Not sure if you are aware of this, but the first 3 months of a baby's life are sometimes referred to as the 4th trimester & it is a true whirlwind and I am going to share some tips with you!
My tips for the fourth trimester are below!
Dominic turned 3 months old yesterday! Seriously how does time go by so fast?! He changes & learns new things every day. He is so alert now & recognizes us! He loves staring at Freddy as he runs crazy around the house.
Car rides are some of his favorite times! Diaper changes are no fun for him & sometimes he likes tummy time & other times he doesn't. Just the other day I was going through my phone & looking at videos & photos of Dominic in the hospital when he was first born & he was just so little. Even his cries have changed & gotten "older" sounding LOL. He is the best thing that has ever happened to us & we are so in love with him.
There were so many new things that we all had to learn. Dominic was acclimating to the world & we were acclimating to being new parents. While we were in the thick of those long sleepless nights, we felt that this time was never going to end. As badly as we didn't want time to speed up, we longed for longer periods of sleep at night. It was a constant battle of not wanting him to grow up too fast & to stay a newborn forever, but also wanting to see him grow & change & learn new things.
This was such a rewarding few months of our life, we got to meet Dominic, we got to snuggle him around the clock, & we got to become parents! It is such a special feeling knowing that we are his whole world & he is our whole world.
With all of this being said, I wanted to give some tips of what we learned along the way these past 3 months that helped us to stay sane when things can get a little crazy!
1. Snuggle your baby as much as you possibly can. You literally cannot spoil a newborn & they are just too dang cute to not cuddle all the time. Plus babies love cuddling with you!
2. Don't stress out over the house chores. These first 3 months are so crucial for you & your little one that the house chores should not be a priority. The vacuuming, laundry, dishes, etc will be there tomorrow, if you can't get to it that day because you were doing too much of number 1 :) (we tackled the house on the weekend together so things got done quicker!)
3. You will eventually sleep again. I honestly had the hardest time with this one. I was always asking people with little kids when their babies started to sleep through the night because it just never seemed like Dominic was going to sleep all night. Well guess what, he has been sleeping from 10pm-5/6am for the past couple weeks which is HUGE compared to getting up every 2/3 hours at first. I will take this sleep schedule any day, but I probably just jinxed myself LOL. Also, the advice to sleep when the baby sleeps is so true! Maybe not every time they nap during the day because that is probably not realistic, but at least during 1 nap, especially in the first few weeks. It will help you tremendously!
4. Babies love routine! If you can get your little one on a routine that will help you and your baby out so incredibly much. This is hard to do so don't stress out if at first you feel all out of sorts. You have to be flexible as well & know that some days, the routine will go out the window. At first, I had to feed Dominic every 2 hours during the day & at night I could let him sleep & feed him when he woke up.
As he got a little older & bigger, I started to feed him on demand, however I still try to stick to feeding him every 3/4 hours during the day. I do try to end my days with feeding him at 9/930 and going to bed when I put him down. Some days this is just not our reality, but if I can make this happen, I try my best.
5. Fed is best! Your baby needs to eat, so do what works for you & your baby! I had to tell myself this a lot during these first few months, honestly. At first, our doctor was a little concerned that Dominic wasn't gaining weight fast enough so I started to supplement his last feeding of the day with formula & I would pump. This was extremely hard for me to wrap my brain around. I felt defeated & mad that my body wasn't providing enough food for our baby. This was completely untrue, but with all the emotions & uncertainties of being a new mom, I couldn't help but feel bad that I wasn't doing enough when in reality, giving him formula for one feeding WAS doing the right thing.
Dominic's weight has shot up & there is no longer any concern, but I have decided to continue to supplement that last feeding with formula. Actually, just this week I am trying to wean off that formula feeding because I am pumping a lot more since my body has adjusted to needing more milk. I still plan to have formula around in case Dominic is still hungry after a feeding or if we go out & I don't have any pumped bottles. I am completely ok with Dominic having formula & just want him to grow & flourish so whatever we need to do to accomplish that is perfectly fine by me! Power to all the Mommas feeding your babies, it is a lot of work!!
6. Strangers will give you advice & sometimes unwanted comments. For this, I would just laugh it off! We got some pretty strange comments these past few months when we have been out running errands & they don't bother me, they are just funny. I keep saying I want to write a book with all the funny comments/advice we have been so graciously given over the past 3 months HA! I do love the people who ask his name, his age or say he's so cute!
7. Swaddle, swaddle, swaddle. I cannot say enough good things about swaddling your newborn. If Dominic is fighting a nap, I grab a swaddle & wrap him up & it almost instantly calms him down & puts him to sleep. It helps with their startle reflex that can sometimes prevent them from sleeping really well.
8. Take lots of photos & videos! They change so much every day that it is so fun to look back even a week prior & see how much they have changed!
9. Find what works best for you! Every baby is so different & you have to do what is best for you & your baby. What works for one baby, may not work for your baby and that is completely normal & ok!
10. Take help from those who offer it. Whether it's your family or friends, if someone offers to do something for you, let them! I think this is so important, especially in the first few weeks of coming home from the hospital as you're adjusting to life with a newborn. Let them help you clean, bring a meal over, or do your grocery shopping. It takes such a burden off of you & you get to spend more time with your baby rather than worrying about these tasks.
11. Have a changing station in your living area. Our home has an upstairs & downstairs. The nursery is upstairs with all the bedrooms, but we spend the majority of our day downstairs. I set up the pack and play downstairs so that Dominic had a place to nap downstairs & a place I could change him so that I didn't have to constantly bring him up & down stairs throughout the day.
12. HAVE FUN! Just try to remember that your baby will not know if the house chores aren't done, if they don't have the perfect outfit on, or if you haven't put makeup on/showered. All your baby wants is your love & affection! Read to your baby, sing to your baby, play with your baby! Every day they are learning something new so you might as well have fun while teaching them :)
Now, I am by NO means an expert at babies considering I only have a 3 month old, but I wanted to share some things I have learned along the way in hopes that maybe you learn something new. I also hope that you will share some of your baby tips in the comments below! I love learning what works for other Moms because sometimes that just may work for me!
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