Well we did it. This little monkey turned three months on Friday and we are officially out of the “fourth trimester” phase. It makes me a little sad to think about how fast this has gone already. She’s changed so much and I’ve learned a lot in the past three months. More than I ever have learned in my life. It was a crazy, tiring, amazing, emotional, life changing time. I didn’t realllly know what to expect with a newborn and I was afraid that motherly instinct wouldn’t kick in. You know how people say “once you’re a mother you’ll just know”? I called bullshit every time I heard that but as it turn out I DO have a motherly instinct. Who would have thought huh? And what I didn’t know I quickly learned. Here are a few things I thought might be helpful to any new mama or soon-to-be new mama…
You don’t need everything all set up before your newborn arrives. As much as I loved having everything that she will need eventually, your newborn won’t know the difference if her room is ready for her or not. The essentials you need for those first three months are…
-blankets (swaddle and ones to cover her up with)
-a LOT of diapers/wipes
-bouncer or swing
We didn’t use a white noise machine because she calmed down when I just said “Shhh” into her ear but I know a lot of babies need this so you may want to add it to your list just in case. Every little one is different.
The first two weeks were really really stinking hard for me when it came to breastfeeding. I would dread when Addison would get hungry and I would cry as I fed her. And then one day after a teary phone call to a friend and a few Google searches, it just stopped hurting. Just like that. So honestly if you can push through those first few weeks, it will get better. I’m so glad I stuck it out too because I feel closer to Addison then ever when I feed her.
As long as we’re on the topic of boobies and breastfeeding, do not – under any circumstances – turn your body toward the water when it’s running from the shower head. I’m not going to explain this one but you will seriously regret it if you do (read: feels like nipples will break off).
Cold water and OXI clean is the best to get poop accidents out of clothes. Also, instead of buying scent free baby laundry detergent (since that’s all that should be used when they’re brand new), I changed our family’s laundry detergent to the Honest brand and never have to worry about getting the two mixed up or buying two separate bottles.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. As much as this is going to be the best time of your life, it’s also going to be one of the hardest trying to figure it all out. If someone offers to come over and sit with the baby, take it. If they don’t offer then ask. I remember Andrew had to travel for work four weeks after Addison was born and I ended up texting my sister-in-law at 5 o’clock in the morning begging her to come over after work so I could nap. You’ve got to do what you go to do sometimes.
Nightgowns with elastic bottoms are God’s blessing for middle of the night diaper changes. You barely have to wake up the baby. All you need to do is pull the elastic up to their waist, pull it down and bam, clean diaper sleeping baby.
A few of my favorite products so far:
Dr. Brown’s bottles: These are the best bottles because they have a filter which prevents bubbles from getting into her stomach.
WubbaNub: These are the only pacifiers that Addison will take. I think she likes the weight on her chest. I’ve tried giving her the same pacifier without the animal and it gets spit out faster than you can count to two. If it doesn’t have a toy on it, it’s no good.
Lanolin: They’re gonna hurt. It gets better.
Aiden & Anais swaddle blankets: We use these for everything. Swaddling, hiding the girls when feeding, spit up rag. The more you wash them the softer they get. It’s incredible.
Baby Nursing/Breastfeeding App: I used this app for feeding Addison for the first three months and it was seriously a lifesaver. It was super easy to use too and I never ran into any glitches in the app.
What to Expect the First Year: This book has been an incredible guide for where Addison is in her development and where she should be. Also, it has really helped if/when we have questions about anything!