New Mom Package.

The transition into motherhood is different for everyone. I was one of the last out of my family and friends to have a baby and my knowledge of what was about to come into my universe, was seriously a whirlwind. Birthing a human being is not at all the same as liking a photo on Instagram of someone else’s baby.

It is awesome and beautiful and bursting of all emotions.

Also, it is the most hardest and the most difficult part of life.

I felt like I was living on a crazy train, and I couldn’t go back into life before I boarded the crazy train. I couldn’t remember life before, and I couldn’t even see what was ahead.

I remember thinking to myself, “when does this get better?” Because I couldn’t see it. Everyone tells you it gets better, but when you are in the thick of it, it was hard to see past one feeding, let alone the next week.

Fast forward eight years, after having my second child, I can safely say that all of that was so crazy town. I see it now. I see that hard times will come, but I also see that everything will be just fine.

I can also see behind me now. I see that new mom and I hurt for her. I wish their was something that can prepare you for motherhood, but their isn’t. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can prepare you for becoming a new mom. You have to experience it all on your own. I don’t care what anyone tells you, it is the most amazing and terrifying experience all wrapped into one.

It is easy now to forget how hard it was those first few weeks and months. I haven’t forgotten how I felt those first few days when Kevin went back to work after TWO DAYS, my baby was new and my body felt like I was living in someone else’s body. And I think that memory is what makes now feel so secure and easy.

And with that long and personal story, I’d love to share one of my favorite things I’ve done so far this year…

Send a new mom package! My little cousin had a baby! She is transitioning into her new role, she is learning what it’s like to temporarily live on that crazy train, she is learning what it’s like to exist on little to no sleep and bursting with emotions.

I was so excited to build this little care package for my sweet cousin that lives faraway, and I hope it’s helpful in these early months. I’m excited to share it with the world (and feel free to let me know what you would add!)

Silicone Bib these bibs are the best in my opinion! The silicone bibs are so easy to clean up, I use the kitchen sponge and soap and it comes clean every time.

Chapstick, nail files, and dry shampoo (she probably has all this, but doesn’t know where it is)

face wipes (she wants to wash her face each night and these will make it easier)

facial cleansing brush (something new for your face, always makes you feel good!)

head bands (she has these too, but new ones are always better)

Outfit for baby

Tobacco (for dad)

Frisch’s Tarter Sauce (a little bit of home cooking)

Pack everything in a flat rate priority box, it’s the perfect size. Skip all the tissue paper, wrapping and extra packaging (she’s trying to keep afloat, remember)? Send the package off with positive thoughts and a note that you’ll listen to whatever she has to say and forget it all when she is feeling like her old (amazing) self again.

To my beautiful new mama of a cousin: I’m thinking about you. I’m cheering you on. And you are extraordinary. To my beautiful little babe, who made me a mama: I love you to the stars. You make me want to do better everyday.

Diaper Bag Essentials.

So what goes in a diaper bag? Especially a newborn diaper bag? It’s a lot to think about, every time you leave the house with your baby. I thought I’d share what I currently am using for our two month old son.

The diaper bag we use is nothing fancy or special. And trust me, there are so many diaper bags out there that are ridiculous in cost. I like a good-looking bag but being a new mom for the second time, I need something that is more functional than pretty if you will. How I landed this bag was through insurance if you can believe that! I ordered a breast pump through Aeroflow, and after talking to one of my friends that just had a baby, she told me about this pump that comes with a bag for $30 more through insurance. After doing some research on breast pumps, I decided I wanted the Spectra S2 and when I saw that it came with its own bag, I thought that’s the one for me. The actual bag I have is the breast pump backpack, and I love it!

Wipes on this side.

Wallet on this side.

The top part of the inside has small little compartments that I’ll put in socks, travel sound machine, hand sanitizer, etc.

The bottom outside pocket has small little pockets for things also.

This diaper bag isn’t anything fancy, but it’s not hideous either. It works for me. I love gray, and I love that it’s a backpack. Before I had my son, all I wore was a backpack purse anyway, so this was perfect.

