Months 3 to 4 Must Haves

baby4month_Fotor_CollageThese are the items that we haven’t been able to live without this past month.  Of course, we still use the bouncer, baby wash, and the blankets that we used during the first three months, but things are a little different now.  The bouncer is almost too small for our growing baby boy and the blankets are used for chewing rather than warmth.  Baby wash is still baby wash, and we’ve completely moved away from pacifiers.

Baby Einstein™ Musical Motion Activity Jumper™ We can’t live without this!  It has a barrel that makes noise, it has buttons that light up and say colors and shapes in English, Spanish, and French, it’s has adjustable height levels, it’s sturdy, and it’s colorful.  The only bad thing is that you have to buy the toys that attach to the arms.  Oh, and when it says “collapsable for flat storage” it really means “disassemble for flat storage”.  Grandma Recer got this for us and our boy has used it every day since.

Lamaze Play & Grow Flutterbug It crinkles, it rattles, and it vibrates when you pull the flower away from the bee.  The only thing it doesn’t do is light up.  It’s soft and plush, the rings are textured and are helping with our son’s teething, and the under side is high contrast black and white.  This is the toy we take with us when we leave the house.  It’s guaranteed to entertain.

Fisher-Price Healthy Care Deluxe Booster Seat … because our 4 month old is the size of a toddler.  Our son has mostly outgrown his Bumbo, so we got the booster seat.  It’s helping him balance, plus it’s very similar to the table he sits in at school.  The blue tray is for play and has a lip that holds in toys, the white tray is for food, and the green “tray” is actually a locking lid for the white tray.  We can pack up the whole seat and take it with us anywhere we go.  The white tray and lid can store food and fits in our diaper bag easily.  When we start on solid food, I’m sure this will come in handy

HALO® SleepSack® Wearable Blanket Cotton Blue This one is just like the micro-fleece one, only one size bigger and in cotton.  We have one that has owls on it, too.  Our son has started to associate the sleep sacks with bed time, and we’re okay with that.  We put him in the sleep sack right before his last bottle of the day.  It seems to soothe him and encourage him to wind down for a good night’s sleep.

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn™ Singin’ Soccer Ball Entertaining during tummy time.  The voice is fairly high pitched, so it keeps our son’s attention.  It’s colorful and high contrast at the same time.  It has music and melodies, as well as speaks numbers.

Encouragement for Moms

I generally write letters to my son in this blog, but today’s for the moms.  I’ve been surprised lately with the amount of content in mom blogs that address the feelings of inadequacy in new moms.  Yes, I subscribe to several other mom blogs.  I love reading other mom blogs because it allows me to identify and commiserate (most often) with other new moms and learn from more experienced moms.  I’m intrigued by scenarios in which other moms find themselves, and the critical thinking used in those situations.  The majority of my friends are in different places in their lives, and we can’t talk “mom and baby”.  Plus, I work from home and my son isn’t old enough to join the ‘Mommy And Me’ play groups yet, so I don’t get a lot of bonding time with other moms.

The items listed below are little things with which I’ve made peace.   Nobody has all the answers, and I’d be leery of of anyone who claimed they did.

