Morning routine

In my last post I talked about creating a routine, specifically a bedtime routine, so now I’m going to continue with telling you about our morning routine.

She is starting to do her nightly feedings pretty much the same times, but since they sometimes change from night to night it’s not super easy to set a time to wake up, yet. But almost! I’m aiming for 8 and usually it suits her schedule, at least close to it. So in the mornings, this is what we do.

  • Get ready
    Unless she is really hungry already, then I do her routine before mine. But if I wake up on time and she’s calm, especially if Odi’s awake and can have his cuddle time. I get ready,
    – I do my skincare routine
    – I change my clothes and,
    – Move my stuff to the living room
  • Change
    I change her diaper and her clothes, either I do after I’ve gotten ready, or Odi does while I get ready.
  • Eat
    I always make sure I get something to eat by this time. Something more proper than the snacks I eat at night. Something to eat while I feed her, a yoghurt or oatmeal usually.
  • Feeding
    I feed her while I eat my breakfast and after I’ve eaten I either read, not necessarily something for personal development but fiction or I watch my series. My baby girl eats for about an hour so I have time, and I need to, do things at the same time haha.
  • Morning walk
    I have only been doing this for a few days, and it’s still kind of tough since it’s soooo warm. So the mornings are better since it’s not as warm, and also to make sure I actually get out and moving.
  • Journal
    The one thing that I have kept doing during this whole time when I have had other things to focus on than my morning routine. It’s important for me to journal every day, to get my thoughts in order, or at least somewhat in order.

Of course it’s not always easy to stick to a routine with a baby, sometimes we have to change and follow her schedule. When that happens I make sure to still do all the same things but maybe in a different order and some days it just takes a long time to get all of it done!

I feel so much better having a routine to follow, or at least a routine to work towards, and with time I will include more things for myself, like meditation. But I also need to give myself a break and take it one step at a time.

Bedtime Routine

In the very beginning I was struggling with not being able to continue with my routine and also struggling with getting back to it after some time. My mistake being that I was trying to get back to something I had created for myself under completely different circumstances. So after some time I realized that I needed to create a new routine, take it slow and create it with the baby and not have one for her and one for me.

She is slowly getting into somewhat of a routine with sleeping and eating and within that routine I could start including things that I wanted for her and me, baby steps of course.

Getting baby to sleep in her crib
We had her sleeping in a bed next to our bed and I wanted to start getting her used to her crib instead. So we started with putting her there during her naps. In the beginning she would just wake up straight away and not fall asleep again. But we continued to try and try every time, we also put her baby nest in the crib so she might feel more comfortable. And now she is taking long naps in the crib and even if she wakes up she falls back asleep on her own, at least some of the times.

Deciding day and night time
After reading and reading this one seemed to be important for all advice given regarding how to sleep train a baby. So we started doing bedtime routine at 8 morning routine at 8. We also decided to continue working on getting her comfortable in the crib but keep her in our bedroom at night for now.

Bedtime routine
So knowing that bedtime was at 8 we started to work out a bedtime routine and start doing that around 7.30, now that’s obviously no exact time, sometimes it ends up being 8.30 instead. The few hours between the bedtime routine and the next feeding are hours that she doesn’t want to sleep right now haha, but I believe in consistency and that eventually it will have effect. We make sure to do the same things ever day. Our bedtime routine include:

  • Bath
    I wouldn’t say a bath is necessary every day, but our little girl loves baths and her skin is a little dry so we put some coconut oil in the bath to make her skin less dry too.
  • Changing into pyjamas
    I realize that a baby doesn’t know the difference between day clothes and pyjamas, but it’s still something that signals that it’s time for bed.
  • Feeding
    Now I usually feed her where ever, in the living room usually, but this feeding and the ones during the night, I do in her room. I dim the lights, turn on some slow and nice music and I feed her around 8.

    During this feeding I have my reading time, that is reading for personal development. During the night feedings I watch Netflix to stay awake, but during this bedtime feeding I take my time to read something for my personal development.
    “The five love languages” – Gary Chapman, right now!
  • Put her to bed
    Well, that’s the idea anyway. For now she doesn’t want to sleep at this specific time. But we continue and one day, she will. We’re very grateful to not have a screaming baby though, she’s just awake, not wanting to miss out on anything, a real party girl.
  • Dinner and get ready
    So when she’s sleeping, or when she’s supposed to sleep, we have dinner and then I go get ready for bed, skincare routine, change my clothes and so on, and just be with Odi and watch TV.
  • Last feeding
    Around 11 I do one more feeding, right now she usually have been up for a while since she dosen’t want to sleep at the bedtime we set haha. So she falls right asleep after this feeding.

I feel better going into the baby room for the night feedings since that is where she will sleep eventually, because I wake up a bit from going into the next room, so that Odi get to sleep, he doesn’t have to be up just because I have to, and because I think I sleep better when I don’t both breastfeed, sleep, cuddle, snack, watch series and calm her down in the same place, my bed is for sleeping. As soon as she’s done I take her into our room, cuddle for a bit and then put her into the bed we have in there. And she sleeps pretty well now in between the feedings.

In the baby room I keep my nursing basket, a basket with the stuff I need for the feedings, I keep 2 water bottles in my bedroom and 2 bottles in there baby room, I mean, wow, I did not know what thirsty was until I started breastfeeding, it’s almost worse than when you’re hungover, and snacks of course!

I feel so much better having a routine to follow, and of course it’s not perfect. Sometimes you have to give up and follow the baby instead. But I do feel better having something to follow and something to work towards. It also feels great when we make progress and she, for example, falls back asleep on her own during a nap. Creating the best circumstances for ourselves.

Keep an eye out for my next post on our morning routine!

Newborn essentials – what I’ve actually needed

I had gone through all the pinterest lists and with that info made my own list with a hint of common sense and it seems I did a pretty good job. So here are the things that I have actually needed, so far!

The baby hug 4n1
We have a crib too, but we haven’t used that one yet. This one is all we use, you can move it around and you can put it high or low, on any level, so you can make it the same height as your own bed. We keep her in it at night, right next to me, and then we can roll it out to the living room and have somewhere to put her for naps and throughout the day. It’s phenomenal. The wheels make it a little clumsy though so watch out if you have a small space.

Dresser/changing table
I’m so happy that we decided to turn a dresser into a changing table instead of buying an expensive changing table, cause it works perfectly and we saved a lot of money.

Nursing basket
It doesn’t have to be a specific basket, just something to put all your breastfeeding stuff in. And possibly changing stuff if you don’t wanna have to get up and go to the changing table in the middle of the night. I keep my towel, wash cloths, my nipple cream, snacks, bottle of water, baby log book and all the stuff you might need.

Wash cloths and towels
So I didn’t get the burp cloths, because, well, why? Just have a good sized towel, small but long, to put over your shoulder when you need to burp the baby. Wash cloths have been useful to, to wipe her mouth, my boob or what ever needs wiping, and to use with a bit of cold water for when she doesn’t want to wake up to eat (luxury problem haha).

Stroller
Obviously. But we really found an amazing stroller. I’m so happy with it and it’s the perfect size because it actually fits in our elevator haha, which of course is important, and it also came with a great diaper bag!

Bath stuff
We literally got the cheapest baby bath tub we could find and it is working perfectly. I don’t see a reason to spend a whole bunch of money on this since it’s literally only to keep water in.

Coconut oil
For everything. For the boobs, the baby, the bath, as oil, lotion and cream it just an all in one. I needed to go get a special diaper cream because my nipples got ruined at first, but accept for that coconut oil for everything, all the time.

Baby wrap
I haven’t used this one too much yet, I actually got it delivered quite recently, but it felt amazing when I did. To be able to have you baby close and even comfort her while having your hands and arms free, amazing.

Pacifiers
I know some advice to not use pacifiers, and I wasn’t sure about it at first, but when our little girl started getting some stomach ache in the evenings, using the pacifier to calm her down has been golden! She is however very specific with what pacifiers she likes, so my advice would be to get a few different ones.

If you’re planning on breastfeeding I would also advice to keep some infant formula at the house just in case. If it takes some time for your milk to come through and you have a hungry, screaming baby, it might be a good idea to supplement with a little bit, or if breastfeeding is just not working. We supplemented a little bit once or twice, and both times it was in the middle of the night when we would have had no chance to go to a store and get it.

Maybe I have forgotten something, my brain is not functioning super great with the lack of sleep, so I might do an update later on! Hope it’s helpful

Postpartum essentials

Before giving birth I also read a lot about things that you should keep in the house for when you come back from the hospital. And here is a list of things that I have actually needed or been happy to have.

  • Maternity pads and big panties to go with them.
    I thought that I would be able to switch back to normal pads already in the hospital ha ha boy was I wrong.
  • Spray bottle for water
    In the hospital the shower was right next to the toilet which made it easier but at home we don’t have the luxury, so I’ve had a spray bottle to use instead of toilet paper after peeing, because, it hurts to pee.
  • Belly wrap
    I don’t know about you guys but after giving birth it literally felt like nothing in my stomach was attached, that everything was just flopping around in there. So a belly wrap made walking a lot more comfortable. I only use it when we go out for actual walks though.
  • Easy self care products
    I’m so so so happy for my skin care products that I normally use because they’re fast and they’re easy. I use a skin care device and not a 7 step skin care routine which made it a lot easier to keep taking care of my skin in this new situation.
  • Tank tops
    I went out and got those nursing tops, but to be honest a normal tank top works just as good for me. So instead I would spend that money on buying more tank tops instead. In that case I think nursing bras are more worth it.

