Postpartum tips – for the second time around.

This is a mom-heavy post so feel free to skip if you’re here for reno/design stuff.

IMG_6985

Silas at 3 weeks 5 days and almost 12lbs. I love a baby double chin.

It seems impossible, but it’s already been a month since baby #2 arrived. The post partum period is such a blur – time seems to move both incredibly fast and yet, glacially slow. I think that the second time around, it’s easy to feel like your an expert going in to it. You’ve done this before, right? No. You haven’t. You did it with one newborn, NOT a newborn and another kid. It’s safe to say I definitely over did it this time around and tried to accomplish way too much too soon. Here are a few tips that will hopefully keep another mom out there from getting totally run down and overwhelmed.

1. Say No.

Say it loud, say it proud. It’s ok to say no to, or at least limit the number of, visitors in those first few weeks. Lucy has done a fabulous job welcoming Silas into our family, but having tons of visitors those first couple of weeks really threw her for a loop. I also feel a lot of pressure to keep my house clean when people are coming over (absurd with a newborn, I know.) I think the best strategy is to limit visitors to days when your partner is home from work and can help out and limit the number of visitors to just one or two groups per day. It’s also ok to tell people to leave when YOU get tired, not just when the baby is sleeping. On the one hand it’s great to have people come shower your older child with attention, but it also can be a little overwhelming for your child to deal with a lot of coming and going. Don’t push yourself and get comfortable saying “no thanks, we really need to rest.”

2. Accept help, and be specific about what you need.

If people ask what they can do tell them to bring you food. Ask for takeout or hand them a grocery list, but don’t feel obligated to host them for dinner. Good visitors will appear with food and then leave so you can get back to cuddling as soon as possible.

3. Drink water. All the time.

Find a giant water bottle with a straw and keep drinking. Get a high capacity one so you don’t have to get up and fill it all the time. Lucy loved drinking out of my special water cup, so the bigger the better.

4. Make a diaper/nursing station by your couch or favorite chair.

This is key. You don’t want to have to get up every time you need lanolin or a burp cloth. Get a basket and keep it stocked with diapers, wipes, nursing pads, a nursing cover for squeamish visitors, lanolin, hand sanitizer, and a spare outfit for the baby. A cell phone charger wouldn’t hurt either.

5. Keep a stack of books and a loaded iPad around for your older child.

I’d love to pretend that we didn’t pacify Lucy with shows, but the truth is those first few weeks are such an exhausting time that she had to entertain herself a lot. I downloaded a few new games and shows for her so that we could all have some quiet time when we needed it. Books are great for a little snuggle time while you nurse your new baby.

6. Have a safe place on every floor where you can put down your baby.

We have bouncy chairs/lounges in almost every room so that if Lucy needs me I can safely put the baby down to help her. The temptation to just pop your baby on the couch for one second can be strong, but babies learn to roll over fast, so make sure that they are in a safe spot before you answer the door or head to the bathroom. I keep a bouncy chair in the bathroom so that I can bring Silas with me while I shower – the noise is very soothing for him and being able to keep an eye on him while Lucy plays in her room is a sanity saver.

7. Stock your fridge and pantry with one handed food.

The hunger that comes with nursing is like no other. Fill your fridge and pantry with healthy, easy to eat foods that you and your older child love. For us that is tubs of pre-cut fruit, yogurt, cheese, trail mix, squeezable fruit for Lucy ( in the foil packets), high protein granola bars. Another big help has been making big batches of healthy grains like quinoa, beans, and brown rice so that the foundation of dinner is always available.

8. Take the pain meds you are prescribed.

Take them on schedule. It’s much better to stay on top of the pain then to try and recover from it.

9. Be prepared for a lot of laundry – yours especially.

Spit up, night sweats, leaky boobs – post partum is a messy time. Spread a big towel or receiving blanket on your bed so you don’t have to change your sheets all the time. I stocked up on cheap but comfy tshirts and leggings from Target so I always had something clean on hand.

10. Make sure you have your newborn necessities ready to go.

It might have been pretty straightforward to do a Target run with one kid to get what you need, but handling two in those first weeks can be daunting. Here’s what I had on hand…

 

 

newborn must haves
1. Aden and Anais swaddle blankets I had 8 of these leftover from Lucy and got 4 more as a gift. You can never have enough of these swaddle,burp,nursing cover multi-taskers. The bamboo ones are very soft, but I prefer the cotton muslin for durability.
2. The Beco Gemini Baby Carrier This is a great soft structured carrier. Baby can face in or out (when they are older) or hip carry. The gemini is great because you don’t need an additional insert to use it with a newborn (like the Ergo.) Another great carrier for a newborn is a ring sling, like the Sakura Bloom Pure sling. A carrier of some sort is essential so that you can attend to your older child and/or your own needs with both hands. If Silas is having a hard time calming down I can pop him in the carrier for some guaranteed quiet time.
3. Footed one pieces from the Gap. It really don’t matter where you get them, but I like how soft the ones from the Gap are. When your baby screams through wardrobe changes and a 3 year old is pulling on your leg you don’t want to mess around with separates and tiny socks. I love the built in hand covers too.
4. Boppy pillow and cover. I used a My Breast Friend pillow with Lucy but really prefer the Boppy. A stylish washable cover is key since this pillow goes where I go and gets puked on all the time.
5.Wubbanub paci toy. This is a great way to keep track of your pacifier. We keep this one in the crib for those brief moments when Silas uses it.
6. Aden and Anais Burpy Bibs. These are generously sized and super absorbent. They also can be used as a bib which makes them a great 2 in 1 product. Just like the swaddling blankets, they get softer with every wash. I drape one on every visitor since Silas is a big time spitter upper.
So! Those are my tips. The biggest thing for me is just recognizing that getting the little things done is more than enough accomplishment for the day. Are we all fed and mostly clean? Then I feel like supermom. We are definitely getting into a good routine, but I really tried to do too much in those first couple of weeks. It takes a while for the adrenaline of childbirth to fade, but don’t be fooled – sleep deprivation will catch up with you. I also had mastitis which was definitely my body’s way of telling me to slow down. Rather than try and figure out what housework I can do in the moments the baby is sleeping and Lucy is distracted I’m trying to focus on resting and enjoying my two kids (it still feels crazy to type that.)
Hope you all are well! On to more house projects next week…
xx-H

One response

  1. These are great tips! It is always nice to hear honest advice from someone who has “been there” recently. We’re hoping to add baby #2 before too long, and I will definitely be revisiting your post! Thanks for sharing :)

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