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Yeah…Immaeatthat

Jan 18

10 weeks of being a mom.

HOLY SMOKES.  The last 10 weeks has been a sleep deprived blur of a lot of “this little girl is the coolest thing” feelings and a lot of tears because i’m so overwhelmed with caring for her.  This post is gonna highlight some of my thoughts on motherhood so far.

Bonding with Jojo.

It takes me a really long time to bond with people and feel comfortable around them so I was kinda curious to see how motherhood would feel to me.  I didn’t feel connected to her at all when she was growing inside of me.  I didn’t feel disconnected, I just kinda felt neutral.  I wonder if women with different personalities than mine experience connection to/feelings about their baby quicker/differently than I did.  I didn’t feel this intense bond to her as soon as she came out either.  Everything just felt surreal…and a lot of times still does.  For Andrew and I both it still feels very crazy that she lives with us haha. 

I will say it feels very natural to take care of her and it’s really hard for me to be away from her.  As we’ve spent the last 10 weeks together my favorite way to describe my feelings towards her is uncomplicated love.  It feels easy and effortless to love her.  That said, there are plenty of times I have to put her down and walk out of the room because she won’t stop crying and I need a break from her.

One funny thing is I keep calling Joanna “Maggie” lol.  I’ve had 4 years to bond with Maggie and only 10 weeks to bond with Jojo so I’m still working on calling her the right name haha.

(the below baby joggers are the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.)

Moms deserve to be okay too.

I feel like my birth with her was so much about me and giving me a certain experience, which I’m fine with because I deserve to be taken care of too.  I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here.  All I know is that it’s been a transition for me going from focusing so heavily on my own self-care to focusing so heavily on providing care for another person.  I’ve had people say “before becoming a mom you’re so selfish and motherhood makes you less selfish”…and I really hate that.  I do think that is true, but for me being selfish isn’t a bad thing.  I was able to recover from an eating disorder + stop being so self-loathing + standing up to my inner critic by becoming a bit more selfish and starting to care for myself.  I love taking care of Jo and getting to learn how to be a mom, but mom’s deserve to be okay too.  So I’m figuring out this balancing act of being there for my little girl and being there for myself.

Hardest part of motherhood so far.

I think the hardest part of motherhood has been having to depend on other people and asking for help.  Even having to depend on Andrew so much is hard for me.  I’m a very independent person and I don’t like needing other people.  In the career path I’ve chosen I think this part of my personality is a total asset, but in a lot of ways being so independent is a liability when I really do need help.  My little sister encouraged me to be needy not in a complain-y/helpless way, but in a way that lets people serve and love me well.  So I’m trying my best to ask for help when I need it. 

Most helpful thing.

Eat-play-sleep cycle from Babywise.  I read zero books on babies and have just relied on advice from my friends who are moms.  Several moms mentioned using this cycle with their kiddos.  You feed the baby and then let them play (they should be awake for the length of time that aligns with their age on the chart below) then once they show their first sign of getting tired (i.e. fussiness) you swaddle them (or start your naptime wind down routine) and get them sleeping.

For the past week from 8pm to midnight Joanna is a screaming mess and doesn’t sleep much in that timeframe (and the eat-play-sleep cycle goes out the window), but usually once we get her to sleep she’ll sleep for 3-6 hours.  Andrew reminds me that at least we have 12 hours of the day where we have a plan and don’t feel so chaotic even if nighttime is really unpredictable right now.  It’s been helpful to learn that babies don’t know how to fall asleep and that’s why they’re crying.  They’re sleepy and don’t know how to stop being sleepy so you have to teach them how to fall asleep.  That helps me not get as frustrated with Jojo’s fussiness and just try to care for her well.  That said…I’d say I’m still breaking down crying 1-2 times a week…usually during that stretch from 8pm-midnight that is so tough for Joanna for whatever reason. 