  1. In no way will I judge another mother for how she makes it through her day.  Everyone copes in different ways; everyone is different and so is every baby.  Nobody lives your life except you.  Becoming a parent is exciting, wonderful, magical, and awesome; it’s also scary, stressful, intimidating, and overwhelming.  I don’t think it matters how many children you have; every day is different and presents new challenges.  Cry if you need to cry, take a minute for yourself, and relax.  Stretch your shoulders and shake out your arms.  You will get through this.
  2. I will be more patient, and I won’t offer my opinion unless asked.  What’s right for me might not be right for the next mom.  There’s no ‘miracle cure’, ‘instruction manual’. or ‘perfect parent’.  It’s a lot of trial and error (and error, and error, and error).  If my son’s been fed, been changed, and had a nap… then why won’t he stop crying?!  Take a deep breath in, exhale, and try something new.  You’re allowed to make mistakes; you’re only human.  I know that it’s really hard to remember that when you have a screaming baby, though.  The screaming will stop, the air will clear and so will your head, and you’ll take mental notes for next time.
  3. Day school (day care) was the best thing we did for our son.  My husband and I both have careers that we love, and neither one of us could do our job and look after our son every day.  Both would suffer.  It was difficult sending him to school at such a young age, but it was best for everyone.  I had a hard time realizing that I probably wouldn’t be the first person to watch him crawl, walk, or hear his first word.  It’s still hard.  But, he’s very well cared for, he’s developing faster than if he were at home, and he’s socialized.  Our son wears himself out playing at school, and he sleeps all through the night.  Yes, he’s already had RSV, but he got through it just fine, and he’s stronger now.
  4. My body will never be the same.  I could write a whole book on this topics… It took almost 10 months to grow our baby boy, and my body can’t fully recover from that weight fluctuation.  I’m older than the average new mom, I gained 45 pounds with this pregnancy, and our son was a giant.  But I’m healthy, I make good decisions for myself, and my husband and son love me.  In fact, I’m pretty sure my son loves that I’m a little soft, and my husband loves that I have more curves.  You’re allowed to have a different shape after growing a human.  I’m sure I’ll have those amazing arms and great legs again… after about a year or so of chasing a baby around 🙂
  5. Anyone who can’t understand why my house is a mess is either not a parent or hires someone to keep the house clean for them.  The only way we keep our house clean is to tag-team it.  My husband and I split the house chores: I do the laundry and clean the bedrooms and bathrooms, and he does everything else.  I have to get my housework done during the day (like on my lunch break) or before the boys come home.  Once the boys get home, I watch after our son and my husband cleans the kitchen, does the dishes, and makes dinner.  As long as we have clean underwear and clothes for school, I don’t worry about too much else.  And if we’re too tired to clean the kitchen one night, the dishes can wait.  Your self-worth isn’t reliant on how clean you keep your house.
  6. We’ve found sanity in the form of a schedule.  This is paired with the allowance of deviating from that schedule when we feel it necessary.  Schedules are awesome because you can expect and plan for the next event.  It’s noon: my son falls asleep.  It’s 2pm: my son should wake up and want to eat.  But if our little guy refuses to adhere to the schedule, we have a contingency plan.  If that doesn’t work, we play it by ear.  Everything takes more time now; It’s not the end of the world.
  7. Sometimes, no amount of preparation can prepare you for what’s about to happen next.  When our son was recovering from RSV, we took him over to Grandma’s house for a visit.  It was about time for him to eat, so we let grammy do it.  Vomit everywhere.  We got everyone changed and the vomit cleaned off the couch.  Then we tried again, and vomit everywhere again.  Well, we used our set of emergency clothes, so we had to take our baby home naked (in a diaper) and hungry.  See Day 71.  I’m sure this won’t be the last time something like this happens.  You can’t take situations like this too seriously; you’ll just stay mad, and that’s no good for anyone.

All of this to say one thing: All the hiccups in your days are not these giant failures you imagine; all the days you make it through are victories.  And after a little while of ‘making it through’ the days, you’ll start enjoying the days.  The things that used to cause such strife in your days won’t phase you.  The formerly traumatic experiences will now make you laugh.  You’ll develop a new ‘normal’, and it will be great.  And those are HUGE victories!

Day 92

IMG_1262Who is the happiest little boy because he slept through the night?!  You are!

Yes, you slept all the way through the night, kiddo.  We fed you around 7pm and you were asleep by 7:30.  We woke up around 4:30, but it wasn’t that bad.  I think it’s crazy how 5am doesn’t sound so early anymore…

You wore your Chelsea clothes today even though our team didn’t play.  This is outfit #1; outfit #2 came after you #2’d all over outfit #1.  Let’s just say it was a blowout of epic proportions.  Your other Chelsea outfit was the blue kit and grey shorts; totally cute!

Today is Valentine’s Day, and you and dad got to spend some quality time together while I went to the spa for a couple hours.  Later we went to the PGA SuperStore and got me fitted for clubs.  I love our little family life 🙂

Three Months

IMG_1248I’ve learned I no longer get to blog on the weekends… boo!

This is you at three months old.  Friday, the 13th… ooooh 🙂 You’re really tall, really heavy (in a good way), and you’re really social.  Everyone at school loves you!  You have mastered the following:

  • smiling, laughing
  • talking, cooing, babble
  • blowing bubbles, raspberries
  • big sighs, inquisitive noises
  • swimming motion on tummy time, pushing up
  • swiping grasp, pinching, hand holding
  • rolling over both ways

Your focus has gotten a lot better and you’re starting to recognize people from further away.  I know your hearing is perfectly fine because you can recognize your dad and my voices even when you don’t see us.  You already have your favorite toys at school and home.  You’re so strong and your hands, feet, and head move at lightning speeds, often times catching us off-guard.  You’ve clocked me in the jaw a few times more than I care to admit.  Changing your diaper and feeding you has become more of a chore as you like to squirm and wiggle so much.  It’s like you can’t sit still for one second, as evidenced in the picture I took.  Oh, and EVERYTHING is going in your mouth now.

