Helping Baby Sleep at Daylight Saving Time

How to Help Baby Sleep at Daylight Saving Time

I love the whole “spring forward” part of Daylight Saving Time. The longer days are a sign that summer is on the way, and with kids around it’s so nice…

Helping Baby Sleep at Daylight Saving Time

I love the whole “spring forward” part of Daylight Saving Time. The longer days are a sign that summer is on the way, and with kids around it’s so nice to have that extra hour of light to be able to run around outside. I think the only downside is helping those kiddos figure out their sleep patterns when the clocks change. It can really mess with their inner clocks, and definitely takes a few days (or even a week!) to bounce back to a good schedule. Probably, out of all of my mom friends, I’m the biggest stickler about sleep. I feel like a nerd about it sometimes, but I swear it’s been a lifesaver for our family! I’m a firm believer that sleep is super important for little ones — it lays the foundation for everything from good physical development, cognitive development, sociability, and more. And since we’re so big on sleep in this household, we’ve nailed down a few tips to help ease the Daylight Saving transition for little ones.

In researching the best way to help Hank and Maggie sleep better at the time change, I kept coming across info from Kim West. Have you heard of her? They literally call her “The Sleep Lady.”  I can’t tell you how many middle-of-the-night Google sessions led me to her online — she’s so much of the reason we have been able to get our littles the restful sleep they need. So lots of what we try with our kids comes from her mega-smarts about babies & sleep. Read on for our tips!

Ease Into It. We did this with Henry on his first spring forward and it worked really well. A few days ahead, we started moving his bedtime toward the time change, by maybe 15 or 20 minutes a day. When the time change actually arrived, he was already on the new schedule. Worked like a charm.

Keep Them Dry.  Henry wasn’t terribly concerned about wet diapers at night, but we are finding that Maggie is definitely pickier. She’ll wake up if she’s too wet. Our favorite nighttime diapers are the Pampers Baby Dry — they just work really well for us. I think we tried just about everything else on the market, and these are the ones that keep Maggie sleeping the most soundly. Around the time change, we take extra care to make sure that other sleep disruptions (like wet diapers) are minimized. These can keep her dry overnight (with 12-hour overnight protection) and I really feel like they do pull wetness away from her skin and into the absorbent core.

Get Those Naps.  I think any mom will tell you that an overtired kid is one of the biggest obstacles to good sleep. Missed naps = too tired toward bedtime = a messy time change = total disaster for all involved. Am I right?! So especially around Daylight Saving, we are careful to get in quality naps on a regular schedule for both kids. That way they get to the new bedtime without being exhausted.

Wake Them Up.  There was one morning with Maggie last month where she was sleeping so sweetly I just didn’t have the heart to wake her up. I let her sleep in and it messed with her schedule for a full 48 hours! Learn from my mistakes, people, and wake those babies up at the time change. If they’re sleepy at their usual wake up time, Kim recommends a “dramatic wake-up.” Sounds… dramatic, right? All it means is to open the windows, let some sunlight in, get the sounds of the day going, that type of thing. Set the stage for daytime so that baby understands it’s time to wake up; it helps reset their internal clock, too.

So gang, here’s hoping you and your littles spring forward without too much chaos. And now for a quick little giveaway — repin something from our Baby Sleep Pinterest board for the chance to win one of 10 coupons for $5 off Pampers Baby Dry diapers! While you’re there, check out the infographic from Pampers all about DST. For more information about their complete range, visit the Pampers site here. Sweet dreams! xoxo

This post is sponsored by Pampers. All opinions are my very own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

Maggie // Five Months

Sweet Marguerite is a 5-month-old nugget! She’s coming alive, and I’m feeling more and more like we have two kids instead of a kid and an infant. I know she’s…

Sweet Marguerite is a 5-month-old nugget! She’s coming alive, and I’m feeling more and more like we have two kids instead of a kid and an infant. I know she’s still a tiny little thing, but milestones are piling up and she’s definitely out of that fresh baby stage. It’s so exciting. 🙂

These days, she’s pretty much back to sleeping through the night (knock on wood). Being sick for so long threw her for a loop but I feel like she’s catching up so quickly to anything that she lost that month. Her weight is back on track (there was one week where she grew out of literally all of her clothes!), and her height is at the top of the charts. She’s rolling like a champ and is starting solid foods, too. This little one loves listening to people make music, watching her brother be crazy, and any toy that squeaks, with Sophie the Giraffe being a particular fave.