This cycle has also made it super easy for us to see how Andrew can help.  If she’s fed, she needs to be played with and then put back to sleep and those are two things he can do.  In the beginning of Jo’s life I really didn’t know what to have Andrew do.  I didn’t want us both to be sleep deprived and I wanted him sleeping, but him sleeping annoyed me…even if she was hungry and I needed to feed her and there was nothing he could do.  My mom told me going into motherhood that there is so much to do that no matter how much your spouse is helping it can be easy to feel they’re doing nothing.

Andrew does a good job of stepping back when he gets overwhelmed and comes up with a new way to approach the situation, whereas I’m just like let’s keep doing the same thing and make ourselves miserable.  Our sleep routine right now involves slowly swaying the hanging yarn art on the wall until Jo falls asleep lol. Andrew figured out this “technique” and it puts her to sleep almost every time.

Marriage with kids

I think having kids has to be extremely hard on marriages.  Pre baby I never felt like Andrew and I needed date nights because from pretty much the day we got married everything always seemed so easy. But now that we’ve got a baby I see how important date nights and time alone for just the two of us is gonna be.  Super grateful we have parents close by to support us with this.

Biggest Stressor

Getting Joanna to take a bottle.  I’m going back to work and her not loving the bottle stresses me out.  People say if she’s hungry enough she’ll eat it, but it’s this fine line of her needing to be hungry enough but not overly hungry because then she’ll get fussy and there’s no way she’s taking it. 

She’s taken it a few times, but it’s hard because (again) I have to rely on other people to help me with this.  A lot of what I’ve read says breastfeeding moms shouldn’t be giving the bottle (I guess bc Jo knows my smell and would prefer the boob).  Andrew, my mom, and Andrew’s mom have had some luck giving her the bottle…but it’s kinda hit or miss.  I’m hoping the nanny we hired can help a lot with getting bottle feeding well established.  If we have other kids I would want to start the bottle a bit earlier than we did this time.  Maybe right around 1 month.  If you have any tips on how you got your baby to take a bottle, I’d love to hear them! 

Days filled with uncomplicated love and being overwhelmed.  That sums up motherhood so far for me!

67 comments on “10 weeks of being a mom.”

  1. The picture of Jo in the bed, smiling! EEEEEEEK she’s so cute!!
    Really love reading about your experience being a mama; you’re doing a great job :)

  2. Thanks for sharing! The thing that got us over the bottle hump was trying a few different types of bottles. It was hard for me because I felt like we were “wasting” the ones we were given as gifts, but I got over it, ha. The little Medela bottles (I think they were like $10 for a 3-pack on Amazon) ended up doing the trick for us. My girl was not psyched about bottles at 10 weeks, but she adjusted by the time I went back to work a few weeks later. I do think others (not mom or dad) can have better luck.

  3. I’m 28 weeks pregnant and it takes me awhile to form bonds too. And I’m likely to change my mind sometimes. My baby kicks when it’s just me and him and I talk to him so hat helps me feel bonded. But don’t know his personality yet so it’s hard to actually bond!
    This post has been really helpful with the tips and insight. I’m going back to work at 10 weeks so I will be sure to start introducing a bottle at 4 weeks.

    • Yay! Glad it was helpful. From our experience I say YES to starting bottles sooner rather than later. I think it’s just tough bc there’s so much going on in the first 4 weeks of baby’s life that it was hard to think about adding one more thing for my brain to think about like pumping and/or bottles.

  4. So refreshing to read your post. I have a 13 week old son and feel like I could have written this myself! Especially the bonding with baby part. Not everyone feels an intense, magical joy right after they give birth, and that’s ok. I think it’s one of the many things parents don’t talk about because it seems taboo.

    A tip for bottles- around 10 weeks we started giving one bottle a day, and tried lots of different kinds of nipples. He resisted a lot at first but liked the comotomo kind the best (the most expensive one of course). Also, keeping the milk warm, even if it means reheating halfway through….cold milk was a no-go. Good luck, you are doing great!!

    • Thanks for the encouragement and bottle tips, Amber! lol on your son liking the most expensive nipples haha. We’re gonna keep searching for Jo’s fav!

