(10) Serve baby food at room temperature. There’s nothing worse than listening to a baby whimper while you heat up a meal and then wail while you blow on it to cool it back down, says Amy Sklansky, my college amigo and now a mother of two.
(11) Start preparing dinner in the morning. You’ll avoid added stress during the late afternoon, when babies tend to be more demanding. My friend Janet Murphy, who had three kids in 33 months (no multiples!), gave me this tip. If you can prepare the whole meal ahead of time, do. If not, get the chopping and other prep work done.
(12) Trust your instincts. My college roommate Kadi Anderson, an alarmingly calm mother of two boys, admits this isn’t always easy. As a baby, her second son fell asleep being rocked and nursed. “According to the books, this was a problem,” Kadi says, “but it seemed so natural.” Her son made the transition to going to sleep on his own without incident. Do what feels best for your child.
Though all these tips helped enormously, my new-mom girlfriends also were great for another reason: to constantly remind me how blessed I was to have this little soul in my life.
When your friends aren’t around
If your friends are still single or live far away, take comfort: These books by our favorite baby-care specialists read like advice from your best pal.
The Baby Book, by William Sears, M.D., and Martha Sears, R.N. (Little, Brown, 2003).
The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood, by Vicki Iovine (Perigee, 1997).
The Happiest Baby on the Block, by Harvey Karp, M.D. (Bantam, 2003).
The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Child Care for the Modern Parent, by Michel Cohen, M.D. (HarperCollins, 2004). Touchpoints: Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Development, Birth–3, by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. (Perseus Publishing, 1992).