This is the first in a series of posts from a handful of guest bloggers, documenting baby’s first year. This first post comes from talented writer and mama of two, Megan. Visit her Instagram account here, and read on to enjoy a peek into her life with her newborn.
The tiny girl that I carried for nine months and could hardly imagine is finally here in my life and it’s truly extraordinary. I was so distracted by my two-year-old son during this pregnancy that I really could never wrap my mind around the idea of two — although I’m not sure I could imagine life with my son before he was born either. These first few weeks with León have been hectic, challenging, exciting and undeniably sweet. When I was finally feeling up to it, we decided that we wanted to be surrounded by our close family to help with the transition from one child to two. We ended up traveling a lot to my husband’s parents’ house and to my mom’s house. Packing up everything we needed every time we left was tedious and time consuming but being around family kept me sane and gave me the extra help I needed during the fragile first weeks after delivering a baby. The only concern I had about being away from home and moving from place to place was how we would be depriving León of any tangible routine. Even though she was only a few weeks old, I really wanted to start things off with some certainty and predictability in her days and nights — especially when it came to her sleeping habits. Unfortunately, because we weren’t at home, I only had a few things that I could control, so I did my best to ensure that we stuck to a few specifics in our regimen.
Both of my kids have responded well to being swaddled from day one and León, who is a little more high-needs than Vincent was, reacts wonderfully to being swaddled. Basically, I am a swaddling enthusiast and I can’t imagine our bedtime routine without swaddlers — specifically the wearable ones that stay put and aren’t going to come unraveled throughout the night. I used them exclusively with Vincent until he graduated to “sleep sacks” which he wore until he was almost two!
During our travels during that first month, I relied on finding a quiet place when I knew León was tired and we would have a short little “time away” from our family and friends. I changed her diaper, put her in her Ergobaby Swaddler (which felt like putting her in a cozy little cocoon) and she would immediately become more relaxed and calm. Then, I nursed her wherever we were and simply set her down on whatever bed/pack and play/rock and play or co-sleeper we had for her in the environment we were in. I loved being able to give her the comfort of some routine despite the fact that our surroundings were always changing.
Now that we are spending more time back at our apartment, our routine is still the same and luckily, León has become quite the expert sleeper for such a young baby. Around 8:30 every night, she seems to know that it’s bedtime. She starts to get drowsy no matter what we’re doing and our routine remains the same: diaper change, swaddler, nurse, bed. She goes right to sleep almost every time and this has truly saved me. Somedays I really feel like I’m drowning with two kids and the evenings can be really hard but I can always count on the peaceful routine that León and I have together every night. It’s smooth, it’s quiet and best of all, it’s easy.