I've only been a mom for a little over 7 months. But in those few months I've learned a lot...and yet, still have a lot more to learn. So I wanted to share some tips 'n' tricks I've learned so far. There's so much to learn as a new parent that any and all information is valuable in my opinion. So hopefully this information will be helpful for others - whether you're a new mommy or just planning to become a mommy in the future at some point!
1) Buy gripe water.
Camden is a super easy baby. But when he was a newborn gripe water was a life saver. I didn't start giving it to him until he was a few weeks old though (approved by the pediatrician, of course!) Gripe water is great when they've got an upset tummy or a case of the hiccups that they just can't seem to get rid of. One word of caution though - once the bottle is opened it says to throw away after 6 weeks - just something to keep in mind (maybe start off with a small bottle of it - it is expensive and you don't want to waste it.)
2) Get a video monitor.
I think this is a given for most people these days. It doesn't have to be a super expensive one - just one that'll allow you to see your baby. Babies make a lot of noise when they sleep. Being able to see the baby lets you know if he/she is really awake and needs your attention. If you didn't have a video monitor you might go in to their room with every sound they make and could possibly wake them up unnecessarily.
3) Swaddle! Swaddle! Swaddle!
I know - I know. Not every baby likes to be swaddled. But I STILL recommend buying a swaddler and bringing it to the hospital with you. If you swaddle your baby from the very beginning I firmly believe they'll take to it. And I don't mean swaddling with a blanket - get a real swaddler (like this one that we LOVED!)
4) Promote good sleep habits and environments the first day you're home (not only at night time but have a nap routine as well.)
For us this meant a few things that I'll outline (FYI - not to brag or anything but my EBF baby was sleeping 10+ hours a night around 5-6 weeks old and was sleeping a good 6+ hour stretch when he was around 3 weeks old...all in his crib!)
- Start a bedtime routine the very first night you're home. For us that means going upstairs, putting pj's on him, turning on the sound machine, feeding him, reading a couple books, say our 'good nights' and 'I love yous' and turning the mobile on. At 7 months old we still have this routine (with the exception of the mobile - we don't use every night but still do use and often we'll sing a couple songs to him after we're done reading before we put him in the crib.) It doesn't matter what you do as part of your routine. All that matters is that you stick to this routine each night.
- Don't be too quiet around the baby when he/she is sleeping (especially important in the very beginning!!) When I was home on maternity leave the TV or music was always on. I vacuumed while he slept. If someone called I didn't talk in a low voice. I'd bring him down to the basement in his sleep cove while I ran on the treadmill and watched a show on my iPad. He slept through it ALL.
- Don't engage with them in the middle of the night. Have a night light or small lamp that you can turn on so you don't need to turn on the room light. Don't talk to them. You want them to learn that the middle of the night isn't party time. Whenever Camden would wake up in the middle of the night, I'd go in, turn on the little night light, change his diaper, nurse him, and put him right back in his crib without saying a word to him. Sometimes, he would need a little extra attention and we'd either pick him up and rock him for a few minutes or just rub his back so he'd settle himself enough to get back to sleep. He has always been GREAT at putting himself to sleep.
- Promote the difference between day and night. We have blackout curtains in his nursery. But during his nap times I make sure the curtains are open. I did the same thing when he was super little and he slept in his sleep cove downstairs for naps - the living room curtains were open and/or a light was on.
- Even though these bullet points make me sound super strict, don't forget to cuddle and love up on your little one. Babies thrive on routine and consistency but that doesn't mean it should be like that ALL the time. I've definitely had many times he napped on my chest and I've rocked him to sleep - those are the moments I treasure more than anything...babies and mommies both need those special bonding times <3
5) Listen to your intuition and do what works best for YOU!
So if none of the stuff I listed above fits your life or what you think is right - then don't do it. It's your baby. Your life. You know what's best for your baby. What worked for my baby might not work for yours. And what works for you might not work for me. And that's OK. So get to know your baby and figure out what works best for you all. Having your baby's best intention as your #1 priority is all that matters. Listening to your gut is THE #1 piece of advice I can give :)
There is so much I have learned and yet still so much to learn! What are some of your top parent tips and tricks?
...that people judge me because both my husband and I have to work.
...that I'm not spending enough time with my son.
...I'm not putting enough effort into my marriage.
...I'll never find that work/home balance I so desperately crave.
...that one day my son will prefer his nanny over me.
...I'm not making the right decisions when it comes to raising Camden.