  5. I’m a first time mom with a 6 week old. You pretty much summed up my life right now. It’s nice to hear I’m not the only one. You’ve got this, mama!

  6. First of all, you’re doing great! Joanna is perfect and well cared for. We introduced a bottle at 2.5 weeks and we got lucky that our son took it right away, but even at almost nine months there are days he would rather have nothing to do with the bottle. We use playtex drop-ins with the natural latch nipple. But, you should give her options to see what works best for her.

    As for sleep, don’t worry that your schedule goes out the window in the evening. Our pediatrician told us to do whatever it took to get him to sleep and having that permission felt like such a weight lifted off us. We use white noise for all sleep and always keep the room dark to signal bedtime. We used a salt lamp with a dimmer that we could ease up if we needed light. Having these sleep cues weren’t miracle workers, but they did help.

    It will all get better with time. Try not to listen to people who swear your baby will sleep through the night if you do xyz… she will get there in her own time and you will find what works for your family. Keep up the good work! Sending you hugs for those long, overwhelming nights.

    • I’d have to check but I believe that’s the nipple we just ordered to try next. And I like that permission to do what ya gotta do to get baby to sleep. Thanks for the helpful tips & hugs, Alison!<3

  7. You are doing wonderful! She is growing, is happy and loved. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts. This is a very difficult season of life and while the days are long, the weeks and months are so short.

    My son (second child) is 7 weeks old and while he is a much more relaxed baby at night than Joanna sounds, I get frustrated with him at times and really found it helpful to know if I put him down in his crib, he is safe and it’s ok to step away to breathe. As others said, try to be consistent with sleep cues: we have blac blackout curtains, white noise and we swaddle him in his bed for every sleep. He’s learning to associate these with calm and goes down much easier.

    We are also having trouble with him taking a bottle. We haven’t had as much time to try as my husband would give it to him but try adjusting nipple flow sizes?

    I know this is annoying to hear but things will get easier!!!

    • Andrew reminds me too that Joanna is growing, is happy and loved. It’s always a helpful reminder so thank you<3 We're currently working on being consistent with sleep cues. Thanks for the tips & encouragement, Stephanie!!

  8. Hi, thank you for your honest assessment of those challenging first week and not honey-coating things. — What came to mind is maybe you can buy some cute crib mobile for Jo, and make it part of the sleeping routine, turn it on when you leave the room, it plays a lullaby, and she’ll watch it, be distracted and fall asleep eventually.

  9. This really really resonated with me: MOMS DESERVE TO BE OKAY TOO.

    I feel like whenever I hang out with moms of children of any age, all they manage to do is talk about their kids. It isn’t the child chatter that bothers me, but it is the fact that they seem to meld themselves with their kids until it is just all ONE. I understand loving your children but there is another individual and paying attention to that is not only necessary but makes you who you are. Having time with your husband to talk about life outside of the kid should happen. Having time with friends to enjoy a walk and self-pampering should happen.

  10. Thank you for being so open and honest, Kylie! I can’t speak as one mother to another, but you are doing an amazing job. I imagine in this time of a mom’s season of life, it feels more like surviving than living. Taking it hour-by-hour, day-by-day. I commend you on finding time for yourself as I believe women so easily neglect their needs once they have a child/children. I hope sleep becomes easier for you all soon! <3

    • yes yes yes lol survival rather than living is a great way to put it. Sometimes I feel like I come up for air and am like, “oh, life is still going on around me.” haha It’s so helpful when I get some downtime to reflect and not feel so chaotic!

  11. Definitely saving that eat-play-sleep cycle graphic! Also, I totally agree with you that I always hear motherhood as this way to say, “be less selfish,” “it makes you stop thinking about yourself.” But, it’s necessary for you to be ok to take care of another human being, right?! Will be keeping that in mind as this birth inches closer!