Other things that have helped a lot is for example to get groceries delivered so we don’t have to think about that and a good big water bottle cause man does breastfeeding make you thirsty.

Postpartum hormones kicking my ass

In all honesty the last few days have been a huge struggle. The postpartum hormones have hit me hard. I’ve been in a bad cycle of feeling guilty, crying my eyes out and not taking care of myself. The stress and exhaustion of course effecting the baby so she haven’t slept very well, the breastfeeding has been a bit tough and then on top of everything it turns out she’s not gaining weight.

I was up half the night with her having stomach ache, and of course I want to make it on my own so it took too long for me to ask my mom for help, and helping is literally the reason why she’s here, yet it makes me feel so awful leaving her cause there’s this voice in my head telling me that it means I can’t do it on my own. eventually I let my mom take her so I got a few hours of sleep. But when I woke up the feelings of not being good enough and not being able to do this was just overwhelming and I spent most of the morning crying. My parents and Odi were all there trying to tell me that I’m doing great and that I will be able to do this but nothing really helped, I just felt so worthless. And of course being completely exhausted didn’t really help. Eventually I managed to calm down and we went to the baby nurse, cause they wanted to see her again to make sure she’d start gaining weight, and it turned out she hadn’t. It’s not the end of the world and they recommended us to supplement with some formula. But with all these feelings already bubbling around in me, I cried all the way home. It was like that voice in my head found yet another thing to bet me down with and it just wouldn’t stop.

I’ve had a lot of talks with my parents and my mom especially who is trying to tell me how great I’m doing and that it’s completely normal to feel this way. That maybe we don’t talk about it too much but most of us spend a lot of days and nights in tears in this situation, wondering what the hell we’ve gotten ourselves into and how the hell we’re gonna survive this. And no matter how much you tell yourself that it is just that, completely normal, it’s so overwhelming and so hard to deal with. What makes it even harder is that everything really goes hand in hand. If you’re stressed your breastfeeding will suffer and the baby won’t get enough to eat, and she’ll feel your stress so she’ll cry and won’t sleep and you’ll be exhausted and even more stressed, so you don’t sleep enough, or eat enough, and that makes everything worse all over again.

This is so real. And to be honest, you sit here and wonder if it’s ever gonna get better or it this is just your life now. And then, you wake up the next day, maybe having had an okay night, gotten some sleep, had some breakfast, and sitting here typing in your computer with a seriously adorable baby sleeping next to you, and just for a moment it feels like it’s all gonna be okay.

Mom guilt

Oh how wrong I have been all these years thinking that people are just being ridiculous. These mommy hormones are completely mental. This has probably been the biggest chock to me out of all the chocking things regarding pregnancy and having a baby. She is like a drug to me. I cannot be away from her because I feel like I’m in physical pain. Even if she’s in the next room, if I don’t hold her for too long I just start crying for no reason. It’s completely insane.

And then there’s the guilt. I touched the subject a little bit in the post meeting my daughter for the first time cause literally a moment after giving birth to her I felt it for the first time. But since then it has happened a few more times. Like yesterday. Emma had a bad night, so I had a bad day since I hadn’t been sleeping much at all. I was completely exhausted and all the emotions was just too much. She also seemed to have a bit of a stomach ache and I couldn’t do anything about it. Odi came to hug me and out came the waterworks, I just cried and cried. So my mom told me to fed her and then she would take her for part of the night so I could sleep, at least until she needed to eat the next time. And I felt so bad. I realized that I needed to do it, and so I went into my bed and cried for a while before falling asleep.

It’s so completely messed up. Even though you know intellectually that it’s completely normal and reasonable to need a few hours of sleep, and that it doesn’t make you a bad mom or a bad person, the guilt is just there, it just shows up. I am working on leaving her for short moments and during my parents stay we will give it a try to leave the house without her for a little bit, but it’s so hard, and it’s completely shocking to me, how strong these feelings are.

So I apologize for ever thinking that people were just being ridiculous, not that I ever said to anyone, but still, I feel bad. I am now in my bedroom and going to take a nap while Emma is in the livingroom with Odi, patting myself on the shoulder, baby steps!