The 11 things I learned during the first 3 months with my baby -tips to new moms from a first time mom!Saturday, July 18, 2015
Sheesh! Recently, my iMAC crashed and it took 3 days for my husband to repair it! Good thing for techie husbands he was able to retrieve all my files and was able to revert to the old iOS since the new iOS was causing too much errors! Ugh! But anyway, during the passed couple of days, I was able to think about a bit about the last three months and what I have learned so far about being a new mom.
Raising a baby is hard work, but it's true what they say, it is rewarding! Henri turned 3 months recently and I have realized that I have learned so much already in just three months! Of course I had my mom and my sister to call whenever I had questions (and Henri's paediatrician on speed dial on my phone), but I learned as I went along and it has been such a wonderful experience.
I admit, it's not all rainbows and sunshines when taking care of a baby. There are days when I hardly have enough time to comb my hair, or even take a shower! That's why a yaya comes in handy. I love our yaya. She is a blessing and she has been so patient with Henri.
But at the end of the day, when it's just Henri and I, I had to learn how to be the best mom I could be. Here are a few tips to get you by. One new mom's words to another new mother to be! Together we can conquer the world! LOL
More after the break!
1. You can't diagnose solely by Googling symptoms
I am a hypochondriac and when I wasn't a mom yet, I would google every little thing that I felt and the results on line was always so negative. But ever since I had Henri, I resisted the temptation of Googling every little hiccup Henri would do but I know I had to trust my "motherly instincts". Well, that, and the paedia also told me to stop with the internet medical sites.
Trust only one paediatrician for your little one. There was a time when Henri had a small bump on his head and I asked a friend who was a paediatrician who turned out to be an alarmist and asked me to do all kinds of observations and scared the motherhood out of me. Google didn't help either. It started listing unknown diseases that will really scare you and you become so paranoid that you won't be able to sleep. So after setting an appointment with Henri's paediatrician, as it turned out it was nothing.
So the best thing I could do now when I notice something odd happening, is that I start observing and taking down notes of everything. I take Henri's temperature 3 times a day and start watching out for a fever. Yes, I am that obsessed. I guess it's normal for first time moms.2. If you let them, babies can pacify themselves and go back to sleep
During the first few weeks, I would carry Henri every time he made a sound. I guess he learned that and he started to manipulate me. He wanted to be carried all the time but I didn't let him. As much as I love cuddling with him, I didn't want to be in the losing end when it comes to trying to get some rest for myself, so I had to stop myself from picking him up every time he made that whining sound. The first few times he would cry was painful to listen to, but after a while, I noticed that when I ignore him and leave him be in his co-sleeper, he would fall right back to sleep and eventually spit out his pacifier when he's asleep. Ha! So cute.
3. A bouncer is a mom's best friend
I used to think that bouncers were just a gimmick, as it turned out, they're quite the little entertainer for the little one! Henri has a love-hate relationship with his bouncer but I assure you it's a life saver for mom's every where.
Now at 3 months, Henri has longer awake hours and carrying him for hours each day was a no no for me. He would get so pissed at me when I put him down on the play pen, plus his head was getting flat. So I got a bouncer. He would still get fussy, but at least when it's just us, I can leave him and go pee if I need to.4. Download Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby
My sister was the one who told me about these miracle video things. Babies get hypnotized with these shows and they are entertained for at least a few hours each day! Just put them in their bouncer and play the DVD and you have a couple of hours to do what you need to do. This is a lifesaver on days you don't have a yaya or your hubby to help you out!5. Do not prepare his bath way before you intend to give it to him
I remember the first time I was going to give Henri a bath. I prepared his bath water in the tub in advance while I prepared all of his other things like his rubber mat, bath towel, ointments and creams, and clothes. By the time I got him naked and into the tub, the water had already gone so cold that he nearly jumped away from my grip!
Prepare the bath water a little bit warm that you would normally give a baby so that by the time you intend to use it, it's gone luke warm.
