Hi friends! Remember me? I apologize for the lack of posts, but ..uh.. I have a newborn?
I honestly had written three posts about “look how good we are at having a scheduled, night sleeping, non-crying baby.” And every time I wrote something about how perfect life with Anna is, she went and tricked me and stopped sleeping through the night, or started crying, or went rogue. So that’s when I discovered somethings that I will share with you.
This is how it went with me:
- 12 weeks pregnant, “Holy shit! We have to study EVERYTHING. Read Everything. Devour it all. We CAN’T READ ENOUGH.”
- First month of Anna’s life, read this book, do this schedule, find another book, do that schedule. Something goes wrong check the book. And then freak out because you have a question that isn’t answered by a book. So you turn to friends, who tell you the exact opposite of what the books say and you think “How are you even raising a child as you are following nothing of the books??”.
- The second month comes and you throw the books away because you realize all that matters is that your baby is eating, sleeping, and pooping. And somehow everything falls into place. That’s where I am now. I do not regret reading the books for one second. In fact I have a few that I still reference on the regular, but I 100% finally had to put the books down. You know when I’ll need books and help? When she’s seven. or six. I am not going to break or build her character by letting her cry it out/picking her up/sleeping in the bed with her/swaddling her/not swaddling her/feeding playing sleeping/playing feeding sleeping/ none of it matters right now if she is doing the good stuff.
With that said, for all you soon to be baby momma’s or friends who have pregnant friends..I do recommend reading books just so you can get an IDEA for what to do:
1. The Happiest Baby on the Block (you can also just watch this on netflix, I am almost CERTAIN this is why we haven’t had any problems with colic (knock on wood. Just because I wrote that we probably will have colic tonight)).
2. BabyWise (for feeding schedules and nighttime sleeping)
3. The Contented Little Baby (eh. This was good, but I go back to baby wise far more than this book, this book just said, babies should be kept up longer during the day at certain points, which duh, seems like common sense but I didn’t realize it until I read it).
4. 12 hours of sleep by 12 weeks. (I liked this book when I was pregnant, I haven’t really referred to it now that Anna is here. It has good settling techniques. Like, don’t give the baby your boob all time. Try a pacy to hold her off until it’s her feeding time).
5. Bringing up Bebe. (This book by far is my favorite. Simply because it has common sense stuff. Like if baby makes a noise don’t run, wait it out but no longer than 5 minutes. Your baby loves you and wants to see you or it could just be the Moro reflex).
I had a post written that was all, babies love to be swaddled if you don’t think your’s does its because you are doing it wrong.
And then Anna stopped liking being swaddled. The first two months she was amazing. Swaddle her, Moby wrap her and she was out. Now she still likes being swaddled when she is put down, but a few hours later and she’s done. Problem is, we still have Moro reflexes so she’s waking herself up.
So my advice? Swaddle. Get the Woombie, or Halo SleepSack Swaddles. Those are straight jackets for babies. I do believe that during the first month or so, sometimes babies just break out of the swaddle, it’s not that they don’t like it, it’s that they are getting muscle. But clearly, when your baby wakes up at 2 am when she normally use to sleep through the night. It’s time to transition out of the swaddle. I learned this because yesterday, I spent three hours with her fussing and fighting the swaddle, putting a pacy in her mouth, and then finally when I unswaddled her, she went deep sleep. Last night I undswaddled her when she woke up, and she slept the rest of the night. Imagine that. So while your transitioning, try one arm at a time. Try feet first. Try a lose swaddle. Or swaddle her and then unswaddle her and sleep with her in the bed because she will go back to sleep once she’s next to you. I’m sure I’m creating a bad habit, but pulling her into the bed with me at 3 am when we have to wake up at 6 is a lot easier than being up every fifteen minutes as she wakes herself up. I’ll wean her off this in four months when that reflex thing goes away.
I still stand by the fact that this was harder than labor and delivery. But just like all my friends said, soon the babies will figure it out and you guys will click. Wherever I learned perseverance (I’ll blame it on the race I ran last year)..I’m glad I have it. Every week I would tell myself, if I can just make it one more week, one more week, and then all of a sudden at exactly one month. She clicked. We got rid of the shield, an entire feeding session lasts 20 minutes tops, and then we can play. Before it was like 10 minutes of set up, and then clean up (because I am a cow), and then eating/struggling/eating and then burping, and then more clean up, and leaking, and spilling, and then eating/struggling/eating and burping, and then we had to do it all over again. Now? Easy peesy. My original, I’ll only breastfeed until six months has gone out the window, I am pretty sure I can do the full year–but we will see!
I can’t believe I have to go back next Tuesday 😦 😦 😦 😦
Here’s the realization I had last night: You need four weeks to freak out and act like OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL DID I DO. WHY DID I HAVE A KID?! You need the next four weeks to figure it out and go “oh hey, this isn’t so bad”. And then you need the next four weeks to actually enjoy the time with baby. I need those last four weeks. Unfortunately, I barely got the last two.
On the plus side, I’m going back to work part time, and I get every Friday off with Anna. Some of the girls from my centering class and I are trying to start up play dates so we don’t have to pay to go to Kindermusik. And we have built in friends around the same age. But take advantage of your maternity leave. Try to get as much time as you can. It’s okay to want to spend that time with your baby. You’re not losing yourself.
Speaking of losing yourself
Try hard to remember your friends. It was pointed out to me this week that I was becoming neglectful, and if you know me you know that upsetting my friends is my worst fear in the entire world. Yes they understood I had a new baby, but they also pointed out somethings that I was saying/doing had become very insensitive to their lives, even though they understood I didn’t have adult interaction–However, that is not excuse. You shouldn’t lose your friends just because you have a baby. So…like every book/blog/church service/person will tell you: take time for yourself, take time for your baby, take time for your spouse.
And..because you guys read all of that so wonderfully, here are some pictures of Anna. I post a lot to instagram, so I’d follow me there: melissamctastic.