First Three Months Must Haves

babythreemonth_Fotor_CollageEverything you see here are things we actually own, down to the very design.  I picked these five items as my top must haves for the first three months because we used them frequently and I can’t imagine our life without them.

Johnson’s baby head-to-toe wash because baby needed to get clean and this is what the hospital recommended.  If you’re going to shower with the baby, get the 28 oz. bottle with the hand pump.  It makes life so much easier, especially when you have a baby in the other hand.

Aden aden + anais muslin swaddle blankets We went through so many blankets before we settled on these.  Yes, they were kind of expensive for blankets, but you get four of them.  Our son was really long at birth, so these were the only blankets that would accommodate his tall body.  They’re really breathable, so I didn’t have any fears of him falling asleep with them.  They’re pretty course out of the package but soften up after a few washes.

Halo SleepSack Woodland Animals fleece wearable blanket My husband and I weren’t really keen on getting one of these; they seemed like a lot of hype and were kind of expensive.  Once our little man learned to kick his legs, keeping him wrapped in a swaddle blanket all night long was impossible.  That’s about when we caved and bought a sleep sack.  Since he was born in the winter, we opted for the fleece one.  Size small is really popular and hard to find in stores, but it fit him perfectly all the way up to now.

Fisher Price 2-in-1 Sensory Stages bouncer This also doubled as our son’s sleeping arrangements for the first couple weeks we were home.  Plus, when I needed to do anything, like shower or house work, I just stuck our son in the bouncer and I knew he was safe and happy.  We got this at our baby shower and absolutely loved it.  It has a harness to keep our son in place, which became necessary when he got more wiggly.  It has a very mild vibrating feature that put our son to sleep pretty frequently.  The arch is an easily removable attachment and is double sided; one side is animals and the other is high-contrast black and white designs.  So useful and fun!

Avent Soothie pacifiers Best. Things. Ever.  They really pacify our little guy when he’s upset.  Paired with the swaddle blankets, I could get our son to relax and fall asleep in no time flat!  Again, the hospital recommended them and they sent us home with a couple.

Day 90

IMG_1222Another night of waking up… ugh.  Can we please stop this, kiddo?  Mom needs a solid night sleep 🙂

I think you’ve officially hit the stage where everything goes into your mouth.  Mainly, it’s your left fist that finds your mouth.  I can only think that you’re telling me that you’re hungry, so that’s about the time we feed you.

You coo and talk to so much.  Your smile is getting bigger.  You’re happy all the time, except when I use the bulb on your nose; darn allergies.  You’re positively a stud, kiddo.

Day 89

IMG_1208This waking up in the middle of the night thing is for the birds, kiddo!  You woke me up at 2am again.  On a positive note, that is almost 8 hours of sleep for you.  I just can’t bring myself to go to bed in line with you at 6pm.

You look more and more like your dad every day.  You have my coloring but your dad’s features.  And you’re fascinated by the camera.

Day 88

IMG_1164Again, you woke up in the middle of the night.  We have to stop letting you go to sleep at 6pm.  It’s so hard to try and keep you awake, though… you’re a growing boy and you need all the sleep!

You sure do love your spaceship (jumper).  You’re really learning how to grab onto things, and you’re reaching and grasping.  Apparently, you’ve been ‘playing hard’ at school, too.  I’m sure that doesn’t help with your recent exhaustion.

Day 86

You didn’t exactly have an easy night; I got up with you three times before Dad finally got up with you around 4:30.  Sundays are made for relaxing, so relax already!  It was unseasonably warm today, so we got you all dressed in a short sleeved onesie and shorts.  Grandma Chapman came over like she normally does on Sundays (except for last week because she got a nasty cough), and dad and I went to Top Golf, grocery shopping, and to the PGA store to get me some golf shoes.  We watched a recorded TV show, then we hit the road with you.  We went to Lowe’s to guy a new hot water heater, then we went to Target, and finally JJ’s basketball game (which ended up not happening).  You were really tired and slept through Target and the basketball game.  Let’s try to have a good night tonight!