Monday, June 16, 2014

The next time

Now that summer is here and life is slowing down, I have gotten some quiet nursing sessions where I just enjoy my little love and think about the early days of her life.
In reality, I think with anxiety about those early days and silently celebrate that things are much, much smoother now. Charlotte is an absolutely delightful baby and I'm honored to be her momma. The first month of her life was super hard, but I learned many lessons and have grown a lot since her birth.

We hope to have more kids some day and often I think about what I will do again (and what I definitely will NOT do!) if there's a next time. I don't imagine myself using this list any time soon, but I want it tucked away for future reference.
  • I will swaddle. Praise the Lord for that cozy Halo sleepsack swaddle! Even though it was tough to transition out of using the swaddle at 3.5 months, it made the early days so much easier. Charlotte slept soundly in it!
  • I will try to remember that newborns nurse far more frequently than one would think and sometimes just the comfort of Mom settles them down. I won't will try not to say to myself, "WHAT?! She JUST finished eating! How can she be hungry again?!," like I did the first time around... 
  • I won't try to nurse my 24-hour old baby in a hard, uncomfortable rocking chair in her room, simply to try and protect my sleeping husband. Joel would wake up anyway, and our bed is a far more comfortable and far less isolating place to try to figure out feeding a newborn. 
  • I will have a nipple shield, vitamin E oil, and a manual breast pump ready for those early days of engorgement and horrifying pain.
  • I will nap when the baby naps (as much as will be possible with another child running around! ha!)
  • I will try to make more meals ahead of time.
  • I won't feel guilty eating takeout pizza 8 hours after my baby is born. 
  • I will try to establish a pattern of eating, awake time, sleeping. I really think this contributed to Charlotte's healthy sleeping patterns because she doesn't need me to nurse her to sleep. 
  • I will remind myself that nursing my baby to sleep isn't going to ruin her for life. :)
  • I will introduce a "lovey" around 4 months, like we did recently, to help my baby settle down for sleep. Charlotte has only been using her little owl for 10 days but she is definitely attached and it definitely helps her calm down and fall asleep!
  • I won't wait until 1 month to try cloth diapers. I had it in my head they wouldn't fit at first, but I think they probably would have.
  • I won't pressure myself to use cloth if I'm not ready or am feeling overwhelmed. I was happy to wait a month to use cloth simply because the first month was full of so many new challenges and struggles.
How about you? Any life lessons learned with baby that you're tucking away for the future?

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