It’s funny — I look back at Henry’s month photos and I remember how exuberant he was, just smiling and screeching and laughing like crazy. And now I see Maggie, and it’s clear how different she is. It’s not that she’s not smiley, because she is. She’s a happy little thing. But she’s definitely sweeter and more relaxed than Hank was — observing until something truly tickles her and then laughing with a knowing little chuckle. I’m so excited to see how these personalities are shaped as they get older. That being said, the two sometimes look so similar. There was one shot we got of Maggie that I felt like I had almost seen before, and then I realized it was a photo of Hank when he was five months:

Sweet little nuggets of mine. Here are a few more snaps for comparison! You can also go see all of Maggie’s Months and Henry’s Months. xoxo

Baby Shower Onesie Decorating

A Baby Shower Onesie Decorating Station (That Doesn’t Suck)

One of my best girlfriends is having a baby! We celebrated her recently with a baby shower and I was put in charge of a onesie decorating station. I was…

Baby Shower Onesie Decorating

One of my best girlfriends is having a baby! We celebrated her recently with a baby shower and I was put in charge of a onesie decorating station. I was kind of stumped at first, because I didn’t want my sweet friend to end up with a pile of onesies with smeared puff-paint all over them. We can do better than that, right?! Right. So I thought and thought and came up with a few ideas so that guests could make quick, easy decorated baby clothes that would look cute enough to actually put on the kid. At first I wasn’t going to post about it but I actually put a good amount of work into it, so hopefully this helps a whole generation of baby shower planners to dodge the puff-paint bullet. Read on to see what we put together!

Use more than just onesies. We had the idea to branch out and include other pieces so that our girl didn’t end up with an overabundance of any one style. We used onesies, t-shirts, leggings, shorts, and headbands. The clothing pieces were in a variety of sizes as well, so that baby could grow into some of them and use them for a while to come.

Baby Shower Onesie Decorating

Repurpose. A good number of the onesies we used came from another mama’s stash whose kids are now grown. We salvaged the ones that were in good shape and I gave them a dye job. We used a few different colors to mix it up. I used some good old fashioned RIT dye in bright colors, leaving the onesies in the dye bath for various amounts of time to create different saturations of color.

How to decorate. I planned a few different mediums and methods for guests to use while they were decorating the onesies. Spoiler alert: there was no puff paint involved.

  • Fabric Markers. We provided fabric markers and stencils so guests could either freehand designs or use stencils to make them a little more tidy.
  • Iron-On Letters. We got a bunch of iron-on letters and had an iron on hand. These are super easy to use (just like we did in this post!) and make for fun designs. Just peel off the letters and iron them on.
  • Iron-On Vinyl. Because I have a Cricut machine, I could easily prep some designs in the iron-on vinyl material and have them ready for guests. Guests just cut out the piece of the design that they wanted and ironed it right onto the clothing. It was fun to see what they would mix and match! If you have a Cricut too, you can just upload some quick designs and cut them out of a 12″ x 12″ piece of vinyl. A few designs go a long way.
  • Fabric Fusion Sheets. I got a few sheets of Fabric Fusion Sheets and prepped them ahead of time. To do this, peel off one side of the backing on a sheet of Fabric Fusion and stick the sheet to the wrong side of a rectangle of fabric. Give your guests scissors to cut shapes out of the prepped fabric. Once a shape is cut, peel off the other side of the backing and adhere it to your onesie. That simple! Running it through the dryer will set the adhesive.

Baby Shower Onesie Decorating

Baby Shower Onesie Decorating

Leave Instructions. I prepped a sheet of instructions to leave on the onesie decorating table so that guests could make sense of everything. If you’d like to download it, its right here.

Bring Supplies. I stocked the table with a few extra supplies: scissors, pens/pencils, scrap paper, a couple of irons, and a small ironing board.