...to even think about having another baby. Camden's such a good baby I'm afraid of what #2 might be like! :-p
...that I'll never feel rested again.
...of actually having to raise & teach a child (discipline, manners, values, etc) This whole baby thing is easy compared to that I think.
...I'm going to have to miss out on a lot of things in Camden's life because I do work.
...of 'messing' him up.
I'm just scared. This whole raising a child thing...it's hard. And it's scary. It's overwhelming and life changing. And if anyone says it's not - they're lying.
bigger than all that is the fact that being a mommy rocks! Those gummy smiles. The slobbery kisses. Those chubby arms reaching up for you. The SNUGGLES. Those are the things that REALLY matter.
What are you most scared about when it comes to raising kid(s)?
June 21, 2015....the first day of summer...the longest day of the year...your 33rd birthday...AND your first Father's Day. Wow - what a day :)
I don't even know where to begin. Not only are you an amazing person, husband, son, brother, uncle, friend, teacher and everything else...you are the most amazing daddy ever. I knew you'd be an exceptional father. But I had NO IDEA just how amazing. Camden is by far the luckiest little boy ever to have you as his daddy. Since day one, you have stepped up to the plate. You're not afraid to do anything when it comes to him. You change blow out diapers. You get down and play with him. You use silly voices just to make him laugh. You snuggle him. You help out so much around the house. You do it ALL. Not only do I adore you and love you, but that little boy of ours lights up when you're around. You get the biggest smiles and laughs out of him and it makes my heart swell. I fall more in love with you every single day and I couldn't imagine a better person to share all this with.
I hope you know how loved and appreciated you are every day. Camden and I love you more than you'll ever know. Thank you for being YOU.
Love you always and forever <3
It's been forever since I've done a Five on Friday so today I'm changing that! Linkin' up with April today...
1) Sunday is Father's Day AND my husband's birthday!! I am really looking forward to it and can't wait to give Matt his presents (one in particular especially - I'll be sure to share with ya'll on the blog next week!) We're going out to breakfast as a family then will spend the afternoon/early evening visiting with family - it should be a pretty great day!
2) There's just something about the warm weather that makes me want to drink fun, fruity drinks. Last summer I was pregnant and I REALLY missed sitting outside having a drink with the hubs or when out at social gatherings. So this summer I'm making it a point to enjoy some downtime and enjoy a drink once in a while (1 drink is my limit though since I'm nursing still!) I've been pinning a lot of fun drink recipes...this one I'm especially excited about (we have lots of mint growing in our garden so this is a great way to use it!)
3) Thanks to Ruthie I have discovered Jane.com. Yup - I am officially obsessed and will be spending some of my Christmas money on some new clothes! They have so, so, so many cute things at such fantastic prices. What are you waiting for? Go check it out...like NOW! :)
4) Matt is participating in the CrossFit Catalyst Games again this year tomorrow. Unfortunately, I don't think Camden and I will make it there to watch him (his heats are during Camden's morning nap) but we'll be thinking of him all morning. Good luck babe and have fun!
5) Tonight Matt has graduation at the school he teaches at and therefore, I'll have a couple hours to myself...I don't even remember when the last time that happened and I can't wait (though I'll probably just end up going to bed as soon as Camden does....exciting, I know!!)
I was going to apologize for all the baby related stuff I've been blogging lately...but then I realized it's sorta my life now. And this blog is about my life...so yeah, sorry not sorry :)
Ever since I can remember, I've always wanted to be a mom (though I most definitely went through a period where I wasn't sure I did want kids!) I've always loved babies. I've always been good with kids. Though I've always wanted to have kids...I never remember wanting to breastfeed them. In fact, I always said I wouldn't. The thought of it sort of grossed me out way back in the day to be honest - it was weird to me (and still sorta is to me to be honest even though I know it's the most natural thing in the world.) Not to mention I'm not one of those people who are comfortable with their bodies and nakedness in general. Plus, I was never really exposed to nursing - no one in my family nursed any of the babies we had in the family while I was growing up. Breastfeeding wasn't such a big thing back then - not as much as it is today. So I figured that when the day came and I had kids I'd just give them formula.
