Thinking spring again! Some pretty azalea flowers in a picture I took a few years ago! Can’t wait for ours to start blooming! SOON!
What I’m talking about is things that are nice to have doubles of.
1) Car Seats and/or car seat bases. We had 1 extra base that was in C’s truck and one in my mom’s car. Then the ‘main car seat’ was a convertible chicco next fit (that we LOVE). It made it a lot easier, when I was working. There was one day a week when I had to drop A off at my mom’s and C had to pick her up. So, having to shuffle a car seat around 3 times in one day would have been a little tricky. Just invest the money and get an extra base.
2) High chairs. I’m not saying get like the WHOLE huge high chair, but either have one of these new convertible high chairs, or have one that you keep at home and a small travel one, for going to family dinners, friend’s houses, etc.
3) Strollers. This is optional. But we had a hand me down travel system stroller that we really couldn’t use much. Everywhere we walk is gravel and we found the slim, small tires just sunk in the gravel. My mom though, lives in town and has sidewalks that she could use the travel system stroller on. If you think this is something that would be helpful, check gently used kids consignment shops, where you are likely to find a good deal, and might even be able to find a model that fits with your car seat too!
5 Things That Nobody Will Tell You About Breastfeeding:
First of all, as a pediatric nurse, I was gung-ho into the breastfeeding thing. Notice I said ‘was’. Until we had unanticipated problems early on. Yes, I gave up. And that story will have it’s time to be told. But for now, even though I did enjoy the time I was breastfeeding, there are still things that no one ever told me before hand. So I hope to forewarn you, if you don’t have someone to tell you what it’s all about.
1) It HURTS. Ok, not FOREVER. But those first 2-3 weeks were miserable for me. Get that nipple butter crap and smear the snot out of the girls. You’ll thank me later.
2) It’s awkward. Maybe I’m the only one who thought it was a little weird. It was hard to get used to someone sucking on them (for nutrition purposes, that is). After awhile, once you get pretty good at it, you can read a book and forget about it.
3) You need like 4 extra sets of hands. Once again, this was initially. It DOES get better. But it’s like learning how to ride a bike. It’s hard at first. It’s hard to figure out how to do it in the first place. It’s hard to learn what position works best for you and the baby. It’s hard because the baby will be indecisive and one day prefers one boob over the other. C was super good about helping when A was in the NICU. And that part wasn’t awkward. He was looking at it as we needed to feed our child, and he was trying to help as much as possible, in a nonsexual way. He knew that store down South was shut down indefinitely, so I guess he figured why not try to help?
4) It can be frustrating. A had jaundice, like REALLY bad when she was born. SO much so that she was readmitted to the hospital for it. The thing about jaundice is this: it makes babies super tired. And they fall asleep in the middle of feedings, in the middle of diaper changes, in the middle of the middle. You get my drift. So after it took me 45 minutes to wake her up, change her diaper, and another 15 minutes to try and get her to latch on right, after feeding for 5 minutes she would fall asleep. And we’d have to do the WHOLE. THING. OVER. After the jaundice had subsided somewhat (we learned she had a rare genetic disorder that caused prolonged jaundice) we finally got it down to a science. But I am not lying when I tell you it took me almost 6 weeks to get to a point where she didn’t fall asleep 5 minutes into it. It was frustrating.
5) At the end of the day, it is rewarding. After all of the frustrations, heartbreak, blood, sweat and tears, it was worth it. Some people might look at it as being an anchor, when you can’t go anywhere without your baby, because you never know when she will want to feed. But I’m on the opposite team. It was so rewarding knowing that it was ME who she wanted the most. It was ME and only me that could make food for her. It was all on ME. And that was cool with me. Even now at a young 11 months old, she doesn’t need JUST ME anymore, and instead is happy with her dad or her nana instead of me. And although I know I am a favorite, I am not the ONLY one she wants anymore.
Cherish it if you do choose to breastfeed. The time will seem like it stops in the beginning, but after it is done you will look back and wish you had more of that time. Best of luck!
I cannot tell you how much this has saved us. I honestly don’t think it was something I really thought a whole lot about before hand. But I am so glad that the first night we brought A home, we had a plan in place, and we kept with it.
It may seem sort of silly at first to start a ‘routine’ when you know you’ll be up another 3-4 times overnight feeding. But it helps to establish a routine for the long haul.
Our routine goes something like this:
7:15-8pm-somewhere between here A will start signaling to us she is ready for bed, but even before she ‘told’ us it was bedtime, we would always make sure she was in bed by 8 pm.
We change her diaper, use the same Johnson’s Bedtime lotion every night and get her in her jammies. While one of us is doing that, the other is getting her bottle ready, her bed ready and her music turned on. She has a lullaby CD that we play for her every night while she is getting ready for bed and taking her bottle. Before sitting down to take her bottle, we turn out the lights, and turn on the closet light (her nightlight of sorts). She takes her bottle, and when done is put in her crib, where we turn on her aquarium crib soother. Then her sound machine is turned on (the same sound we have used ever since we brought her home).
When she was still ‘fresh’ there were times when she fell asleep before we put her down. But we really tried to make sure she was still somewhat awake when we put her down. To encourage her to fall asleep on her own.
And although we did actually buy a bassinet that we could put in between us in our bed (a desperate measure after a few sleepless nights), we never actually used it. I understand why people keep their babies in bed with them, or in the same room as them, but it just wasn’t something that was going to work for us. And I think in the long run, it was better the way we did it. It’s taught A good sleeping habits early on. Even in the early months when she would fuss, I would give it 10-15 minutes before I went to get her. I wanted to make sure it was something she really needed. And some times she would go right back to sleep, other times she wouldn’t and was hungry. But even now, she does wake up sometimes, and will kick around (normally to turn on her aquarium) and will fall back asleep on her own.
Setting a sleep schedule early on is SO important. It really sets you up for the long run and will help you to have better nights as well. I know some babies are much more challenging than others. We certainly have been very lucky and have had a very easy, calm, laid back little girl and we are so blessed. But, even if A wasn’t as easy, we still would have stuck to a routine with her.
It also helps to make at least part of your routine ‘portable’ too. So if you go away, or if baby stays at grandma’s, then there will be some of their routine that can go with them. Example: we have A’s lullaby CD in my phones iTunes, as well as on an iPod that goes to grandma’s house. Her sound machine has battery back-up, so it too, is portable.
Do you have a schedule with your baby/kids? Has it always been the same? And do you think it has helped long-term for them?
Last week was a picture of the base of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on Outer Banks. That’s an AWESOME lighthouse to see and walk up if you ever get the chance to visit the OBX!
This week, I’m thinking spring again…
I’m ready for my yard to be that green again, instead of white. And I’m ready for Auty-dog to be able to hang out in the grass. And for A to be able to toddle around and help me in the garden. COME HOME SPRING! We are ready for you!