Adeline’s Birth Story

I was due with our second baby girl on June 6, 2015.  Now, her sister was 10 days over due, so even though I was REALLY hoping  she would make an early appearance I knew in my heart of hearts that it would not be the case.

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Large and in charge at 38 weeks

Her due date came and went and still no baby.  I was doing everything in my power to get things moving.  Yoga, walking, spicy food, sex, EVERYTHING.

On the morning of Sunday June 7th we woke up and, after a few text messages back and forth with some friends, decided to go out for a picnic lunch at 1230.  Spoiler alert: we never made it on our picnic.

I felt my first contraction at 10AM.  It was not much, but it was something and it was much more intense than the braxton hicks contractions I had been feeling.  Stephen immediately asked if he could go mow the lawn (this is SO a second kid birth story, right?!) in case we went to the hospital later.

I told him to go ahead while Ella and I got suited up to take a walk.  We went for a short walk and this was when things really started to pick up.  My contractions started becoming really hard and intense, but they were still between 15-20 minutes apart.  I texted Stephen’s mom to come get Ella when she had a chance, and started getting her things together.

Around 11:30 Ella was picked up, and Stephen and I were in the house laboring.  I asked if we could head to his parents house and labor there since it was 10 minutes closer to the hospital and I really wanted one final picture with Ella as a family of 3.

As soon as we arrived at Stephen’s parents house my contractions came on fast and furious.  I got through each one by leaning my head into Stephen and swaying my hips back and forth while humming.  We had a great thing going and really fell into a nice rhythm.  Just like the first time around , Stephen was an incredible coach and I do not think I could have gotten through it without him!

After about an hour of laboring in Stephen’s old bedroom we took our last picture as a family of three and headed to the hospital.

addy4

One of my favorite pictures of all time.  I am so glad we took it between mind numbing contractions.

This is where things get hairy.  I had no idea that the Puerto Rican Day Parade was happening in Hartford that day, but it turns out that most of the city was shut down for the parade and after party.  Every where we turned streets were either closed or so full of people that we could not get through.  Meanwhile, I was getting slammed by contractions every 3 minutes that were lasting 45 seconds.  I finally cried to Stephen that I absolutely could not have this child on the side of the road during the parade. He immediately pulled over to ask a police officer what was the fasted way to the hospital around the parade route.  This officer, aka: my new best friend, dropped road barriers and radioed to his colleagues to let us through all closed roads on the way to the hospital.

Everything started to go REALLY fast as this point.  We got to the hospital at 3PM, we were checked at triage and checked in by 4PM .  At this point I was already 5 cm.

We labored in the hallway, in the room, on the birthing ball, everywhere!  Since the epidural all but stopped my labor last time, I was trying to wait as long as possible before getting one administered this time around.

At some point my contractions were coming on so hard and fast that I could not catch my breath in between and I started to alternately hold my breath and hyperventilate during the contractions.  At this point, I knew it was time for the drugs.

I had the epidural administered at 7CM.  Immediately after I closed my eyes to sleep and my water broke.  Within a half hour I was checked again and was 10 cm.  I started to push and less than 20 minutes later our baby girl was born.  Seriously, it happened that fast.

I was so shocked when she was born and even uttered the words “Wait?  That was it?”.  It was such a different experience than with Ella.  The epidural was still in full effect and the only thing I felt was intense pressure as Addy moved down in the birth canal.

Immediately 7 pounds and 7 oz of pure perfection were placed on my chest.  I got her to latch immediately as the placenta was delivered and I was sewn up.  Again, this was so different.  I did not feel the placenta being delivered and only needed 2 stitches as opposed to 15 last time.

She was so calm, and so wide eyed.  Every worry I had about not being able to love another child as much as Ella immediately vanished.  This baby proved to me that love truly grows, it does not divide .  She was my second born, my Addy, and I was so in love with her.

addy2

I was able to walk within an hour, and had a turkey sandwich in my hand within two!  I could not believe how great I felt despite having just given birth!  It just goes to show that each pregnancy, delivery, and baby can be so different.