I was so happy to see the results of all this planning! Baby ended up with a whole pile of clothes that are definitely cute enough to wear for a good long time. Everybody had a good time figuring out how to decorate their pieces, and it was all pretty quick and easy. And I’m still feeling pretty smug for having avoided even a single tube of puff paint. 😉 xoxo

Baby Shower Onesie Decorating

Baby and Mama

Our RSV Story

I’m sitting here in the studio, sun streaming in through the windows, listening to Henry crow gleefully at my mom while he eats a snack, and Maggie giggle and coo…

Baby and Mama

I’m sitting here in the studio, sun streaming in through the windows, listening to Henry crow gleefully at my mom while he eats a snack, and Maggie giggle and coo at Ryan. Today, I have hope for my kids’ health. A few weeks ago, I truly wasn’t sure. I actually debated writing this post because going back and rehashing the story of how sick they were last month is still pretty painful. But if it helps even one or two of you who have kids dealing with RSV, it’ll be worth it. It’s scary but not insurmountable.

During December and early January, Henry had four back-to-back ear infections. For some reason we just couldn’t get him well. The poor kid was always in pain (although pretty cheerful), and developed this cough that would shake his whole body. He put up with it, and we just kept going back and forth to the doctor. Each time, we’d get a different antibiotic and more advice. I hated pumping his little body full of medicine, but we didn’t know what else to do. Eventually the cough persisted enough that his doctors began to suspect asthma. So we started an inhaler. He started having coughing fits that he couldn’t control, and he would just cough for minutes on end. Finally one night in January, after a few days of a fever, he had a coughing fit and breathing problems that were enough for me to throw him in the car at 2 am and drive to the ER. They gave us a breathing treatment, steroids, a chest x-ray, and sent us home with a nebulizer. I was shaken but glad to have tools on hand to help the coughing attacks. The steroids had (and still have) me worried, but it was a 5-day course and then he’d be done.

So we started the nebulizer and inhaler therapy. During the days, things slowly, slowly improved. But during the nights he would still get coughing fits. So that’s when we started holding him upright at night so he could sleep. We’d take it in shifts, holding his hot little 32-pound body on ours so that he’d be on an incline and any congestion wouldn’t worsen his cough.

A few days into that, Maggie woke up with a little cough and watery eyes. And I just knew she had whatever Henry had. But with a three month old, it seemed so much scarier. After just a couple of days, she was feverish, struggling to pull in air, coughing so hard she couldn’t catch her breath, her eyes would stream tears – it was just so sad and scary. We took both kids in again and both turned up with a positive RSV test. RSV is a respiratory virus. It causes an infection in the respiratory tract and basically presents itself like a mega-cold, and in Maggie’s case, can also cause bronchiolitis. But with infants, it can be life threatening and you need to be extremely watchful. She had a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia – holding my infant down on an x-ray machine is something that I’d like to never have to repeat. She was clear of pneumonia, but any time we would lay her on her back it was clear that she immediately couldn’t breathe. So that started another week of us up all night, holding her in shifts. This was sprinkled with Henry still needing us in the middle of the night, so for about two weeks we were each running on just a couple of hours of sleep nightly. Looking back, the stress was probably compounded by the lack of sleep.

We eventually worked out a system with Maggie. Because she’s so little and RSV is a virus, there was really no medication we could give her. She did get a little baby inhaler to help the wheezing. Other than that, we would hold her upright in a super-steamy bathroom about 5 or 6 times a day, and bounce and pat her back to loosen up the junk in her chest. Sometimes this was the only thing that would get her coughing under control. More than a few times I nursed her in the bathroom just to get her calmed down.

In the midst of all of this, there were days where I truly couldn’t get my head on straight to see an end to all of the illness. I was convinced that I was going to lose one of the kids, or that they’d be sick forever. The virus that grabbed them was just so intense and so scary, and I couldn’t see my way around it. Then one evening, we were all together and I realized I hadn’t heard either of them cough for a few minutes. A few minutes stretched into 10. And just like that, things turned around.

