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Everyone tells you the first month is the hardest. I think they may be correct. From the moment you go into labour, until that first time your new little angel sleeps longer than 3 hours at a time, you are going to be absolutely exhausted. Her entire life is; eat, sleep, poop, repeat, which means that your entire life is; feed, clean, diaper change, feed, nap, diaper change, feed, shower, diaper change, feed, ect. There is no time for real sleeps! You finally get her down, put your own head on a pillow and she’s screaming for food again within an hour. It is one of the most tiresome games I’ve ever played, but it’s also the only game I’ve ever seen with such an amazing prize. Watching her make those sleepy smiles just before falling asleep makes it all worthwhile.
We had a bit of an extended stay at the hospital, which made getting into a routine a little more difficult. By the time we got into a routine, it was thankfully time to go home, and start a whole new routine. At home we had family staying with us for a while, this made it fairly easy to find our rhythm, but once family left we had about a week to get used to doing everything ourselves. That was a rough week! And once we got used to it, more family came to visit, which changed the routine yet again. Next thing I know, she’s already a month old and we haven’t figured out our own routine yet. Yikes! It is now week 5 of our baby’s life and we are just starting to figure out her routine, let alone how our own routines fit into hers. I have used 2 separate baby tracking apps: UGrow and Glow Baby, each have their own perks and downfalls, and I am still unsure of which I prefer. There are all kinds of baby tracker apps out there to help figure out your baby’s routine, and keep track of other things like height, weight, head circumference, temperature, medications ect. You could also go the old fashioned route, which we also tried in the beginning: pen and paper. Personally, I found it was much harder to recognize patterns throughout the weeks, but it was very easy to see how long she slept or how much she ate throughout the day. All of these methods pretty much do the same thing, its just a matter of picking one that you like, and sticking with it.
Getting out of the house is a whole new ordeal. It used to be so simple: shoes on, phone, wallet, keys and out the door. Not anymore! Now it takes planning and prep work. Her feeding has to be timed so that she won’t be hungry while in the car. We have to get her into her car seat in between food and sleep, but not too early, because she doesn’t like being in it too long. Bottles need to be prepared, I have to make sure we have enough formula for the amount of time we’ll be gone (which is sometimes indeterminate). I used to put the amount of scoops of formula into one tupperware container and scoop out what I needed when I needed it, but I found that I would end up making a mess with the powder. So now, I picked up some On-the-go salad dressing containers, they are the perfect size for one bottles-worth of formula powder, just dump the power into the bottle that already has water in it, and good to go! We have to make sure we have everything she could possibly need while on our outing; bottles, formula, diapers, burp cloth’s, extra baby clothes, extra mommy/daddy shirts, bibs, ect. All of this while avoiding disrupting her normal eat, sleep, poop routine. It is difficult at times, especially in the beginning, but with a bit of preparation and impeccable timing, it can be done!
The first month may be the hardest, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.