The next day is one I will never forget.  Ella was able to meet her new baby sister and I thought my heart would literally explode.  She was obsessed with this new baby and I honestly felt like Addy had always been a part of our family, and had not just been born within the last 24 hours

addy3

We really tried to enjoy our time in the hospital.  We rested and nursed and took full advantage of the nursing staff and lactation consultants.

Eventually we made our way home to begin our journey as a family of four. As we were leaving the hospital I was reminded of what it was like to drive home with Ella as a newborn.  I was so scared, so nervous, and felt like I was in way over my head.  This time I was scared and nervous but also eerily calm.  I was armed with the knowledge that everything about babies is so fleeting.  The hard times pass just as fast as the good, and you do EVENTUALLY find your footing in everything.

As we drove home that day I decided to simply surrender to this season of life and take it as it came.  I knew I would be tired, I knew I would be overwhelmed.  But what I did not know was the amazing love I would feel for my girls and the calm I would feel walking into our home.  I could not wait to see what would come, and I could not wait to see Addy evolve into her own little person .

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Its a…

GIRL!!!

girl

Adeline Taylor Peters

You were a wiggly little thing during the ultrasound yesterday.  You made the technician work extra hard for the right picture to know your gender, and kept Mommy and Daddy on our toes the entire appointment.  You looked perfect, and are developing just as you should.

I cannot wait to meet you, little one

Baby Sleep Training

**please note, all posts about sleep are solely based on my experience with my baby.  please talk to your pediatrician before sleep training to make sure it is safe for your baby at that time**

After the nightmare that was 4 month sleep regression,  we decided we seriously needed to come up with a plan to begin to help Ella sleep through the night. I remembered reading that 80% of families did some sort of sleep training with young children, and that although sleep is one of the most natural activities we do a lot of children need help to figure the whole thing out.

Although I have tried to never take any one book as gospel; Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Babies really helped with sleep training. It made me realize that teaching Ella to sleep was not cruel, it was a valuable life lesson that would help her (and me) for years to come.

When we sleep trained:

I had read that the easiest time to sleep train a baby was at 6 months, before they learn object permanence.  After that , the baby knows that you are on the other side of the door and it takes them much longer to learn to soothe themselves.  Ella turned 6 months on Thursday August 25th, and that weekend was her baptism.  The following weekend Stephen and I were out of town for a wedding and Ella was staying with my mother in law.  I knew it would probably take at least a week of consistent controlled comforting for her to get it, so we pulled the trigger about a week before she turned 6 months.  In the weeks leading up to sleep training I stopped feeding Ella when she woke up at night.  I wanted to see if she could go this long without eating and she did great. She did not sound starving when she cried, and she did not wake up famished.  Once I knew she could get through the night without a snack, I knew we were good to go and she was waking out purely out of habit and inability to make herself fall back to sleep.

How we sleep trained:

Stephen and I decided to use a graduated extinction (or controlled comforting) method to sleep train Ella.  I did not have the heart or the emotional ability to do a straight Cry-It-Out method.  The plan was on the first night to follow her normal bed time routine which had been the same since she was roughly 8 weeks old (bath, massage, nursing, rocking/singing, bed).  But instead of rocking her until she fell asleep, we simply put her down after about 5 minutes of rocking.  Of course she cried, she was not used to this!  Below is how the whole thing played out:

Night 1:

6:30- bath, massage, nursing, pj’s

6:55- upstairs to rock in her room with the sound machine

7:00- put her down in her crib, started to cry

7:05- first round of comforting

7:15- second round of comforting

7:20- ASLEEP!!!

1AM- Crying. Started the timer.

1:15- first round of comforting. literally felt my heart breaking as I walked out of the room.

1:20- asleep!

630AM- awake!

Wow, that first night went so much better than I thought it would.  Previously, she was up 4 or 5 times a night.  By letting her fall asleep on her own, it looks like she was able to roll over and go back to sleep whenever she woke up in the middle of the night.  Maybe she figured out she did not need me to put her back to sleep every time she woke up.  Whatever it was, it worked!

