First off, I do plan on getting back on a normal blogging schedule at some point! I'm starting to realize how little 'me' time I have with 2 babes under 2. This newborn + toddler business is no joke! Still working on a better routine, but I wanted to publish this post in celebration of baby Bennett turning 1 month as of today!
Secondly, this could be titled 'Surviving the 1st month with a Newborn AND a Toddler'... But, I'll keep this post to focusing on getting through the first few weeks with a newborn in general. Honestly, the only difference would be to make sure there is someone helping with the toddler while you focus on taking care of the newborn. That's what worked for us anyway!
The first month with a newborn can be very tiring and overwhelming. I pretty much knew what to expect this time around, so I made sure to be as prepared as possible. Here are a few things that helped me get through the first month...
DockATot | This thing has been used so much over the past month! We mostly have been using it for naps and at night when he's sleeping, but it can be used in so many ways (more ways to use the DockATot here). We have it positioned in the middle of our king sized bed at night, in between Bill and me. During the day I will put Bennett in it swaddled for naps as well. The unique shape and cushioned sides help to mimic the womb so baby feels comfortable. I plan to also use it when we transition Bennett to the crib in a few weeks (or sooner if he starts sleeping for longer stretches). It's perfect to place in the crib to make baby feel more comfortable in a larger sleeping environment. I also love that the outer cover is removable and machine washable. Anything that is machine washable with babies is always a plus!
Baby Connect App | This is the app I have been using to track Bennett's feedings, diapers, pumping, etc. There is so much you can track with this app! It has really helped me start to recognize his 'hungry' times during the day and keeps me assured he is getting enough to eat by tracking his diapers as well. I actually used it for Camden too and am able to go back and see what he was doing around the same age. It's interesting to compare!
PJs and Onesies with mitten cuffs | I'm slowly easing into cutting those little, tiny delicate newborn nails. I had forgotten how they don't have any control over their arm and hand movements and if you're not careful, they can really scratch up their face! These onesies and these PJs (the newborn size comes with mitten cuffs) have really come in handy! I have tried some regular mittens, but they always seem to fall off.
Swaddling | I'm so glad that Bennett likes to be swaddled. It really helps to calm them down after a fussy period and helps to soothe them to sleep. Because newborns have no control over their arm and hand movement, they can wake themselves up out of a deep sleep by their startle or moro reflex if they are not swaddled. I have been using mostly this brand of swaddle blankets during the day (which are currently on sale at Nordstrom). They are so soft and are also great stroller blankets. We just recently started using these velcro swaddles at night as well since he is starting to bust out of the normal swaddles.
Travel Sound Machine | I decided to get this small travel sound machine for the time being so that we could put it on the bed with us and Bennett at night. I wanted to start somewhat of a bedtime routine right away with him so he could start to understand when it was night time. It has several soothing sounds, but we love the ocean sound. And now we have a portable sound machine if we need one.
My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow | When it comes to feeding baby B, I'm so glad that nursing has been working out this time around. It has been much more convenient (especially with having a toddler around) to nurse instead of pump, feed, clean bottles/pump parts, etc. One difference is that nursing sessions do take a bit longer than if I were to just feed him a bottle. Typically, they las about 30-40 mins, sometimes upwards to an hour if he's really hungry! Making sure you keep a proper position and have the right back support is key. I use this pillow nearly every time I nurse baby B and I'm so glad I invested in it!
Lots of Pictures! | Babies change so much within the first few months! Make sure to take pictures everyday. It is so fun to look back and see how much they've changed. I love using these milestone baby cards to keep track of Bennett's weekly and monthly growth. They also include fun milestone cards like first smile, first laugh, first tooth, first time they slept through the night, etc.
Help from Family, Friends and Spouse | If there's one major piece of advice I would give to new moms, it's to take all the help you can get! Don't try to be a super woman and end up feeling like a 'mombie' with no sleep. Have family hold the baby while you rest in between feedings. If you're bottle feeding, have someone else feed baby a bottle while you take a nap. And try to nap at least once during the day while baby naps! Don't worry too much about house chores, making dinner etc for the first month... All you need to focus on is loving and taking care of that new baby!
For more newborn/new mom help, check out my 'newborn essentials' series on Feeding, Sleeping and Clothing/Diapering.
I'm hoping to get a few new posts up next week including tips on taking your own newborn photos, what my postpartum wardrobe has consisted of and my new 10 minute summer makeup routine (hopefully I can get all 3 published if I'm feeling ambitious!).
*I was provided a DockATot and Milestone Baby Cards for review. All thoughts and opinions on these products are my own! They are awesome!