The first three months with a baby are hard. The fourth trimester is all about sleep deprivation, establishing feeding (whichever way you wish) and routines, and healing from birth; whether it’s baby number one or baby number five.
It’s also about getting used to having someone highly unpredictable around, who is entirely dependent on you 24/7.
Both of my children have been so different, and if we’re lucky enough to have a third, I can imagine it will be another three months (plus) of juggling twenty tasks constantly throughout the day on minimal sleep and an encroaching caffeine addiction.
The phrase ‘winging it’ springs to mind!
I always find it fascinating looking back on those first three months with both children:
Busby slept through the night for the first time at around 10 days old. She didn’t sleep through every night, but generally she let us have a few decent snooze catch ups! She was a ‘sicky’ baby (which I now think was possibly active reflux), but she was happy. She gained weight well. And she was independent – even as a baby!
H-Bear didn’t sleep through the night until we introduced a dummy at 10 months! The biggest chunk of sleep I had in that period of time was 3 hours, so (as you can imagine) by 10 months, I was ready to try anything. He suffered from silent reflux and was diagnosed with a cow’s milk allergy and soya allergy. He didn’t gain weight well. And he was everything but independent!
With Busby, (sadly!) I had read every book under the sun about ‘clingy’ babies, so I was eager for her to be passed around lots for cuddles. With H-Bear, I was desperate to establish breastfeeding, so I therefore enforced a sort of ‘babymoon’, where we holed up for a couple of weeks at home without any real routine and I fed on demand while we got to know each other, without too many interruptions.
One thing that I found worked with both children was creating a grab pouch for leaving the house – in fact, I found it so useful that I still use it now; just with less things in! It’s such a handy size to fit in whichever bag I choose and I always have it ready to go – full of nappies, a travel changing mat, nappy bags and Bepanthen.
It made life easier in those first three months – and it continues to make life easier now! I always know that I have our essentials ready to go if we need to leave the house quickly.
We used Bepanthen at every nappy change as it protects against the causes of nappy rash. Nappy rash can be a difficult experience for both mum and baby so it’s important to protect against it occurring rather than just treating when it arises.
Other things I couldn’t have lived without in those first three months include:
All of these things made life easier in those first three months. In fact, the grab pouch continues to make life easier now; I always know that I have our essentials ready to go if we need to leave the house quickly.
Hannah is a mum of two and founder of the award-winning parenting blog, Make, Do & Push! The blog is about life in the Motherhood Wilderness and has a specialised focus on children’s wear and family adventures.