Night two was very similar.  And by night 3 we had a baby who slept 11-12 hours.  Holy crap on a cracker that felt good!

The aftermath:

Outside of special nights when she is teething or sick, Ella is a fantastic sleeper.  Since we sleep trained she consistently sleeps 11-12 hours at night and takes two long-ish naps a day.  One aspect of sleep we have been battling is that she continually wanted to go to bed earlier and earlier, which means wake up time has gotten earlier and earlier.  We can generally keep her awake until 630PM, but then many morning she is up between 5 and 530AM.  I try to count my lucky stars that she sleep through the night so well, but sometimes that is hard while I am cursing at the coffee pot to BREW FASTER at 5AM while she crawls around my legs with all the energy in the world.  But I digress.

The bottom line is that you need to do what is right for you, your family, and most importantly your baby.  If a family bed works for you, go for it.  If waiting until your child figures out sleep on their own is the best for you, by all means, make that your game plan.  No one knows your baby better than you do, and no one can tell you what the best course of action is for you as a parent.  We choose to sleep train because it was best for us.  We felt that as long as we were attentive and affectionate parents the rest of the time we spent with Ella, that 3 nights of crying out not overshadow that.  She is such a happier baby and we are happier parents when we are well rested and functioning on all cylinders.

Would I do it again?  In a heart beat.  Anything to see this face well rested and ready to tackle the day 🙂

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8 Months

Hmm, it seems I have skipped a few months of updates 🙂  Lets make up for that shall we?

Ellag-1

 

Last time I gave an update on Ella she was 4 months old, and I had no idea that we were about to go through 4 month sleep regression.  But you know all about that, and at this point in her life there is SO much more to Ella than her sleep schedule.

For one thing, she is EATING!  I mean really eating.  Solid food, finger food, everything.  We started her on rice cereal around 5 1/2 months.

rice cereal

I was trying to wait until 6 months because of food allergies, but sister was HUNGRY.  She did wonderful with rice cereal, and we slowly started adding other foods.  I am having a blast cooking for her and introducing new food.  Right now her favorites are :

  • blueberry puffs (I am use the Organic Super Puffs)
  • blueberry or banana Stonyfield Yo Baby yogurt
  • steamed Spinach pureed with apples (my favorite to make too because its SO easy!)
  • broccoli pureed with pears (again, very easy to make)
  • shredded mozzarella cheese (cannot get it into her mouth fast enough)
  • apple cinnamon oatmeal
  • apples

Ella used to love avocado but  one day after having one for lunch she woke up from her nap covered in hives and with almost totally swollen shut eyes.  I had a minor freak out, pulled on my big girl/mommy panties and then took her to the hospital.  They said it was just a mild reaction but to avoid avocado’s for the time being.  She will most likely grow out of it, thankfully.  A life without guacamole does not sound like a very pleasant life to me.

Ella starting crawling at 7 months and man, she is on the move.  One of my favorite things to do right now and just walk behind her as she explores.  I cannot imagine what is going through her mind as she explores our house.  She is seeing everything with brand new eyes, and I want her to always have a healthy sense of adventure.  I am not really into telling her “no” at this point, unless she is doing something that is dangerous (why is my house so full of SHARP EDGES!).  I will obviously need to start setting boundaries and telling her no soon, but for now I am just enjoying watching her take in this whole new world.  She is an expert furniture surfer now too and we had to replace our coffee table with a leather ottoman in hopes of avoiding any severe head injuries.

Her sleep has been AWESOME (knock on wood) we practiced graduated extinction for sleep training at 6 months and it worked so well.  She takes two long naps a day (morning nap is usually about 2 1/2 hours after she wakes up and afternoon nap is around 2PM most days) that range in length from an hour to an hour and a half.  She is in bed asleep by 7PM, and generally sleeps until 6 or 630.  Every 4th or 5th day or so she seems to be ready to party at 4AM, but luckily those days are getting fewer and far between.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, this is my FAVORITE age 🙂

Baby Sleep- 4 Month Sleep Regression

**please note, all posts about sleep are solely based on my experience with my baby.  please talk to your pediatrician before sleep training to make sure it is safe for your baby at that time**

I wrote a post on sleep for a baby at 7 weeks awhile back.  Little did I know at the time how often baby sleep changes.  As soon as you think you have it figured out the little bugger goes and changes everything. Its a motherhood right of passage, learning that for those first few months (for most of us at least) there is no such thing as a schedule.  Or at least not one that lasts longer than a week.  And even when there is eventually a schedule, flexibility if the name of the game and you need to know that teeth, colds, special occasions, or a Monday after a weekend away can totally throw it for a loop.

