Random Mommy Musings…

7 Apr

I’m currently on vacation.  Which is wonderful.  And my sweet little stinker, despite his unfamiliar surroundings, shoddy pack ‘n play sleeping arrangements, and totally hacked routine…still slept 11 hours straight last night.  (Thank you GOD for blessing me with an easy-going baby.) 

I tell you this because as a new-ish mom, I’ve learned to operate on WAY less than 11 hours sleep, ergo-I had PLENTY of time lying in bed early this morning to brainstorm blog posts. 

(Aren’t you lucky you loyal PERKS readers?)

So…I thought I’d share with you a few of the things I’ve learned in the past 7 months that I feel have helped me through the parental trenches of motherhood…in no particular order…

(I guess I feel like when I was pregnant, I was always on the hunt for any tips/advice Moms had for me-so I thought I’d pay my experiences/tricks forward to any of my readers who care.  Please remember-this is just what has worked for ME and in NO WAY do I think I have all the answers to maternal perfection.)

*Assuming you recieve some type of bedding for your baby’s crib…DON’T throw away all that zipper plastic packaging that it comes in.  I kept mine and have ended up storing a large portion of the clothes Henry has grown out of inside of it.  I’ll eventually re-organize his too-tiny wardrobe  into plastic tubs…but for the time being, I’ve been able to keep adding to the zipper bags as his belly keeps growing.  *NOTE-my son is a hoss.  He’s 7 months old, and currently wearing a polo from Old Navy that is 18-24 months.  He’s HUGE. 

*In conjunction with this…if you are buying clothes for a baby shower…I reccomend only buying the first 2-3 seasons of the baby’s life.  Case in point-if people would have bought Henry clothes to wear this summer, he wouldn’t have fit into any of them because he’s wearing sizes for twice his actual age.  Is my breastmilk really that fattening? 

*If you follow LIFOP then you know Henry has been a great sleeper from day 1.  I truly feel that a large part of this has to do with the fact that he’s been sleeping in HIS crib in HIS room since the day we came home from the hospital.  Now before some of you get all judgy…I’m not preaching that I know all the answers to having the perfect baby…JUST telling you what has worked (and not worked) for us.  Since Henry has never slept in the same room as us, he knows that his crib is for quiet time and sleeping.  Lots of times when he wakes up in the morning (as long as he’s not starving) he will sit up and play forever in his crib until I hear him laughing or babbling and I go in and get him.  He doesn’t have any toys or blankets in his crib-BUT we do keep the bumper in.  I know this is not a very SIDS-friendly custom…however, for the short period of time we did have the bumper out (per our pediatritian’s instruction) Henry constantly got his limbs stuck haning out of the crib.  So back in went the bumper-and we’ve never had one problem with it.

*I’m a firm believer of finding a healthy balance between your baby’s routine and teaching them to be flexible.  Henry is almost robotic.  He goes down at 8 pm and sleeps til 8 am.  I nurse him around 8am, 12 pm, 4 pm and 8 pm.  And he’s currently eating two high chair meals.  HOWEVER-if we are out and about, or sleepy on the weekends, or going to dinner with friends, etc…we certainly don’t plan around Henry’s schedule.  I want him to understand that life happens, and he’s got to roll with the punches.  So on the occasional (or often) Saturday morning when Daddy Perks and I aren’t bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 8 am…Henry comes to snuggle in bed with us, and in most cases will fall back a sleep for an hour or two.  And when our dinner plans run late-Henry either goes to bed later-or sleeps in his carrier at the restaurant while we finish dinner.  I know this goes against all the “baby books” advice-but sometimes I think Henry does better with altered routines because we aren’t SO dependent on sticking to them 24-7. 

*Understand that when you are running late, wearing a nice outfit, and your baby is bathed and dressed, he or she WILL poop their pants when their already strapped into their carseat causing you to go into mini-meltdown mode.  No matter how much extra time you give yourself…your HEDT (hopeful estimated departure time) when travelling with a child can and will be thrown off.  I have no advice on how to avoid this.  I can only offer you peace in your heart as you are sweating, unstrapping your kid who has pooped up his back, and asking yourself why you even tried to pretend you could get out the door on time.

*Heated aruguments conversations between you and your spouse will occur in regards to your child.  Often.  Consider this a reflection of just HOW MUCH YOU BOTH adore each other, and your child.  Parenting is a challenge that should unite one another while allowing us to grow as individuals.  You won’t always agree with each other when it comes to raising your child, BUT, the good news is-9 times out of 10-those heated discussions will likely conclude by you both realizing how lucky you are to have each other and your child.

*Baby clothes are cute-for about a month.  The onsies…the one piece jumpsuits…the rompers-they’ve got a cuteness shelf-life.  Hear me out.  I am a fan of big-people-clothes and little-people-bodies.  Does this make sense?  I get complimented often on Henry’s clothes and I think a large part of that is NOT the fact that I spent hundreds of dollars on designer clothing (Lord knows I haven’t even had a hand in filling 95% of Henry’s closet) but because I put my little kid in big-person-clothes.  Who doesn’t love a baby rockin’ a pair of sweet denim jeans? 