  12. Regarding the nighttime fussiness… With both of my boys, the key to avoiding it was to put them to bed at 6pm. Sometimes even 5:45. When they woke up crying at whatever time, I would just keep it dark and nurse them back to sleep. You may have heard that already, but it was life changing for us!

    No real advice on the bottles. My son is 7 months and started refusing bottles around 4 months. He took them fine before that, usually once or twice a week. If you want her to regularly take bottles, I recommend having her take at least one bottle every day. It’s really hard- I feel for you on that.

    • Thanks for sharing, Korie! A friend recommended the earlier bedtime too so we’re working on that…sometimes I get overwhelmed with the pressure of her having to go to sleep at x time because I’m super not a schedule type of person so it’s weird having to put her on one and because it SUCKS when she won’t fall asleep at that time.

      Thanks for sharing your bottle experience. It is so hard! I imagine how I’m feeling w bottles is similar to how moms who don’t have luck w breastfeeding feel. Tough tough tough.

  13. Girl, I wish we knew each other IRL so I could give you a hug and then send you off for a nap.  I didn’t feel an intense bond immediately after birth either.  I loved her, so much, but didn’t feel an intense connection until about 2-3 months probably.  My daughter is 7 months now and I’m completely obsessed with her :)

    I have no advice on bottles.  I am very lucky in that my daughter takes a bottle or boob just fine.  Maybe because she couldn’t latch right away and I exclusively pumped in the first 2 months?  Not sure… but I’m confident your baby will take one when she needs to :)

    Sleep is so hard, and it’s always changing right when you think you have it down.  Some things have stayed consistent for me though, and that is white noise, a routine, and a dark, peaceful place to sleep.  And when I say white noise, I mean LOUD white noise.  When I was pregnant I read somewhere that the baby is used to a lot of noise in your belly.. they are hearing your blood flow, your heart beating, your digestive system, and all the muffled outdoor noise.  It’s loud.  So to bring them into a quiet place is actually disruptive and unfamiliar.  This made a lot of sense to me, and my daughter would only ever calm down in those early weeks if I was in a room with a loud fan.  She still sleeps with loud white noise, and I have no plans to break this habit.  I personally have always needed white noise to sleep, so I’m fine with her having it indefinitely.

    One last suggestion.. when my baby was that age and boycotting sleep, I would put my shirt in bed with her.  I would wear a thin, breathable t-shirt to bed on purpose and sleep in it so that the whole next day it could be used for naps.  She slept so much better with that shirt near her.  It got us through literally months of nap time.  You’re doing great, it’s all about survival at this point.  Sending love :)

    • YES! Come give me a hug and childcare!!!!!!! lol

      We’re working really hard to establish a sleep routine right now. We’ve got the white noise and it is surprising to me how loud she needs it to sleep. I read pre-baby that the noise developing baby hears while inside you is about as loud as a vacuum cleaner. That’s a really good point that bringing them into a quiet place is actually disruptive and unfamiliar…I hadn’t thought of it that way.

      Thank you, thank you for the tips, Rachel!

  14. Thank you for continuing to share your journey and experiences. As an mom-to-be who relates to you on so many levels, it has really been reassuring to read these honest and vulnerable posts. You’re doing a great job and Joanna is lucky to have you. Sending lots of love and sleepy vibes! xo

  15. I didn’t feel an immediate bond with either of my babies, though I loved both of them almost immediately. That fierce love you feel for your kids doesn’t lessen either, even when they become difficult tweens or move out to go to college.

  16. Its interesting to hear your troubles with bottle-feeding. My sister was nervous to try the bottle on her baby (he was a few months older than Jo when she first tried). Turns out he LOVED the bottle, he chugged that thing down like it was the best tasting cold lemonade on a hot day. My sister burst into tears feeling betrayed/no longer a good mother because he like the bottle so much and ‘didn’t need her’ anymore.While she did continue to nurse, from that day on he liked the bottle better. All that is to say, is each baby is different and unpredictable. I’m sure Jo with get used to the bottle, but I agree that she probably will enjoy drinking it more from someone other than you because she knows you = breast feeding. Best of luck mama!