Ella was always a great sleeper.  She was text book really.  She easily fell into the patterns I had read about in “Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Babies”, and with a little reinforcement from myself and Stephen she fell into some pretty predictable sleep habits.  As she got older, wake times increased in length, sleep consolidated, her first stretch of sleep at night was getting longer and longer.  At 3-4 months she took about 4 naps a day, and her first stretch of sleep would be 8-10 hours, followed by a short sleep of 2-3 hours before waking up for the day.

I had read about 4 month sleep regression when I was doing all of my baby sleep research.  I had read that this was the point when babies sleep starts to more resemble that of an adults, rather than a newborn.  I crossed my fingered that it wouldn’t happen to us, but alas, one night when Ella was about 4 1/2 months old I heard her crying.  I looked at the clock, expecting it to be between 3-5 AM (her normal wake up time at that point for a nighttime feeding) and was shocked to see that it was only 11PM.  I thought it was strange, but went into her room, fed her, comforted her, and put her back down easily.  I went back to bed and expected not to hear from her again until 5AM.  I woke up to a cry and looked at the clock. 1230 AM.  OH. MY. GOD.  I knew it was starting.  And I knew there was very little I could do about it.

The next 6 weeks or so were a blur.  She was still sleeping pretty well during the day, and going down well at night between 7-8PM, but night time became a nightmare.  Starting around 10-11PM every night she would be up frequently.  Sometimes every hour.  She was harder to put back down than when she was a new born because she was just so AWARE.   She was also getting used to life without a swaddle, which presented problems of its own.  These frequent night time wake ups happened for the next month to month and a half, until we sleep trained her right around 6 months.  I am going to write a separate post about sleep training entirely (we used graduated extinction) but for now I just want to give some tips for getting through 4 month sleep regression without completely losing your mind:

  • Go to bed as soon as baby goes to bed.  This is tough, especially if you want to spend time with your partner or horizontal on the couch.  I didn’t do this every night, but when I did I felt more ready to meet her needs during those frequent night time wake ups.
  • Send Dad in.  Take turns going into the babies room with your partner.  As terrible as it sounds, sometimes the baby realizes Dad is just not worth waking up for.  This never happened with us, but at least when Stephen went in I could stay in bed
  • Don’t create bad habits.  If co-sleeping is not something you want to do, then do not start now.  If you want to co- sleep, than by all means go for it.  I am not one to judge.  But if co-sleeping is simply not for you, do not fall into this habit.  It will be so hard to break.  I realized co-sleeping kept her asleep for long periods of time and had to try my hardest not to give into it.  The good thing is that when I really need a solution fast (ie: in a hotel room) I know that I can pull her into bed with me and she will sleep like a baby (a baby that is not going through 4 month sleep regression, that is).
  • Do not expect much of yourself during the day.  Ella went through this lovely phase before I had left my job.  So going to work everyday was a friggin’ nightmare.  I could barely hold my head up let alone talk to hedge fund managers about amortizing their legal expenses.  Do not hold yourself to an impossible standard.  Did you get dressed today?  Good.  You are already ahead of the curve.
  • Do not beat yourself up.  This is a totally natural and normal phase that babies go through.  I just kept telling myself that Ella was going through this because her brain was developing correctly.  This was a GOOD thing.

It does not last forever, but it really does suck while its happening.  Just breath deep, enjoy some extra snuggles with those night time wake ups (really the only silver lining in the whole thing) and know that when you get that first night of good sleep after this it will feel so so so good!

