Everyday I look at our sweet, active boy and I’m amazed by how fast he’s grown. This summer, I dropped A.J. off at a friend’s house for a camp day. When I picked him up he looked an inch taller.
From his lanky legs that now power him through any pool to how he “owns” every set of monkey bars at the park – he’s very strong and healthy. Thank GOD he got his upper body strength from his Daddy.
And then I think: I remember when he couldn’t roll over, sit up, walk or talk. Now look at him. He’s officially a big boy.
I remember how A.J.’s newborn phase was a struggle for us. We’d only been married 10 months when he was born and were living in a new city. My circle of local friends was pretty small, so I felt like I had little support getting through this new mommy phase.
I wish I could do A.J.’s newborn phase very differently if I got a do-over. If you know a new mommy, share my experience with her! My affiliate links are below.
If I Could Get a Newborn Phase
I’d Co-Sleep More
Our son slept in our room for the first six months of his life, but it was all in the bassinet feature of his pack and play. I knew having him close for overnight feedings was necessary, but we all still slept horribly.
My mommy friends who co-slept at least for the first year tell these amazing stories of how everyone in their family slept through the night. Their infant would roll over to nurse and go right back to sleep.
Yes, there are risks of co-sleeping with infants because adults can rollover on babies. But I regret not getting an attachment to our bed that would have kept A.J. close by. If he fussed at night, as babies often do, we could have touched him or patted him back to sleep – without leaving our bed.
I’d Wear My Baby More
I was fortunate that my friend Renee handed me down her Medela breast pump and her Baby Bjorn carrier. I used the breast pump only when I was doing part-time work that kept me away from A.J. or had clogged breast ducts that I had to relieve.
I didn’t break out the Baby Bjorn for months! Honestly, I had no idea how to use the thing.
It wasn’t until I joined a moms and baby group through Piedmont Hospital, I told the lactation consultant/group leader how fussy A.J. was throughout the day. She recommended I wear him around the house to help him get out the gas in his belly.
It was like I had an entirely new baby.
He fell asleep while I was wearing him.
I had my hands free when I was wearing him.
Life improved immensely when I was wearing him.
Why the heck didn’t anyone tell me to wear him sooner?
I asked some of my blogging buddies for their photos and recommendations on babywearing.
Krystyn (top left) from Really, Are You Serious is wearing her newborn daughter in a Baby KTan.
Ashley (top right) from Mommy and Moon is wearing her baby in a Soothe Shirt by Lalabu.
Aaronica (bottom left) from The Crunchy Mommy is wearing her newborn son in the Tula Grown With Me Carrier.
Megan (bottom right) from Dallas Georgia Macaroni Kid is wearing her son in a Baby K’Tan wrap on the way to the bus stop on her older son’s first day of school.
Based on what I’ve learned about the phases of babywearing, then toddler wearing, I think I’d be way more productive and relaxed if I’d worked while wearing A.J. more.
Looking back at our baby photos, I don’t have one photo of me or my husband wearing him. I did it a handful of times, mostly when I was traveling back to New York when my Daddy was sick.[Tweet “See the versatile styles of babywearing from blogging moms!”]
I’d Invest in Cloth Diapers
When A.J. was about eight months old, I branched out and found even more Mommy Meetup groups online. They were among the first mommies I met who were cloth diapering their babies. I didn’t know how they’d made a
Little did I know about their convenience and money-saving aspect
But by the time I’d learned about cloth diapers, I wasn’t in a position to make the investment
Cloth diapering mamas were among my first readers & viewers. Thanks to them I covered the Great Cloth Diapering Change in 2011 and hosted a great giveaway with Rockin’ Green Diaper Soap.
I’d Get Sleep Training
Add to the list of things I never knew as a new mom is that you can hire someone to help train you baby to sleep better.
How did I miss that this was an option instead of looking like a zombie for my first few years of parenting?
My friend Natalie from Slumberosity explains the difference between a newborn care specialist, baby nurse and night nurse.
Also, here’s the difference between a nanny and post-partum doula.
I’d Get Professional Newborn Photos
I’d been unemployed for a year when we had A.J. and in my mind, I couldn’t justify the expense of a newborn photoshoot. We eventually did a family shoot when I got a coupon to Sears or JCPenney (I can’t remember which and you’re welcome to judge me).
After looking back at how all of my newborn photos of A.J. are with my cell phone or the digital camera I later lost, I regret not capturing his “newness.”
For any of your friends who are expecting, I highly recommend a maternity or newborn photoshoot as a baby shower gift.