6. Daddys can do it without you hovering
During the first few weeks, I wanted to do everything on my own. I didn't trust anyone else to do anything right when it came to the baby. But in the end, I got burnt out easily and became depressed. I was lashing out on everyone and anything around me! It was pretty tiring, and it made me feel so alone. According to my OB, it was actually the lack of sleep that was getting to me.
So everyday, I had to convince and tell myself that I had to start trusting people when it came to them wanting to help me out. I most specially had to start trusting my hubby that he will not let anything bad happen to our son while I leave him with the baby and go to sleep, and that he could handle it. As it turned out, he was so good with the baby (and he became an expert in changing poopy diapers) that I got a few hours of sleep extra every night! So when it was time for my shift to take care of the baby, I was awake, alert and in good condition to take care of Henri.
7. Sleep when he does!
I know it may seem impossible because you wake up every time he makes a sound. And when you spend so much time putting him to sleep, you spend the next few minutes watching him sleep. I learned eventually that even when I think I'm not tired, I am. I bought myself a sleeping mask and would put it on as soon as put the baby down on the crib to sleep! I am knocked out in just a few minutes, and by the time he cries again, I realize that 2 or 3 hours has passed!
So catch up on your Zzzs!8. Growth spurts exist.
I didn't believe growth spurts at first but as it turned out, they do exist. Common times for growth spurts are during the first few days at home around 7-10 days, and then again 2-3 weeks, then 4-6weeks, on the 3rd month, 4th month, the 6th month and the 9th month (well, more or less). Although these are estimated times, babies don't read calendars, so your baby may do things differently. But with Henri, he is mostly on track when it comes to his growth spurts where he is hungrier than usual, clingier than usual, unusually cranky, and most of the time he loves to cuddle more than usual.
So if you're breastfeeding and these growth spurts occur, it will be harder times but it does get better. I am no longer breast feeding so it's a tad easier on me when Henri goes through his growth spurt.
During the first few weeks with the new baby, I confined myself at home not wanting to leave or go anywhere. After a while, I got cabin fever and I was snapping at every one and everything around me. My sister encouraged me to go out and not think of the baby while I was out and just take a breather.
I admit, it was hard at first. It felt as though I was having an out of body experience. I was out of the house and away from the baby but my mind was still at home. I would go home just after an hour or sometimes 2 hours but eventually I was able to attend my events! And when I got home, I was refreshed and I am able to spend a lot of time with Henri without dreading the long hours in the night ahead.
10. There will be inconsiderate people out there when it comes to handling your baby
Everyone around me advised me not to bring the baby out to public places during the first 6 months of Henri's life. Although there are times when I had no choice but to bring him with me. Leaving him at home with the new nanny is just uncomfortable for me (at least for now) so I had to bring him with me when my mom or my sister weren't available to take care of him.
During the baptism when Henri was only a month and a half old, one of my best friends advised me not to just let anyone touch or carry my baby. Even if they get mad, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Of course I took this advise to heart so when we're at public places, I hold the baby so that I will be able to control the people who would touch my baby. Yayas may be too shy to tell off friends and family, so be the one to do so.
There will also come a point when they actually put "laway" on your baby to drive away bad spirits. Yes, unfortunately, this is so true. It will shock the hell out of you but by the time you realize what happened, it's too late, your baby now has a spot of someone else's laway on your baby's forehead, foot, or even his chest. So don't be afraid to speak your mind when it comes to people who come close to your baby!
11. It does get better
There was a time when I would cry every time 5PM was fast approaching. That would mean it was going to be night time soon and that Henri will keep me up most of the night. I fell into depression and for that same reason made me give up on breastfeeding right away.
The first few weeks will be the hardest and it may seem that it will be like that forever but I swear, it will get better! I still experience a bit of weirdness in Henri's schedule just when I thought he has adjusted but we have found a rhythm. We learned how to read each other and I am able to soothe him better when he's crying. I am able to put him to sleep when during his 3rd week of life he didn't want me putting him to sleep.
If you feel like you're about to go crazy, tell yourself that as the weeks go by, it really does get better. I have heard other moms tell me this and it really does. I hear that Henri and I still have a long journey ahead of us but that's ok. Because I am just thankful that I get to spend so much time with him.