 

4 Months

Dear Ella,

4 months

On June 22nd you turned 4 months old.  This is the first month that I can honestly say that I BELIEVE you are 4 months old!  You are changing each and every day, learning new things, and showing more and more of your personality.  You are crushing milestones and packing on those ounces like it is your job.  I can honestly say that at this point 4 months is my FAVORITE age.

Month 4 of your life was a big one.  This was the month that mommy returned to work!  Mommy had a rough transition back into the working world, however, I knew you were having a great time playing with your cousins, your aunt, and grandma all day long.  Luckily Grandma sends me lots of pictures of you playing throughout the day!

rock n play

This month we transitioned your out of your swaddle for sleeping because you started to roll over from your back to your front.  This caused some sleep regression and some very tired parents for a few days.  However, after a few rough nights you seemed to find your groove again with sleep.

You are still being exclusively breast fed and have not yet had any formula or solids.  Because your fathers side of the family has so many food allergies we are going to wait to give you solids as close to 6 months as possible.  But I am ready when you are!  Mommy bought lots of colorful spoons, bowls, a mesh feeder, and a fruit and veggie masher.  The rice cereal is in the pantry and ready to be served whenever we feel you are ready!

This month you also celebrated your Great grandparents 60th wedding anniversary with a trip to the Charlestown, RI beach!

beach

 

We also braved a nice restaurant with three little ones who were up past their bed times to celebrate this amazing anniversary.  You wore a new fancy dress, so at least you looked really pretty while you were melting down.

neon

 

During month 4 of your life you also decided that baby carrying while facing mommy was just not cool anymore.  You prefer to face forward, see the world, and laugh at that funny baby in the mirror.

mirror

 

You have been practicing sitting up in your anywhere chair and the bump bo!

bumpbo

chair

 

Overall, 4 months is my absolute favorite age so far.  I cannot wait to see what month 5 brings us!

 

My Struggle with Baby Blues

I have sat down to write this post so many times, but could not find the words.  When I first found out I was pregnant I was over the moon.  I had wanted a baby my entire life.  I worked with babies teaching swim lessons and helping to run a day camp while in high school and college.  I babysat for several different families and always loved the children I cared for as if they were my own.  Long story short, I could not wait to be a mama.  It was literally all I have ever wanted.

In college I met the man of my dreams.  Stephen and I fell in love fast, got married young, and started our life together.  I had several career goals, but my over arching goal was always to be a mom.  You know the story already about how we met our financial goals, and about how we got pregnant.  Everything was falling into place.  The day I went into labor I could not believe that this dream I had dreamt since I was 18 was finally coming true.  I was going to have my baby, I was going to be a mom.

The first two weeks after delivery were a whirlwind.  I remember texting my sister my first night home with Ella saying I had no idea what I was doing, and how completely overwhelmed I was.  She, of course, understood, and told me that every new mom feels that way.  I knew I could do this, I would just take everything a feeding at a time and with the help of Stephen and my family we would figure everything out.  After the first two weeks, I started to feel like myself again.  Walking was easier, breast feeding was easier, Ella was sleeping well and gaining weight and seemed happy and I felt more confident everyday. Weeks 2 through 6 of Ella’s life passed in a happy blur.  

At the 6 weeks mark, right when everything was supposed to be getting easier and easier, I felt like a dark cloud descended on me.  I felt as if I was walking through a fog that I just could not shake.  The weather was cold which made getting out of the house really hard.  Ella decided she hated the car so even a quick trip to Target turned into a scream fest that left me either in tears or completely shaken for the rest of the day.  Even though Ella was sleeping well, I was not.  I was up every 30-60 minutes checking on her, or just laying in bed unable to fall asleep.  I was exhausted, sad, weepy, and just barely making it through my days.  The only easy part about this time was actually loving Ella.  I never felt as if I did not WANT to take care of her during this time, but the actual act of caring for her was becoming harder and harder.

This dark cloud feeling lasted roughly 3 weeks.  Three long weeks where I had no idea what was wrong with me.  I had wanted to care for a child of my own my entire life, and now that I was finally doing it I felt like I was failing.  Why was this so hard?  I found myself having selfish thoughts, wishing for my old life, wanting to go to a yoga class or go for a run at a moments notice rather than having to plan my day around it.  I also did not realize how sad I truly was until I was on the other side of this dark time.  

