy!

    And one of my favorite books? Praying the Scriptures for your Children. There are all kinds of wonderful books on sleep and eating and activities... but I'd encourage you to get this book above them all. Pray God's word for your sweet Levi!

  33. That little gadget sounds awesome... what is it called? I tried to see if it was anywhere in the comments but couldn't make it through them all! :)

  34. Hey Whitney,
    I just made a Baby Tip list on my blog that might help out. Hopefully some of it can help. Enjoy reading your blog and can't wait to read about Levi.

  35. Wow, quite a list!

    I did laugh at your purchase though. I have had 6 babies and their needs have all been different. Trying to keep track with a gadget of their feeds, bum changes and sleeps sounds crazy! lol.

    God already gave you the incredible gift of a mothers intuition. You are wired with emotions, hormones and common sense. Your sweet little Levi will let you know when he is hungry, needs to sleep and for how long.

    Try to keep things natural and look to Gods design of motherhood for answers. You will be blessed.

    I agree with the ring sling, best baby carrier ever! Sling babies are happy, content babies.

    I strongly urge you to really investigate the advice on the Becoming Baby Wise book.

    This whole theory was big in my church when I had my first child 13years ago. It felt all wrong to me and I went against the flow and had nothing to do with it.
    I have watched the many families that have followed Ezzos theorys through the years. There has been a myriad of issues: failure to thrive babies, over hyper toddlers, and delayed, detached, uncompassionate children.

    The mothers that scoffed at me for choosing differently now come to me asking me how to connect to their teenagers, how to get them to talk to them. Relationship is so key and that starts when you first lay eyes on that baby and people are fooling themselves if they don't think that their choices now won't affect the future.
    I feel sorry for these moms, and am so very thankful for the compassionate, empathetic, loving teenage son I have now.

    Bathe this in prayer.
    Here is a link for more info on it.
    There are concerns listed on the site as well from the Academy of Pediatrics.

    Oops, wrote a novel..sorry!

  36. I wish I had known how crazy mixed up my hormones were going to be after having a baby. The first 2 weeks were the worst. I would just cry for no reason. I didn't know how weepy I would be. I didn't have post partum depression either. So don't feel like a crazy lady if you cry alot. BUT, if the crying lasts longer than a few weeks then see your doctor. PPD is real and there is help.
    And as others have said, Cuddle and suggle that baby as much as you want. My little girl is 17 months and there's no cuddle time anymore. She's too busy.
    And, I used some elements from the Babywise books. I don't think the whole thing is bad but there are lots of people against it. I liked the eat-awake-sleep routine alot!!! following that really helped my girl be a good sleeper and she never got attached to the bottle so it was easy to switch to the sippy.
    Good luck!!! Being a mom is the BEST job ever!


  37. As a mom of 4 growing boys, I hope that my advice will come in handy.

    I have just 4 thoughts for you...

    #1 Pray always.

    #2 Love, love, love your little guy. (It won't be too hard.) Be patient with him even when you're tired or overwhelmed.

    #3 Be very patient with yourself and your husband, too. You're both forging a new path!

    #4 Be very careful about following 'fads' or 'experts' that will tell you the best way to mother your baby. (The Babywise methods come to mind, check them out. Yikes!)

    I'm so happy and excited for you!
    This precious gift 'fresh from heaven' will bring you more joy and teach you more things than you ever thought possible.

  38. I am going to give you a link to the BEST DIAPER RASH CREAM - EVER!!! Seriously, I buy stock in this stuff, give for baby shower gifts and get phonecalls as to where they can get more!!!!

    Oh, and I'm sorry - I had to LOL at the gadget you bought... I'm on my fourth, I don't keep track of anything, if the baby fusses I change a diaper or stick a boob in her mouth! LOL!

    Lickety Split Healing Balm (works great on sore breastfeeding nipples too!)


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