Inside my diaper bag:
– two outfits (always like to have extra)
– burp cloth
– nursing cover
– changing mat
– socks (usually have two pair)
– traveling sound machine
– mini trash bags for diapers
– hand sanitizer
– diapers
– wipes
– wallet
– Desitin (not pictured, forgot to take it out of the bag)

It’s nice to be prepared when you have a baby, because you just never know what will/can happen when you are out and about. I’d rather have too many things than not enough. If I notice the wipes are getting low, I’ll throw another pack in the diaper bag because you will run out when you least expect it. This diaper bag is super functional, and easy to carry, and can hold all the things. Super happy with this diaper bag!

What are your favorite diaper bag essentials?

Our newborn schedule.

Everyone knows there really isn’t such a thing as a newborn schedule now is there? In the first few weeks, all babies do is eat, sleep, poop and repeat. So why bother having a schedule some might ask?

Babies, kids, and adults, all thrive on routines and schedules.

We are two months into the newborn phase of our son Huxley. The schedule we’ve adapted to, is followed pretty loosely but for the most part we stick to it as a guideline.

Here is the schedule I’ve followed for two weeks now. I wish I would’ve started it from day one, but it is what it is. I started it at seven weeks, and so glad I did. For two weeks in a row, our newborn has slept from anywhere to 4-7 hours straight at night. I feel like that is awesome at this stage for newborns!

I do believe that breastfed babies do tend to eat more often than formula fed babies, because breastmilk doesn’t leave them full for as long as formula does. I always feed him if nothing else is soothing him, even if it’s before the “scheduled” time to eat. Babies are human beings, not robots, your motherly instincts kick in and you do what you have to do.

With this being my second child, I am much more relaxed with everything. And I mean everything. If he doesn’t eat at the time he should, then he doesn’t eat. He eats when he eats, and you adjust accordingly. You’ll figure it out, trust me!

The main idea of this schedule is to not let your baby sleep more than an hour and a half during the day, between feedings. Some days he might sleep for 45 minutes, or an hour, or not at all. When that happens, I try my best to keep him awake and happy until the next feeding time. Now he doesn’t always make it to the time exactly, he might be off 30 minutes, or even an hour. And that is okay! Like I said before, these are babies, not robots. They are trying to figure out this life in the short time they’ve been here. Which is our job as mothers and parents, to help them figure it out because they need help!

You can adjust the schedule to fit your lifestyle. For example, if you start your day at 5am then have that be the start time and go from there. If you’re a working parent, adjust it to give you time to get yourself ready then get the baby up, etc. Some mornings, my son wakes up at 6am, instead of 7am. It’s all however it’ll work for you!

I have to say, this schedule has been a lot of work, but worth every second. Having a baby is a lot of work. Feeding your baby is a lot of work, however you choose to feed them. Everything about babies is lots of work (but I love every second of it!). And it’s very easy to let them nap for 3+ hours so you can get things done or even rest! But remember, babies need routines and structure. The more you do it, the more likely they will stick to it.

For naps during the day, he’ll either sleep in his swing downstairs, sometimes the car seat, or in his crib. Wherever he ends up napping, I always leave it light in the room. Sometimes we use a sound machine, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we are loud, sometimes we are not. All depends on the day, and what is going on.

For bedtime, I do the same thing every single night. He sleeps in his crib; the room is dark except for his sound machine which is also a nightlight. It’s the Hatch Rest+, which is a sound machine, night light, kids alarm clock, all in one. It’s awesome. We turn that on, put the same color on (you can choose the colors), change his diaper, put some lotion on his legs and sort of massage him, feed him, and then off to bed!

Not every night is the same as far as the amount of sleep he gets, again, they are babies not robots! His record so far has been four to seven hours straight of sleeping at night since we started this schedule. I don’t know if it’s all because of the schedule, or all because of how he is growing? Either way, I think it’s a little bit of both. Now from my experience as a mom, I recommend going to bed as soon as your baby does. The laundry can wait, or whatever it may be, getting rest is far more important at this stage. Unless you are breastfeeding, then I’d recommend pumping really quick before you go to bed, so your boobies aren’t hurting hours later. After you pump, then hit the sheets!

