Paige here! Holy cow, it’s been a while! Regan has basically taken over the blog because I have been doing pretty much what I titled this blog post until very recently…surviving! I actually felt so guilty for a while because I saw all the cute insta moms swooning over their new babies and telling them to “stay little” and “stop growing” while I was over here counting the days until West was old enough to sleep train.
Now looking back at these newborn photos it makes me a little sad that I couldn’t enjoy it more because he just looks so precious! BUT, not going to lie I do MUCH better once my babies get a little sturdier/less fragile and can start to get on a schedule. West is two and a half months now and starting to get super sweet and smiley, doing pretty good with his schedule, and I’m overall in a much better headspace! (I’m sure my hormones evening out is a big part of it too).
Besides the natural hormone fluctuations after pregnancy, there were a few other things that made the newborn stage particularly hard for me this time around. West had his days/nights confused and had colic pretty bad for a few weeks. I do NOT do well with a screaming baby. It literally puts me in fight or flight mode and I feel like I need to fix it immediately even when there’s nothing I can do. Obviously I also have a toddler this time around which totally changes the game. MJ loves West and can be so sweet to him, but he also gets SO aggressive with him it’s terrifying. I have to to have my eyes on him 24/7. One time I left them both on the bed just for a second to grab something from the bathroom, and came back in to MJ jumping OVER West and barely making it! The picture below basically sums up MJ’s constant mood towards poor Westie haha. Lastly, as most of you know from instagram we found out my mom’s cancer came back at stage four shortly after West was born. As you can imagine, finding out that news combined with crazy hormones, no sleep, and a brand new baby is not the best combination!
ANYWAYS, enough of the hard stuff. If you’re a new mom reading this with similar struggles, I promise it does get better! I basically got to the point where I was like OK, I’ve got to take action and do SOMETHING to help me feel more sane here. A few weeks in I started feverishly researching, bought a new book that helped tremendously (more on that below), and got West on a ALL the colic supplements safe for newborns. I wish I could tell you one magic thing that worked to fix all the sleep and colic problems, but I think it was a combination of many! Below are my top ten tips that have saved me!
Moms On Call: I heard about their book from friends and decided to buy it when I got desperate. I didn’t think I’d need one this time around since I read a few with MJ and thought I had things figured out, but I’m so happy I got this one! They have the best tips and I love being able to have a schedule to *try to follow. They are also VERY straight to the point (the book is basically all bullet points) which I loved. Who has time for reading?!
Supplements: I wish I could tell you one magic supplement that worked wonders for colic, but I am not patient and basically tried all of them at once and one or all of them worked. Not sure which one, haha, so I just kept using them all! I use Gerber soothe probiotic drops every night, simethicone drops after almost every feeding, and gripe water whenever West starts to get really fussy. I’ll link them all at the end of this post!
Have Husband do Last Feeding: If at all possible, have your significant other do the last feeding so you can go bed early and get at least one longer stretch of sleep in!
Pump then Feed: I actually wish this wasn't the case, but it’s easier for me to just pump and give West a bottle right now. I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but for me it’s either he’s CONSTANTLY attached to the boob, or takes a bottle in a fraction of the time. I’ll try breastfeeding again when he’s a little older, but for now he can’t stay awake at the boob!
Don’t Change at Night: Sorry little guy, but momma’s got to sleep! I started doing the absolute bare minimum when West would wake up at night, and that includes no longer changing him until the morning! (Unless he has a VERY bad and obvious dirty diaper). I just load him up with diaper rash cream AND natural baby powder before bedtime.
Accept Help: People are going to offer to help you with a new baby. Take it! Obviously it’s easier to accept from people you’re related and close to, but take it where you can get it and don’t feel bad about it!
Move to Their OWN Room: After the first couple of weeks, move them to their own room with the door closed and a sound machine on. This is one of the tips from Moms On Call, but it was huge for me so I gave it it’s own spot :) It may sound sad, but you just don’t hear them as much! It was absolutely necessary for me with West waking up almost every 15 minutes sometimes. When they’re right next to you, you wake up to every grunt and whine, even when sometimes they can put themselves back to sleep! This way, you only wake up when they’re really awake and crying. THB though, I don’t think I could have done this as early without the owlet camera and sock! (Shown below). I love being able to check in on him from my phone and make sure he has safe oxygen levels and heart rate!
8. Hands Free Pumping Bra: I didn’t have one of these with MJ, and it’s a game changer! It turns pumping into more of a break, where you can be on your phone or watch part of a show, than a chore. I’ll link this one I use at the bottom of this post. It’s cute and super cheap!
9. Take the time for skin to skin: For me, this just bonded me with both of my babies. There’s no better feeling than a newborn baby laying on your chest! With West it was harder because after nursing/feeding I’d feel like I’d have to get up because there was so much to do, but taking at least a little bit of time each day for skin to skin helped me bond and feel so much love for him!
10. Don’t Let Guilt Get To You: This is still so hard for me. But I’m working on it! You’re just not going to be able to get as much done as you used to for a while, and that’s ok! I would (and still do sometimes) feel so guilty about not spending as much time with MJ, getting chores done, doing nothing on our blog etc. I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m doing the best I can, and that my number one priority is keeping my kids and myself alive and healthy!
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