  17. I appreciate reading your synopsis. It’s all so incredibly hard and beautiful at the same time. 💜

  18. Oh man the bottles!! I’m a nursing mom of a 9 month old who, also, was never super keen on bottles. When she was 3 months old or so my husband started taking one feeding a night. I was terrified of my supply going down but I just pumped before bed and came to peace that I may need to introduce one bottle of formula in the long run. My supple never was affect much (still EBF) and it was the best decision for all of us. All that to say, giving the bottle at 11pm, when baby was drowsy, went really smooth and allowed her to get used to string a bottle everyday. And I got more sleep. Win win. Then when she was older we went a stretch of time without feeding her a bottle and we are back to mostly refusal. But she drinks from a sippy cup now and will drink cold milk from it so we aren’t so worried about it now.

    • Wow there are some typos in there. Haha. Oh well.

    • Thanks for sharing, Anna! I’m a big fan of poor grammar and typos lol…every blog post I write probably has like 10. We’re working towards having Andrew take a nighttime feeding! Slowly but surely making progress on getting there haha. I think a lot of the problem is me micromanaging…but I’m trying to relax and let Andrew and Joanna figure it out :)

  19. Thanks for sharing your motherhood journey! My daughter is 3 months old, and it’s so nice to hear you voice some of the same things I’ve been thinking! I love my little joyful girl so much but there definitely are struggles. I’m right there with you on the bottle-battle. I’ve been trying for weeks and it’s always a struggle 😫 I find that my girl takes it a little easier when she feels very snuggled but it’s still hit or miss! please share if you find any miracle tips! good luck to your cute little family!

  20. Hi Kylie! My baby is 6 weeks old so we are just behind you and following a similar routine but I wanted to make sure you are measuring Jojo’s awake time from the start of feeding her or basically waking her up – if she eats for 30 minutes then she only needs to be “up” for 30 more minutes (if at all – she might want to go right back to sleep!).

    She could be crying so much because she’s overtired! I also just started reading the book written by the smarty mama at PreciousLittleSleep.com and it is really eye-opening for me.

    Hang in there, you are not alone!

    • Hey Amy! Yeah I really think Jo is overtired. There’s this pediatric sleep consultation who does live Q&A’s of FB –> https://www.facebook.com/LullabyLittleOne/ and I asked her about our situation and she agreed she’s overtired. I think I’m just struggling with what to do with that information haha. She’s tricky to get to sleep! But we are finding ways to sooth her and help her fall asleep.

      Thanks for the book recommendation! Hope you’re doing good with newborn life!

  21. YOU are doing an amazing job lady!
    Having a newborn is not easy and adjusting to motherhood; no one can prepare you for it.
    Believe it or not, time is going to fly by really fast.
    One day at a time; one step at a time.

  22. It was really hard for me, for so many reasons. You guys are SO LUCKY that you have both sets of parents here…that would have helped us so very much. I think that’s why I never minded having just one child (because it was so hard) & I at least felt I could give him 100% of me.  He’s 23 now & I would do it all over in a HEARTBEAT (if I could!). We are still amazed at the young man he has become (cuz so many times we felt like the blind leading the blind! lol) Hang in there….everyone’s experiences will be different.  You and Andrew have such level heads, great intuition, and have formed this invincible team….every step of parenting has it’s hills & valleys. Love your threesome👍🏼 + Maggie makes 4!