With my daughter Hadley who is now seven, I’ve learned to make bedtime a fun thing! She loves to sleep, always has since she was itty bitty. We’ve always told her how good of a sleeper she is, how she can sleep through thunderstorms, make it a big deal, things like that. She’s never been the type that won’t go to bed for fomo (fear of missing out). Which has been a god send! I know boys are different, but hoping our son feels the same way about sleep as his sister does!

For morning wake time, if he’s awake I say, “good morning” and turn off the sound machine/night light, open the blinds and let all the light in. Anything to help them differentiate morning time, from nighttime. If he’s sleeping, I will wake him but not let him go past 8am. It all depends on your lifestyle, and you adjust things to adapt.

So, there you have it, the schedule we’ve been using for our newborn! I understand this might not work for everyone, but if you aren’t following some type of schedule, I recommend trying to find one that works for your lifestyle. I never followed a schedule this early with my daughter, and she is the best sleeper! I found this particular schedule on one of the mom groups I follow on Facebook. The group is called Baby Sleep Training Tips & Help, which can be found here.

Hope this can help you, or at least lead you on the path to find something that works for you and your baby!

Newborn must-haves.

I wanted to share some of the items that we have used nearly every day these past two months with our little man Huxley. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with all the things to choose from pre-baby. When you have no idea what will work and what won’t work, etc. Even after having my daughter who is now seven, things have drastically changed since then. Everything here I would highly recommend. You can view the actual item’s site by clicking on the pink link.

1.Nursing Pillow – I’ve used this nursing pillow pretty much every day since Huxley was born 6 weeks ago today. The couch is pretty much where I live at right now 24/7. Having a nursing pillow around all the time, helps tremendously when breastfeeding.

2. Cosy Nation Baby Lounger – This lounger is THE best! It’s comparable to the DockATot or Snuggle Me at half the price. I love how you can pull the strings at the end tight, for when they are super tiny, which helps them feel more snug. When they start to grow, you can untie the strings, and the lounger gets wider and grows with them. It’s a safe place to put baby until they start rolling over.

3. Burt’s Bees Reversible Blanket – You can never have enough blankets, right? We keep the temperature at our house around 71-73 degrees right now. And babies cannot control their body temperatures just yet, so he gets lots of blankets to snuggle up with and stay warm. The Burt’s Bees blanket is my favorite out of all of the blankets we have, it keeps him super warm.

4. Water Bottle – This brand “Simple Modern” is my favorite for water bottles. We bought Hadley the 14oz size for school, and she loves it! The water stays super cold, and it doesn’t leak. I bought myself the larger 32oz size, since I’m breastfeeding, I need to drink more water than normal. So why not get a new fun water bottle to make drinking water more fun.

5. Racerback Nursing Bra – Out of the three different nursing bras I bought, this one is my favorite. I’m fairly large chested so I like the racer back bras, it feels more like a sports bra, and hold me up while not being too tight on the girls.

6. Portable Sound Machine – I always have this in the diaper bag, or in the diaper caddy in the living room where we are most of the time. It’s always nice to have to distract the babe if need be. It comes with a USB cord to charge, but the key is to remember to charge it before you go somewhere!

7. Footie Outfits – Footie outfits with zippers are the way to go when they are teeny tiny. Since having my daughter Hadley seven years ago, they now have two zippers in footies now! It makes it easier for diaper changes, you can unzip from the feet verses the top and expose their little bellies.

8. Spectra S2 Plus Breast Pump – Pumping is not my favorite thing to do, but I’m so glad I got the Spectra S2 pump. It’s very easy to figure out, and I’ve had no problems with it so far. I paid an extra $30 I think or something like that through insurance, but it came with a backpack and extra bottles. I ended up returning the diaper bag I originally had and using this one!

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what newborn items you love during this phase of having a new baby! It’s so hard to figure out what will work until the baby actually arrives, but thankfully, most things are returnable if they don’t work!