About half way through our trip to Florida I started to feel this cloud lift.  I was able to have some time alone with Stephen on this trip since we had so many “baby sitters” with us.  I was able to go for a run every morning, since Stephen did not need to go to work and could watch after Ella in the mornings.  When I felt overwhelmed there were other hands and arms that were more than willing to take over my duties for a little while.  I cannot overstate how much this trip helped me snap out of my slump.  Everyday I felt stronger, everyday I felt more like myself, and everyday I was more and more thankful that I was a mama.

We still have bad days here and there.  Just two days ago I had a major mama melt down in my kitchen related to breast feeding.  Being a mom is all at once the hardest thing I have ever done and the most amazing.  It scares me how much I love my daughter, but I realize that I also need to carve out time for myself.  Going for a run does not mean I am a bad mom.  She will not forget who I am if I need to leave her for a little while, and I am not a failure if I decide to supplement with formula.  

In my opinion, anyone who goes through pregnancy, childbirth, post pardum, and attempts breast feeding is a freaking rock star.  I am now three months into this journey, and am starting to feel like I can roll with the punches a little easier.  I want to start blogging regularly again, I want to ramp up my fitness, and I want to make sure I am still me, while being a mom.

Baby Sleep- 7 Weeks

Warning: VERY long post!  There is just so much to talk about when it comes to baby sleep.

First of all, I agree with Caitlin, when she said that talking about baby sleep is like talking about religion and politics.  Everyone has their own opinion and their own way of doing things.  In my opinion, every baby is different and every mommy is different so lets stop fighting about it and just share information without judgement.  k? k.

From the time she was brought home from the hospital Ella has been an awesome sleeper.  Stephen and I felt so lucky that she slept so well.  She took nice long naps and I even had to wake her up every 3 hours at night to feed her.  After the first week, I stopped waking her up and assumed that she would tell me when she wanted to eat.  I started putting her down for the night at 9PM and she would sleep in 3.5 to 4 hour stretches until 8 or 9 AM. During the day, she was like any other new born and loved sleeping on either me or Stephen.  I wanted skin to skin time so I tried to allow her to sleep on me for at least one nap a day, and the rest of the time I would put her either in her swing or in the Rock N Play sleeper.  We started to experience the “witching hour” around week 2.  Ella would be inconsolable from 7-9 every night.  The only thing that soothed her was a boob.  I would continually switch her from one side of my chest to the other for those two hours and like clock work she would PASS OUT at 9PM.  It left us both exhausted, crying, and pretty upset.

Starting at around 4-5 weeks this child really began to WAKE UP!  She was still an awesome sleeper at night, and the first stretch of sleep was very often 4-5 hours, followed by a 3-4 hour stretch, and then sometimes she would go back to sleep for 1-2 hours.  During the day her awake times were longer and her naps were shorter.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I was having!  Making silly faces, singing, dancing, and watching her play on her playmat not only filled my days but it fulfilled me in a way I never thought possible.  She was also eating every two hours during the day.  She was still very fussy from 7-9 every night and would only be consoled with a boob in her mouth.

Starting in the beginning of week 6 I read the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby” and it really opened my eyes.  I was totally mis-reading Ella’s cues and was feeding her when she was really telling me she was tired.  After reading this book I spent an entire day watching Ella and realized that she will go from slightly tired to tired to over tired and screaming in a matter of 10 minutes.  I noticed that her movement starts to slow down and she will let out a little yawn right as she gets tired.  If I can get her swaddled and into the swing with a little white noise in the back ground right after this first yawn she slips right into dream land and will sleep soundly for 1-2 hours.  If I miss this first cue she easily gets over tired and over stimulated and will cry.  Then it is much harder to get her to sleep and her nap is much shorter and much more restless.