I’d Get Everything Shipped
I credit my friend Alix for finally convincing me to become an Amazon Prime Member for $99 a year and including 2-day shipping. If you’re not sure about it, Amazon Prime has a free 30 day trial.
Too bad I didn’t join until we were already out of the newborn phase. Looking back I wish I’d been able to order disposable diapers and wipes with 20% off by subscribing.
Great post! These are almost all the same things that I did do differently with my third baby (affectionately called my “Bonus Baby” because he arrived a few weeks after I turned 41). My older boys were 11 and 7 and I was amazed by how many things had changed in just 7 years. I co-slept, wore him, cloth diapered and nursed him through toddlerhood. He was not an easy baby or a good sleeper; we now know that’s because he has Asperger’s. So I’m not sure a sleep training expert could’ve helped much. But co-sleeping was seriously the only way we ever got any sleep! And he still slept in my bed until he was 6, just because it meant more sleep for all of us. My first two slept great in their own cribs at an early age, but honestly–I wish I had the sweet memories of co-sleeping with them, too. Infancy is so fleeting, even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
All great things to think about. Some of these things I hadn’t thought of doing. Such great information for the future.
When l was growing up, there pretty much was only cloth diapers. I think that is still the case in most of Africa :-). I have a great idea.. have another one! 🙂 🙂 :-). I love the past picture of your family…oh and l will say it again, LOVE your hair! 🙂
Awesome post! Of course my daughter is 25 years old so this is not pertinent to me in this day and age however it’s a great suggestion of offering new moms a photo shoot as a gift. I will definitely keep this idea. Thanks for sharing!
This is a great list. Isn’t it awful what we don’t know the first time around!? Some of us get a second chance with subsequent babies but you have used your experience to help others not bake the same mistakes! Thank you.
I loved this post. Cuteness overload aside, I couldn’t agree with you more! Cheers to do-overs!
My kids are now 22, 19, and 16. While I would never go back and buy cloth diapers – very glad to have taken all those icky diapers to the trash, I do wish I had a good baby wearing device. Last summer a friend was able to go on a mission trip with her 7 month old baby because she had a good carrier.
I seriously could not agree more on every single one of these points!!! I could have written this list myself. I didn’t do any of these things and wish I had done every single one of them.
Okat, sounds like you might be ready for a another baby ?.i love this articles for new moms. This is amazing advice.
I always hear about moms who really enjoy the baby stage and wish there children could be small again. I like the carrier it reminds me of women in Africa who carry there babies around everywhere even to work and other places (its a great bonding experience). I love the photo shoot idea, I love seeing cute photos of the newborn babies. I’m 50/50 on co sleeping, while its a great way to bond, I also hear stories about tragic things happening while sleeping with the babies.
If I had to do it all over again, I would have my son sleep in his crib instead of with me. It took me 6 years to get out of my bed. I would also wear him. I never tried that. Cloth diapers…I don’t know about tat one but I would have everythigng delivered, too! Great post.
The only things I’d change is pushing myself to breastfeed longer with my daughter and doing professional newborn pictures with my kids. Both of my kids slept through the night in their pack n plays. Bedtime has never been an issue. TY Lawd!! Other than that I tray not to think about the rest. I did my best and they’re thriving. I couldn’t ask for more.
There are some things I did differently between my daughter and son, I would probably wear the baby more and try harder at nursing…I lasted a couple of months but I would try longer. Not sure about the cloth diapering.
My experience with both of my kids was rather smoothe. I do wish I had worn them more often. I didn’t rely on my village because I was determined to figure it out on my own.
This seems like great advice for new mommies! I especially like the idea of co-sleeping!
Joyce I am not a mom but I loved reading this post. I am a weirdo like I am already thinking of the things I would do as a mother to prepare but these are really good tips for the future. I want a doula but I didnt know there was a post-partum doula, I definitely want to wear my baby and I heard the perks of co-sleeping too.
I loved this post. My son is now 15 months old. Even though, it seems so long ago now there are definitely things I wish I could re-do from his newborn phase. Like you I never really wore him. As a work from home mommy, I realize wearing him definitely would have made my days run much smoother and calmed him faster. And while I got newborn photos in the hospital, I wish I had invested in professional pictures when he had turned 1. We had gotten photos taken when he was about 9 months old, but it would have been nice to get that monumental 1 year old portrait.
This was such a sweet post! We coslept up until my daughter was three and I wore her because it made nursing easier.