But as I got older and breastfeeding became a 'hot topic' I started thinking more and more about it. Once I learned more about it I had the mind set of 'Yeah if I have kids I'll probably nurse' but it wasn't a huge deal to me - it's not something I felt overly passionate about. Once I got married and Matt & I started thinking about having kids I thought more and more about it. Once I became pregnant, it was one of those things we discussed. It was a big decision. I had 100% of Matt's support if I wanted to nurse...and I had 100% of his support if I decided I didn't even want to try it. Ultimately, I decided I was going to give it a shot. I wasn't going to stress over it. If it worked out - great. If not, that's OK too. Either way our baby was going to be fed and nourished and that's all that mattered to us.
We attempted nursing shortly after Camden's birth. He really wasn't interested in it at all. In fact, the whole time we were in the hospital he just didn't seem all that interested in eating. I'd say half of our attempts were successful and the others not. While in the hospital, I met with a lactation consultant a few different times to help with Camden's latch (he just wouldn't open his mouth wide enough to get a decent latch!) When we left the hospital I wasn't discouraged that he didn't latch on great right away and that we were still struggling. I wasn't putting a ton of pressure on myself that I absolutely HAD to breastfeed. Once we got home he nursed much better. It took a little while for him to finally get a really good latch but eventually he did. Throughout the first couple months a lactation specialist from my health insurance called me every couple weeks to check up on me. I'd ask any questions I had - she'd give me advice on getting him to latch better - etc. It was great and definitely helped me through the first few weeks.
Nursing continued to go well while I was on maternity leave. I never experienced the pain I've heard a lot about. Sure it wasn't smooth sailing the whole time, but I never had it as bad as I've heard some moms have - and I'm so grateful for that. Once my maternity leave ended, I stressed a little bit about how I was going to keep up with nursing and pumping (especially since I personally hate pumping.) But I decided to go on with the same attitude - I'd at least try it out. If I could do it - great. If not, no big deal - we'll switch to formula and be grateful I had at least been able to nurse for the first 9+ weeks of his life.
Once I started back at work my supply went down a little and I wasn't getting much when I pumped. So we started supplementing his bottles with formula (at daycare he gets a 4oz bottle - 2oz of formula and 2oz of breastmilk.) I nurse him in the morning and I nurse him before bed (and, of course, at all feedings on the weekends.) And here we are - he's 7 months old and we're still at it. I never expected us to be this successful. I never thought I'd enjoy nursing as much as I do. Don't get me wrong - you won't find me nursing in public or posting any strong opinions on social media about it. But I am proud we've lasted this long. I don't know how much longer I'll nurse for - we just take it day by day. But whether I stop nursing today, tomorrow, or in 5 months - it doesn't matter. It hasn't always been easy but I'll always be so grateful for this time we've had.
If I had any advice for any new moms it'd be to give yourself a break and don't put too much pressure on yourself. But if breastfeeding is something you really want to do - don't give up. Give it time. Talk to friends. Get a hold of a lactation consultant. Just hang in there. And if it doesn't work out or you choose not to breastfeed - don't be hard on yourself. It's not the end of the world....I promise.
Any questions please get ahold of me - I'm more than happy to answer any questions and/or concerns and share my nursing experience.
Well here we are...Monday morning...never my favorite that's for sure. I haven't done a weekend recap in quite some time (who am I kidding?...I haven't been blogging in general lately...) Anyways, of course, the weekend flew by - they always do but even more so during the summer. With the nice weather we're always trying to cram so much more into the weekend.
Friday I picked up the little man from daycare and scooted to the bank quick. He fell asleep during our quick errand so when we got home I got to snuggle with him until he woke up - it was pure heaven! Then we played until it was time to go upstairs to take a bath and go to bed. After Camden was in bed we ate dinner and then I headed to Target. Gosh, I love Target - seriously. I can spend hours just wandering around...spending money I don't have.
Saturday morning I got my run in before it got too hot and humid - it's so nice to have my work out done and over with by 9am! Camden had a good morning nap so I was able to get the house cleaned - woohoo! After his nap and feeding we headed out to go strawberry picking. It was easy picking so it didn't take long at all. During Camden's afternoon nap I was able to prep the strawberries and get a few more things done around the house while Matt did some work outside. Saturday night Matt's cousin watched Camden while Matt and I went out to dinner with my parents and sister and brother-in-law to celebrate all the summer birthdays. It was the first time I've been away from Camden for bedtime :/ Once we got home we started the new season of Orange in the New Black...but I was so exhausted I didn't even make it through the first episode - oops!
