Friday, February 15, 2013

Life with a Baby

It's been three and a half weeks since we brought our little love-bug home. I thought the hospital was overwhelming, but I had no idea how unprepared I was for life with a baby! Well, I guess I should say life with a baby and pneumonia and food poisoning was more overwhelming than I imagined. Once I started feeling better late last week, things have been much, much better! Maleah is the easy part - she is a textbook baby. It's all the other stuff - visitors, laundry, eating, pumping, taking advantage of naps, hospital paperwork, remembering to pay the bills, etc . - that's the hard part.

Maleah is on a fairly consistent three hour routine. She eats (100 mL to be exact!), wakes up for a while, and goes back to sleep. I'm learning that her morning nap (around 9) is her shortest - she is awake for a good bit and maybe sleeps 45 minutes to an hour. The rest of her naps come within an hour or hour and a half of feeding and she'll usually 90 minutes to two hours. So, if she eats at 12:30, she's usually on her way to dreamland by 1:30 and starts to wake up again near 3:30. We've had some trouble with her sleeping after her 2am feeding, but I think the problem is with my impatience (putting her down too soon) and she's had some gas that seems to wake her up. So, we've got some tricks up our sleeve to try over the next several days to help her sleep better at that time.

I have to go back to work part-time next Wednesday and will start back full-time on March 6. I'm trying to figure out how in the world I will be ready to go by 7:45 a.m., but we'll figure that out! Thankfully, Maleah will be staying at home so we just have to make sure she's fed and clean - we don't have to take her anywhere just yet.

So, just like with my pregnancy posts, I really am not intending to bombard the world with baby info (hey, you're the one who clicked the link!), but that's what my life revolves around currently... plus, as you probably know, I write so I can remember things! Just the other night, I rummaged through 10-year-old journal entries... and found a few things I'd like to forget!!!! But I think I'll want to remember this baby stuff since I'm already forgetting things that happened a week ago!

A few things that have been life-savers over the past three & half weeks:

These puppies are invaluable to me. At first, I was washing the pump parts EVERY SINGLE TIME. It was exhausting. Target and Toys-R-Us had them on sale (Buy 1/Get 1 50% off) so we stocked up. I cut them in half and keep them in a Ziploc bag with all my pumping gear. I just wipe down the pump parts at each sitting and then wash and sterilize the parts at night. 

One of Blake's professors gave us their ERGO since they weren't using it anymore... I think I owe them  a HUGE thank-you. I started using it this week and it has been a true lifesaver! Part of the struggle of having a newborn is that their little three hour routine sounds like plenty of time but it really isn't! I've been putting her in it when she gets sleepy during the day so I can help her fall asleep while getting some things done (i.e. writing this blog post!). This was a free item for us, but I would highly recommend purchasing one or something similar. It's worth the money. Ours has a newborn insert that basically swaddles her before going in the carrier, so it's totally safe for a baby her age and is specially designed to help support her spine (so I don't feel bad carrying her around through an entire nap if I feel like it!). 

This app is fantastic!!!! A book we've been reading (also highly recommended - The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems) suggests that you "shush-pat" your baby to sleep. That means you pat their back while making a "shhhh shhhh shhh" sound. The "shh"-ing really works, but if you've ever tried to make that noise for an extended period of time, you'll know that it hurts your mouth after a while! Blake found this app and it's saved our mouths a lot of pain! Since it's on our phone, we can use it anywhere we go. We try not to use it every time since we don't want it to become a crutch, but we whip it out when she's fighting sleep or when we're somewhere noisy and she's too distracted to sleep.

If you have a baby under twelve weeks old, you need to click the link above and watch the video. The theory is that babies have 5 distinct "pre-cry" sounds that act as reflexes to whatever their current need is. For instance, they begin to make the "Neh" sound when they are hungry. I have had to watch it several times to distinguish the sounds (and spend a few days really listening to Maleah's pre-cries) but, people, IT WORKS. She was making the sound for "lower gas" earlier and I started moving her little legs for her and out came a toot (!!) and she calmed down! It was amazing. 

So, I'm no expert, but these four things have been huge helps to us as new parents. There's numerous other things we've found helpful, but these are definitely my top four. I'm curious as to what you found helpful for your newborn. Any books, gear, websites that you found to be your lifesaver during the newborn phase? I'm interested to hear!! 


  1. I definitely second the Ergo and The Baby Whisperer (didn't try the other things you mentioned)! Seriously, early on the Ergo was the biggest lifesaver in the world, and TBW helped us all stay sane by allowing us to sleep! Glad you are feeling better!

  2. Definitely going to add that baby language video to my pinterest for future reference! That is super cool!