I am going to discuss a few different issues of parenting, and tell you what worked/didn't work for us. No problem if you parent differently. I feel as though every family knows what is right for them, and they work together to form that picture.
Keep in note that Caleb has always been a very very laid back baby. I mean super laid back. He rarely fusses, or has problems sleeping, and does not really give us too many problems. Yes we have a "good baby", and we are oh so proud of him.
This stage is so interesting to think back on. It is one filled with so much excitment, fear, love, and up/down emotions. You are just figuring everything out, and at the same time so filled with this new love that you just want to burst with happiness.
- Things I worried about at this time:
- Keeping the house clean. Why I do not know. I have never been a neat freak, but for some reason at this point in time my nesting was still kicking in and I felt as though everything had to be perfect. I remember getting so upset if a dish was left in the sink, or if there was a speck of anything on the carpet etc etc. I came home from the hospital and literally cleaned while Caleb napped. Looking back I wish I could tell myself to stop. I wish I could say "It is okay, Caleb has no idea that the house was dirty, he just wants you to cuddle".
- Fear that something would happen to Caleb. I still have this problem. In fact I pray daily about God helping me with my fear that something is going to happen to myself, hubby or Caleb. It is so scary, and this is the one area that I am really not laid back about. Mentally I can think some awful things about what could happen, and I have to take a breath and pray about it.
- What worked for us
- Scheduling: We started Caleb on a schedule immediately. I have worked in child care for a while, and I am educated in Early Childhood Education, and I see a true benefit in a schedule for a baby. As soon as we had Caleb we started him on a 2 1/2-3 hour feeding schedule. This worked amazing for us. We knew when to expect him to get hungry, and this helped so much. He never had gas issues or any type of over feeding problems, and I really do feel as though scheduling his feedings helped us with that.
- Sleeping: I do not think Caleb was put down for more than 3 hours the entire first week of his life. We were notorius for cuddling him while he slept, which made for some interesting first nights. However, I would not change a thing, because lets face it those newborn snuggles do not last long enough. I remember so many mommy Caleb moments of snuggling and napping on the couch, that are no longer a part of our day, and I miss them. However, Caleb would fuss when we put him down to sleep, and that was wearing on me. I could not keep my house spotless as I felt I should while carrying a sleeping newborn. At around 5-6 weeks we started implementing a lot of the Baby Wise teachings, and I let Caleb cry it out. I admit the first two nights were hard and I cried with him. However, after only two nights of crying it out he was sleeping like a champ on his own, and he began sleeping through the night at 7 weeks.
- Feedings: Caleb was breastfed for the first month of his life. We had a problem latching so I pumped, and eventually my milk supply ran out. He was always given a bottle of my milk, and I knew exactly how much he was getting each time. I had no problem increasing his feedings by a 1/2 ounce if he acted as though he wanted more, and I feel as though he was always well nourished. To help him start sleeping through the night I started decreasing his middle of the night feedings by 1/2 ounce each night around 5-6 weeks. He eventually no longer was hungry in the middle of the night and began sleeping through at 7 weeks.
- Going Places: We took Caleb out at 5 days old. I know that a lot of people feel as though they have to stay locked in their homes when they have a new baby, however, we just wanted to start including Caleb in our world, and not have a completely seperate world with him. This has worked wonders for us. He is used to going places with us, and we revolve his schedule around what we have planned for the day. If we wanna go out one night and hang out with friends, we take him with us, feed him his dinner where we are, put him in his pj's and get him to sleep there. I never felt like I had to be home at a certain time in order to get him to bed, or that I could not go somewhere because of his schedule. Of course he does nap better at home, but he will nap in the car as well on the way to where we are going.
- During this time I was more of a germaphobe than I am now. With a newborn it is important to watch who touches him and make sure that everybody washes their hands.