Sunday morning Camden was up shortly after 6, so I got up with him and we played in his room and I was able to organize his dresser drawers. I hit up Pilates and got home to help finish up some prep for the week and clean up the kitchen. Once Camden was fed, we were able to spend some time outside - Matt brought his guitar out and Camden had his maraca and we all jammed for a bit :) After that, we all got cleaned up and dressed then headed out to run a bunch of errands before going to a birthday party! After the party we headed home to play and spend time together as a family. Camden went down pretty early (not great naps that day!) so after he was in bed we finished the laundry, ate some dinner, and made a bunch of baby food!! I've gotta say - making Camden's food has got to be one of my most favorite things. It's so easy...last night I made him squash, peas, zucchini, and sweet potato. It took me less than an hour to make a few weeks worth of food - can't beat that!
And that my friends was our weekend. What did ya'll do?!
Dear Camden Matthew,
You are the light of our lives - seriously. You are such a good, good boy...and we make sure to tell you this every day!!
Even though you're still a little peanut, you are hitting so many milestones lately. It's so much fun watching you grow and learn new things. You play so much now - mommy and daddy just love spending time together as a family...whether that's playing on the floor with you, going places with you, going for walks, or just hanging out together. We can't get enough time with you - we love every second we get with you.
You still love to cuddle (when it's on your terms) and it just melts momma's heart. It's my most favorite thing when you scooch up as far as you can on me and just snuggle in. You really notice us these days - always needing to know where we are. And you are just like mommy and daddy...you love to people watch. You just like to soak everything up around you and know what's going on...you are quite the inquisitive little guy.
Since you're constantly on the move we have started having to say 'no thank you' to you when you go for something you aren't supposed to (like daddy's guitar, mommy's magazines, etc.) We have done a little bit of baby proofing for you but we definitely need to do more!!
I still can't believe you are 7 months old...it baffles your daddy and I. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing you home - yet in the same breath I can't remember you ever being that small. You are an amazing little guy and we love you more than we can say. We aren't the perfect parents and we'll make many mistakes along the way - but I hope you always know how LOVED you are. You are an amazing, sweet, smart, easy-going little man and bring us more joy and happiness than we could have ever imagined. We soak up every second we have with you - we never want to forget any of it...soon hanging out with us will be the last thing you want so we're taking full advantage of it now :)
We love you, Camden!
Mommy & Daddy
WEIGHT - We don't go to the pediatrician's office until he's 9 months. However, at the cardiologist appointment at the end of May he was around 12 and 1/2 lbs so I'm guessing now he's close to 13lbs.
LENGTH - no idea - maybe 26.5-27"....total guess though!!
HAIR - the same - his bald spot on the back of his head is filling in nicely. In some pictures his hair looks red but it's not really - I think it'll be a light brown/dirty blonde.
EYES - blue and BIG - it's the first thing everyone compliments him on <3
CLOTHES - 0-3 and 3 months for Carters clothes - still a little peanut. I think he'll be moving up to 3-6 pajamas soon though as they're getting too short for him in the legs and arms.
DIAPERS - size 2 diapers but we do have some size 1 ones we will put on him just to use them up.
SLEEP - He is usually asleep by 7:15 (unless it's a rough night getting him down) and sleeps through the night until 6am usually (sometimes earlier though - ugh!) He still takes 2 longer naps (usually an hour to an hour and a half each) and then typically a quick cat nap at around 5 (usually about 30 minutes long.)
DISLIKES - being tired, waiting to be fed (he gets VERY whiny!), getting off schedule, having something go over his head (like a onesie), and sitting still for too long!
LIKES - mommy & daddy (he has become very attached to us lately), his feet(STILL!), having someone build a tower with his stacking cups and knocking them over (total boy!), scooching all around, music, playing with my hair, jewelry, and all his toys and eating!
EATING - this kid LOVES to eat. He still nurses or has a bottle at 7am, 11am, 3pm, and 6pm (4oz bottles when he's at daycare plus a 5oz bottle after he nurses before bedtime.) We also feed him solids twice a day, about 1 tablespoon worth at each feeding. I've been making his food and I LOVE it. It's so quick & easy. So far he has had oatmeal cereal, carrots, sweet potato, winter squash, avocado, green beans (not a fan at all!!), and peas. After peas we'll start on fruits.
