Biggest Surprise: Say Goodbye to Light Packing
Spring break was last week so we took the opportunity to visit the grandparents over the weekend and then my mom and I took baby M to visit my sister for a couple of days. The trips went well but boy does traveling with a baby take a lot of stuff! I used to pride myself on being such a light packer – just my backpack and a medium sized purse could get me a whole week almost anywhere – no longer. We had the car filled and we didn’t even take the stroller or a pack and play. But with all the diapers and breast pump and extra outfits for everyone in case of spit ups or blowouts, it makes for a fuller car than our trips pre-little one.
Biggest Challenge: Knowing What to Expect
Just when we think we have something figured out, little miss changes it up on us. Not to be crude, but let’s take pooping for example (Because really, how have I gone so far into this series without talking about baby poop yet?). We were getting to be poop experts, knew what color and consistency and how often (just about every feeding) and how to change the diaper without it getting everywhere. But then sometime during week 7 she suddenly slowed down. We didn’t have a poop for 2 days! And of course we are scouring the Internet – is this normal? She’s exclusively breastfed so she can’t be constipated. How long can they go? A whole week?!? Luckily, my sister is a pediatric nurse practitioner and my mom is a pediatric nurse. So I have great information when I need it. And yes, it turns out that it is normal for their intestinal tract to slow down after about 6 weeks. I guess this is just one of our first little lessons that parenting is always going to throw us a few curve balls and we better be able to go with the flow.
Best Baby Care Item: Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper
We still aren’t sleeping for very long stretches yet (3 hrs max but usually more like 2), and I really am appreciating our bassinet. This one is really nice – it has a vibrate feature and plays music or forest sounds or a heartbeat – but what I most like is how easily it swivels into place right next to the bed and how the side can be pushed down to make it easier to set her down in the middle of the night. I know parents have very strong feelings about whether baby should be in their own room or not, but for us this has just made the most sense. It would be much harder on me nursing-wise if I had to get all the way up and go into another room to get her. And this way we get the benefits of co-sleeping without the safety problems. When we were pregnant and trying to decide whether to get a bassinet or not, I kept thinking about our first few weeks with Tesla when she was a puppy. When we brought her home initially we kept the crate in another room and at night she would cry and cry. Finally I found some resources online that suggested bringing the crate into the bedroom. This is especially important for puppies if you work outside the home, it said, because the 6-8 hours of sleep time still counts as pack bonding time if you are in the same room. Just being able to hear your breathing and sense your energy makes a difference. Well, not to say that having a baby is like having a dog – in fact Will and I have been laughing lately about how different it is and how silly we were to think that being pet parents prepared us for being people parents – but it makes sense to me that if being in the same room would comfort a puppy of course it would comfort a baby too.
Best Mommy Care Item: Medela Breast Pump
I’m really glad that we decided to buy our own breast pump and that we spent the money on the nice model. I am lucky that the only time I have to be away from her long enough that I have to pump is during my evening MBA classes. I pump on my break during the 4 hour class. But building up supply has left us with more options – like for times when I have a test coming up and need to go to a study group or for nights when Will can get up and do a feeding to give me a little longer stretch of sleep. We’re talking about the value of real options in my finance class right now. I would say that the flexibility that we’ve gained is worth the investment.
Favorite Memory: Mornings with Miss M and Watching Her Discover Her Thumb
She is so happy in the mornings 🙂 I have started adding a little extra play and picture time to our morning routine to take advantage of it. I have also really enjoyed watching her discover her thumb over the last couple of weeks. She will bring her hand up to one side of her mouth, and then the other, and finally finds it to suck on her fingers. It is so neat to watch her learning process.