It’s so hard to believe our Emmy boy graced us with his presence a little over two months ago. He came into the world with a dim cry which caught us off guard because our daughter entered the world with the most dramatic screams (definitely not surprising based on her colorful personality). I’m pretty sure my husband and I both looked at each other and thought the same thing – could this be? A calm child? But we kind of smiled in silence, too afraid to jinx it.
In the hours following his birth, the resident pediatrician came to check his vitals and body, and when she came to report that everything looked great, she made sure to comment on his very chill demeanor. And again, my husband and I locked eyes and smiled to ourselves, silently thinking, there’s no way. But after two months, the kid is still cool as a cucumber. I mean, he is a baby, so he definitely has his moments and turns into a monster if he’s hungry or gassy, but for the most part he’s so go-with-the-flow and we love it! That picture of him doesn’t lie.
After roughing it these past couple of months, I’m convinced that you can go through the newborn phase a dozen times and still feel lost. Truth is, every baby is different and comes with his/her own set of rules and likes/dislikes. When Emory was born, I seemed to have forgotten everything we did with Peyton. My husband on the other hand remembers everything, so I’m super thankful for that. That being said, I wanted to share what’s worked for us and what hasn’t. I find it’s always helpful to hear from other moms and whether you’re on your first or fifth rodeo with a newborn, I’m hoping my insight is helpful for you.
My husband and I are super serious about schedules and routines. We swear by them! We believe scheduling helped us get more sleep with our daughter and it seems have had the same effect with our son. Emory is at the point where he nurses every 2.5-3 hours and naps after about 45 min to an hour of wake time. His routine goes as follows: sleep, eat and wake time (except at night). We tried our best to pick up on his sleep cues early on, and noticed he moves his left arm vigorously if he’s getting over-tired. With our daughter it was something totally different, so I feel like it’s crucial to pin point their way of communicating that they are tired.
Right now, we give Emory a bath almost every night (sometimes we just put him in the bath without using soap so his skin doesn’t dry out). We turn on his white noise, place a heating pad in his crib to keep it warm and put on his pjs. His nighttime routine really helps make him get drowsy during his last feeding and seems to put him into a sleepy mindset.
From the get go, we noticed Emory did not enjoy being swaddled with his arms down. He despised it and his hands always found a way out. We did recognize that he liked to sleep with his hands close to his face (not sure if this is common), so we tried swaddling him different ways, but we were still having trouble. Then, a few days after he was born, I noticed one of the Instagram mommy influencers I follow used the Love to Dream swaddle that allows babies to keep their hands up and I immediately ordered it on Amazon Prime. Best decision we’ve ever made! That being said, it may take you a couple of different swaddles to find the perfect one. Don’t be discouraged – it’s totally normal.
I got super lucky with both of my kids latching on to breastfeed right from the start. I haven’t had any problems breastfeeding Emory, but during the past couple of weeks, we’ve noticed he’s had some gas issues. After meeting the pediatrician at his two-month checkup, she asked if he seemed to feed quickly and I automatically said yes because it was something I had started to notice. I had no idea, but when they feed quickly something happens with the milk enzymes that can cause painful gas. She recommended lots of tummy time and trying to pull him off every so often to ensure he’s slowing down.
Speaking of tummy time, he’s not a fan. Especially when we put him on the ground. We’ve been using the Boppy pillow to prop him up and he’s been doing much better and actually tolerates it! I got that advice from our pediatrician and I’m so thankful. Tummy time is probably our most exciting activity nowadays, along with the occasional musical starring big sis. He’s also a huge fan on smiling and talking – we’re in trouble. I don’t know what I’m going to do if neither of them ever zips it.
All in all, we’ve been surviving. Some days are great, others are super overwhelming. It’s true, having two often feels like having five and it’s exhausting. Yes, it’s an uphill climb, but there are so many joyful moments that go with it. Before we know it, they’ll both be toddlers and I’ll be crying as I look through their pictures during this season of our lives, missing it.
If you have any other questions about the newborn phase, or just need to vent about living through the chaos, feel free to comment below! I’d love to hear from you. I’m by no means an expert, but am so happy to help and/or listen.
P.S. His sweet little photo was taken by Rebecca Haley Photography.