Let me start off by saying I am no expert (for real though, who is?) I went to school for Accounting. I worked in Accounting for many years, and now I teach Accounting. The reason I wanted to write about babies and a few different stages is because I find myself so often in conversations telling people about things I’m doing or working on with my babe and their response is “oh wow, I never thought to try that.”
Also, one of my biggest pet peeves is people saying to me “you’re so lucky you have a good baby.” Um, let’s give credit where credit is due! I work really fuckin hard to have a baby who’s a good sleeper, a good eater, and portable. We spend weekends away a LOT. We go out to dinner a LOT. We hang out at friends houses and stay out past kids bedtimes. I don’t make multiple meals for dinner, and I despise kids menus at restaurants (but we’ll save that for another post).
Anyway, I have found a few things along the way that can be helpful to anyone! And let me start by saying I am obsessive googler. Like, I google evvvvrything. My trick is that I google something and read about three things that come up from that search. Then, I do a new search asking the same question but with different verbiage. I continue that process until I feel like I know enough about the topic. Sometimes it’s 3 searches, sometimes it’s 50. I go a little nuts. My friends literally reach out sometimes asking me to google things for them. And I get super excited. It’s a challenge. I also read books on all the things. Babies, babies & sleeping, breastfeeding, starting solids, 5 year olds who don’t respond to disciplining (still trying to figure that one out), etc.
Ok, back to babies.
Personally, months 1-3 for me is like living in this natural high I’m in after giving birth. I have exclusively breastfed both of my girls now (19 months for my first, and going on 7 months now for my second). So, especially in the first few months, a lot of responsibility falls completely on me, which I am very ok with. Everyone is different, and I’m not here to talk about what’s right or wrong or even my opinion on the matter. The only thing that matters is that you’re doing what’s best for your family.
Now onto some of my tips for months 1-3…
The two hour rule. This is a GAME.CHANGER. If I remember correctly, I think I first read this in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It basically says every single baby needs to sleep after about two hours of awake time. Often, it’s even less (especially for the first 3 months). I take note of what time it is exactly every time Capri wakes up, so I know within two hours, she should be back to sleep again. After about an hour and a half, I start the soothing process, change her diaper, and go into her dark room where we start the process of settling down (either a feeding, rocking, singing, etc.). I noticed on days I wasn’t staying aware of the two hour window, I ended up with an overtired baby who is then even harder to get to sleep! 2 hour rule - do it.
Get a salt lamp for your bedroom! This was actually an unintentional discovery. I had one of these in my bedroom next to the bed before having Capri. As soon as she was home with us, any middle of the night feedings or diaper changes, I would turn on my salt lamp to give JUST enough glow to see what I was doing. There was never a jolting light, and I never even got up out of bed. I made it a smooth, quiet process and noticed that Capri never even really came out of that sleepy state. To this day (she’s now 6 months old), I haven’t had one tough night with her. The first 3 months I would usually have her down sleeping for the night around 9:00 (she would usually fall asleep in her swing by 7, and between 9 and 10 I would transfer her to the bedroom and give her another feeding while she was still basically asleep). From early on, she would usually only wake once through the night for a 10ish minute feeding, then right back to bed.
Lastly, let your baby sleep in lots of different places! I would rotate between sleeping on me, in a swing, in her dockatot, in the stroller, etc. I would let Capri sleep on me anytime I had the time to lay down and let it happen. It’s my favorite thing and I know it only lasts for so long. Babies don't keep - hold that sleepy baby every chance you get! I'm sure sleep experts would be shaking their head in disapproval of this, but whatevs!
Anything you've found to be helpful in the first three months?!
+some oils I love using with my babe...Gentle Baby diffusing in her room just before all sleep times. Baby oil from the Seedlings line on her skin after a bath...SO GOOD!