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In this post, often like my usual "Top 5", I'm sharing the best things that have helped me with my baby boy in his first months of life and this new chapter as a mother...
I plan on doing a continued series of "Pregnancy Journey" to " Postpartum Journey" as soon as I complete the "4th Trimester", the months you rarely hear about because every new mom or seasoned mom of a newborn is no doubt just surviving. I don't gatekeep things that truly have helped me in any situation, and the first months of a newborn is no different, especially the 4th trimester!
1| Walking | The most important thing that helped me clear my mind was going for walks while the baby napped in his stroller. The first couple months of his birth the weather was perfect, crisp and chilly. Making it ideal for walks in Miami. I went to a park that I trust and felt safe at and began doing 2-3 miles every day and eventually it became every other day as I got busier with part time work. Walking broke up the day of the monotonous routine that a new mom is not used to. I began at two weeks postpartum after doing a lot of walking about in my home and short visits to my parent's or sister's house. My incision (from C-Section) was a little tender but manageable. I swear this helped me get out of any potential of experiencing long term baby blues. The release and shock of hormones after birth is no joke and this simple task of walking in fresh air, music blasting in my air pods was a big factor in helping me produce serotonin and endorphins. As the heat crept in, I bought fans for my stroller [buy here] and only do walks in the early hours, there's also the option if I really need a long walk to visit my local indoor mall.
P.S. stay hydrated and I promise at first your pace will be slower to what you are used to, but soon your power walk speed will be back! If you don't have a place to go walking or aren't yet ready, spend time outdoors. Find a shady spot for you and your babe and soak in the sunlight bouncing off everywhere and breathe in the fresh air!
2| White Noise | I used to be worried that white noise would be forming a bad habit for the baby to only learn to fall asleep if it's playing in the background. I realized white noise isn't for soothing ( I mean a little), it's for blocking out the sounds in the rest of the house! lol. I always make sure not to whisper and carry on with errands around the house during the day without playing white noise so A) the baby learns to fall asleep anywhere and B) my version of helping the baby learn the difference between day time (walks helped with that too) and night time.
My home isn't very big so at night when I want the baby to reach his deep rem sleep, we must create the perfect environment and have a nice dark room and drown out any noise beyond his nursery room with white noise! One thing is a random constant noise in your space, they will adjust, but a subtle loud one or noisy neighbor before they are deep in sleep, could have you dealing with a fussy baby for a bit. I have two options for this: The Nanit Pro Monitor & The Yogasleep Portable Sound Machine. On occasion the portable sound machine works if you need for visits at grandma's house or maybe your 6 week checkup at your OB. The reason I bring up The Nanit, is because it comes with several sounds to play (including a white noise option) from the monitor which makes it a one-stop shop for all things needed in the nursery ( I talk about it more below as it is number 3 on the list).
3| The Nanit Pro | I'm obsessed with this monitor system! It's worth the hype!!! The Nanit has a few options in terms of set up, be it wall mounted, stand or shelf style. It's not just a monitor, it's a sound machine with music, birds noises, white noise, ocean waves and more. It also can be a nightlight. All with intensity control. The smart program is comes with measures the time your child slept, to moments of wake periods and on. You can even wear a special onsie or belly band to monitor breathing. I haven't tried the breathing system, simple because I think it would drive me nuts and I would be extra paranoid watching the monitor lol. I also love that I can check on him via my phone. I never have to creep in to see if he officially fell asleep during those drowsy put downs or when I'm off to workout in my cottage studio out back. It also sends really sweet content about sleep, factual content that isn't overwhelming. It's a YES for me. We plan on getting a travel system as well! BUY HERE
4 | Graco Duet Swing & Rocker | If you follow me on Instagram, you usually see my little guy passed out in this swing late mornings just before I workout lol. It's a lifesaver for errands around the house, working out, or when you need a damn minute. As much as I've gotten confident with putting my son down for his naps awake, every now and then he'll get fussy and this soothing swing becomes an extra set of hands. I also put him in the swing when cleaning while awake with high contrast pictures or other developmental images that are meant to stimulate infants. I hang these images in front of him so he can entertain himself. It can also become a portable rocker, making it ideal for visiting other homes, parks or the beach! I know it's hard in the beginning to feel the freedom to take a shower or organize an area of sorts, but this little swing might just be what you need. BUY HERE
5 | Huckleberry App & Wonder Weeks App | My sister's co-worker told me about these apps from her daughter using it with her infant. I had noted it, looked it up, screen shot the images of each it and forgot about it. A few weeks in, I remembered about the apps, because I got tired of noting every feed, pee and poop, in my basic notes app (which is still a great tool when used to it's full potential)...
Huckleberry allows you to log not just the basics of feeds and bowel movements, but type of feed; formula, breast milk, left boob, right boob, pumping sessions, tummy time, bath, indoor play, outdoor play etc. but most importantly SLEEP! There are some in app purchases should you want to explore sleep more, but you do have access too all the essentials. However the sleep tool is really nice because after a couple week of logging, it then comes up with a sleep schedule g=for you based on a few questions, and your child's sleep patterns! It then notifies you of a "sweet spot" approaching which basically allows you to prep for the window of the nap ahead. I love it, it's accurate AF and allowed me to get confident in putting my baby to sleep drowsy or even what seemed to be awake, but not more than 5-10 minutes and the baby would fall asleep. A really great app for first time parents. Honestly I plan on using this for my second, I have major "mom brain" and logging and remembering feeds & naps has been completely eliminated the stress of keeping track!
Download and learn more about HUCKLEBERRY APP HERE
Wonder Weeks is an app that I have definitely have gotten mixed reviews from friends, but here's why I like it... This app gives you developmental stages of your child according to their age, "Leaps" as they call it in the app, but not just "Hey they are discovering hands" but full on explanations of different activities you can do with your child. In depth growth on their fine motor and cognitive skills and also prep you for "Fussy Leaps" ahead. Which at first worried me like " What fresh Hell is this", but now when I notice the baby a bit more fussy or off with the naps, this app clarifies it for me but also helps me understand that I'm doing everything I normally do, but my child is internally going through a growth stage. I personally like the activities it lists for each Leap, especially when you aren't hundred percent sure what to do with your baby during wake periods. You are then again relieved that the activities you are doing are stimulating the baby's growth!
Download & Learn more about WONDER WEEKS APP HERE
I hope you'll find some use and peace in these recommendations. I only share what I genuinely tried and loved and their positive experience. These recs were just for the early months. I'm currently in the midst of finishing the 4th trimester and can't wait to share the wins and woes.
And to the new moms or seasoned ones looking for a refresher, sending you all so much love and strength during this chapter in your life.
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