Now that our baby is a very mature three months old, we feel quite experienced. (Ha!) We have some tips to share. We welcome feedback on these tips, quite heartily.
1: Monitor the dangle angle! At all times. This is advice for parents of boys. We were warned to beware of stray urine streams during diaper changes, but not told that the wily male "dangle" can spray forth urine from a sealed diaper (for example, by going straight UPWARDS). To ward against this irritating circumstance, make sure that the dangle... dangles within the diaper. It needs to point down.
2: Just get the boppy, even if your body pillow does basically the same job. The boppy is tidier, and more portable. Also, Brandon says, you can refer to the boppy in the same pseduo-french accent in which Sacha Baron Cohen refers to "Ricky Bobby" in the movie Talledega Nights. This is not an incentive for me, but whatever.
3: Keep a laundry hamper right next to the changing table, because no matter how closely you monitor the dangle angle, there will be accidents.
4: Put extra, still-folded, garbage bags in the trash can underneath the garbage bag currently in use. Because if you tie up a full garbage bag, that is quite enough of a job for one person, and who needs to go all the way to the cupboard for a new bag?
4: When warming up a bottle, don't put the bottle in a bowl of warm water. Put it in a pub glass of warm water. Brandon does most of the bottle warming around here, and he says this is much better; it keeps the bottle from falling over, which can happen especially if there's not much milk in the bottle.
5: When it comes to the much feared "nipple confusion," I say: don't believe the hype. This is a contentious claim, I know, but I really think it's a load of crap. I mean, I definitely had a HUGE fear of nipple confusion, and it would have prevented me from giving Elliot a bottle for a long time had Elliot not required one for health purposes. And giving bottles is so wonderful! It made me enjoy breast feeding so much more, to know that I could have a break from it when I needed to. And if you wait too long, sometimes they don't take a bottle, and that would be THE WORST THING I COULD IMAGINE, because then what would you do? Just never have a break for six months, I guess. And who needs it? Breastfeeding is nice, but it's not that nice. For me, I mean. Some people really love it, so that's different. But still I say: everyone deserves a break, or at least the option of a break.
6: The best middle-of-the-night-nursing-snack that I've found is the "Naked" brand super-protein drink. It is a beverage, and so easy to consume with one hand (which is all you have when you're up in the night holding a baby), but it also has a whopping 38 grams of protein. Until my mom introduced me to the protein shake, I spent a lot of nights standing next to the open fridge door, gnawing messily on whatever hunks of meat were available, and it was totally gross, and also the light always shined right in Elliot's eyes, making him fussy and thus harder to put back to sleep. So protein shake it is: it tastes a little weird, because 38 grams of protein were never meant to be delivered in liquid form, and it's over-priced, but it is worth it.
7. Okay, that's all for now. But I'm sure there will be more.