It has not, by any means, been a quick recovery. We are still dealing with the after-effects even now. Maggie went from sleeping through the night all by herself to waking and needing to eat or wanting a pacifier. Major regression. So we are working on that. She’s also still dealing with residual congestion which will probably be clearing for a while. Henry is being treated for asthma that’s triggered by viruses, so we’re nailing down breathing treatments and therapy for him. I’m so proud of how he’s adjusted to all of the inhaler and nebulizer use – he’s been a brave little dude. He’ll be getting tubes in his ears this month to help with the ear infections as well. I myself am feeling a little shellshocked. Some days it almost feels scary to hope that they’re healthy and will continue to be healthy. But Ryan and I found out that positivity is crucial, and especially that the little ones need us to be upbeat about it all.

After a final tally, we visited the doctor fourteen times between the two kids during December and January. All of this is to say: be vigilant during this season, especially if you’re around little ones. Wash your hands, wash their hands, wipe everything down, and if you’ve got a sick kid, keep ’em home. I wouldn’t wish what we went through on anybody, and I know in my heart that we probably had an easy time of it compared to some families. Thanks so much to everyone for your kind thoughts and well wishes! Here’s to only getting healthier this year. xoxo

Baby Maggie Four Months

Maggie // Four Months

Our little Baby Love is four months old today! It’s kind of hard to believe, because we’ve been pretty much battling illness with her since the three month mark. I’ll…

Baby Maggie Four Months

Baby Maggie Four Months

Our little Baby Love is four months old today! It’s kind of hard to believe, because we’ve been pretty much battling illness with her since the three month mark. I’ll fill you in on that a bit more later, but suffice it to say she fought a nasty case of RSV and is finally getting back to herself. I have a feeling we’ll be dealing with the after-effects for a few weeks, but for now I’m just so glad to have our little sunshine back.

In the meantime, she rolled over from back to front for the first time the other day! She hasn’t had too much time for any other milestones because she’s been so sick. But she is professional at using a baby inhaler for her wheezing, and is the bravest little nugget when it comes to getting through a coughing attack. At the three month mark she was sleeping through the night but has regressed a bit since being so sick, so we are working back toward that goal. I think we’ll get there.

Take a peek at her month photos down below — I feel like she grew so much this month! xoxo

P.S. Henry at four months.

Baby Maggie Months 1-4

How to Help Baby Sleep Through the Night by Three Months

Getting Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Let me start this post by just saying that we are by no means sleep wizards over here. One of the heaviest challenges of parenthood, in my opinion, is sleep…

How to Help Baby Sleep Through the Night by Three Months

Let me start this post by just saying that we are by no means sleep wizards over here. One of the heaviest challenges of parenthood, in my opinion, is sleep and all of the drama that comes along with it. And we are not without those challenges, to be sure! But somehow, we figured out more or less what worked for our kids and got baby sleeping through the night by three months old. We’ve had so many questions about how we did it (and I spent many wee hours googling about baby sleep patterns in the kids’ early weeks), so I thought I’d break it down in a detailed way.

So probably this isn’t for you, 20-or-30-something-gal-with-no-kids-in-sight. But trust me when I say that if kids are anywhere in your future, you’re gonna want to bookmark this. Because there is no more desperate time than 3 in the morning when the kid won’t sleep and all you want are a few consecutive hours of z’s for yourself. Now let’s get down to business. Click to read the breakdown of how we got our kids to sleep through the night!

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

DIY Photo Album with Instax Film

There’s this thing that happens to parents — I like to call it the Documentation Fail. You have a kid and you totally mean to take photos all the time and…

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

There’s this thing that happens to parents — I like to call it the Documentation Fail. You have a kid and you totally mean to take photos all the time and print them out and put them in a baby book for the kid to enjoy for years to come. And then you have a baby and thanks to your smartphone maybe you realize to snap some photos, but they pretty much just sit there in your camera roll collecting dust, never to be seen again. I can’t tell you how many adorable photos I have of my babes that have never seen the light of day. I don’t even really remember I have them. BUT! I just fixed the Fail. I discovered that Fujifilm has a printer that will print instax film using any photo you’ve got in your phone. So like any mother obsessed with her adorable kids, I decided to finally get a book together of Henry’s monthly photos from his first couple of years.

