I thought I would have a lot more blog posts out during maternity leave, but time is always getting away from me. Can’t believe Ryker is going on 3 months and this is only my second post…Oh well. At least, I can say I feel like I have somewhat of a system down with him. And I couldn’t have made it to this point without a few essentials, tips, and tricks. Some of these were tips I received from other moms, some were my own finds through research, and some were just trial and error with Ryker. Of course, every baby is different, and not every baby will like these things. I also realize I’m a first time mom, and by no means an expert on babies. But I just wanted to quickly share some things that have really helped us:
- JOIN A DUE DATE FACEBOOK GROUP: This was something I randomly found on my own when I first found out I was pregnant. I had a few other mom friends that I could talk with, but a big part of me wanted to find a community of moms that were going through the same things as me…at the same time. I just searched September 2018 babies, and found a private group right away! There are about 300 members from all over the world. Moms could share questions, tips, hardships, etc and it was the coolest thing because you knew everyone’s baby was around the same age as yours. It was so incredibly helpful and comforting during pregnancy and afterwards. I was able to ask “Is this normal” questions, and other moms would chime in with their experiences. Of course, you should always consult a doctor for serious issues, but it was really comforting to share my experiences with other moms with babies the same age.
- JUST GET OUT: It can be scary to get out of the house with a newborn, but it will feel so good once you do. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. For me, “getting out,” started out as trips to target or the mall…AKA places with food and shopping and changing tables in the same vicinity. I just had to tell myself that the worst that could realistically happen was Ryker crying. And if that happened, it was usually just a matter of changing a diaper, or feeding him. And if he was inconsolable, I would just go back home.
3. GRIPE WATER: Ryker was a really gassy baby from the start. The first few weeks were so hard because he would go through fits where he was obviously having gas pains. He would strain and grunt and cry and it was hard to watch. I had never heard of gripe water previously, but a few friends gave it to me at my baby shower. It’s not a cure all, but there were a decent amount of times when Ryker went straight to sleep after some gripe water.
4. THE WINDI: This goes along with the gassy issue. I discovered the windi through my moms Facebook group. It’s basically a straw/tube that you stick up your baby’s bottom to help release trapped gas. Some moms advised against it because babies need to learn to use their pooping reflexes on their own and the Windi could potentially prolong that. I decided to buy it anyway and use it as a last resort when the gripe water, or tummy massages and leg kicks didn’t work which was usually in the middle of the night. It was definitely worth it for those 3am crying fits. And now, Ryker seems to have a better time passing gas on his own so I don’t need to use it as much.
5. WHITE NOISE WHITE NOISE WHITE NOISE: We must have 4-5 sound machines. It makes all the difference when trying to get Ryker to fall asleep. I personally don’t think it matters what type of sound machine you have, any white noise is helpful. We use the Baby Shusher when we’re out of the house. You can also download white noise on Itunes and use your phone
6. QUICK SWADDLE + BAT WINGS: As much as I love the cute muslin prints, it becomes a hassle to unswaddle and reswadle in the middle of the night for diaper changes. Quick swaddles like the Swaddle Me or Halo Sleep Sack are way more user friendly. And I recently learned a new swaddle technique for night time that helps keep his arms down. It’s called the bat wings swaddle techinique. The first time I tried it, Ryker slept almost 6 hours in a row. Watch the video below:
7. BABY NEST: Dock A Tot, Snuggle Me Organic, etc. I don’t think the brand matters all that much, but just something that keeps baby straight and snug in the bassinet. I originally found a cheap one on Etsy, but my friend ended up loaning me her Dock A Tot. Both worked great!
8. MOSES BASKET: If I didn’t have a dog, I would’ve just laid Ryker in the Dock A Tot on the couch, but I always feared the dog might jump up and step on him. I liked that the moses basket had high walls. And it’s super cute. Loved this one from Design Dua.
9. ROCK N PLAY: Game changer. It’s only $50 on Amazon, it rocks on its own and its inclined which helps with reflux. Oh, and it’s super lightweight and portable. I use it for naps.
10. HALO BASSINET: I was lucky, and a friend let me borrow hers. The swivel action and adjustable height makes night feedings so much easier.
11. ROCKIT ROCKER: This was something I searched for on my own. I found myself shaking the Halo Bassinet to help Ryker fall back asleep and I wondered if there was anything out there that could do that for me so I could go back asleep quicker. I found the Rockit Rocker. It’s supposed to go on your stroller, but I attached it to the Bassinet instead.
12. ELECTRIC NAIL FILE: So happy my friend showed me this thing. Soooo much easier than using nail clippers. The file heads have different levels of roughness based on age so it doesn’t hurt their little fingers!
13. BABY CARRIER: I always bring a carrier with me when I go somewhere with Ryker. If he gets fussy in the stroller, I will put him in the carrier and he almost always calms down or even falls asleep. I have a few different carriers but lately I’m loving the Moby Wrap and the Lilli Baby. I might do a separate blog post on carriers eventually…