Monday, July 23, 2012

The Top 10 Things That Helped Me Survive The First Month of Motherhood (and beyond!)

Avery is almost 7 weeks old and I've been doing a lot of counting my blessings and looking back on the first weeks of his life. In doing so, I realized there are so many things/people that helped me through this vital time that I had to share the 'Top 10'...
10. Lanolin
Breastfeeding has been wonderful, but has only become comfortable in the last couple of weeks. Before that, lanolin brought sweet relief from the often excruciating pain that accompanied every feeding. 
9. Gaucho Pants
My maternity clothes have become too big, my pre-pregnany clothes are still a bit too small.  Gaucho pants are a comfortable, COOL happy medium! :)
Avery at bedtime, all swaddled up
listening to his womb-sounds box
8. Swaddles 
During a meltdown, swaddling is often the only sure-thing that will calm him - and it is immediate! At night, we LOVE the type that velcro closed (not unlike a straight jacket...) because our little 'Houdini' can break his way out of the tightest blanket swaddle and wake himself up but with the velcro, he stays snug all night!
7. 'Slumber Bear' by Prince Lionheart 
Or, more importantly, the noisebox inside that makes womb sounds. We received this as a gift and started using it shortly after we were home from the hospital. Avery loves it and if he wakes himself up, the white noise will lull him back to sleep. (unless he's hungry of course... there's no delaying that!) He's already sleeping 5-6 hour stretches every night!
6. Music
When we want to sit down to eat or throw in a load of laundry or when Avery needs a break from us and his toys, we put him in his pack-and-play and turn on the music box that vibrates and he'll just entertain himself kicking and punching to the music for a few minutes to give us some hands-free time. Music calms him and gets him excited to dance all at the same time! (Singing works too - he doesn't even mind that his mommy is tone-deaf!)
5. Baby Sling
Avery snoozin' in the sling,
reminiscing about his
womb days!!
When all else fails to get Avery to sleep during the day, I strap him into the sling and walk around the house (or take a walk outside, if its cool enough!) and he's out in 5 minutes flat. It gives me a chance to do things around the house that require using TWO hands while Avery peacefully snoozes.
4. Frozen Meals
In the final days of my pregnancy, my nesting instinct turned to the kitchen and I prepared a bunch of meals to throw in the freezer for easy dinners once baby arrived. 6 weeks later, we're still enjoying them! It's so much easier to thaw out food, put it in a dish and bake it than to make it from scratch at the end of the day - I think I may make this a regular routine!
3. My Cell Phone
To help pass the many hours spent feeding Avery every day, my phone (and its internet capabilities) has been my trusty sidekick. From playing Wordfued to browsing Facebook and reading baby articles, my phone is exactly what I need most days to make hibernation in the house more tolerable.
2. Justin
What can I say... the guy is amazing! My wonderful husband has been so supportive, helpful and loving, I KNOW I wouldn't have survived the first few weeks without his calm, reassuring demeanor keeping me sane. He always seems to know when I need a few extra hours of sleep or pizza delivery for dinner and watching how awesome he is with Avery is one of the greatest joys of my life.
1. Mommy friends!
I've been blown away by how invaluable the mommies in my life have been since Avery has been born. Phone calls, Facebook messages, a million texts, dropping in with resources and encouragement; the many lovely -and experienced- ladies in my life have been my knights in shining armor and I'm convinced having them in my life is an ESSENTIAL part of motherhood and a simple THANK YOU doesn't quite seem to cover it. It really does take a village!

Here's a short video of Avery enjoying his 'downstairs' play mat (especially the parrot/toucan/bird!) It's so fun to see him becoming more aware and interactive, and his smiles melt his mommy's heart!


  1. These are great tips Amanda. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You're welcome, Dawn! Hopefully they will help you out very soon! :)

  2. I love your instagram photos at the top of your blog. How cool!