Hello Everyone, how are we all? Let me share how things are in this house… we’re tired, so very tired. It’s been almost two whole months, 7 weeks to be exact, living in the newborn haze. Long days and sleepless nights but it’s my second time round so I got this….if only!!
Nothing truly prepares you for life with a newborn, no best selling book or worldly advice from the ‘been there done that’ family member. It’s my second time round and yet here I am, over here still trying to figure out our new normal.
So… just how are we getting on! I’m tired before my day has even begun. I’m supposed to be recovering but wait I’m a mother, l’ve already committed to giving my life, ALL OF MY LIFE to nurturing my baby and then there’s my other baby, my toddler, a very independent, demanding, energetic toddler, I’ll recover as I go. Nothing prepares you for life with a newborn other than the experience itself and throughout you will doubt and worry and question like never before. Why won’t she sleep, why is she crying, am I doing enough, am I enough! When does this get easier, will it ever get easier? I look like shit, who even am I and why did no one tell me breastfeeding is tough, it’s so bloomin’ tough! Oh and on top of that, is it really necessary to come round my house, sip tea and pass my newborn around, don’t you know how tired, sore, anxious I am… I’ve just had a baby!
However Mamas let me tell you, no matter how tough you think this time is or how difficult it could be, you absolutely got this. There are times I think how much more can I give but I just do. I give more and more, I keep going because they are my babies and although everyday brings challenges and barriers and emotions I never knew yesterday, we get there, as parents, we just keep giving!
So here I am, it’s 4am, I’m on the third feed of the night and at 6:30am, with two tiny humans in tow, my day begins. Theoretically newborn babies live a blissful life of sleep, eat, poop, repeat, seems relatively straight forward, right! I’ve documented how the first 7 weeks have been in our home with our newest little bundle.
Apparently newborn babies should sleep for around 18 hours in those first 4 weeks, unfortunately just not 18 hours straight nor at night so you are gong to be exhausted. Now the first month is way to soon to be expecting any set routine although I think having a routine, especially a bedtime routine from as early as possible is great practice, although just don’t expect baby to do today what she did yesterday, be prepared to just go with it, I let baby lead the way.
Those who have followed for some time will know I’m a fan of co-sleeping, just not from birth. We’ve been using the SnuzPod3. This bedside crib is designed to bring baby closer during sleep time in a semi co-sleeping environment. The Snuzpod is perfect for keeping baby close but safe, at the bed but not in the bed. The thing I appreciate most with the SnuzPod is the convenience of night feeds, by the 3rd feed of the night I’m exhausted, having baby close by allows me to feed without leaving my bed, ( you have no idea how much of a luxury that is to an over tired mama).
Our bedtime routine starts around 7pm, when Alfie does to bed. Lights are dimmed, bath ran, and if the TV is on it’s turned down low. Esme cluster feeds from around 7pm to 10pm. Between this time I bath her and really focus of breaking any wind she may have. For the first 5 weeks she fed throughout the night every 1.5hours religiously. Now we have a 10pm – 3am window, which is so amazing. Thinking back to when Alfie was at this stage he never slept longer than 2 hours for the first 6 months. That was tough! What made it tougher was the feeling of not being able to ‘fix things’ for him, I so desperately wanted him to sleep, yes I wanted to sleep myself but I was so worried that he was never fully rested. Only now I can say I wish I hadn’t worried so much. However your little one is sleeping rest assured it won’t belike this forever. For the well rested, appreciate this time and for the up all night, I promise this time does pass, hang on in there.
Whilst talking all things sleep, my most used baby product since becoming a Mum, specifically for the newborn stage, the Sleepyhead Deluxe. I use the sleepyhead mostly for naps throughout the day. We’ve tried a number of moses baskets which have been great but my babies just don’t settle in them quite like they do in the Sleepyhead. The Sleepyhead creates a safe, snug and soothing environment for babies, the team behind the design like to think of it as the next best thing to being in the womb, hence why I think it’s such a great product to invest in from birth. I’m working on updating my co-sleeping blog post where I will talk in more detail about the benefits of the Sleepyhead but for now, focusing specially on those precious first few weeks, I love this pod for daytime naps and for travel, baby can have a safe and comfortable place to rest anywhere at home or on the go with the handy travel case.
Esme does more cat napping than sleeping throughout the day, 20 mins here and there, she doesn’t sleep often and I just go with how she’s feeling. Some days she’ll sleep way more than others, I try not to overthink sleeping patterns throughout the day, regardless of how our day has been, our nightly pattern remains the same.
Breastfeeding, who knew the complications that this wonderful experience can bring. Both my children have tongue ties, both different types of tongue ties but apparently severe enough to cause latching problems making breastfeeding uncomfortable for us both. I’ve done a fair bit of research on tongue ties but still, I don’t know enough to talk about the subject in great detail so I’ll link here if you fancy a read.
Tongue ties, cracked nipples, blisters, mastitis, blocked ducts, you name it we’ve had a fair old time of it. Breasfeeeding is a joureny. For some woman this wonderful ability happens so naturally however for others it is a struggle. It’s tough, painful, exhausting, frustrating but so worth battling though. I’m the later of those two, it’s been a tough few weeks but I’m confident we are over the worst and on the road to enjoying nursing together. Around week 6 things started to settle and again likewise with Alfie, I’m so grateful we’re now here. My advice to any breastfeeding Mum, be brave, patient and focused and once those first few weeks are by with you’ll enjoy this wonderful time, I promise.
Nipple shields, what even are nipple shields I hear you say, I thought the same however they have been a lifesaver over the weeks. They gave my nipples time to heal and allowed us to carry on feeding, although weaning Esme off then took longer than expected. I also found myself hand expressing pumping with my electric pump more often throughout the first few weeks. After two doses of mastitis, blocked ducts and a very impressive supply, pumping to drain my boobs has been part of my everyday over the past 7 weeks.
Now that everything feels more settled and we’re enjoying nursing I really look forward to taking time out to nurse and bond with my little one, don’t get me wrong it’s impossible to do so at every feed when I have a toddler and life to get on with but when I do get the time, I can eventually say, it’s an incredibly wonderful feeling.
Oh and on the topic of feeding, okay a newborn doesn’t necessarily need a high chair to feed, however I do love time spent in the kitchen, especially breakfast around the table, it’s my favourite time of day and can quite easily be skipped throughout the newborn stage. Having the Stokke TrippTrapp has allowed that family time in the kitchen. It’s lovely having our newborn at the table with us. This investment piece will stay with your little one from newborn well throughout the toddler stage, I really do love ours.
The last 7 weeks have been a whirlwind. I’ve blinked and here we are, 7 weeks in. Everyday certainly brings challenges and emotions and barriers that need constant determination and strong will to overcome. Some days I feel overwhelmed, exhausted, scared, alone but only just for a fraction of that day. The rest is made up of love, joy, feeling lucky to be where I am, a Mum of two precious children. However I feel I always remind myself I’m not alone, there are other Mums feeling the same, doing the same and that encourages me to keep going. The newborn stage is a crazy old time. It’s cliche but it really does go by so quickly so with that in mind, I encourage you mamas to soak up every minute of this time. Yes the nights seem long but tomorrow may be the first time she smiles back at you. Yes night feeds are exhausting but tonight she may just go that extra hour between feeds. Yes she has wind, reflux, a slight does of colic, but being her mother means I can comfort her like no other, that’s how I tackle the tough times.
The rest is precious memories to cherish forever. Soak it all in Mamas, every single minute of it, they don’t stay little for long.
All my Love,