As I enter the 3rd trimester with our 4th child, I thought it would be fun to share some tips that I have learned from our previous babies. Baby's first month of life is exhilarating, exhausting and magical all at the same time! Here are 5 things to know for baby's first month of life that will hopefully make your transition into parenthood easier.
5 Things to Know For Baby's First Month of Life
BABY'S FIRST MONTH: BONDING
One thing to know about newborns is that it is one of the fastest stages your child will go through. It passes really quickly. Keeping that in mind, try to let the rest of your life slide for a while. If you don't have many expectations on yourself for what the house should look like, what your “schedule” should look like, or how often you have showered or cooked a meal, you will enjoy this stage so much more. Plan on being flexible, and don't value your worth on how much you get done in a day. That first month will be all about baby, and it's quite the transition so be easy on yourself. Make that first month all about snuggles and skin-to-skin and quiet bonding because it will pass more quickly than you know and these will be moments that you treasure for the rest of their life.
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BABY'S FIRST MONTH: DIAPERING
Newborns require a LOT of diaper changes for that first little bit but it doesn't stay that way forever. Having several “diaper changing stations” throughout the house will be a lifesaver. Just a simple bin or container with diapers, wipes and some diaper cream so that you don't have to go fetch these items every time a diaper change is needed.
BABY'S FIRST MONTH: SLEEPING
Speaking of diapering, this next tip goes right along with both diapering and baby sleep. Because those frequent diaper changes only occur for those first few months, my husband and I both felt that investing in a changing table was a waste of time and space. We got a Chicco Lullaby Baby Playard for our 4th baby, and LOVE that it has the infant attachments on it!
Now we have a napper and changing table that can be attached and used for the infant stage, and then stored away. You will want a playard for traveling anyway, so getting this particular model with the infant attachments is brilliant. I ended up loving it even more than I thought I would! I also love that it's all made of material that's easy to wipe off, because our babies do a lot of spitting up those first few months.
BABY'S FIRST MONTH: FEEDING
One huge piece of advice I would give you for baby's first month of life would be to introduce the bottle early on, even if you plan on exclusively breastfeeding! If you don't, baby might get used to just the breast and have a hard time taking bottles, making it impossible for you to ever leave anywhere.
We made this mistake with our first and it was a difficult task to try to get her to transition. We went with the Chicco NaturalFit this time around after reading really good reviews about them on Amazon. The design bio-mimics breastfeeding, making the transition between breast and bottle easier on baby. I also recommend getting the glass ones, as glass is easier to clean and you don't have to worry about what kind of chemicals are in the plastic.
Baby's First Month: Hormones
Since you never know if postpartum depression is going to rear its' ugly head, I thought it was important to include. I didn't experience any until our 3rd child and it totally threw me for a loop. Please know that as your body transitions from being pregnant back to being normal, that there will be a LOT of hormonal changes. This can result in postpartum depression and has nothing to do with you! Don't feel bad or guilty if you are experiencing this during baby's first few months of life. If you think you might be experiencing postpartum depression, take a look at our postpartum depression quiz and talk to your doctor. You will not feel this way forever, I promise!
I hope these tips were helpful, and most of all…I hope you will remember that there's no perfect way to parent. None of us came with the handbook to parenting, and you might decide to do things totally differently than a friend or family member. Follow your own mother's intuition, and most of all…enjoy those baby snuggles!
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This conversation was sponsored by Chicco USA. All opinions are our own.