Ella has always been a calm baby, but I have noticed how much happier she is since she is better rested.  I also realized we were putting her to bed too late.  By the end of the day she was way over stimulated and could not handle it.  Since then we have started winding her down for bed at 7:30PM by bathing her (every other day) in a warm bath, giving her a little massage with Berts Bee’s Calming Baby lotion, reading a book or two (if there is time and she is not showing signs of being tired), feeding her in her dark quiet room, and putting her in the Rock N Play in a swaddle.  She is fast asleep most nights by 8PM.  Some nights we need to go in to replace the pacifier and rock her a little.  But most nights (knock on wood) she falls right to sleep without much coaxing.

Right now her schedule looks roughly like this (and I fully expect this to change within a week.  Babies change so fast!)

  • Roughly 7:30 AM: Wake up!  Time for a diaper change and a feed
  • 8:30 AM: Within an hour of wake up she is ready for her first nap of the day.  As soon as I see that first yawn its into the swaddle and into the swing.  She will sleep for 2-3 hours and this is her longest nap of the day typically.  This is awesome because it gives me time to shower, get dressed, make myself breakfast and have a cup of super mom potion coffee.  I also pump at least once during this time to keep my supply up.  I am also trying to build a back up supply of breast milk in the freezer for when I go back to work.
  • 11:30 AM: Up!  Time for another diaper change and a feeding.  I usually change her into an outfit at this point.  If I want to get anything done outside the house this is the time to do it.  We will run an errand or go for a walk at this point.
  • 1:30 PM: Back to sleep by this time at the latest.  Another fact I learned from “Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Baby” is that newborns should never be awake for more than 2 hours maximum.  That time is about all the time their little brains can handle.  She will typically sleep for 1-2 hours at this point.  I also pump again during this time.
  • 3:30 PM: Awake!  Diaper change and eating.  She is typically awake and her happiest during this time.  I cannot believe how much fun she is! We sing, dance, do tummy time, and maybe go for another walk
  • 5:30 PM: back to sleep!  and daddy is home!  THANK GOD!  I am very ready for some adult conversation at this point!  We get to start dinner as well and chat about the day.  Which is amazing.  This is also her shortest nap of the day, typically about 30 minutes to 1 hour.  I pump again while she is asleep.
  • 6:30 PM: Awake!  And Hungry! After she eats it time to get ready for bed.  If it is bath night I will start that, but if its not I try my best not to stimulate her too much.  She is usually really fussy at this point which is tough since its usually the only time Stephen has with her.  I love watching them bond 🙂  Its really amazing.
  • 7:30 PM: Upstairs for books, another feeding (even if she doesn’t seem hungry I will feed her because it seems to soothing for her), and bed.
  • 8 PM: Fast asleep!  Time for Mommy and Daddy time.
  • 1:30 AM- 2:30 AM: She will wake up for a feeding.  A quick diaper change, 15 minutes on each boob, re-swaddled and back in the Rock N Play.
  • 5 AM: Some days she will wake up for a feeding at this point, sometimes not.
  • 7:30 – 8:30 AM: Up again!  Time to start another day !

Keep in mind there is really no “typical” day with a newborn.  This is just a rough idea of how we spend our days!

One Month Must Haves

When I was pregnant I always enjoyed reading other new mama’s “must have’s” lists on their blog.  I know every baby is different, but it was always interesting to see what people used and did not use once their babies came.  Below you can see my 1 month must have list and links for where to purchase these items:

Boppy Pillow

I seriously could not live without this pillow.  It has made breast feeding so much easier!  Especially during those 3AM feedings when you can barely hold your head up, let alone hold your baby to your boob for an extended period of time.

PURCHASE THE BOPPY PILLOW

boppy pillow

Lansinoh Nipple Cream

Laugh if you must, but this stuff was a life saver.  I am convinced I would have switched to formula within a week if I had not used to much of it.  Every lactation consultant under the sun will tell you that breast feeding should not hurt if you are doing it right.  But the truth is that your nipples are probably not used to being sucked on 8-12 times a day for that length of time.  They need to toughen up, and until they do this cream will provide the relief you need.  It is also 100% safe for your baby, so you do not need to worry about washing your nipple off before a feeding.