Materials

  • smartphone with photos
  • Instax SHARE Printer SP-2
  • FUJIFILM Instax Mini instant film
  • spiral bound book or album
  • patterned paper
  • washi tape
  • double stick tape
  • scissors

The printer is super easy to use (I didn’t even need Ryan to show me how to set it up, ha!) and I had Henry’s prints in my hands in about 10 minutes. You just download the app that connects with the printer, jump on the printer’s wifi, and select the photos you want to print. You can even edit them, make them into collages, or add little templates for holidays. So because I had all of these photos on my phone, I was able to just choose and print one from each month. They print on FUJIFILM Instax Mini instant film, which is so fun!

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Once you’ve got your photos all printed, find a blank spiral bound notebook. Grab some washi tape and fun paper to decorate your book. We added a background paper to each page with double stick tape and taped the images onto the background with patterned washi tape. If you like, label each month.

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

I love that I finally have a really simple way to get our daily snapshots off of my camera and into my life! We’ve already got these plastered all over our fridge, too. Even though we take posed monthly photos of both of the kids, this is a chance to print some of the photos that we take while we’re just doing our normal day-to-day stuff. I will always love holding a photo in my hands better than looking at it on my phone, especially the little moments we catch that aren’t part of some photo shoot. And by the way, you could make a book like this for anyone! It would make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetheart or your bestie, a fun birthday gift, or a great idea for a teacher gift from the whole class.

I showed Henry his album and he wants to flip through it every day and have me tell him where we took each photo. That kid loves a story. He also wants us to make one for Maggie (hello, melt my heart), so I’ve been letting him pick photos and press the Print button which totally floats his boat. I’m thinking we’re gonna need to get some more film. 😉 xoxo

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

Monthly Baby Photo Album with Instax Photos

This post is sponsored by Fujifilm. All ideas and opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

Self-Care for New Moms

Adventures in Parenthood // Self-Care for New Moms

I’m going to be honest. I’ve started writing this post three different times, gotten halfway through, and chucked every version so far. I can’t find the words for this one,…

Self-Care for New Moms

I’m going to be honest. I’ve started writing this post three different times, gotten halfway through, and chucked every version so far. I can’t find the words for this one, guys. So I decided to just pretend I’m talking to you instead, and tell you why this one is so hard for me to figure out.

I’m having a tough time getting it right because what I want to say is that being a mom is hard. But not just hard. Like, harder than anything you’ll ever do, hard. (And that it’s also the best thing that you could imagine. But describing that dichotomy without cliche is nearly impossible.) Not only hard mentally, but physically — nobody warns a new mom about the toll giving birth takes on your body. Then that beautiful baby shows up and you are the go-to gal around the clock, especially if you’re breastfeeding. So it’s no wonder we see mothers of newborns roaming around in sweatpants, with wild hair and exhausted stares. You can spot a newborn mom a mile away. I know. I am one, for the second time.

But what if we, as moms, could convince ourselves that the kids are okay for just long enough to practice a little self-care? What would happen? I tried it the other day and guess what — the world didn’t stop spinning. My family was fine. And when I came back to them, I felt like a better version of myself, which meant I was a better mom for my babies.

Self-Care for New Moms

Self-Care for New Moms

Maggie is a tricky eater. We’ve been nursing since she was born but I can’t quite figure her out. Some days she eats nonstop, some days she won’t eat a thing, and some days she eats and then just throws it all back up on me. My natural reaction? Worry. I worry about my milk production, I worry she’s getting the food she needs, I worry if it’s something that I’m doing wrong. And all that worry just compounds itself to make nursing a stressful, exhausting experience (as if it wasn’t a tall order already). So recently I decided to just… relax about it. I made myself a cup of Mother’s Milk tea, gave the kids to Ryan, and just sat down for a minute. I hadn’t had a cup of tea by myself in years, and even just that small, simple, 5-minute ritual was enough to settle my brain and my heart. I chose the Mother’s Milk tea because it’s full of herbs that promote healthy lactation and support breastmilk production – another bit of self-care that brought me peace of mind. I finished my tea, and then next time I fed Maggie we were both so much more relaxed. All I could think while I was feeding her was how I’m so much better for my family when I take time to care for myself.

