newborn baby: week three

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Look what you have survived! Look at what your NEWBORN has survived! Once you figure out those basics, you can start to gain a little confidence in how YOU are going to parent. This is the period of time, starting now, that people will drop their knowledge on you…maybe in a pushy way… and you have to figure out for yourself what you want to do. It is time to move from caregiver… to parent. ( Make sure to check out my Week 1 and Week 2 posts!)

1. Listen to all the advice you can…from other parents. It’s funny to me when someone without kids… looks at me with a side-eye at the store when my baby is howling. I get this look from time to time. The person is thinking you are a bad parent, how come you can’t control your 21 day old… you shouldn’t be in public. I don’t hate these people, but if Jesus didn’t care if we hated these people… I WOULD hate them. So here. Don’t worry about them. They know nothing. But OTHER parents, they can help. They may say contradictory things. But they get it. You get it. Listen to them.

As I write this I think of Jay’s Aunt Toni and Uncle Paul telling us about their daughter as a baby. They had a baby with a similar disposition to ours.. in the first 12 weeks. Jay and I were a bundle of nerves when the sun went down. They saw us at a party and recognized the looks in our eyes. They told us that one day it will all be easy. That after 12 weeks, everything worked out so that their daughter was easy-peasy. It was hard to imagine for us to hear that. We felt like we were just surviving day to day…but they were totally right. AND WE WERE SO GRATEFUL FOR THAT HOPE!

2.Learn how to “hack” your baby. THIS WAS THIS BIGGEST THING FOR ME. I started to get to  know Anouk. That she liked certain distractions. She liked this bouncer and not that swing. I started to realize that she needed to be swung a certain way to sleep. That she needed a little white noise to calm down.. I had to figure this all out. She didn’t like to be swaddled a ton… I had to figure that out too. Take time to notice what your baby is telling you. It will make going out in public a lot easier, and it will make the noise-level in your house more relaxing and enjoyable.IMG_0993

3. Try to get out. By week three, I was visiting family and going to church. That was basically it. Anouk had a difficult time at sunset until the time she slept most nights. Being that it was winter, this meant that after 4 pm was pretty dicey. I tried to take her for walks if the weather wasn’t frigid. That really helped me. I am not a homebody. I like to be out and about at least once a day. The  first 2 weeks I felt ok about being home all the time, but after that, I started to feel a little cabin fever. I started to learn to be able to get Anouk out and about a little bit in week three. It wasn’t easy, but it was a learning experience.

4. Stay on your toes. It can start to feel like you have this thing down. I know I did. But the thing is… I didn’t. *i am about to disclose something that is really hard for me to admit to the world, but i hope it is understood and learned from. Anouk couldn’t roll around, I knew her. She couldn’t do much yet other than cry and sleep. So I decided to go to the other end the family room while she was laying against the back of the couch. Before i knew it, she was on the floor. I was totally rattled. I was in tears and I called Jay and told him that “I might have ruined our perfect girl.” I don’t know how she got to the floor, I didn’t see it, but it wasn’t worth it for me to think I knew  that she wouldn’t fall. Accidents happen. She is ok, but I learned something that day… that I was getting too comfortable. I have made mistakes since that day, but I have never felt so guilty in my life as I did that day so early in my baby’s life. Lesson learned.

5. Share the baby. You might be feeling really attached to your little bundle, but family and friends want to know your baby, too. You will have tons of time to love and hold the baby. Give other people an opportunity to have contact. They will begin to feel attached to your little baby, too (the foundation of community). Let the love pass around! It will help bridge relationships and build character. It is awesome what babies can do for us!

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