Today I am going to be sharing what I learnt/experienced in my second month as a first time parent. By the time September started, I felt confident handling a newborn. Abigail was suddenly a lot more alert and crying less. She would make cute noises and stare into my eyes after being fed. It has been so exciting to watch her develop and become aware of the world around her. I also finally saw her smile for the first time and boy did that melt my heart. I’ll never forget that moment. She had just woken up and I stuck my head in her bassinet to greet her. She looked into my eyes and her face erupted into a huge grin. It meant everything to me…
What I wasn’t prepared for, was her 2 month immunisations. I had never heard my baby scream so loudly. Her entire face went red right before she started howling. My mum was with me at the time and we both sobbed at her strong reaction. I felt like the worst parent in that moment, despite knowing that the short-term pain was a long-term gain. I spent the rest of the evening stroking her hair and apologising. I am not looking forward to her 4 month vaccinations but at least I will be somewhat emotionally ready this time…
You can’t really get into a routine with a newborn but the feed, play, sleep cycle is a great way to start. I get Abigail to feed off one breast, burp, feed again, burp, play a little (and by play, I mean showing her different patterns, colours, singing songs to her, chatting back etc…) and then fall asleep. When she wakes, the cycle starts all over. I also take her for walks in the pram every afternoon. It is best to go right after a feed when she is full, content and more likely to snooze. Furthermore, I learnt that I could put her down for a nap before she was fully asleep. I used to wait until she was completely knocked out before laying her in the bassinet, but in the last few weeks, I have been paying close attention to her tired cues. After several yawns, I avoid stimulating her too much otherwise she will become cranky and overtired. Let me give you a handy tip that gave me more sleep. Find a white noise track on YouTube and play that overnight. It really soothes babies and makes them feel like they are back in the comfort of the womb. I couldn’t believe when Abigail slept through the night twice! I will mention however, that Abi has been a great sleeper from the start. We are very lucky.
Another thing to be aware of is how quickly newborns grow. By two months, we were already putting away dozens of clothes that no longer fit her and pulling out the 3-6 month outfits. Try to ensure baby wears everything before it’s too late, otherwise it goes to waste.
The same goes for recording everything. Keep journals, take photos, video special moments and collect trinkets. I have a box with my pregnancy test, her umbilical cord, hospital bracelet and more. I have printed off lots of photographs to stick in her baby book and a scrapbook I was gifted. You don’t want to forget a single second and it’s a nice thing to show your child when they are older. As strange as it sounds, I even filmed Abigail breastfeeding. She makes the cutest gulping sounds that I had to capture before it was too late.
Speaking of, my breastfeeding experience has improved, however I am booked in to see a lactation consultant this week due to an oversupply issue. Hopefully this is our last hurdle. At the very least, my nipples are no longer cracked and sore. I recommend applying coconut or olive oil after every feed to avoid blisters and dryness/bleeding.
At this point in your baby’s life, you’ll notice they want to play and be entertained a bit more during the day. We placed a hanging toy over Abi’s bassinet that she is simply fascinated by (see image below). She coos at it and tries to grab it. We also hold her up to the mirror a lot. She is captivated by her reflection; amazed by the baby staring back. This is such a great way to improve her communication skills and development.
Another special moment that occurred in the last month was Father’s Day. I wanted Francis to feel extra special as a first time daddy so I bought him a couple of gifts and a card ‘written’ by Abigail. He was very touched and it was such a lovely day.
As we near the end of the newborn stage, I really cannot believe how fast it has flown and how quickly Abi has grown. By the end of this month, she will officially be an infant and moving onto bigger milestones like her first laugh, rolling over, trying solids and more. I’ve also joined a group for first time mothers which starts on the 18th of September. I will document that experience as well. It’s such an exciting time. I cannot wait to share more in my next post. Thank you for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo