I should have listened to my mom. With Baby Tee I am finally doing some things differently and babyhood is so much easier this time around. For starters:
Poor L spent most of her nights freezing because I was firmly warned to never use a blanket. A light sleeper and a sleep sack - that was all my kid needed, I was told. My first three kids were bad to okay sleepers. I'm pretty sure they were just really cold, but with the last three I have gotten better and better at this.
In Tee's first weeks he would wear a onesie and a sleep sack all the time. And then for sleeping I would swaddle him and then cover him up with a heavy, crocheted blanket. When he was a little older I would keep him in a light sleeper, no sleep sack, and cover him up with a warm baby blanket while nursing him. I would then move him, still wrapped in the warm blanket, to the swaddle blanket, swaddle him, lay him down, and then cover him with the heavy, crocheted blanket. As it warms up we will lose either the warm blanket or the crocheted blanket but through the winter and cold spring all those blankets were exactly what he needed. And as he moves more I will probably have to forgo the blankets, too, for safety reasons but Baby Tee isn't rolling yet and is the best sleeper I have ever had and I am sure it is because he is warm and snug (and I'm pretty sure it's a gift from God. That too.)
Snug as a bug. A bug wondering why his mom is making him model for a blog post picture.
With my first two I *never* fell asleep on sofas or recliners while holding my babies because they would die. Now, I am well aware of the risks of SIDS and horrible accidents, but I also am aware of the risk of PPD and how exhaustion plays into that. Since PPD is a far greater risk for me personally (maybe not for you! I'm not telling you what to do!) I have the goal of falling asleep with each night feeding. When I sit down with Baby Tee in the middle of the night I cover us both up, latch him on, and close my eyes. Twenty to ninety minutes later I will wake up with a full-bellied, soundly-sleeping baby and my boob hanging out. Back to bed we go and instead of losing thirty to one hundred minutes of sleep I have lost ten, tops.
Swings and Slings and Bouncy Seats
With Baby Tee I use all these things. Having a swing I can set him in to make sure he's safe from being trampled on or tripped over by his herd of playing siblings is a very good thing. The wrap I am borrowing from a friend has been a wonderful way to shop, visit my son's classroom, and go for walks while still getting Tee's nap in. In the past I used bouncy seats and swings and even the carseat a great deal. But really, what I have finally learned or come to accept with my sixth child is that sometimes babies just want to be held in their mom's arms. We sit around a lot, but that seems to make him happy, and it was truly what I needed after the c-section anyways.
I was so, so, so wrong to believe that bibs only came in handy once babies were teething or eating applesauce. For years I always carefully positioned a burp rag on my arm or the Boppy / pillow to catch any milk dripping from my child's mouth and I did the same for my bottle fed babies. Now I keep a bib velcroed around the carseat handle so I am never without one. While I do carry a burp rag in my diaper bag I rarely get it out. The bib goes on for every meal and does a fabulous job of catching milk and spit up. (And Nells' Bandit Bibs are so stinkin' cute Baby Tee gets all kinds of compliments!) I still use burp rags around the house (and Nell wins again with these!), but bibs make nursing so much easier in church, at a friend's, at the park, in my mini van...
Maybe it's because I am not parenting through the fog of postpartum depression, maybe it's because my son is warm and well fed and well rested and well loved - whatever the reason this has been easiest go at it I've ever had. I am grateful for that. And in the words of Flynn Rider, "Bibs! Who knew, right?!"