PURCHASE LANSINOH NIPPLE CREAM

nipple cream

Newborn Pajama’s

A lot of people told me not to bother buying any newborn pajama’s since babies fit into this size for such a small amount of time.  And after hearing at one of our ultrasounds that Ella could be close to 9 pounds, I did not bother buying many new born outfits.  When we got home from the hospital I quickly realized that newborn babies need outfit changes a lot, and putting cute outfits on them everyday is not only not necessary but it can be painful (anyone ever tried putting a cute ruffled onsie over a newborns head?  Don’t do it. You will both cry).  So a few days after she was born I went to Babies R Us and purchased 6 pairs of newborn pajama’s that I rotated her through everyday.  I love the Carter’s brand with feet and zippers.  very easy for changing and they wash really well.

PURCHASE CARTER’S NEWBORN PAJAMA’S

photo

Fisher Price Rock N Play Sleeper

I am convinced that this (along with the Miracle Blanket, next item) is the reason Ella is such a great sleeper.  It keeps her from spitting up her latest feeding, and keeps her nice and cozy. I also love that I can just reach over while still laying in bed to rock her if she starts to get fussy.

PURCHASE THE FISHER PRICE ROCK N PLAY SLEEPER

rock n play sleeper

Miracle Blanket

Ella escaped from every single swaddle we tried.  She even got her little arms out of the super tight ones that the nurses did in the hospital.  But this blanket is the equivalent of a baby straight jacket and keeps her under wraps so nicely.  It is a little complicated to use at first, but once we watched this youtube video, Stephen and I got the hang of it.

PURCHASE THE MIRACLE BLANKET

miracle blanket

“The Happiest Baby on the Block”

Dr. Harvey Karp is a God among men, as far as I am concerned.  There were many nights when Ella experienced her fussy time (generally from 7-9 at night) and without the techniques in this book I do not think Stephen and I could have ever gotten her to calm down.  When you are tired and overwhelmed there is nothing worse than an inconsolable baby, especially when that baby is your own.  I love how the book explains that babies get over stimulated and by the end of the day their immature brains have reached their breaking point, which causes the fussiness and crying.  It made me feel better knowing that she was not crying because she hated us (thank you hormones), but that this was something very natural that most babies experience.

PURCHASE THE HAPPIEST BABY ON THE BLOCK

happiest baby on the block

Items for Mama

In the first month there were a few things that were really key to helping me through the day and making me feel comfortable:

  • Comfortable sweat pants or pajama pants.  It was nice to change into a clean pair of sweats each day.  I tried to wear jeans one day when we had our first pediatrician appointment, but they were so uncomfortable because of my stitches.  For the rest of the month I only wore jeans a hand full of time, and lived in nice sweat pants most of the time.  
  • Nursing Tank Tops. All of my nursing tanks are from Target.  I loved being able to put on a clean tank top each day and then just throw a zip up sweat shirt or cardigan over it.  It was the most convienent thing for me when it came to easily feeding Ella.
  • Easy and nutrient dense food. As always, when you eat like crap you feel like crap.  It is even harder to NOT eat crap when you are living in 2-3 hour increments and barely have time to shower, let alone make a healthy meal.  I found that having easy to grab food was key.  Easy peel clementines, pre-hard boiled eggs (I did them myself.  Buying them pre-hard boiled seems weird to me.  Not sure why.), pre cut veggies (buying the veggie trays that most people buy for party’s was clutch), apples, instant oatmeal, and apples.

MY HUSBAND!!

No, this item is not for sale on Amazon 🙂  I just have to include a shameless plug of my husband.  He has been amazing this last month.  Single parents, you officially have my ut most respect. I have no idea how you do this alone.  Stephen changes diapers in the middle of the night, takes her when I am way too tired to soothe her when she is crying, makes dinner for me most nights, and is just an all around supportive and amazing partner.  It makes my heart burst every time I see him hold Ella because he just loves her so much.  He talks so sweetly too her and I can already tell he is going to be an amazing father.  I really never knew just how much I loved him until I saw how much he loved Ella.