  23. My 8 week old (breastfed) will take a bottle if I’m standing up and don’t force it. I’ll lightly touch her lower lip with the nipple and squeeze a little milk her mouth, then when she starts mouthing it I put the bottle in. If she’s freaks out, I take the nipple out and try that same technique again. Usually she will accept the bottle after 3-4 tries. I have found that if I try to give her a bottle sitting in the same chair or in the same position as when I breastfeed her she refuses. Best of luck! I know it’s hard :(

  24. I identified so much with your post. Except I didn’t do the self-care bit and ended up really anxious and on the edge for the first few months. Now I’m unapologetic about it!
    Keep trying every day once a day on the bottle, my little guy turned it away first but my husband persisted every day (but only when he started showing signs of hunger, never when fussy) there is also a technique for getting them to accept it easier, you kind of tip the teat so that it’s pointing upwards slightly, kind of like a real nipple! But very gently and we started by dropping a few drops into his mouth first. And try a few different teats. My guy changed his preference a couple of times.
    On sleep, the unpredictability of sleep was a real killer, but what ended up working for us wasn’t one set of advice, rather loads of pieces of advice/information/research all together. We found little things that worked and then added to them. For a while he would only sleep in his little bouncy chair so we just went with that and then transferred him to his crib. Then we transferred him just as we could see him starting to nod off, then a few weeks later a few minutes in the chair to calm him and then crib, we just worked it out. You’ll find your thing and sounds like you are getting there. It gets easier and you get better at coping too, and every day you feel like you can’t love the little nugget any more, and every day you do x

    • Yay! Glad you’ve prioritizing self-care!

      Yep we’ve got another size of nipple on the way. Hurry up, Amazon lol. With sleep there’s a lot we’re just going with…a few things they said “don’t do this” in our infant care class and we’re just like…ummm we’re comfortable doing it so that’s that! haha

      Thanks for the helpful tips and encouragement, Eadaoin!

  25. I have loved reading your motherhood posts. I’m a first time mom to an 8 month old and those first few months were so hard. We also struggled with getting my son to take a bottle. My husband and I stressed ourselves out so much by trying to practice with him ahead of time and then a breastfeeding consultant advised me to stop forcing it and see how he did once we sent him to daycare. After he’d gone to daycare a few days, he was taking a bottle fine. He still won’t really take a bottle at home because he knows I’m around but has done great taking bottles from other caretakers. If there’s one thing I wish I could go back and change it would be to have not tried to force him to take a bottle as practice. It didn’t help and ultimately it caused all three of us a lot of unnecessary stress. Good luck with everything and thanks for posting with such honesty!

    • This is really helpful, Christina. I guess in my mind I just picture my baby home with someone else with no way to eat…and that makes me anxious. But worst case I just come home and feed her…and more likely she’ll just take the bottle from our nanny and everything I’m feeling right now is unnecessary stress. Thanks for sharing your experience!!

  26. I have read your blog for a while now, but this is the first time I’ve commented.
    My son too had what I called his “witching hour”. It was between 5pm & 9pm, when I was trying to start dinner, and subsequently eat a (hot) dinner, and was desperate for time to myself after caring for him all day. The only thing that helped this was… time! Babies’ patterns will change. And just when you think you get a hold on it, it changes again. At night, try to establish a routine, or bedtime “flow”. (I think a ‘routine’ is too rigid). Whether it be with a feeding, a bath, stories or snuggles, ease into bedtime. I don’t think it has to be the same set of things done every night at the exact same time, but set the tone for winding down. I think this helped too in the long run for me, now that he’s a toddler.

    I do have a tip for sleeping. I see that JoJo’s crib is in the corner of her room. Try positioning her in that corner of the crib. For example, her feet would be touching or almost touching the foot of the crib and her head would be almost touching the side of the crib. So she would be angled across the corner of the crib. This gives a baby a feeling of security. Even babies who are swaddled may feel uneasy lying in the middle of a large space. Give it a try! It worked wonders for my son, even when he was sleeping in a pack & play on occasion.

    Best of luck to you, and hang in! You’re doing great :)

    • YES! Witching hour! A friend just mentioned that term to me! And I resonate with this A LOT –> “desperate for time to myself after caring for him all day.”

      I love “bedtime flow” over routine. That really works a lot better for my brain. And the idea that we’re just trying to “set the tone for winding down” is such a less rigid way to look at it. I think I can get stuck in the mentality of “we must do all the things.” And that rigidity is daunting to me.