So I’ve been doing that more than I did with Henry, and it’s amazing how I feel more like myself this time around. Less stressed. More engaged. Able to enjoy my babies more. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not running off to the spa every day (although doesn’t that sound amazing?!). But I am taking time to get to the gym, or to do a little yoga, or to take a hot shower, or to make healthy choices. It’s all too easy as a mom to put those things aside and spend every waking moment on your kids. But the reality is that when we are caring for ourselves, we are the best mothers we can be. And if that means sitting down for a cup of tea now and then, so be it. xoxo

Self-Care for New Moms

Self-Care for New Moms

This post is sponsored by Traditional Medicinals. All opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Marguerite Elaine

Maggie // Three Months

Our girl is three months old. It has become so apparent to me how very different babies are, even from birth. It’s so surprising how you can see their personalities…

Marguerite Elaine

Our girl is three months old. It has become so apparent to me how very different babies are, even from birth. It’s so surprising how you can see their personalities peek through, and even more surprising how two siblings can be so different.

Maggie is so thoughtful. She’ll look at you or a toy or a book for a good long while, thinking her thoughts. If you sit down with her one on one she’ll have a conversation with you, and will literally talk back and forth with ooh’s and aah’s. Sometimes during a conversation, she’ll get fussy and just want to be left alone to play on her playmat for a bit. I keep seeing these flashes of myself in her — she’s watchful, patient, maybe a bit introverted. But always sweet and genuine, and very confused by her brother’s tantrums. 😉

She’s thisclose to rolling over, and sleeps through the night sometimes. She’s close to a permanent sleep-through situation, but still suffers from reflux and has had a cold for the last few weeks so those things wake her up a bit. But when she wakes up she can almost always get herself back to sleep, or just needs a quick check-in to settle back down.

Every day I am more grateful for these two babies of mine. Marguerite Elaine has been such a sweet addition for us, and I always say she feels like she belongs to the three of us, Ryan, Henry, and me. xoxo

P.S. Henry’s months are right here. And Maggie’s are here.

Marguerite Elaine

The Middle of the Night

I’m toying with the idea of going back to the old-school-style blog post every now and again, from waaaaay back in the day when I was on Blogger, just sharing thoughts…

I’m toying with the idea of going back to the old-school-style blog post every now and again, from waaaaay back in the day when I was on Blogger, just sharing thoughts as I had them. No photos, nothing fancy, just dispatches from my life or my brain whenever they come along. This one came in the middle of the night a couple of weeks back, and I wanted the thoughts to be recorded somewhere before they escaped. If you like the idea or just the post, shoot me a comment and let me know. xoxo

Sometimes it seems like a good idea to write in the middle of the night. When nobody else is awake, not. even the little newborn girl who’s nursing in my arms. When it’s quiet and my mind is both blurry and entirely clear, when I can hear myself think without the sounds of doorbells or toy car crashes or washing machines.

Sometimes in the middle of the night the words come easier. They fly out of me while my thumbs tap tap tap them out on my phone with the brightness turned all the way down so I don’t wake her. In the day I search for them endlessly, with feelings caught inside that are begging to be let out but are shy about being found during the light of day. During the night can finally say what I mean to say, which right now is this: Babies don’t keep.

I can feel it already, these sweet days slipping away. Every day my toddler strings more words together. Now he walks into dark rooms by himself. Now he wants to put on his own shoes. Now he pulls his own chair up to the kitchen counter to help me wash dishes, and slides them over to me one by one. Tomorrow he will be in college.

My newborn is barely a newborn any more, and looks at me with wide eyes and bright smiles like she already knows the world. How do you grow three inches in 10 weeks, little one? And I appreciate you sleeping at night but just sometimes, if you needed me to hold you a little extra, I wouldn’t be mad about it.

Stop, time.

