I can’t believe my little handsome man is 4 weeks old already. I feel like I just ran a marathon and I have miles to go. Every day is a new adventure with these two boys, and I am trying my best to enjoy the moments while tackling each obstacle thrown my way. Being a mom is one of the most difficult jobs. I have had plenty of desk jobs in my life, but this role takes the cake for sure. I want to be super open and honest with you about my first month having two little ones. I think it’s important to discuss both the good and the bad, and let others know it is perfectly okay for your emotions to be all over the place, you are not alone!
Truthfully, it has not been smooth sailing. I have good days and bad. When juggling so much, I’ve realized that having patience in every challenge is what gets me through the harder times. Balancing two kids, sleepless nights, trying to recover from c-section surgery, and overcoming breastfeeding road blocks is tougher than I had imagined. During the moments when Leo doesn’t latch during breastfeeding, or gets frustrated that the milk will not come out fast enough, I remind myself that staying calm is the key to success, and also to allowing me to enjoy those moments bonding with my baby. I am so grateful for my beautiful boys, and the good moments certainly outweigh the stressful ones, but it is okay for every mom in the first months of motherhood to stop for a second and say, “hey this is really tough.” It is okay for you to feel the baby blues. Like most everything else, the difficult moments pass, and it will get easier to enjoy once you find your groove. And if you have never felt the baby blues, than you are a total rock star!
Part of my focus this past month has been making sure I always have the tools readily available to make it easier to manage the difficult situations. Having the right products allows us to better enjoy the first few months with our newborns. I have been giving my product recommendations each week and I have been getting such amazing feedback from everyone! I will keep the recommendations coming because I know how helpful it can be for new parents out there. I have tried so many products that haven’t been worth the money or investment. So let me be your guinea pig, and I am happy to narrow it down for you!
Carrie’s Newborn Survival Tips
Bed Time Routine. From day one, I have created a bed time routine for both of my boys and have kept it consistent each and every evening. From the start, it is important to set the tone and let your baby get used to a certain environment. Every other night we give Leo a bath. We play soft music or turn on the baby shusher. We swaddle him tight to make him feel secure. This signals to him that it is time for bed (even if he is going to wake up every 3 hours to eat). This will help you to stay organized. Eventually he will catch on and sleep the whole night through!
Always Be Prepared. If you are planning to venture out to visit friends or family, be prepared. I keep an extra Rock and Play by Fisher Price in my car. It stays in my trunk and when I go to my mom or sisters’ house, I have something to bring with me. They are fairly inexpensive and it makes life so much easier to have a fun resting place for your baby while on the go.
Find Some “Me” Time. Find an hour a day, if you can, for a little “Me” time. My “Me” time consists of watching one of my favorite shows or doing work for our blog. When the baby is napping, I am usually doing laundry or cleaning the house, but I always try to find some time during the day to allow myself to put my feet up for a moment, for my own sanity! If you have the ability to get out of the house, DO IT! It does wonders for your stress level.
Welcome the Help. Family members, friends, sisters, whoever offers to help, just say YES! You don’t have to be a super hero right now. If someone offers to come over and give you an hour to rest, take them up on it. Although it is rare, when I do get a moment to rest, it does wonders on my mental state. It gives me more energy to get through another sleepless night.
Find Alone Time with Your Other Children. If this is not your first child, make sure you set aside one day per week to spend time with your other children. Yesterday, I took Jax to the movies and I could tell how much it meant to him. Spending that hour or two with just him was so meaningful. Jax felt special and it’s super important for him to have that one on one time away from the baby.
Diaper Bag Survival Kit. Pack a survival kit for your diaper bag. Stay organized and be prepared for anything. This small toiletry bag is stocked with my favorite products and it stays in my diaper bag at all times. I have one for my diaper bag and I keep one of each of the items near my changing table at home. When I start moving products out of baby Leo’s nursery, I find myself losing things left and right. So here is what I keep in my little diaper bag survival kit:
- An extra breastfeeding cover. There were a few instances where I was washing the cover at my house and I ended up having nothing to throw over myself when I was BF. So now I keep and extra breastfeeding cover in my bag, and at home. I love the Milk Snob cover.
- Ok this baby has gas 24/7. He is also very hard to burp sometimes. I keep Mylcion gas drops in every room in my house and in my diaper bag. These drops are a life saver when Leo is uncomfortable. The drops work super fast and I see a drastic difference in his demeanor when the drops begin to work. With Jax, I used gripe water and it never worked for me. Here is a great article my sister, Katie, a pediatrician, wrote about the differences between the two products.
- Happiest Baby Swaddle. This swaddle is amazing! We just tried it out a few days ago and Leo loves it. I always keep an extra swaddle handy because Leo seems to do better when I swaddle him for his naps, even when we are out and about. I love this swaddle in particular because Leo has a much harder time moving his arms around, which makes for a happier baby.
- Every baby is different, but these Ryan and Rose pacifiers have been great for Leo. He loves the texture and nipple shape, and they’re so cute. I have a couple that I keep in my diaper bag at all times.
- An extra t-shirt for mommy. I swear every day this baby pees all over me. Keep an extra tank or tee in your bag for the occasional accident. You don’t want to walk around with pee all over you!
- Get the Baby Shusher. Buy two of them- one for your house and one to hang in your car. It will put your baby to sleep in seconds. I swear!
My biggest tip is to be prepared! Don’t spend a ton of money on a swing that your baby hates. Invest in the little things that make life easier, like amazing products and proper planning. This morning I ventured to the grocery store with both of my kids for the first time. I sat down before I left and went over everything I could possibly need while I was there. I organized everything ahead of time, including writing a grocery list (which I have never done before). I knew with one in the cart and one attached to me that I would forget most of the items I needed to buy. I even put on my baby carrier before getting in the car so that I could step out of my car and snap him in quickly. Being prepared made for a successful, and even enjoyable moment with my two boys!
As baby Leo gets bigger and I experience more with two kiddos, I am excited to share more with everyone! I hope this helps with your journey!