“The first month is always the hardest.”
If I had a dollar for each time I’ve heard that, I’d be rich!
But it’s true. This first month has been hard, WAY hard. I’ve had a few times where I was on the brink of a break down and thought it would be impossible. But it’s getting easier every day. I finally feel at ease with Wolf, from calming him in public to letting him fall to sleep on his own. I can’t say it’s been easy though. Here are five things I’ve learned with my 1 month old baby:
1. He loves to be swaddled. Hallelujah! Swaddling blankets are the boy’s best friend. As soon as Wolf is ready to go to sleep, he starts up this little wimper cry. Then we swaddle him up and within minutes he’s out. I can’t imagine what we’d do without our swaddles. Wolf loves to be all snuggled up!
2. Breastfeeding is hard work. Innocently, I thought breastfeeding would be easy. I’d help the baby latch on, bare a little bit of pain, and then voila! He’d soon be a happy plump little baby. Little did I know that 5 weeks in, I’d still be supplementing, taking every galactagogue known to man to boost my milk supply and pumping to stimulate more milk.
3. Take advantage of open arms. When family has visited, I’ve been hesitant to leave Wolf in someone else’s open arms for too long. It’s made me feel guilty, like I’m not paying enough attention to my own son or that I’m taking advantage of their kindness. But if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to definitely take advantage of their kindness while it’s available. They are more than willing to hold the baby while I’m scarfing down breakfast or watch him for a few hours so I can get some work done.
4. Sleep when the baby sleeps. In those first weeks, I was just so happy when Wolf was sleeping and I could actually do things around the house, that I didn’t sleep too much. It didn’t hit me how tired I was until I’d had 5 hours of sleep each night for about a week and I was so delirious I couldn’t think straight. Then I started napping when Wolf napped. Not only did it seem to help him stay asleep longer to know or feel that I was in there with him, but I felt so much more rested.
5. It’s a love you’ve NEVER experienced before. And it hits you like a rock. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I pause and look over at Wolf in his bassinet. Sometimes I obsessively wonder if he’s still breathing other times I just watch his little eyes flutter in his sleep. Feeling a love like you feel for your new baby is like no other. You can’t even relate to how it feels until you’re deep in the middle of explosive poopy diapers, 4am scream fests, pee shooting on the wall and spit up down your shirt. And yet you still manage to love this little person more than anything.
Looking back: 6 Things I Wish I Knew Pre-Pregnancy