Every new mom needs a survival guide for motherhood. It is the most exciting and the most terrifying phase of your life. I wasn’t sure I would make it through those early days. I remember thinking “Why didn’t anyone tell me how hard this was going to be?”. I texted a friend to ask her this very question and she said “I didn’t want to scare you.”
Huh?! Give a girl a heads up! I could have started sleep deprivation training, stocked up on more coffee and worked on perfecting my mom bun.
Those first few weeks were tough, but now that I am through the storm I have some insight on what made my life a whole lot easier & how I began surviving motherhood. I hope they make yours easier as well!
Disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. I personally use all of these items and would never recommend anything that I do not love myself!
To Survive You Need:
Coffee– All the coffee. And a microwave for when you have to reheat the coffee twenty times a day.
Rock ‘n Play– We tried to get Levi to sleep on a flat surface so that the transition to his crib would be easier. That did not happen. On the third night home I begged my husband, whom we will kindly refer to as Mr. Messy, to try the Rock ‘n Play. He did not want to get him “addicted to motion” but I was desperate for sleep. At this point I would have given my left arm for a few hours of sleep. Finally Mr. Messy hit his exhaustion threshold and let me try it out. Levi went from sleeping for an hour at a time to sleeping for three hours at a time. I never knew I would be so grateful for three hours of sleep. Levi slept in his Rock ‘n Play in our bedroom for about 2.5 months until we transitioned him to his crib. Spring for the newer versions with the auto rock and auto vibrate features!
The Rock ‘n Play also gave me a safe place to place Levi while I showered or got dressed. It is super light so I would drag it into our bathroom and sit him beside the shower so that I could keep an eye on him.
Swing– Sometimes your baby will refuse to sleep anywhere- even the glorious Rock ‘n Play. If this happens do not fret- bring out the swing! Levi went through a phase where he would sleep in his Rock ‘n Play until about 5am or so. I would feed him and try to put him back down in it but he would not have it! I discovered that if I put him in his swing he would go back to sleep and I could grab another hour or so of sleep.
Hair Clips– Embrace the mom bun. It saves so much time! Before I had Levi I straightened my hair every day. Now, I haven’t used my straightener in three months. I just shower, blow dry the front of my hair, throw it up in a bun and roll.
Video Monitor– A lifesaver. We loved our Angelcare monitor. This monitor has audio, video and a motion detector pad. The motion detector pad is placed under the mattress. If no movement (aka breathing) is detected for 15 seconds it will sound one loud beep. If no movement is detected for five more seconds it will sound a continuous alarm until someone turns it off. We have gotten the first beep several times. We are not sure if Levi takes long pauses between breaths or if it has some false alarms but we have only gotten the continuous alarm one time. It was scary! Of course it happened around 3am. I screamed. Hubby ran upstairs and made sure Levi was okay and I grabbed my phone to call 911. I glanced at the monitor and Levi looked startled. Thankfully Levi was okay but I wonder what would have happened if that alarm did not sound.
We will never know if this was a false alarm or if he in fact had stopped breathing, but the fact that it has only happened once makes me feel like there really was a problem with his breathing. The monitor gives me peace of mind and helps Mama get some shut eye. Of course I still wake up several times a night and watch the video monitor closely to be extra sure he is breathing. Sometimes you have to see it with your own eyes!
Lillebaby carrier– Levi loves to be carried in his Lillebaby! During the early weeks it was one of the few things that would calm him down! Mr. Messy or I would put him in and just walk laps around our house to calm him. Now I love to use it when shopping or going for walks. It is so much more convenient than lugging around a stroller and I swear it has sleepy dust! He almost always falls asleep in his Lillebaby! They come in adorable patterns as well. We went with the Airflow since it is so hot in SC! Babies R Us carries limited models and you can use a Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon there for 20% off!
Comfy Undies– Be sure to have some extra large, high cut undies on hand. You don’t want to have to worry about anything tight or cute down there after delivering, regardless of how you deliver. After my c-section I attempted to wear my low cut undies and they dug into my incision. Ouch!
Boppy pillow– Our Boppy pillow gets so much use! Levi is a slow eater- it takes him about 45 minutes per feed. We use our Boppy all day, every day. He lays on it while nursing, chills in it on the couch and uses it for tummy time. Sometimes he even joins us at the dinner table.
Infantino Activity Mat– An activity mat is great for independent play time. Now that Levi is three months old he can entertain himself. He loves to reach for the toys and stare at himself in the mirror. This mat is easy to transport and has adorable patterns! This is a great way to keep your baby entertained while you take a minute to yourself to browse Facebook or brush your teeth.
Comfy Rocking Chair– My mom would not stop insisting that we needed a comfortable rocking chair. We already had an older wooden rocking chair so I thought we would be fine to use. On the day we came home from the hospital she surprised me with a La-Z-Boy swivel reclining rocking chair. I love this thing! Since I spend about five hours a day nursing it is nice to have a comfortable spot. Mr. Messy loves it too- although he rarely gets to use it. Levi and I hog it all day. You want to be sure you choose a chair that 1. rocks and 2. has cushioned arms so that you do not have to worry about hitting your babes head. The swivel feature is nice too.
I hope you enjoyed this new mom survival guide. You got this mama!