Dearest new mama, this time is so exciting. It’s the most precious, difficult and beautiful time in your life… you are part of a miracle and this baby needs your love and care… you are this baby’s everything. YOU are amazing!
For me, that first week home, baby was sleeping three hours at a time and never crying… i remember saying, “this is way easier than i thought!”.
Week three hit and baby girl started feeling completely un happy… crying every.waking.second. Day & night she screamed and it broke my heart.
We bounced, swaddled and shuuushed for 8 weeks straight. I wish i was over exaggerating, but there were days where she wouldn’t nap at all because her stomach hurt & there was little sleep at night if any. We were zombies!
Everyone might label this as “colic”, which just seems like a term used for a baby that cries a lot. our pediatrician eventually ended up saying it could be acid reflux and gave us a prescription for omeprazole. i hated giving her medicine, but i would do anything to give her some relief from pain & it helped a lot!
It’s heartbreaking, to see your baby cry in pain non stop and not be able to help them. Baby’s digestive systems are not fully developed yet. Their nervous system and senses are developing too, which leads to the only way they know how to express themselves, crying. We thought it was acid reflux because every time we nursed she would break off the nipple & scream in pain, but then come back right away because she was still hungry and wanting to sooth her stomach with nursing. She would spit up a lot too, like 3-5 times after each feeding. She couldn’t sleep or nurse on her back. We eventually found a nursing position that changed my life (link below) and I found a way for her to sleep that soothed her: After bouncing her upright on a yoga ball (upright to help digestion), I would lay in bed with her body draped across my stomach/chest. The pressure on her stomach helped her sleep through the whole night and when she was hungry she would just nuzzle her way up and nurse, then fall back to sleep. Sleep, finally! We slept like this till she was about four months old every night and for naps and then she was finally able to sleep on her back when she was a bit older.
Most of all, just love on them and comfort them best you can. All we can really do is wait for them to out grow this phase. BUT here is a list of the things we could not live with out. Even for a “normal” baby, these items, I feel like, are the must haves.
…and for those hopeless moments, just remember, it will get SO much better & try to cherish even those difficult days because, as you’ll hear a million times, “it goes by so fast” & it really does. at three months old we stopped giving her the prescription. she still spits up, but it’s now “happy spitting” and she is the happiest baby! just wait for that first smile and laugh, there is nothing sweeter in the whole world!
Newborn must haves!
Yoga ball to bounce baby in your arms. You can only bounce on the foot of your bed for so many hours. This saved me.
Solly wrap– it’s so sweet to have them snuggled close.
Natursutten pacifier– it’s made from the rubber tree, so no bpa.
HALO sleep sack– so much faster than trying to swaddle
Tummy Calm– we tried every homeopathic remedy ever suggested to help our girl and this is the only one that helped (sometimes). helps with gas too, which is usually a big reason for crying. do lots of bicycle legs to help get farts out.
Acidophilus– a probiotic. helps their digestive system and immune system. add the recommended amount to water in a spoon and use a syringe or you can put the powder right on your nipple. if you or baby are on antibiotics, give acidophilus at a different time of the day or when you’re done using antibiotics to replenish the good bacteria in the gut.
Hydro Flask– Mama needs all the water she can get for producing milk.
happiest baby on the block– there is a video or book. LIFE SAVER!
This nursing position– a few facebook friends sent me this link when i shared that baby was having tummy problems and this position changed everything! When I was pregnant, nursing was the thing I looked forward to most, that connection and sweet moments together, but it was torture for her and for me to feel like my milk was causing her pain. You can cut out dairy-that’s so great, but also try this position because we went from unbearable nursing to sweet cuddles!
breast pump– Your hospital might have one to loan out or sometimes your insurance will even cover one. This saved me those first two nights of her life I couldn’t sleep with her so I could pump colostrum to give her the next day and help my milk come in. Freshly pumped milk lasts for around 6 hours in a bottle which is really helpful while traveling or even just going on a quick walk with baby.
burp cloths– You can’t have enough of these if your baby has acid reflux.
a swing-. At times a swing was the only thing that brought relief or sleep for her.
Tucks wipes– for your downstairs. if you had a vaginal birth, these are amazing. they are made with witch hazel, which soothes and helps heal down there.
The Wonder Weeks– this app explains so much about each growth phase your baby is going through and helps you understand what is going on in their brains and bodies with each “storm”.
baby book & journal– document everything! Love this journal as well. It documents their life through age 18 and they have one for adoption too. Aloe Vera: Having this on hand for all the rashes that pop up is a life saver. Baking soda works wonders too on diaper rash.
A dock-a-tot– once Ivy was able to sleep on her back this is great for co-sleeping
Infant Carseat in ‘moon birch’ is the sweetest and one of the safest car seats out there.
Mother’s milk tea Keep taking your prenatal too! Finding a prenatal with folate instead of synthetic folic acid is important for development of the baby especially if you have the mthfr mutation gene. Ask your doctor if you can be tested for that gene mutation at your next appointment and you can read more about that here.