Game Changers

1) The Sleepy Wrap. I love this hippie contraption. Our kid prefers to be held. It’s that simple. I’ve spent the past three weeks trying to make the situation be anything but what it is and all of the cliches are true, yes, yes. Kids will do things their way. Sometimes we have some luck, which has meant an hour or two of Abigail napping in the pack and play, but for the most part, ours is a kid who wants to be held at all times.  I’ve read everything I can get my hands on, and consulted numerous people, but in the end, at this age, she is who she is and it’s more exhausting to try and get her to sleep in a cosleeper than it is on my chest right now.  Plus? I get what I want, which is use of my hands and arms to do things like write blog posts.

Which I’m doing now because my kid is in the wrap.

Sometimes she likes it, other times she like it to burn in hell. When she likes it, though? I get a couple of hours I didn’t have before and lo’ it is glorious. Once she’s older we’ll work on her schedule and having her sleep in her crib. For now? Sleepy Wrap.

2) These pants from Target. Sadly it seems they’re out of stock right now, but if they should return? GO GET YOU SOME. They’re comfortable and flattering and perfect transitional pants. Like I said, I managed to not hold on to much of the baby weight I gained, but dear Jesus do I have some insane belly flab action right now. I can lose the last ten pounds and I know I’m still going to be giving my midsection a bit of the stink eye. Pants that don’t accentuate that area can only be good for my self-esteem.

3) The 5 Ss. OK. So like anything child-rearing related, this also has its detractors. However, for us, we embrace Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby On The Block soothing technique. For our kid, it works like a charm, and in the almost three weeks we’ve been parents, I can say that anything that helps our kid sleep and allows our family to function as it needs to, is A-OK in our book. Plus, it gives us the structure and discipline we need to help her, and not just fumble around aimlessly as her cries go unheeded. As we get to know her better, we know how to better answer her needs. When she’s tired and fighting sleep – and oh how she loves to fight sleep – she gets the 5 Ss and everything calms down.

4) Exercise/balance ball. Our kid can’t tell the difference between whether we’re walking around to soothe her or whether we’re bouncing up and down, swaying back and forth, on this thing. With my c-section, it’s been a life-saver since I have to still be careful about how much walking I do. Sometimes I’m rocking Abigail for a good 30 minutes. Doing so on a balance ball has been key.

5) Scott. I was reading some mom forum the other day and a poster spent the majority of her real estate bitching about her no-help husband and how awful he was. Maybe it’s just me, but if your partner is that bad, wasn’t there some indicator prior to marrying him that you could have heeded? If your partner has always said it was “your job” to take care of the baby, regardless of whether or not you had a job outside of the home, too, what makes you think that once the baby was here his position would change? I can assure you, if my opinion were as such, the realities of having a newborn would only reinforce that stance. This no-sleep-total-dependence-on-me thing is for the birds, Jack. I love this kid, but whoa nelly. So I’m grateful to have Scott, he who does laundry, gets up in the middle of the night to take a shift and just generally loves and dotes on our kid. He takes her from me when he gets home, gives me a couple of hours to relax and thanks me every day for staying home during this time to take care of Abigail.

6) Cloud B Sleep Sheep. We use this in conjunction with the 5Ss – Abigail is partial to the whale sounds – and it helps her drift off to sleep. Of course it means that whale noises are now the constant backdrop of ambient noise in our house, but it’s a small price to pay to help our kid get some sleep. Plus, the white noises need to be close to the baby’s ear, and this is so soft and cuddly we can just cradle it with her as we rock and sway her to sleep.

7) You guys. I am blown away by the hour by all of the love and support you’ve shown me. And I would really recommend to anyone who is coming here looking for camaraderie to be sure to check out the comments sections of my posts as that’s where the real meat to this site is right now. There is nothing that has been more comforting to me than all of your stories and shared experiences – they’ve meant the world to me and help me keep pushing forward.