You followed along with the bump and now we have a BABY! Little Levi was born on Feb. 26 and it’s been an adventure ever since, with lots of lessons learned along the way. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Levi is truly our biggest blessing and we have never experienced a love so deep as that for our baby boy. Even puggie brother Gus is smitten!
As me and Gregory have said many times along our pregnancy journey, we knew absolutely nothing about caring for a newborn. We had never held a baby, never changed a diaper, didn’t even know how many times a baby should eat. We legit knew nothing.
Everyone said “your parental instincts will kick in once the baby is here” or “you’ll get the hang of it.” I guess that holds true because we’ve made it to ONE MONTH y’all!
As first-time parents to a mini human, we know just how scary it can be and the anxiety of staring at the baby monitor nonstop to make sure your kiddo is still breathing. Or the panic of wanting to comfort your screaming baby even though they have a clean diaper and have just eaten. The struggle can be real.
We want to pass along our knowledge to other somewhat clueless parents-to-be. So before you continue, this is a NO JUDGEMENT ZONE. Some of this may not apply to you at all, but we hope you’ll find these nuggets helpful or just find some humor in our adventure. Enter at your own risk and for those who were ever in the same boat as us, give yourself a pat on the back for making it. Parenting is hard work. You deserve all the props!
DO WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU
This is by far the most important lesson we’ve learned one month into parenting. There are so many blogs, forums, books, etc. that tell you what you should and should not do. At the end of the day, when you’re exhausted from sleepless nights…do what you think is best for your baby. Forget the judgement and throw out all the crap you’ve read on the internet. You know your baby best. Don’t forget that.
PREPARE FOR DOOTY
Having never changed a single diaper before, we have found quite the humor in these lessons.
- Change at an angle. Projectile poop and pee is real. You always hear about it and don’t quite believe it until you end up almost being splatted with diarrhea in the wee hours of the morning. Basically, stay on your toes. Those little babies are equipped with lots of power!
- Dump the off-brand diapers. Yeah you might save a few dollars, but trust us when we tell you that they don’t work near as well as the name brand diapers. Spend a little extra on the Pampers or Huggies.
- Put the winkie down. I learned this the hard way too many times. Just make sure if you’re changing a boy diaper that you place the peepee facing down…otherwise your newborn will end up saturated in pee within 5 minutes and they’ll be screaming bloody murder and it’ll be all your fault. And we all know that’s not a good feeling.
SIZE DOES MATTER
Newborn clothing sizing that is. It’s extremely inconsistent. So for the first few weeks, just go ahead and buy these Gerber onesies with mittens. They are not cute at all. But they fit well for smaller babies and with the accidents babies have and their sharp nails, this is all you’ll have time and energy for. Trust me, you’ll have plenty of time to put baby in the millions of onesies grandma bought. Also make sure to pack an extra onesie in the diaper bag.
SLEEP TIGHT LITTLE ONE
Much to our surprise, we didn’t realize that hospitals have different protocols when it comes to swaddling newborns. Our hospital swaddled, but then our pediatrician said that we shouldn’t swaddle. Well we tried to have Levi do without and that was absolutely miserable. He was up all night and super fussy. Basically, swaddle if you want to and if you think that’s best for your baby. Baby needs rest and so do you!
This is the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle we have been using and it’s been a lifesaver. Velcro binding and it makes swaddling easy for anybody. A swaddle blanket was not cutting it for our strong baby boy.
Also, if you’ve got pups…make sure to bring the swaddle home from the hospital. It helps to have your pets smell it before you introduce baby to your precious fur babies.
IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO
It’s no shock that everyone will be thrilled about your new addition. They will also want to touch on them…even strangers. Just remember it’s okay to politely say no. This goes for visits to the hospital and at home too. Everyone will be so excited and want to come visit as soon as you get home. You need rest and to get back to normalcy, so it’s okay to say no and tell them to come back another time. Your life is changing big time. Put yourself first.
This leads to my next point…
LET PEOPLE HELP
Gregory and I are both really terrible at asking or letting people help out. We are stubborn. Being new parents means letting go a little and letting people help you. Let family or friends bring you food. You will greatly appreciate it. Let them pick up basics you need at the store. You won’t have time to worry about needing toilet paper when you’re out.
Something Gregory and I both have strengthened is our patience. This is a must-have when caring for a newborn. They cry and get fussy and you don’t know what’s wrong. This new world for them is just that…NEW. Can you imagine being ripped from your home of 9 months and thrown into a new place?! Wait…you did have that happen to you! When you get frustrated, take a deep breath, try and relate, and have some patience.
Patience really is key. Not just for the baby but for yourself too. Give yourself grace. It will get easier in time.
Like I said before, parenting is hard. And it’s okay to admit that. Your Instagram feed and social posts don’t always have to be rainbows and flowers.
We’ve got so much more to learn from this new adventure. With God in our heart and mind, I know he will guide the way. And if all else fails, we know the grandparents are only a call away 😉
– B –