Months 6-11: Tips from a First Time Mom

I couldn’t wait for Norah to start crawling. And now, I wish she would just sit still for a minute! So, soak up the moment. Even through the sleepless nights, the obsessing over solids, and the eagerness to watch them grow, take a moment every single day to consciously contemplate your little one. They really do grow up so fast.

When Norah was little, I used to think, “When she gets a little bigger, when she starts sleeping a little better… it’s going to be easier.” I foolishly thought that all of my mom problems would be solved once she started sleeping through the night.

I. WAS. WRONG!

One thing no one tells you about the miracle of baby sleeping through the night is that it will probably start happening because they spend all day running around like crazy people and they’ve finally worn themselves out.

The older she gets, the more exhausted I feel. But please don’t get me wrong! I’m not complaining. I’m really not. I can honestly, with 100% sincerity say, I am more exhausted than I’ve ever been in my life– but I’m also happier than I’ve ever been in my life.

A lot of this moving and shaking started to happen around 6 months–maybe that’s why I stopped blogging around the same time? I was too busy chasing Norah around?

I’ll let you decide the correlation for yourself.

What I want to do here, dear reader, is make all of that time up to you. I want to give you one, quick down-to-brass-tacks post containing my top 3 tips for surviving months 6-11 with your little wiggly, wobbly, into-every-loving-thing bundle of joy.

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Tips From a First Time Mom: Five Months In

What just happened? Did you see it? Did you feel it? Time just whooshing by! I don’t know about you, but I missed it.

How did my baby girl get to be 5 months old? How did my little Squish turn into a rolling, grabbing, babbling baby? I talked in my 4-month post about how quickly Norah seems to be changing these days. Well, if I thought she changed a lot from three to four months, I had no idea what was in store for me from months four to five.

I had a friend tell me that around three months, their little one turned into a person. She was right! That’s exactly what happened last month. This month, Norah has not only grown more physically, but that personality she started to exhibit before has really started to shine through.

It was a fun month. So much happened. Looking back on it all, I have a few tips to pass along to any other new mamas out there with babies on the cusp of hitting this very exciting age.

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Musings From a First Time Mom- Four Months In

Well, I’m a little late with this post. I know I’ve been absent from blogging lately. And, I could bore you all with reasons/ excuses and ramble on about work/life/yadda yadda yadda. But, that’s not why you came here today, now is it?

So, I won’t go into all that. I will say that soon (very soon!) I will be back to my old blogging self.

In the mean time, here are some musings I have to share. For you, from me, a first time mom, four months in.

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Married with Children

It’s good to be aware of the new stresses that are going to bombard your relationship and to come up with a plan of attack for how to handle them when they do.

Are you ready for a cold, hard dose of truth? I’m warning you:

DO NOT READ ON IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN BLISSFULLY UNAWARE OF THE REALITY OF BEING MARRIED WITH CHILDREN.

To start this off nice and terrifyingly, let’s read a quote from one of my favorite books Brain Rules for Baby by Dr. John Medina:

“We now know that this long-term erosion is a regular experience of married life, starting in the transition to parenthood. Marital quality, which peaks in the last trimester of a first pregnancy, decreases anywhere from 40 to 67 percent in the infant’s first year. More recent studies, asking different questions, put the figure closer to 90 percent… Indeed, one-third to one-half of new parents display as much marital distress as troubled couples already in therapy trying to save their relationship.”

What’s more, that stress and distress felt in a marriage is also felt by the baby. Dr. Medina goes on to explain:

“Infants younger than 6 months old can usually detect that something is wrong. They can experience physiological changes–such as increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones–just like adults. Some researchers claim they can assess the amount of fighting in a marriage simply by taking a 24-hour urine sample of the baby.”

I can hear your internal screams and worries now:

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? HOW DO I STOP IT? IS IT INEVITABLE?

I had the same thoughts, fears, and panic. I love my husband. I love my family. What do you mean I have a nearly 50% chance of becoming miserable just because I had a baby? That can’t be!

Well, four months into parenthood, I can tell you, it can be. I’m not saying that it is. Hubby and I are actually doing really great. But, that’s because we sat down before our baby girl arrived and talked about all of this stuff. I’m not saying that we’re relationship gurus over here, and that our marriage is perfect. Far from it.

What I am saying, though, is that it’s good to be aware of the new stresses that are going to bombard your relationship and to come up with a plan of attack for how to handle them when they do. Dr. Medina, in his book, goes on to discuss the biggest struggles new parents will face and how to prepare for them. And yes, we have faced them. We’re still facing them.

But, we were prepared.

And, my hope with this post is to help you and your partner get prepared, as well. Our way may not work for you, but hopefully this will spark you to start having these conversations and figuring out your way to prepare for, handle, and make it through all the troubles of being married with children.

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I Didn’t Know My Baby Has Reflux Until…

I follow some awesome moms on twitter. They’re amazing and open and so honest with their experiences as a parent that I love reading what they have to say. I feel like I’m always learning from them.

One topic I see a lot of moms talk about is reflux. From the stories I’ve heard, it can get very intense! I never thought my baby could have it. She doesn’t vomit all the time. She doesn’t scream when we lay her down. She doesn’t fuss every time she eats.

You see, I never realized that these moms’ experiences encompassed extreme cases of reflux.

Moms with babies like mine don’t talk about their little ones’ reflux as much because it isn’t as impactful. I get it. Those moms who have babies with really really bad reflux, they’re troopers. They’re amazing, honestly! And I’m glad they share their struggle and turn to each other and other moms for support! I love the online mom community I’ve found.

But, in this post, I want to talk about the not so extreme reflux. The reflux my baby has. Because she needed medicine, and I’m glad she got it. And maybe your baby has reflux, too, and you just don’t know it yet because they’re not throwing up all the time or constantly miserable (bless those babies’ little hearts!).

Here are the signs that led to her diagnosis. Some of these things I didn’t even consider to be reflux! I just thought it was her being a baby.

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100 Days of Norah: What I’ve Learned So Far

I’ve had my baby for 100 days. That’s 100 days of snuggles and kisses, tears, and growing pains. That’s 100 days of learning. And 100 days of loving someone so much more than I ever realized I could.

Normally, I write a post at the beginning of each new month with my little girl with some tips I’ve learned about being a mom:

Tips From a First Time Mom: 1 Month In

Tips From a First Time Mom: 2 Months In

But instead, today I just want to reflect on what I’ve learned in the last 100 days with my baby.

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11 Tips From a First Time Mom: Two Months In

Being a mom, I learn something new everyday. For example, yes, it does matter if baby’s diapers are on well. Cleaning poop off of her, her onesie, and let’s not forget the swing, is not fun.

It may not always be fun but it is always an adventure learning with my baby girl. It’s been amazing watching her grow. She really does change a little every day. She can do more now than she could a week ago. And don’t get me started on how different she is from the last time I wrote a “Tips From A First Time Mom” post (which you can find by clicking HERE).

Her needs are different now. So is my ability and capacity to meet them. I know her better. I’m more confident. I really feel like I’m getting the hang of this. Do I still have a lot to learn? Heck yes, I do! But, for now, I’m going to share what I’ve learned in the last month.

Here are my Tips From A First Time Mom: Two Months In

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