      Thanks for the tip on sleep positioning. Hadn’t read or thought of that!

      Man, Blythe! I hope you comment more haha! This was so helpful for me!

  27. Your baby girl is so stinking cute.
    I just had my 3rd baby girl. I breastfed for 7 months before she took a bottle. Everyone tried to give her a bottle..the nanny, my husband, my mom, my 7 and 8 yr old daughters, lol.
    Finally I just needed her to take a bottle so went ahead and gave it to her. Against what everyone says. And she took it down! I did her first morning feeding, when I knew she was hungriest but also happiest. I agree you want them hungry but not overly hungry and unhappy. I think she was comfortable with me because I was the person that fed her around the clock her entire life. Also try different bottles/nipples. Good Luck!!!!!!!

  28. If it makes you feel any better, my mom still calls me by the cat’s name (which also happens to be Maggie) and I’m 25!
    I never would have thought about having to teach babies to fall asleep. Mind blown.

  29. Love this description of motherhood those first few weeks! You are so not alone in the way you feel. I also hate the “moms can’t be selfish” line. I’m a much better mom and wife because i take care of myself with some “selfish” activities.

    On the asking for help, I just finished the book “Drop the Ball” by Tiffany Dufu and found it incredibly helpful easing the guilt of not being able to do “it all” as a working mama. It has great insights and actionable advice on building an all in partnership with you spouse. I loved it. I listened to the audiobook, which made it feel like a conversation with a really great mentor ☺️

    Keep up the good work mama, you’re killin it!❤️

  30. It’s so refreshing to read such a real and honest post about those first few months. I am currently pregnant with my second, and definitely struggled during the first few months of my daughter’s life with everything you described. I felt like my life’s purpose was to get her to sleep (at night and for naps), and it could be miserable at times. I was at home with her too, so it was all day every day. I look back and think how hard it was, and how at the time it seemed like that would be my life forever. I didn’t really comprehend that it was just a phase and things would get better and sleep would be easier. I worry a little about going through similar things with my second, but I think having been through it and made it to the other side, it will be a little easier. It may continue to be hard in different ways, but it becomes more manageable. I’m not sure it would have been helpful at the time to hear that it gets better, so tune me out if it doesn’t help you! One site that I found helpful was preciouslittlesleep.com. Good luck!

  31. Kylie,
    You’re doing an amazing job loving and caring for your baby. Being a Mom is a tough job.

    My suggestions for sleep (which worked for all my 3 kiddos who started sleeping through the night around 9 weeks) is:
    Early bedtimes. (Ours was around 6/6:30. And still is for our 2 year old twins who sleep 6:30pm-6:30am) I loved Babywise and hope the feed,play, sleep cycle helps.
    Keep the evening windown consistent, this way she will know what to expect and babies like predictability, and seek comfort in it.
    Swaddle and white noise. Pacifier if she takes one is a big helper too.
    Also, a dream feed around 11pm as a top off to push her through giving you a longer chunk of sleep.

    Hope this helps. It worked well for my 3 Littles. Again, you’re doing great! This mom stuff is hard.

  32. Sounds like you’re doing an amazing job! I’m due in 2 weeks and though I’m excited I’m nervous too. Your blogs are a real pick me up, love your honesty thank you 😘 Jojo is gorgeous btw 😊

  33. I don’t have kids, so I can’t give you any advice about sleep or bottles, but I just wanted to say that Joanna is adorable and you’re doing a great job. :)

  34. I’m a new mom of a four month old and I loved reading this post! One of my friends (mom of four who I go to for everything) always says I’m doing a great job- no matter what I tell her or ask her, she’s always telling me I’m rocking it! So I’m going to tell you the same- you are doing a great job!

    Being a (new) mom is the most wonderful but also most stressful experience in the world. We went through a fussy phase for a few weeks and I just remember my husband asking when we woke up the next day “do you remember any of that” and I didn’t. It was a new day and I was looking at a smiley baby so all the hard stuff from the day before was gone from my mind. So I started looking at it that way. Now we are figuring out our baby and learning as he’s also learning and growing and I feel more confident.

