Little Nug Chronicles - Surviving the first month of being parents!
This is a little overdue since we are almost about to be two months old! I can't believe how fast this time with Max is going by. He just changes every single day and I wish I could stop it for a little bit.
Becoming parents definitely comes with challenging times that are always rewarded with a cuddle session. Nobody can prepare you for the emotions you go through as a new mom. Your hormones play tricks on you and you are basically playing a guessing game of trying to take care of a living human being that is dependent on you 24/7. I will be honest and say it isn't all roses and there are definitely trying times. If you are reading this and you feel OVERWHELMED, there will be a time when you figure out your routine and every thing falls into place. I'm sure that routine will change a million times, but you are doing an amazing job and don't you forget that. Side note; STOP reading all the mommy boards that promote negative comments and mom-shaming. I will write another post about my experience with mommy-shaming but no parents needs to hear how they are doing something wrong... We are already questioning every decision we make and we don't need the negativity. Stay strong, new parent!
I wanted to share a couple of things that made our first month a little easier and manageable (and I'm sorry, there is no miracle product that will make your little one stop crying for no reason, just things that hopefully help soothe them).
This is a life saver! My friend Tori ( a part of my mom tribe) recommended the Snuggle Me and I am so happy I took her recommendation. This is classified as a lounger for your newborn baby. I call it the "miracle product that magically puts my baby to sleep". Max loves sleeping in his Snuggle Me. The lounger creates a comforting space for your little one that resembles the womb in the way it hugs or snuggles your babe. Similar to the ever-popular, Dock-A-Tot but has more of a snuggle feeling as opposed to the DockATot that looks like it has more room around a newborn. I can't wait for them to make a bigger size so that I can purchase one for future Max. I take our Snuggle Me everywhere.
Everyone I know swears by rock n plays. I had no idea what they were and kept getting them confused with swings and bouncers - there are way too many baby products out there that have very similar names and pretty much do the same thing. We never registered for one as I thought Max would have been fine with a swing. Unfortunately, our little man wasn't a big fan of the swing. He didn't hate it but wouldn't stay in it for longer than 10 minutes. This was an issue because I didn't want to put him down for a nap but I also had nowhere else to put him to get anything done around the house. After reading countless blogs about newborns I decided to take advantage of the (very sad) Babies R Us sale and purchased a rock n play. Max still prefers his Snuggle Me to the Rock N Play but this gives me at least 20-30 minutes to get some things done. The one we have automatically shuts off after 30 minutes or 6 hours and plays music or jungle sounds.
This isn't something that has worked for us but I know a ton of mamas that swear by a white noise machine to help put their littles to sleep. Max wasn't too phased by the soothing sounds, but this helped me fall asleep. You see I have a baby that actually talks in his sleep. He makes a ton of noise which makes it hard for me to fall asleep. This isn't a good situation, since you are supposed to sleep while the baby is sleeping. For the nights where I just couldn't fall asleep I would turn on this bad boy to put myself to sleep.
4. Baby Carrier/Wrap
Before I continue on this, I know there are many opinions on baby wraps and carriers. If you love them, great! If you hate them, great! Just don't judge myself because they work for me. We got a baby wrap because the idea of snuggling with my baby and getting stuff done at the same time seemed perfect. I love having my baby close to me while I can walk around and have two hands to do stuff. We take our baby wrap down to the park while we play ball with Fred or even on walks. We have this baby wrap and this carrier for when Max is a little bit bigger.
5. Baby Probiotics
When you become a parent you observe your baby's poop like a scientist. Is it brown? Is it green? Is it orange? Yes, it is gross but facts are facts. When Max was around 3 weeks, he started getting very fussy when he was trying to go number 2. This was awful because I couldn't soothe him and nothing helped. When you have a baby that poops every two hours that means he is fussy every two hours. accompanied by the fussiness was green poop. As a new parent I rushed to call my pediatrician thinking he had a dairy allergy (read too many message boards). She recommended that we put him on probiotics. I am only putting this on here because you aren't crazy to think that your baby might be going through something. I know a ton of mamas that had issues in this department and I am not saying the probiotics helped but they helped my mind.
6. Relax Blend
This isn't for the baby but for all the parents out there that start losing sleep, their mind and sanity. The huge responsibility of taking care of a baby can be taxing and stressful. I am so happy that I started researching essential oils throughout my pregnancy because I inhale my relax blend pretty much every day. It is a calming blend of lavender and cedarwood. I roll this on my wrists in the morning and smell them throughout my breathing exercises to calm me down.
Oh my Boppy. I love my Boppy. Breastfeeding would be a complete pain without my Boppy. Even if you aren't breastfeeding, the Boppy can be used as a lounger later on and I even offer up the Boppy to people who want to hold Max. Babies get heavy in your arms after awhile and the Boppy can be a nice support. You can obviously do this with a pillow, but the way the Boppy is shaped gives enough room for the baby to lay on and it hugs you on the sides so you feel secure about the support underneath your newborn.
8. Swaddles / Sleep Sack
This is a basic must have that every mother knows about. Babies loved to be swaddled for sleep time as it makes them feel like they are back in the womb, snug as a bug. Therefore I won't go into too much detail. I just wanted to share my favorite swaddle blanket brands; Little Unicorn Cotton Swaddles, Lou Lou and company blankets and the Halo Sleep Sack. The Little Unicorn Swaddles are breathable cotton and are big enough to get swaddling right. Lou Lou and Company blankets are super soft and very stretchy where you can get that tight swaddle. The Halo Sleep Sack is a no-brainer easy items that has a zipper and velcro enclosures. The bottom zip-up is brilliant for nighttime diaper changes and the Sleep Sack allows you to let your baby's arms out, if they are the kind that like their hands by their face (like my newborn).
Controversial or not, we do use a pacifier with Max. The good thing is that he doesn't like it too much and isn't dependent on it to fall asleep. We use it as one of the many techniques to soothe him when he gets fussy. For a little man who isn't fussy about bottle nipples, he is very picky about his pacifiers. This is the brand he loves and won't touch any other binky!
A couple weeks into being a new mom, I was home alone on a Friday night hanging out with our newborn. He decided this was the night that he was going to cry for 5 hours straight. As I was trying every soothing technique I knew, I started to play music. Little did I know, Max is a huge fan of the Greatest Showman and that first song in the album gets him quiet immediately. We use this song to soothe him all the time and it works 80% of the time. Moral of the story: try songs and singing with your baby. Not only does it help with language development but most babies find music to be soothing to them especially if you sing along.