Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Moms -this is what you need

I sincerely apologize. My kid is four weeks old today (time seriously PLEASE STOP) which makes me about 3 weeks late on my post about all the parenting things you need to be a successful parent like me.

OMG why do my feet sneak in to every picture I'm so sorry. Also Kari made him that sweet baby drool scarf!

Except I'm not planning on recommending baby stuff. When you're pregnant and looking for advice it can be extremely stressful because all your mom friends are willing to help, which is wonderful, but they all recommend different stuff. Probably because they all have different babies. So until someone invents a device to ask your unborn fetus which swaddler or bottle or bed he will prefer once he is a member of the outside world, it's a crapshoot. Sure, people can let you know which items have features that are helpful to parents, but unless it's an item that's exclusively for adult use, like a wipes dispenser or monitor, it doesn't matter how parent friendly it is if your baby hates it.

My baby is four weeks old. I know nothing, like Jon Snow. With that disclaimer, here we go - what new moms need.

1. Ice

With nutso hormonal hot flashes and, if you're breastfeeding, unquenchable thirst, you'll need to drink approximately 95 large glasses of ice water daily.
Because you clearly didn't know what a glass of water looks like.

Every time you reach for your water it will be empty because you just chugged it and then immediately forgot what just happened (this applies to everything, not just drinking). If you were smart enough to get a fridge with an ice dispenser, this won't be an issue, but if, like me, you don't live this life of luxury and have to fill up ice trays like a pauper, you have to stay on top of things. People say being pregnant in the summer is bad, but personally I would much rather spend the hot months pregnant than breastfeeding postpartum.

2. Some sort of sweet bread or muffins for breakfast

Having friends bring you dinner or freezing meals while pregnant is fantastic and quite helpful. But I find sometimes making breakfast is harder than making dinner. For dinner, at least you have several chances throughout the day to make something (although it still might not happen). You'll almost certainly wake up starving after sleeping all night (ha, just kidding), and it's unlikely you'll have time to make something. Bake some banana bread (or healthy whole wheat bran muffins or something if that's your thing), pre-slice it, and then you can grab a slice, eat it one handed, and it doesn't get cold or soggy if it takes you an hour and a half to eat it. The giant box of granola bars from Costco accomplish the same thing, but I'm not in the camp of "now that I'm a mother I don't even care how food tastes I only care about my child". Nope, food should still taste good. Sorry I'm not sorry.

My mom sent me more chocolate chip pumpkin cream cheese bread. She's the absolute best.
3. Friends on the same wild ride as you

It's invaluable to have friends with older babies/kids who can guide you. I also highly recommend finding someone else knocked up due around the same time as you, within a few weeks ideally. It's perfect if a pregnancy pact with existing friends works out, but if not, use the internet. While I do make most of my friends on the internet these days, I was due two weeks before a good friend I've had since before the internet even existed, unless you count the days when you used AOL to ask A/S/L until your mom needed the phone and you had to log off. Its disturbing to me that there are potentially people reading this that don't have a clue what the previous sentence means.

A baby in a hooded towel always cheers me up.

Anyway, pregnancy and it turns out, babies are different practically day to day and you really need someone to commiserate with at each point along the way. No one understands how pregnancy makes you crazy like another prego, and you need that person to talk you down when you are ready to kill your husband because he made you dinner and used the wrong kind of corn (true life over here). That's not even getting in to all the weird stuff post partum and trying to figure out your baby. Bonus points for friends with babies of the same sex as yours, because diaper changes are unique for each sex.

She also gave me the Halo swaddler, which for us is a lifesaver.

4. A kindle and good books

I got so into the last book I read that I would find myself still reading at 3am after putting Dalton back to sleep. Theoretically you could just read archaic paper books but those generally require light and two hands, which are two things that are off the table for middle of the night feedings. I just started rereading Mockingjay to prepare for the big day next month!

5. The ability to throw your expectations out the window

When I was pregnant, I imagined Dalton adorably snoozing in the Rock and Play next to us sleeping in our bed. I would easily grab him and feed him and then put him back, gaze adoringly at him, then drift off myself. Well, that's not exactly how things have played out. I read in a mom Facebook group to do whatever gets everyone the most sleep, and we are following that advice.

After the honeymoon first week, when he was exhausted from being born, he wanted nothing to do with the Rock and Play.
Week 1 and then never again.

In fact, he didn't want to sleep anywhere but on one of us, so we took shifts throughout the night and day for the second week or so (and still do now as needed).

I wish I could nap like this guy, but I'm broken and can't nap.

It also turns out that babies, this one at least, have two sleep modes - frighteningly silent and still, or loud as hell, grunting and groaning like a full grown adult. When I can resist the urge to constantly poke him while he's in deep sleep to make sure he's breathing, I can sleep myself. But the grunting and groaning keeps me wide awake. Right now Dalton and Eric sleep in the living room at night (Eric can sleep through anything and anywhere, although he surprisingly wakes up when he hears crying like 85% of the time) and I sleep in the bedroom with the door open so I can hear actual cries, but not every little tiny sneeze. It's not what you see in the movies but it's working for us at this moment, and we'll switch it up as need be. We can hang out when we're awake.

Napping in the swing.
My wonderful friend passed this Mamaroo and I'm afraid to say anything about it for fear of jinxing but let's just say he doesn't hate it so far.
6. A really cute, sweet, loveable baby

Because otherwise all this work would probably suck, but I wouldn't know.
Another amazing friend made him this hat. I have some good people in my life.

This is really unrelated but I've gotten some really good advice here. C-section moms: I have random numb parts of my belly, is this forever or will it go away?

Any other advice - motherhood or in general?


  1. That hat is so adorable!

    Numb spots are nerve damage and that should heal, but it will be slow. Until then, enjoy randomly poking yourself to check to see if it's better yet.

  2. FYI - towels with hats are cute. But towels with hats with ears are even cuter.

    also - when i read this caption:
    "My wonderful friend passed this Mamaroo..."
    I thought, "ouch. that must have really hurt. How does she sit?"

  3. drink all the water but never use ice. Partly because we have trays too and I'm lazy.
    My SIL'S was never able to sleep with her babies in the same room as her for the same reasons you listed. I'm thankful I still sleep well with a baby in the room. I know before long he'll be in his own room but I'm not ready for that yet.
    I love having other moms as support, including you. It helps so much

  4. You should wear a matching hat! :)

  5. I don't really have any advice, but would your mom be willing to share that amazing looking pumpkin chocolate cream cheese bread (my 4 favorite foods in the world) recipe?

  6. Great list! Oh a swaddled baby in a's hard to get much cuter than that. The only thing I would add is to learn to ask for and accept help (and to be okay with others doing things a little differently from you)! That was a big one for me....I tend to be stubborn and think I can do it all myself :)

  7. There are so many cute pictures in this post! I love that hat too. Did you get one in your size??


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