*When Henry was very young, we did our best to not hold him constnantly.  It’s hard because when they are that tiny you want to snuggle them constantly-and I agree that I don’t think you can spoil a baby too much, however-if you find a balance, it will pay off in the long run.  Henry is quite content to entertain himself while we are in the room, even if we don’t pick him up.  He’s learned that it’s ok to not be in Mommy and Daddy’s arms constantly, and he’s very much a self-soother.  Self soothing baby=Sane parents.

*Whether you are a full-time working mother, part-time working mother, or a stay-at-home-working mother-YOU are a rockstar in your own right.  I would never judge a mother’s choices to work or not work.  Money does make the world go ’round, and we all have bills to pay.  I feel strongly that a mother’s love for her child should not be judged by whether or not she chooses to work in or outside of the home. 

*Fellow moms will be your best and worst allies.  They’ve got the best advice to give, and they’ll understand better than anyone else how tough this job can be.  HOWEVER-other mothers can also be very judgy too, and they won’t be afraid to let you know how YOU could be doing a different better job of raising YOUR child.  Annoying but true. 

*You will fall deeper in love with your husband every single day that you watch him with your baby.  Not much more to say on that.  Just amazing to experience.

*If your baby has taken to the pacifier, station them ALL AROUND YOUR HOUSE IN EVERY SINGLE ROOM.  We have learned that in tense moments, it’s much better to have a pacifier at arm’s length, than to have to furiously search for the only pacifier in the house while your baby is fussy or crying.  Sure, you may have binks turning up under couch cushions, behind doors, in the laundry and in random other crevices of your house…but you’ll be darn glad that you don’t have to go far when you’re in a pinch to “plug your kid.” 🙂

If you’re pregnant-hopefully you found this post helpful.  And if you’re not pregnant, hopefully this post helped you to waste a litte time at work.  And if you’re not pregnant, and you aren’t working, then I’m jealous of all the free time you must have.

Come back again tomorrow for regulary scheduled programming.

xoxo,

Mama Perks

PS…Loyal PERKS mommies…what can you add to this list?  Can’t wait to see what you say!

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5 Responses to “Random Mommy Musings…”

  1. Kristin April 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    I am not a loyal mommy but I am a loyal reader which has got to stand for something, right? I may not have “mommy” advice but just thought I would say you are doing a great job at motherhood!

  2. mamahiggins April 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    This was wonderful! I love reading about the things you’re learning as Henry grows, it makes me that much more confident for our Little Man due to be here at the end of the month. It’s nice to hear about all the messy things that make parenting the best journey! And those 18-24 month clothes only enhance his cuteness! (I’ve got a soft spot for chubby-bunny babies)

  3. meridith April 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    this is nathan smart’s wife and this post is obviously very timely for us! i loved reading it. i have a question on the first night home from the hospital how did he react when you first put him in the crib, did he cry or was he already asleep. i think it’s a great idea to train them to sleep in the crib right away because i am not interested in cosleeping or having to coax the baby out of our room into a crib.

  4. lifeisfullofperks April 8, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Meredith,

    Hopefully you’ll check back to see I answered your question here-but if not…I’ll shoot you a message on FB to make sure!

    We put Henry is his crib within hours of being home with him. Obviously the first few months of his life he wasn’t sleeping 12 hours straight, BUT I’m pretty sure even the first night we put him to bed in there he slept 7 or 8 combined hours in the crib. (Maybe a 4 hour stretch, then a feeding, then another 3 hour stretch.) We used a swaddle blanket for the first month and I HIGHLY reccomend using one. When babies are so little, feeling tight and snug helps calm them down, because obviously that’s what they are used to feeling from being in the womb.

    Our pediatritian advised us to put Henry in his crib when he was still awake when we would lay him down for the night. If you are always rocking the baby to sleep and THEN putting them in their crib, it doesn’t teach them to self-soothe or realize that their crib is for sleeping in. It is however, still important to establish a nighttime routine. (Ours is pretty simple…diaper, PJ’s, books some nights, and last feeding in the dark, bed.)

    As far as Henry’s reaction to being in the crib-He really has always loved his crib-mostly because I think he doesn’t know any different. He knows it is for quiet time and sleeping. Another point to be made is that we have on occasion let him “cry it out” when he’s in there and we know he’s only crying because he’s exhausted. Crying it out is tough (nobody wants to hear their baby cry) but oh. so. worth. it. It only takes a few times for them to realize it isn’t worth the fight…and then you’ll both be happy.

    Does this help?

  5. Tiff April 12, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    What a great post, Linds! While there are some things we did much differently (e.g., I held Tucker ALL the time, he was in his basinett right by my bed until 3 months of age, and I definitely op for those rompers over denim — hey, gotta keep my baby a baby as long as I can!), luckily, we still ended up with an easy-going baby too. I just know Henry and Tuck would hit it off! We gotta get our two little men together! (And I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I think their smokin’ hot mamas would hit it off too!) Love ya girl!

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