    I’m a teacher- so I went back to work after 10 weeks and I LOATHED the thought of a bottle and someone else caring for my baby- it took me a month to not rush straight from work to pick him up and spend my evenings mommin and giving no time to myself. So now, I’ll work, sometimes go to the gym, grab a coffe with a friend… it just gives me an hour where I’m not in work mode but I’m not in mom mode either. I feel like I’m a better mom in the evenings for him because I’ve had that time. My dad suggested it when I first started daycare and I thought he was crazy- it took a little bit, but I see what he meant now.

    As for the bottle- we were set on one brand and he just didn’t like it, so we tried another brand that seemed to work better for him. I let My husband introduce about a month in, then once we were out I would use a feeding for the bottle, my mom, my friend, and then he picked up on it pretty quickly. Ours is easily disracted- so we always have to bottle feed with minimal distractions.

    Anyways- you are doing a great job momma!

  35. The Natural Baby Sleep Solution book really helped us in predicting the best time to put our little man down for naps and for nighttime. There’s a natural 90 minute alertness curve, so you’ll have better success trying to get them to sleep at the end of the 90 minutes. If you miss that window then their alertness starts to increase and it becomes more difficult to get them to fall asleep on their own (if at all). When our little guy was a few weeks old he would start screaming at 8pm and it would go for at least an hour. We started thinking he had colic. Turns out he just wanted to be in bed by 7pm! He’s 6 months old and we are just starting to get some better sleep with longer more predictable stretches, so hang in there mama!

  36. All I remember from this time is that 24 hours a day took on a whole new meaning. Your authenticity is refreshing and an excellent model for so many people who have the same experiences but are just not able to express them. Time is passing and she is a thriving beautiful little girl. You’re doing good mama!  And I’m all about those date nights!

  37. I absolutely love your discussion here about “mom’s get to deserve to be okay too.” I have so much love for you that you actually put into words these feelings and emotions. I think many other women must feel this way and our society has taught and scripted that we should almost feel bad about feeling that way. So. Not. True. Another reason I love that you spelled out these feelings you have about being selfish and still wanting to take care of you, as well as Jo, is that I often have that thought. I don’t have children yet and part of the reason I haven’t wanted to take on that venture is because I believe I AM a selfish person and I also DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT. I don’t see anything wrong with being a little selfish, especially as women. Women have so many roles in society and I think when we try to take back some of that, it’s very frowned upon. We need more mothers talking about these honest and difficult conversations. I’m so proud of you and so glad to see it here!

  38. I had a baby in graduate school. She would never take a bottle. She would go 4-5 hours without eating. I would race home to feed her at lunch and then she would cluster feed in the evenings. She is a perfectly lovely 13 year old now. That was a horribly stressful time. If I could go back and give advice, I would say get a nanny who can drive. Bring her to you if she won’t take a bottle. It’s hard to concentrate on your work when you are worried your kid is starving.

  39. Have been through the bottle issue with my 6 month old. After trying 4 or 5 different bottle brands, different milk temperatures, times of day, feeders etc – Here are a couple of things we had to try along the way:
    Taste the milk (weird, I know) have found out baby will only drink frozen milk if it’s mixed with more freshly expressed milk. My frozen stuff has a different (and not so nice, but obviously differs from Mom to Mom) flavour due to excess lipase.
    Sippy cup – our baby proved he could drink from every bottle we presented, however then just wanted the boob. In the end he took to a sippy cup. It flows fast because it’s made for older babies, so we have to make sure he doesn’t drink too quickly. He loves his sippy, so at 4 months (we tried giving him a bottle from 6 weeks through 3.5 months most days) we gave up on the bottle and just feed him from a sippy cup of 60%+ fresh milk and the rest frozen milk. Ridiculous! It’s been a bit of a science experiment, but we got somewhere

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