Over the past week, I have written this post in my head a hundred times. I’ve written this post while laying on the couch with a sleeping baby on my chest. I’ve written this post while sitting on the couch feeding my hungry baby. I’ve written this post while swaying, bouncing on the birthing ball, and pacing the living room. Notice the two common denominators in my writing: baby and living room. That is my life these days.
I’ve thought about how hard parenting a newborn can be. I’ve thought about the hours of sleep I’ve missed. I’ve focused on my still sore nipples. I’ve cried right beside my crying baby. I’ve quit. Yes! I’ve announced out loud that I quit although no one took me seriously. We’ve spent 50 dollars in a 24 hour period on colic medicine. I’ve googled ways to sooth a baby. And at the end of the post I had written in my head over and over again, it all came out sounding like complaining.
I’m certainly not a fan of focusing on the negative. I don’t like to sit around and whine about how hard things can be. I also don’t like to sugar coat things, over glorify details, or pretend that “hard” doesn’t exist. Parenting my newborn is both incredibly hard at times and even more amazing at other times.
Parenting a newborn is hard. It’s harder than anything I’ve ever done. I can’t write a post and pretend like I am gracefully adjusting to parenting a newborn again because I’m not. I have lots of moments that lack a lot of grace. Don’t let my complaints confuse you though. I’ve had lots of moments that make me feel like I’m a super-mom. All those moments are equally wonderful. In between the cries, both Chet’s tears and my own, we share secret smiles and laughs. He stares at me with his big blue eyes (that I hope stay!), and I know he loves me more than anything.
While I’m trying to figure out this newborn parenting stuff again, I’m so thankful for all the mine ah-ha moments Chet and I have found together this week.
- My birthing ball is the best tool for soothing my fussy baby.
- When your baby loves to suck, try every type of pacifier you own. Yesterday we discovered a brand that he loves. And I love it too. He actually feel asleep on his own for 30 minutes.
- If your baby will only sleep on you, it’s okay. I have read and reread a section in our baby book over and over again so I don’t feel like I’ve ruined my son for letting him sleep on me. He will not, and I mean WILL NOT, sleep anywhere but on my chest.
Q: My baby will only sleep on me. If I put him down anywhere, he wakes up. What do I do?
A: Remember babies are not born with self-soothing skills. They are used to being snug, warm, and next to your heartbeat. While you can simulate that environment (you can even buy a device that makes heartbeat noises), your baby may still do his best sleeping when he is skin to skin with you….You are not setting up any bad habits. By two or three months, your baby will want to stretch out and won’t need to be a fashion accessory anymore.
- Moby Wraps are the best
- Our Musical Seahorse is our best friend at 4am.
- Colic Calm is worth every penny (its at CVS if you want it too).
- Mom MUST get out of the house! Getting out of my living room is the best thing for Chet and me.
When all else fails (normally right at dinner time), Chet gets a dose of Colic Calm, he moves into the Moby Wrap, the passy comes out of the diaper bag, and we bounce on the birthing ball. It works almost every time.
Since this is a Chet update, I can brag for a`few minutes. He has hit some fun milestones this week.
- He finally lost his umbilical cord.
- He is sleeping one four-hour stretch for the past few nights.
- He had his first play date with his buddy Austin (who is two weeks old).
- He still loves tummy time.
- When his hands find their way to his mouth, he sucks away.
- He has REALLY discovered his lungs.
- I think his smiles are becoming real. The past few mornings he really has`responded to our play time with lots of smiles.
- He officially has health insurance! (yes! I waited until day 28 out of the allotted 30 days to turn in my paperwork.)
- He’s moved out of newborn diapers. On to size 1 (once we get this newborn stuff under control, I’ll transition to cloth diapers. Sorry landfill. Mom needs her sanity. It takes me two days to complete one load of laundry right now.)
- Tonight he cried his first tear. So sad to see a big tear come out of his eye.
Mom goals for next week: Breath! during Chet’s witching hour (and Cole’s witching hour) and do my best to get to Mommy and Me Yoga!
And Yes! I wrote this entire post with one hand while a baby was sleeping on my chest.
And I promise as soon as I don’t have a baby attached to me for 20 hours a day, I will upload the hundreds of photos on my camera. For now, y’all are stuck with iPhone photos that were recycled from Facebook!