What can make or break your day - Baby sleep:
|One of the many baby center charts that help me track my baby's routine.|
About your baby:
21. Do baby's gums look like they are bleeding? That's yet another sign of teething! ( Wish I could insert an angry face emoji here).
24. Once your little one is rolling, tummy time may become much shorter than you like. But let your baby sit up as much as they can, even if they fall over and then roll. This will help engage and strengthen their muscles for crawling (and sitting for longer periods of time).
|Temporary tummy time|
25. Most babies stop spitting up by 4 months, some like mine, continue till around 6 months. You will reach a day though when you realize that it's finally less, and once your child is sitting up more, it will be gone.
26. Shuffle butt! That cute little word represents exactly what you picture it does - baby shuffling their butt around so that they can move to get what they want (pre-crawling). Kids also bottom shuffle, wiggle, bear-crawl and roll around to obtain some mobility before they are actually mobile.
27. Dryer sheets have recently found to be toxic. There are no laws requiring ingredients of these sheets to be published accurately, so ditch those sheets as they can do serious harm to your baby. For more information on this, click here.
28. Walkers and baby shoes actually make it harder for your baby to walk. Walkers offer too much support not letting muscles strengthen as they should (in addition to just being dangerous as they move unpredictably), and shoes make it difficult for your baby to balance.
|A jumper is a great way to keep baby busy while strengthening his legs and muscles.|
Flying with your baby:
29. You will realize that you can actually leave behind (out of lack of space) some of the things you thought completely necessary, but you will be able to make do without them for the duration of your trip anyway.
30. Carry a ton of toys to keep your baby busy on board, specially if he doesn't he wants to be awake through the flight!
31. Try and board as late as possible (maybe with one parent going ahead with the baggage, if you're not traveling ahead) so that your baby has less time in the seat.
32. Nurse/ give your baby a bottle or pacifier during take off and landing. (Try not to start too much before actual take off or landing as you may be struggling to get baby up to relatch like I had to). This is to equalize the pressure in your baby's ears.
33. Definitely carry a baby sling or a soft carrier/ wrap (in addition to a ton of toys), this will keep your baby comfortable and asleep on you without killing your back, act as a nursing cover up (though practice before so you don't flash a few rows of people) and keep your baby safe incase you pass out like I did (my brother was slapping me and I didn't wake up, or move Riaan, I was that passed out).
34. Change diapers just before you board the flight, its way easier on board than off.
35. Warn people that it's your child first flight (or first flight "this long"), if you are worried about how your baby will be on board. You will gain sympathy and maybe some helpful advice.
36. An umbrella stroller is definitely helpful if you have a long layover (or a lot of bags, and baby things, and a travel bed etc.) Gate check it so that you have it with you as soon as you land. (You can also use it as a high chair on your trip.) For more on what to travel with, click here.
37. People don't really get mad at the parents who are struggling to keep their baby quiet, so if you're apologetic (and if you have been on the other end of this you are likely to be very apologetic), and making an effort, all will be well, eventually. You may even get people offering to help you.
38. Take turns getting up and putting the baby back to sleep, or napping/ entertaining to make it easier on you and your partner, if you are traveling together.
39. If all else fails, and it's a really long flight keep some baby benadryl on you! (with an MD's permission, and having tested it before as some kids get hyper and you don't want to discover that mile-high). I didn't have to use it but did keep some with me just incase, though I likely would have used it on myself.
|It may not take a village to raise a baby but it definitely takes a village to fly with a baby and a puppy|
Baby jet lag:
40. Breast fed babies actually jet lag worse than kids who are not breast fed! It's because we are making melatonin on the wrong time zone and that's being given to our child through their milk.
41. Even the best of sleepers of the most well trained babies, will be hungry at night, if there is a huge timezone shift. Nurse or feed them all day at their usual mealtimes (in your new time zone) but also give them milk or formula when they wake up at night because even if they are full, they will feel hungry at their usual mealtimes (in their old timezone).
42. When your baby is doing 45 minute naps at night, you may want to fly right back to where you came from. (Hang in there, it will get better).
43. At some point during our sleepless week, I did use the benadryl (on the baby, not on me, and out of sheer desperation and exhaustion). But it did no good, he was falling asleep initially (while I ate, pumped, got into bed), and then doing those 45 minute nap cycles in the middle of the night. So my advice is skip it, and let your baby's circadian rhythm adjust naturally.
44. As long as you keep them up in the day (for some portion of daylight time) and give your child meals and nap time during in the day, it will get better. Go outdoors for a walk if you can during sunlight hours.
45. We moved countries, and I also moved my baby to his own room for the first time. I got a lot of grief for it, but stick to your convictions and instincts. My baby is now sleeping better than he ever did because we don't disturb him by going in and out at night (nor can he smell me, my milk, or my boobs! and wake up craving food). I did these two things simultaneously so that he didn't adjust to one room and then have to adjust all over again.
About you, new mom:
49. Are you as frustrated with the constant mommy wars as I am? It's human nature to judge I'm not going to pretend like I don't (though I really try not to.) But do we really have to do so about parenting choices, like breast versus formula, epidural versus "natural" (yes, I took one and I'm so damn grateful for it), CIO versus nurse all night? We are all in this together and most of us are trying our very sleepless best !
50. Don't underestimate the power of sharing your stress with your mommy friends, it will really help you see that for some it takes a village to help raise their kids, for others, while we may want to do it alone but there will be hiccups along the way - hang tight, and trust your gut! Your baby will be all grown up before you know it.
If you got this far, thanks for reading. Sorry this post is so overtly information packed, but I had a lot to share since I haven't written one of these in a while. I do hope though that it is helpful to you. Feel free to send me feedback or ask questions!
More to come!
P.S. I may be a little erratic in the next few weeks while settling down but I'm not going anywhere (at least virtually). Also, with all the jet lag (between, hubby, baby, coco and me), I definitely haven't had time to proof read this so excuse any typos!