MILESTONES - he sits up like a champ!!! He started doing this about a week or so after he turned 6 months old. He scooches all over - when he sees a toy he wants there's no stopping him - he gets across the room VERY quickly!!!!!! He also gets up on all fours and wants to actually crawl SO BADLY!!! I think this is gonna happen any day now to be honest. SLOW down little one...you're growing up way too fast!!! He also has 2 teeth now (bottom ones) and currently working on the top ones :)
OTHER - All went well at the pediatric cardiologists. He doesn't have any heart defects - just an innocent heart murmur.
Well here I am - almost 7 months postpartum. I figured it was time to do a fitness update since I haven't done one since I was 12 weeks postpartum.
So where do I stand? Weight wise I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, give or take a pound or two. I've been back to this weight for quite a while now. BUT that doesn't mean I've got my body back. In fact, it has taught me a very valuable lesson...it really is JUST a number on the scale.
Let's take a step back. I've always relied on the number on the scale. I know it's bad to do...BUT I'm a numbers gal. So I figured once I saw that number on the scale I'd be content. Boy was I WRONG. Just because that number is back to what I'm used to seeing doesn't mean by body is back...by any means. My body is most definitely not the same....and it may never be the same. My stomach, thighs, and butt have always been my weak spots. I definitely carry my weight in these areas. With that being said, right now my stomach is obviously my biggest complaint. But I can't even really complain. Why you ask? Because I haven't been putting the work in like I need to. Sure, I started working out just 2 weeks after giving birth. Sure, I ran a half marathon 8 weeks after having Camden. Yes,I've been working out religiously. So why aren't I where I thought I'd be? My diet. My diet has SUCKED to be honest. I haven't been eating clean like I should be. I pretty much eat whatever I want whenever I want....and it shows! I firmly believe abs are made in the kitchen. Don't get me wrong - I love, love, love working my abs (planks are my jam!) Sure, when I flex my stomach I see a little bit of muscle definition. But I don't walk around with flexed abs. When they aren't flexed I have loose skin...just like most women after they've had a baby (or two...or three.) My belly button looks weird too. And I'm not sure that loose skin will ever go away - even if my diet is spot on. But I also know I haven't been as dedicated as I need to be to get my stomach back to what I'd like it to be. So right now that's one of my biggest goals - watch what I eat and try to eat clean but also splurge once in a while (hello S'more Oreos!)
With all that being said, I'm finally back to loving running again. It took me a while to actually enjoy it again. I've been able to get outside for runs which I know has helped this immensely. My pace has also gotten much better - I'd say I'm probably pretty close to being back at my pre-pregnancy pace (which isn't fast by any means but I'm OK with that.) I'm also really loving the free weights and using the weight machines at the gym. I know I need to lift in order to gain back the muscle I lost while pregnant. So along with getting better with my nutrition I need to focus on weight training - gaining back some muscle. I want definition. I want to be toned. I want to be able to lift heavier weights and get strong.
Soooo that's where I am - could be doing better...could be doing worse. But I'm taking it one day at a time and doing the best I can. Some days are better than others, of course, but as I say with many things...IT IS WHAT IT IS!
You'll have to excuse my absence from this little space of mine. Working close to 50 hours a week...having an almost 7 month old (who never sits still anymore!)...working out 5-6 times a week...keeping on top of every day things as well as everything else that pops up...putting time and effort into my marriage...yup, it's enough to make this mama not want to have to worry about posting anything. So, of course, this space has been neglected. But ya know - it happens. I hope to get into posting more regularly but I'm pretty sure I've said that multiple times since having a baby...and it hasn't happened. BUT one of these days I will get back into it...until then hang in there with me - I'm doing the best I can :)
As you can see, life is just busy - but isn't that the case with everyone? And now that the weather is cooperating there's even more to do - visit parks, go to festivals, go swimming, play outside, go for walks, go to parties, go boating, plan our first family vacation...all sorts of good stuff!! I'm really looking forward to this summer with our little guy - even if we'll be even more exhausted than we already are!! :)
This weekend we're going to the public market for the first time in a long time - and of course it's Camden's first time. We love the public market and are really looking forward to going as a family. It's strawberry season so I can't wait to take the little man strawberry picking next weekend (even if he can't have any this year!) And, of course, we plan on doing lots of fruit picking besides strawberries - cherries, raspberries, apples - I love it all!!
What are all of your plans for this summer?
And, of course, a post isn't complete without a few pictures showcasing what we've been up to...
Hey ~ I'm Renée...just your ordinary, 30-something Accountant, new mommy, wife, runner, foodie, & Pinterest addict! Welcome to my newest adventure...stay awhile...look around...and keep comin' back!