Somehow another week has passed! Siena is now 3 weeks old. It’s crazy how things can change so quickly. This last week started with some big hurdles but I’m happy to say that we are definitely doing much better. After writing my last post about life with a newborn, I had a lot of people reach out to make sure I was doing ok. I was pretty honest in my post but I think that many new moms can relate to the tumultuous time that is the first weeks of parenthood. Thank you to everyone who reached out!
I need to write a whole blog post about our experience, but this week we discovered that Siena had an upper lip tie and tongue tie which was causing a variety of problems. More to come on that, but the good news is that things are much better already. Our little girl is more calm and is sleeping much better now which helps make the day a little more predictable and much less stressful! Most importantly, she seems much happier!
Now that I’ve somewhat gotten the hang of taking care of another human being, I wanted to share some of the things that have really, really helped me get through these first weeks. While preparing for Siena’s arrival, I did a lot of research and got a lot of recommendations on what to buy to prepare. Some things were probably unnecessary but there are a few things that have been absolute lifesavers as I recovered from her birth, got used to breastfeeding and took care of an infant. I’ll rank these in order of importance:
- My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow – Nursing sessions with a newborn take a long time and babies are super small and don’t fit easily into your lap at this age. The Brest Friend pillow straps around your waist (we call it the booby platter) and the baby fits nicely on top of it, positioned right at your nipple. If I had to recommend one thing to a new mom, it’d be this (these pillows are also available at the lactation support group meetings I attend). It’s a life saver. Siena loves it too – when she’s upset, she’ll literally go from crying to calm as soon as we put her on it. She can smell the milk!
- Noise Box (White Noise) App – A few days after Siena was born I busted out the book “Happiest Baby on the Block” and discovered the 5 S’s for soothing a baby. The ones that work best for Siena are white noise (babies are used to being in the womb and hearing your heart beat and loud noises – imagine being under the water in the bath tub while the water runs loudly and that’s similar to how the womb sounds) and swinging (either in our arms, the swing, or swinging the car seat). We use Noise Box for white noise during naps and in the car and at night we have a white noise machine. I like to think that using two different white noise sounds for night and day helps her distinguish the two but I really have no idea if that really works.
- Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Cream – Thanks Jill for this wonderful gift! There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll have some soreness in the first week or two of breastfeeding (extreme pain and bleeding is not normal and is a sign that your baby is not latching properly) and this natural nipple cream helps soothe even the most chapped of them. Even the lactation consultant in the hospital confirmed this was the best product out there (they gave us lanolin in the hospital but I didn’t even use it).
- Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads – The first week or so of breastfeeding did a number on my nipples and these soothing gel pads (especially when refrigerated first) felt amazing! I put them on after pretty much every feeding in the early days. Even if they aren’t cold they feel great and also help protect your nipples from rubbing against your clothes.
- MammaBaby App – We use this to track feeding times (you can even track which boob you nursed from for how long) and diapers. Tracking the number of poop and pee diapers is key in the first weeks to make sure baby is getting enough food. There is also a section for tracking sleep and weight gain if you need that. The app works really well and allows you to go back and modify the time and duration of the feeding if you need to. You can also track bottle feedings by the ounce.
I’m not surprised that 4 out of the 5 things I’d recommend relate to breast feeding. When you’re a new mom, your main job is to feed your baby and you spend a lot of time doing it!
Moms, what are your go-to products for the early days?