April 9, 2016

Blankets and Bibs and Other Things I'm Learning as a 6th Time Mom

When my first child was born I didn't know what I was doing so I read books and articles and then I did exactly what those books and articles told me to do. Perhaps my mom would suggest something and I would let her know that  You don't do that anymore. Because They say not to do that. And if we do do that, my child will DIE.

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:

Blankets
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.


Recliners
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. 



Bibs 
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?!"


23 comments:

  1. You're so wise. And the sweetest for sharing!

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  2. Love it! The parenting differences are real :) With my first, I changed his clothes *every* time he spit up. With the 2nd and 3rd I used bibs. And then I stopped caring. Or stopped being able to distinguish the spit up smell from all the other smells around the house so it was a non-issue...

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    1. Hahaha! That reminds me of a story. I was sweating a ton after Tee was born and I smelled bad all the time. I told Travis I had to get a new deodorant. He said, "You need to shower every day." LOL! We were both right, actually, but I still smelled and I finally realized my bra reeked of sour milk and that was the gross scent I couldn't get rid of. I needed to put on a new bra and wash my other one. LOL

      Hygiene for the win!

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    2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who wears the same nursing bra for eons at a time. I never take it off! When would I think to change it?!? LOL!

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    3. Well, it's hard to actually change your bra when it's literally holding back the floodwaters! I tell myself that next time I will invest in more bras and nursing tanks but I know when the time comes I'll balk at the expense and think "I'm just going to leak on these anyway!"

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  3. I've got a 11 day old, and we're only sleeping in a recliner every night. And I'm doing the best post partum phase I've ever had.

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  4. A bib on the carseat handle. Genius, Bonnie. Thank you!

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  5. The biggest thing I did (didn't) do with Emmett was change his diaper at night. I let Emmett go all night long without a diaper change and it made getting up and nursing, then falling back asleep so much easier. Even if he pooped a little, I still didn't change him because luckily he didn't pee or poop enough to cause leaking or irritations. I actually think not changing him constantly and getting him undressed and cold made it tons easier at getting him back to sleep. And yes we slept in the recliner A LOT. Bibs on the car seat handle... Noted.

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    1. Yes. I only change my kids at night if they are poopy AND have a diaper rash. Otherwise it is one diaper all night long.

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  6. As a fellow PPD mom...you are genious!!! I am soooo happy things are going more smoothly for you this time!

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  7. As a fellow PPD mom...you are genious!!! I am soooo happy things are going more smoothly for you this time!

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  8. My husband was laughing at me the other day because I told him I was going to go pick up a cheap, used baby swing for our unborn child. With my first, I was all anti-baby swings/bouncers. Now I'm all, whatever works to keep the baby happy!

    I have a question about the reclincer sleeping though. Are you able to nurse in the side-lying position? I totally get the need for sleep to starve of PPD. That is why I always co-slept, I NEEDED to sleep WHILE the baby nursed. I can understand if you don't want baby in bed with you and your husband, but it would be safer if you had a twin mattress on the floor someplace (like in his room or your room) and nursed lying down on the mattress and then you could fall asleep while nursing safely. Even a firm futon mattress would work (and would be much cheaper than a twin) You could even leave him sleeping on the mattress and not even have to move him to a crib/bassinette and then when you wake up, go back to your regular bed. Or if you wanted to move him, you could of course. But if the mattress is on the floor, you don't even have to worry about him rolling of. I hope this doesn't offend you, but it's just a thought, because recliner/sofa sleeping is outside my comfort zone of safety but I totally understand the need to sleep through night nursing. I could never do awake recliner nursing at night, that is why I learned to nurse lying down as soon as possible. I NEEDED that sleep.

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    1. I am not offended - I know you're concerned. Laying down and nursing is not an option for me, which is too bad.

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    2. I can't nurse lying down either. I've tried it so many times but I just can't make it work!

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  9. So many blankets! I can't imagine using that many, but then again I love in Southeast Louisiana where winter lasts for basically 2 months or less. But you do what you gotta do. ;)

    Also, DEFINTELY checking out those bibs! I love the gerber's burp cloths, but sometimes a bib is all you need...barring projectile spit up...hahaha.

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    1. I love in LA too, but I LIVE there.** Thanks, autocorrect. ;)

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  10. This is a great post, and it makes me feel better about not reading up on anything parenting-related lately. I'm giving birth to my first this summer, and I completely shun all of the parenting and "you must do this in order for your child to succeed" magazines at the midwife's office :P I love the bib idea!

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  11. Yeah, we now do tummy sleeping as soon as the baby can lift his little head up and I nurse them laying down in bed, because the thought of standing up in the middle of the night is so terrible. Things I never would have done with my first one! And bibs! I didn't realize their value until drooly baby #5 wore one every day as part of his baby uniform!

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  12. Everything looks so sweet, I admire this kind of life and the best wishes for you. Hope that we can communicate with each other. By the way, any body try this Free Photo Recovery Software?I think it is good.

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  14. It is kind of sad how badly they scare new moms! It can really play on your mind, like you said, especially when you are fighting PPD.

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  15. I've kind of always been surprised to see all those newborn naked feet photos. In Europe, we usually keep newborn pretty warm during the first month no matter when they are born and during the night as long at it takes. Noone of it helped my first born sleep well, though.

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