In the night, when it’s quiet and the only motion in the house is me in the rocking chair with Maggie in my arms, every middle-of-the-night moment is worth it. Worth the bags under my eyes, the bone-tired days, the running to catch up with life. And even though my eyes almost won’t stay open I will them to do just that, to stay awake long enough to snatch another moment holding my girl or hearing my boy laugh in his sleep in the next room. These moments. These moments make us. They fill a heart enough to keep it going, swirl around our house and make it home, duck in and out of our days and make us family. xoxo

Mom and Baby

Things Not to Be Scared of for the First Time Mom

I don’t necessarily think I’ve earned my OG-Mom badge yet, but I’m also happy to say that this is no longer my first rodeo! Being a second time mom is…

Mom and Baby

I don’t necessarily think I’ve earned my OG-Mom badge yet, but I’m also happy to say that this is no longer my first rodeo! Being a second time mom is surreal, because you’ve been here before but it’s still all new again. But the beauty of the second time is that you’re way less scared. The little things that freaked you out the first time seem like child’s play, and you just feel more confident. I’m so thankful for that confidence, because momming is scary enough in and of itself. So! For you first time moms, here are a few things that you can take off your list of scary things.

Breaking the Baby With Hanky, I didn’t know how to hold the poor kid. He seemed so tiny and fragile and I was so uncomfortable handling him for the first few weeks. After he got a little more sturdy I felt so much more comfortable, like I wouldn’t break him if I held him wrong. But when Maggie came along, I realized that babies are much resilient and strong than we give them credit for. (Just watch the nurses in the hospital while they’re tossing your kid around like a softball if you need reassuring.)

The Belly Button Ah, the belly button stump. So weird. So gross. So in-the-way for the first week or two. Don’t be scared of it. It’ll either be there or not. Maybe it gets knocked around a little bit, but the kid will be fine. Keep an eye on it for signs of infection, keep it dry, and you’re good. Side note: when Hank lost his we didn’t know where it went and it showed up in one of my socks a week later. NOT OKAY.

Spitup My kids are spitters,  y’all. It’s unfortunate but true. Hank was a little dribbler and Maggie just barfs all over me all the time. I do laundry more often than I care to mention. But initially with Baby #1, I was so freaked any time he would spit up. I thought it meant that something was dramatically wrong and that my baby was broken. But guys, babies just spit up. Their little bodies don’t always have it together to keep food down and so it just… comes back up. Early on I learned the term “happy spitter” — a baby who spits up or vomits with no apparent discomfort or anguish. That’s my kids. Obviously if your little one seems to be in pain associated with the spitting, that’s a different story. But 9 times out of 10, it’s normal. Just ask your doctor.

Nighttime After Henry’s first night at home, I was convinced we had made a horrible mistake. It was torturous. Crying for hours, nursing nonstop, and approximately zero sleep. For every night after that for about 6 weeks I would dread what was coming. I hated the nighttimes because I was so worried I couldn’t help him or give him what he wanted, especially when I was so sleep deprived. But as the nights got better and better, a switch flipped and suddenly I looked forward to those quiet moments in the middle of the night, with just me and him. I have the clearest memories of walking him back and forth in our bedroom, getting him back to sleep, feeling his little breath on my neck. With Maggie, the nighttimes are equally hard but this time I’m relaxed enough about it to know it will soon pass, and that I just want to use the time to be near that sweet little baby.

Letting the Kid Cry I know, the sound of your baby crying is simultaneously like nails on a chalkboard and a knife in your heart. But sometimes, dang it, you just need to take a shower. Or go pee. Or, I dunno, eat a bite of food without a baby in your arms. So if the kid is fed, clothed, clean, and safe, don’t be afraid to let him cry for a couple of minutes.

Spoiling Your Baby On the other hand, if you want to snuggle that kid, snuggle away. We have done sleep training with both kiddos, and in that world there’s a lot of talk about not letting a baby get used to being held or rocked to sleep. And I understand that. But sometimes a baby needs to be held or rocked or snuggled, especially in the early weeks and months. I was afraid with Hank if we held him too much he’d always need us to hold him to get him to sleep, but no such thing happened. In fact, he was falling asleep by himself and sleeping for 12 hours at night by 3 months old. So with Maggie, I’ve let go of that fear and we just enjoy these days when she still needs some extra holding. Because those days are gone so fast. It’s all I can do to keep Hank still for 10 seconds to give me a hug these days!

All in all mamas, there are so many things that you could worry about or be scared of, but the bottom line is that you’re gonna be just fine. If you’re a mom I would LOVE to know some of the things that totally freaked you out when you brought home your babies! Or if you’re a mom-to-be, what are you scared of? xoxo