web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Bringing Home Baby

Baim-041312

Ahh, that wonderful time when you return home from the hospital with a brand new bundle of joy nestled in your arms. Without getting into the pros or cons of sending yourself or your other children away, or the benefits and possibilities of family or paid help, eventually everyone will go home and you’ll be all by your lonesome, raising the family. So how to make this momentous occasion truly memorable, instead of weeks of what could be construed by some as torture?

I work in a Williamsburg WIC office where large families with eight to ten children are the norm. While pregnant with my third child, I asked these wise women for some handy tips. Their advice was simple: prepare as much as possible before hand, and then gird yourself for the worst. As one forty-year old woman, who came in with her tenth child, put it succinctly: “I never thought I’d say this ten years ago, but cleanliness is history. Current forecast is hurricanes and volcanoes.” More likely than not, the house will be in an uproar, the laundry will pile up, the kids will eat cereal and milk three times a day, and you will live on less then four hours of sleep at night. But, it’s not all gloom and doom. You have a brand new baby! Mazel Tov!

Here are a few practical tips for a smooth transition with an additional baby:

Prep and freeze as many dinners as possible: soup, breaded cutlets, tuna patties, etc. If you you know the gender of the baby – depending on your family’s minhag – consider buying the paper goods and begin baking and preparing for the shalom zachor, vacht nacht (when kids come to say shema), bris or kiddish.

When the baby first comes home, have her or him “give” the older children presents. A gift from someone brings feelings of joy and gratitude – hopefully.

The first few weeks, keep the newborn in a separate room, away from the other kids. This way, the younger children don’t feel displaced by the newest member of the family, and you don’t have to spend half your day preventing the two year old from playing ball with the baby.

Keep the kids involved with the care of the baby, by either fetching diapers, rocking the baby gently in a bouncer or swing, holding the bottle, or my daughter’s favorite activity: reading the baby a book.

It takes approximately six months for the baby to be fully acclimated to the household. During that time limit any additional responsibilities i.e. hosting guests for Shabbos, volunteering for the PTA, or even hosting play dates. Focus on your family and don’t forget about yourself! Take the extra help you need. If money is tight, then figure out what help would be most appreciated and get that. I personally prefer to do my own cleaning and cooking while a babysitter holds the baby. Other women may opt to buy take-out, which cuts back on shopping, cooking and cleaning time. Remember, a Jewish mother is not a martyr. Hashem will provide the resources that are necessary for you to manage.

Savor the joy and mystery of this brand new human being! This time is so fleeting, and just as quickly forgotten. Capture the moment as much as possible, mentally and on camera. These days, with the cameras on your phones just as good as any digital camera, it’s easy to collect a treasure trove of memories of your precious little one just as he is starting his new life.

Personally, I prefer not to find out the gender of the baby, as it gives me something to focus on instead of the rapidly climbing number on the scale, but as we are already blessed with a daughter and son, I felt we were prepared for either one. I did, however, prepare presents for my children, and arranged meals for following my delivery. My son Noach was born after a particularly traumatic cesarean section, and frankly, I didn’t see how I would ever recover. But now two months later, I find that our household has settled into a comfortable transition from two to three children. To give myself a much needed break from the excitement of having two babies less then two years apart, I send my toddler to the babysitter three hours a day and if necessary, I give my children oatmeal and yogurt for dinner guilt-free.

Although this may be a tad controversial, one of the biggest factors that contributed to my rapid recovery after my delivery is that I have the baby sleeping down the hall from me, in a separate room from the other kids. Like many mothers, I found that I had trouble sleeping with the newborn in my room. His soft sighs and turns would wake me up and leave me staring at the bassinet, wondering if he was going to want to nurse or just go back to sleep. At the tender age of three weeks old, I sent him down the hallway, where he learned to have a night schedule and wakes up me only to eat. Afterwards, I quickly fall back asleep for a reasonable amount of time until the next feeding.

There are still times when I find myself alone with three crying children, each one desperate for something else at the exact moment. Rav Noach Weinberg z”l, my baby’s namesake, taught that when a mother is overwhelmed with her children’s needs, she should just focus on getting through the next half hour, and the next half hour, and before you know it, the kids are distracted and calm, and everything falls into place. So, at those all too frequent times, instead of pulling my hair out and hiding in the bathroom, I repeat the mantra the ladies from Williamsburg taught me: this too shall pass.

Postscript: I wrote this article before the horrific killing of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 3, and Myriam Monsenego, 8, in Toulouse, France. As a Jewish mother, this tragedy shook me to the core. There is so much uncertainty and pain in this world. We should treasure the normal irritations and demands of healthy children. All too quickly, it can be wrenched away from us leaving just a void. May Mrs. Eva. Sandler and the Monsenego family be comforted amongst all the mourners of Tzion and may the neshomos of the kiddoshim have an aliyah to the highest gates of heaven.

About the Author: Pnina Baim’s newest novel, “A Life Worth Living”, about finding happiness and meaning in the land of Israel, is now available at all online retailers. Contact Pnina at pninabaim@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Bringing Home Baby”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Facebook post from man believed to be Canadian convert to Islam who rammed soldiers with his car in possible terrorist attack, Oct. 20, 2014.
‘Radicalized’ Convert to Islam Attempted to Murder Canadian Soldiers [video]
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

More Articles from Pnina Baim
Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Baim-081514

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.

This summer, why don’t we try to do better and cool off without blowing our retirement fund?

Do we really have that much extra money to throw away on substandard products and shoddy service? I think not.

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

So, my dear sisters in the trenches, remember. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And who is tougher than the Jewish women of today?

People like to say that dirt isn’t chometz, but as Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky says, if dirt isn’t chometz, how can you tell? Besides, are you really going to take apart the whole closet and then not wipe it down before you put everything back? If you’re not going to clean the mess now, when will you?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/for-the-home/bringing-home-baby/2012/04/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: