Even though it has only been six months since the babe came, it might as well be a lifetime. Those first few weeks and months of having a newborn have slid from my memory quickly. Not the great parts, like first baths, tiny finger grips, and locking eyes for what seemed like hours, but the hard parts like the complete and utter exhaustion, the hardships of nursing, and the baby blues. When you are in it for the first time, it can feel like your life will never resemble what it was before baby. Then as the weeks go on and the baby grows with you as a new mom, you start to get it. Each week, just a little more. We are still adjusting, but it sort of feels like life has settled into our new normal.
With so many friends in the trenches of newborn-dom or about to embark on them, I wanted to share what resources seemed to help me the most through those first couple months. The internet is a deep dark place filled with crazy people, but somehow during that 3am feeding you will listen to any one's advice or story. Funny since they could be living in scowler and misrepresenting their entire experience.
A few things that I found the most helpful are not registry items or keepsakes that are jammed in your house right now. They are simple resources to help you through and keep you sane.
The Similac Strong Moms iPhone app was my favorite tool right from the start. You can keep track of everything. Diaper changes, nursing (length, side, amount, etc.) sleeping, bottle feedings, and growth. Once you start entering, it then helps to predict your baby's schedule. I tend to like data, so it was nice to see patterns emerge a bit (even if they were that your baby only sleeps during the day) and it gave me something to reference each day.
I mentioned this book in my registry post, but I can not stress enough how helpful Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Weissbluth has been. He started out with no more than two hours of sleep at a time. I followed the book exactly (even CIO) and he started sleeping twelve hours a night at about three months. Some of that is biological, but a lot of it was following the science behind sleeping and this book is a great guide.
The Babycenter site and apps were so helpful during pregnancy. You can also download their My Baby app to follow along with tips and information based on the birth date. You can also join the Birth Club for that month on the app and follow along with other moms who are right there with you. This can be another breeding ground for crazy, but I liked seeing posts from other new moms with the same questions and problems. Just knowing that someone out there was going through the same things was a relief.
Other new moms was by far my favorite resource and outlet. No one is as great as someone who is going through the same life experiences that you are. I was lucky enough to have three friends with newborns at the same time. I also connected with old friends from college through Facebook who I might not have gotten close with again otherwise.
If you are in newborn-land right now or about to be, know that it is a crazy amazing time. You will struggle with some it and at the same time relish in it. Those sweet moments of your tiny baby getting used to the world does not last long. Enjoy, reach out, and know that life will settle into something "normal" once again.