I'm a second time mom and although having a second baby it gets easier in some departments, it gets harder in others. My first baby must have been a freak of nature because he was SO good. Life was always so easy with him. Of course I still questioned things and wondered if I was doing the right thing as a mom, but newborn life was a breeze with him. He slept through the night at 4 weeks old, loved to be in his Mamaroo swing, could careless if he was being held or sat down, just all around easy. 1 1/2 years later we bring our sweet little Lowen into the world. I just knew life was going to be easy because we've already been there done that, boy oh boy was I wrong. I know they say every child is different, which is obviously great because they are different people with different emotions and personalities, but I didn't think newborn life was going to be total opposites!
I decided to write this blog post because the first two months of Lowens life I had some hard days, I mean really hard days. The constant crying, needing to be held, nothing soothing him was really starting to take a toll on us as a family. Not to mention we had a 1 1/2 year old to take care of and divide up our attention too. I felt worn out ALL. THE. TIME. I couldn't get house work done because the moment I sat the baby down, he would cry. I was starting to feel defeated as a mother.
One thing you have to realize, is the world is so new to them as a newborn. They're in your belly for 9-10 months all warm and cozy and they're suddenly exposed to this harsh world with bright lights and smelly air to breathe, I get it. They need love, they need to be nurtured, they need to feel our heartbeat underneath them. Although you know all these things, It's only human to feel overwhelmed in certain situations and feel like you just can't do motherhood anymore. But you can, and I'm here to help.
Lowen didn't have colic and overall he's a chill baby who just loves to be loved. I think it became over whelming for me because I was expecting him to be SUPER easy like my first. I'm going to share the things that worked best for me and what instantly soothed Lowen's fussy-ness.
*Please consult with your pediatrician before trying any of these methods*
1. Probiotics │Babies are so new to the world of eating so their digestive track needs a little help every once in awhile, especially if you're formula feeding like me. Sometimes it's hard for them to make a bowl movement which can cause them a lot of pain and discomfort so they recommend giving your baby 5 drops of probiotics daily. Wow is all I have to say. I saw a huge improvement just by doing this. You're not going to see it over night, so give your baby a few days to a week in order for the probiotics to kick in and regulate them. We were told the Gerber Soothe Probiotic drops were the best so thats what we use. They are expensive but it should last you about a month.
2. Mylicon│If you feel like your baby has a belly ache or is super gassy, use this! I know it's hard to tell if a baby is gassy so my number one sign is if they're wiggling around or moving their torso a lot. This typically means they have a pain and they're trying to get something out. I know the go-to used to be Gripe Water, but after research most pediatricians no longer recommend that because one ingredient has not been approved to use on newborns. So, stick to Mylicon (after consulting with your pediatrician of course). If you have a REALLY gassy or fussy baby I would use Mylicon every time you make a bottle. It can be used up to 11 times in a 24 hour period so if you do this for a few days you'll notice a big difference in your baby, I know we did.
3. Bounce/ Vibrating Chair │The best $20 we've spent and probably the number one thing that gets used the most in our house. Lowen is a lover, he loves to be held, kissed on, loved on and snuggled up with. Anything that involves the human touch he's happy and content. If he's put down, he screams and cries until he turns red and can't breathe. I kid you not, the SECOND, I mean second he is put down he freaks out. So we bought this little bouncy chair (which can also double as a toddler chair *face palm*) and we keep it next to us so when we're eating, watching tv or cuddling our other babe. I take my foot and place it on the metal bars holding the chair up and just bounce, he loves it! He can see us, and he feels his favorite motion, bouncing! It also has a vibrating setting which we turn on also. It's easy to transport, light weight and bounces great, hehe!
4. Nested Bean │I feel like I talk about this product a lot but when you find something that works, you just want to share it with the world. That's how I feel about this. We used it ALL.THE.TIME for our first and now we do the same for our second. For those of you who don't know what it is, let me explain. They have so many different options now but my favorite and the one we use the most is the Zen Sack. It's basically a sleep sack but unlike the traditional ones, this one has a lightly weighted pressure pad in the center of the chest (which looks like a little bean) and is meant to mimic your touch. You know when you're trying to get your baby to calm down you naturally put your hand on their chest to let them know you're there? This does that for you. We only use this at night when he's going to bed to help soothe him but they have so many different options to wear throughout the day. It's worth looking into. I used it so much that I reached out and asked if they would offer my readers a discount code. They were kind enough to give 15% OFF by using the code DEYOUNG15. So take full advantage of this and try it out for yourself!
5. Bath │When in doubt give them a bath! A nice warm bath always seems to do the trick. I wet a wash cloth with the warm water and place it over his belly, so he doesn't get cold and just let him kick and splash around in there. I honestly think he loves it because it reminds him of my belly and being in warm liquid 24/7. We use the Angelcare baby bath support which we absolutely love and it's cheap!
6. Go Outdoors │When everything else fails, go outside! The sun, fresh air and warm weather always seems to calm him down. I normally sit outside with him for 20-30 minutes at a time and it always relaxes him, so much that he'll take a long nap once we go inside!
Being a parent is so hard. We all have those moments where we want to give up; we want to cry and maybe even scream. It's strange in the sense that we pray they take a 5 minute nap and when they finally do we miss them so incredibly much. No one has it figured out. Even the most put together people don't really have it together. We're all just navigating this world the best way we know how, by learning our babies and adapting to our new life. If you're reading this, I really hope this helps you and you get some relief for you and your babe. I know first hand how overwhelming it can feel. Also, please know if you ever want to chat, I'm here!