WE ARE CURRENTLY in the "newborn" haze. Where your heart is so full of love it feels like it is going to explode, and you are simultaneously exhausted and feel like you are living your life in three hour intervals, feed to feed for the baby, while trying to keep your home in order and everyone else fed. Sam having five weeks off for paternity leave has been so dreamy, with him taking the morning shift with Finny and leaving Atticus and I to go back to sleep after his 6 or 7 am feed for another few hours. I think having Sam around has made the transition a lot easier for Finny as he has a constant companion all day long. Thankfully my mom has been by most days to take care of household chores like laundry, cleaning the house and making meals (plus a lot of playtime with Finn and some cuddles with Atticus while I do things like shower and get out of my pj's at 3pm, ahem). Here is a list of 10 things that have made the first week and a half of life with a newborn that much easier:
1. Sleep when baby sleeps I know, I know, you hear this one from everyone and their grandmother, but there is a reason for it! If even once a day you capitalize on their nap and sleep while they sleep you will feel so much better. While Sam is off work I do this in the morning since it is most natural to just stay in bed. Once he's back at work I will have to adjust and try and nap when both boys are sleeping which I know can be rough syncing up their schedules... (Any advice for how to achieve that is more than welcome!)
2. Sitz Bath Nobody wants to talk about the pain after having the baby or the healing or the stitches. But those things are real. So when your hospital or midwife offers you a sitz bath to take home you say yes and go home and use it everyday before bed (adding a TBSP hydrogen peroxide or some Epsom salts) and you will feel so much better. Trust me.
The next few items are all boob-related. For you non bf-ing moms you can skip past them, but for those of you who will/do breastfeed these are game changers!
3. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads and Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream I tried a few different types of breast pads when Finny was born and the Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads were by far the best. They give full coverage and can't be seen through your clothes (avoid the Johnson and Johnson ones at all costs! They are too small and they have this fake nipple thing that looks really weird). Also, the Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream was so helpful during the first few days of nursing when your body isn't used to it and everything is super tender. It also makes great lip chap!
4. Cabbage leaves As soon as you hit full term be sure to have a green cabbage in your fridge! Once your milk comes in break off a couple whole leaves, wash them and make a "little mermaid" esque bra for 15 minutes, 3x/day. I don't know why it works, but it does and it helps the "day(s) of engorgement" finish faster, helps regulate your milk supply and will provide relief!
5. Medela Freestyle Breast Pump I made the mistake the first time and didn't own a pump when Finn was born. It left us in awkward situations of hand compressing into things like Tupperware containers trying to get relief! Ha! I had bought a Medela Swing Single Electric Breast Pump at the time, which was great for just one baby and loads of time on my hands, but with two kiddos I need something more efficient. So I sold the single pump and bought a second hand Medela Freestyle Breast Pump and ordered new tubes etc. I'm obsessed with it. I don't pump often, but during the "day(s) of engorgement" and for any times we want to go out sans kiddos, I can get all my pumping business done in under 10 minutes. Dreamy!
6. Cake Maternity Cotton Candy Nursing Bra This was a recommendation from "Barefoot Blonde" and I can't say enough about it. It is so comfortable, provides the support that so few other "non-wire" nursing bras do and you can sleep in it or work out in it. It's stretchy fabric so it will easily expand when you're engorged and still fit well afterwards. I bought one two days before Atticus was born and the sizing was accurate! There are also 6 different sizing clasps in the back to adjust once your rib cage shrinks back down postpartum.
7. Belly Bandit BFF Belly Wrap My best friend postpartum. Not only does this help you to shrink your belly back down quickly, it can help to bring your abs back together and provides amazing back support as you nurse or go about your day. It has helped me so much when lifting and playing with my 25lb, 17 month old too, I notice a dramatic difference in my strength and ability to pick him up and have dance parties still when I am wearing it. It was my "big splurge" before Finn and I can't recommend it enough!
8. Power Balls These are the perfect "on the go" snack. Whether it's when I'm ravenous in the middle of the night or needing a little pick me up mid day or after a nursing session, these are a great source of protein, fiber and energy. Not to mention they are delicious ;)
9. A treat (or a few😏) for yourself This pregnancy I picked up a couple of treats for myself. Mainly things to make me feel put together and like a woman during the long days at home. I got these beautiful Bluboho Earrings in time for a friends wedding in December and I haven't taken them off since! I also picked up this lipstick - Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Patina- which I have been obsessed with (the colour looks great on everyone and it doesn't come off on your husband or your babies... win!) I also have accumulated a few different nail polishes this winter since it seems shoppers drug mart is always having a sale and nothing says "I'm put together, even if I'm in my lululemons all day" like red toes and pink fingernails, am I right?!
10. Erase paste (plus Aura Cacia Organic Rosehip Oil + Aura Cacia Jojoba Pure Skin Care Oil as mentioned in this post) When all else fails I say "fake it till you make it"! This concealer is perfect for covering those little baggies under your eyes and any hormonal acne you might gain as a reward for pushing a small human out of you. (Has anyone else had this or am I alone in the "26 years old with the pimples of a 15 year old" thing?!)
Bonus: And as a bonus I have to include the necessity of a good playlist. Sam and I use Apple Music and have two Sonos players (a SONOS Playbar TV Soundbar/Wireless Streaming Music Speaker and SONOS Play 1 Compact Wireless Speaker) which are truly the very best sound system you could ever want in your house! If you are a music lover (or a movie lover) and are looking for the best quality of sound projection for both TV and music then look no further! (And no, this isn't sponsored, I'm just a huge fan!) I've had apple editors playlist "Make You Feel My Love" on in our house for the last two months and I'm still not sick of it!