As parents we are always learning. Sometimes intuitively on our own, sometimes through other’s shared experience, and often times from our own mistakes. That is part of the territory after all. We made some decisions the first time with Porter that I don’t necessarily want to repeat the second time around. However, having a newborn is also about survival so I am taking this list with a grain of salt knowing we can’t always plan ahead.
I am sharing this with you in hopes it maybe helps any first time, or potentially second time mamas!
Naps In His Own Space || When BB2 comes I am more aware than ever how little time I will have for myself. With Porter I either held him when he napped or I would put him in the pack and play right next to me in the living room. This time I really want to encourage putting him down more in his own space for naps so I can either get things done or have one-on-one time with Porter. My hopes is that this will allow him to nap better and more independently earlier on!
Get Newborn Pictures at the Hospital || This is one thing I really regret not doing, but to be fair when they called me to arrange the pictures I was in still shell shocked from birth and sleep deprived that I barely remember them calling. I want to plan ahead and get something cute and snuggly for BB2 to wear or be wrapped up in that I will pack in my hospital bag. They grow so incredibly fast and in efforts to preserve that precious moment I will be opting for photos this time around.
Allow Him To Sleep || Around 8 weeks old Porter was getting roughly 8 straight hours of uninterrupted sleep through the night. All of a sudden he started waking up here and there and at first I was soothing him back to sleep by putting my hand on his chest and shh-ing him. Then I got worried that I was ignoring his hunger cues and instead of continuing to soothe him I started picking him up to feed him. Well, I told you how that wound up in my post about our sleep journey. With BB2 my hope is listen more to my intuition and intervene a little less so we can go a different route this time.
Keep A Diary/Journal || You think you’ll remember every little thing, every milestone and while the days are long the years are so incredibly short. I cannot believe how much time has passed already and I already find myself forgetting the little things. There are so many first! I want to write it all down so that not only I can remember but one day I can share with the boys as well.
Realize Feeding Isn’t Always The Answer || I thought breastfeeding was going to be this incredibly natural, easy going journey but it is a lot of learning, work, and can be extremely overwhelming. Lactation consultants and mom groups all give conflicting advice and in all the angst and stressing about if he was eating enough, the boob became the answer for all cries. As a result I was feeding him constantly which caused overeating which caused reflux and just whole plethora of other issues. My plan this time around is to be more intuitive with his feedings and understand earlier (as I did later with Porter) cries are a form of communication and can also be solved with a change in environment or stimuli.
Asking For Help || I know that some of this was due to Postpartum-Anxiety but I was also really bad at vocalizing what I needed. By default, I hate asking for help! It was great having visitors over and every time they would ask me what I needed and I always said I didn’t need anything. Well, I needed help grocery shopping, folding laundry, grabbing the mail, getting another glass of water… I needed help with so many little things! It isn’t wrong to ask for help and I plan to be better at communicating that once BB2 is here.
Overall I hope to relax a little more and worry a little less when BB2 makes his big debut. I will also get better at vocalizing when I need help and also when I don’t! And for any first time mamas out there: everyone will have an opinion on what you are doing and you’ll be getting all the advice – some solicited and some definitely not! Now that I have a little experience under my belt I feel like I can trust myself and my instincts more.
I am sure there are still many lessons to be learned along the way but this is my list so far! If you have any advice to add please feel free to leave a reply below! xoxo.