How was everyone’s weekend?
We’ve really been enjoying life this past week. Mommy finally got her hair done (it had been WAY overdue), daddy got to hit some golf balls, and “GiGi” (my mom) came to town!
On a not-so good note, we had to go to the pediatrician on Wednesday for Addie’s 2 month well-check.
Two month well-check = Addie having to get her shots!
She actually did very well. After the nurse put the shots in her legs, she turned beet-red and let out one good wail. I was able to immediately scoop her up and love on her, and she quickly calmed down.
She was also weighed and measured at the appointment. She is now 22 3/4 inches long (she was 20 inches when she was born) and weighs 8 lbs., 14 oz. (she was 7 lbs., 4.9 oz. at birth).
Unfortunately, she hasn’t put on as much weight as the doctor would like. So we have had to start supplementing my breast milk with formula.
I’m not thrilled about it … it’s a bit more work, it’s expensive, and I initially felt like a failure because I wasn’t doing my “job” and supplying her with all she needed. But I know it’s what is best for her. And I realize that my feelings about being a failure are completely irrational.
(That’s GiGi feeding her a bottle after I had fed her.)
We can already tell that it’s making a difference and she’s starting to gain more weight. We go back to the pediatrician on Wednesday for a weight check. At that point, if she’s doing well, I may be able to cut back and only supplement after every other feeding (vs. every feeding). I’ll be curious to see what the doctor says!
Today I wanted to share some of my personal advice on ways to help baby and mommy during the first couple of months. I have had a lot of friends emailing, texting, and calling me with questions on various baby-related topics. So I thought I would share some of things I’ve learned here on the blog.
Now obviously this is just my opinion. I’m certainly not an expert (that’s laughable). But these things have worked for us, and perhaps they’ll work for some of you!
Some tips to get through the first couple of months:
1. Don’t give up on swaddling. It may seem like the baby doesn’t like it, but she’s a baby. She doesn’t know what she likes. And it helps! Babies have a startle reflex usually until they’re 12-14 weeks. When they’re sleeping on their backs, they’re likely to startle themselves awake. Swaddling prevents that.
2. If your baby breaks out of the swaddle, try double swaddling. We swaddle with the “moms on call” blanket and then top it with the woombie (she’s only in her diaper for this process, so she doesn’t get overheated). Even then, Addie can occasionally break out of the swaddle. But it doesn’t happen nearly as often.
(See that little hand? This was after 8 hours of sleeping through the night. She eventually got her hand out of the swaddle, so rather than swaddle her back up and put her in her crib, I just let her finish sleeping in the swing. I don’t think she could get any cuter. )
3. Develop some type of routine/schedule. It doesn’t need to be set in stone. But I do believe that babies seem to have some type of internal clock, so setting up a routine can help them to sleep better at night. Addie takes a bath every night before her last feeding. She may not consciously be aware of this routine, but I think somehow subconsciously, it helps her know that nighttime sleeping comes next!
4. If you’re OK with pacifiers, you may need to try a few different brands before finding one your baby likes. Addie didn’t like the Soothies or the Nuks, which a lot of my friends’ babies preferred. Instead, she likes the Avent Freeflow pacifiers.
5. Put the baby down to sleep in her crib before she falls asleep. The first few weeks, I was making sure Addie was completely asleep in my arms before I put her in her crib. And I think for the first couple of weeks, that way was probably fine and perhaps even necessary. But at some point, you probably want your baby to be able to put herself to sleep. Now, I swaddle Addie, put on the white noise, and then bounce with her in my arms for just a minute. As soon as I see that her eyelids are getting a little heavy (but she’s still awake!), I lay her down in her crib. Sometimes I’ll stroke her head, but I won’t pick her back up. She can now put herself to sleep quite easily. (Of course, sometimes the pacifier falls out and she wakes back up. That’s the next thing we need to work out … phasing out the pacifier!)
6. Step AWAY from Google! While I think it’s fine to research some concerns on Google, I think it’s very easy to get carried away and over-research. I’m speaking from experience here. The first couple of weeks Addie was born, I was constantly looking up questions on the internet. Then I would drive myself crazy by finding conflicting information and not knowing which direction to go. Do a little research, pick a direction, and then go with it. If it doesn’t work after a while, then try something new. (And this should go without saying, but if you have a medical concern, ask your pediatrician. Not Dr. Google.)
7. Repeat after me: “This too shall pass.” I’ve already shared that I really struggled emotionally those first few weeks. I think most women do. But I promise it gets easier. Not only does it get easier, but you actually start to enjoy your little one. At the beginning, I couldn’t wait for Addie’s nap time (I’m being honest here, folks). Now, I can’t wait for her to wake up! I love that little girl more than I ever thought possible. So when you’re in the middle of those difficult moments when your baby first comes home, remember that it’s only a short period of time before life gets so much better!
Hope that advice helps at least one person out there! Being a mom really is the best thing in the world, but it takes some time to get used to your new life. So be patient with yourself (and your baby) in the process!
Question for ya …
What did you do this weekend?
If you’re a mom, what advice to you have to share?