This past Sunday baby P officially hit the one month mark. It’s gone by in a flash, and I still can’t believe I’ve been allowed to know him for an entire month already! I’m blessed enough to be allowed time off by my job and to be supported by my hubby to is taking care of us financially. That being said, I’ve been working nonstop since I was 15 years old and this is the longest “break” I’ve ever taken, even though I wouldn’t consider taking care of a newborn on no sleep a break (shoutout to the stay at home moms).
Although I’ve loved spending every second with my sweet baby love it can drive you a bit crazy to not have much interaction with other adults. I try to talk to him as much as I can, partly because it promotes language development and partly because the constant silence would kill me. I’ve made up songs for basically every event throughout the day, my personal favorite is the bath time song.
Newborns mostly just sleep, and baby P has been so easy that even when he’s awake he is fine just kind of hanging out with me. He doesn’t cry much at all, but he’s definitely a mama’s boy because that’s not the case when he’s with other people. Can’t say I don’t love being his favorite though!
To keep myself sane and to give him an opportunity to be stimulated a little bit, I researched activities that are appropriate for a one month old. He’s hit most of the regular milestones, but I keep reminding myself that if he doesn’t hit one right away it’s totally normal, not all babies are the same.
One that he’s doing so well at is Head/neck control. He is crazy strong! We do tummy time on my chest mostly because he hates being directly on the floor. We’ve also used an exercise ball which was a Pinterest tip I found, and he LOVED it. He’s growing so quickly and gaining weight like a champ, so that may be why he’s so strong. He’s outgrown all his newborn clothing and is almost wearing 3-6 months which is wild. He hit 10 pounds at his one month check up thanks to all the liquid gold mama is feeding him.
My little one also started to track/focus on objects at about one month, and the most exciting thing he did was recognize my face! The first time I realized baby was making eye contact and recognizing my face he was just a little past 4 weeks, and it almost made me tear up. You could see in his eyes that he knew who I was, and now that he recognizes me he also smiles at me which makes me feel warm and fuzzy every time.
Since he’s “socially smiling” now and not just smiling as a reflex, I’ve been making funny faces at him and playing little games with his noisy toys. Seeing everything through a child’s eyes for the first time makes the simplest things so entertaining. We watched rain for the first time together and it’s so amazing to watch how interested he is. I dragged him through the water in the bathtub instead of using his infant tub and he loved that too.
Everything is new to him so the possibilities are endless. It makes things as simple as playing with an ice cube seem like a huge event. Introducing him to heat and cold have been interesting. I’ve let him feel warm steam coming up from the sink and played with a variety of cold objects. It’s important to me to start exposing him to all these things early because I have a family filled with educators so I’m always being reminded how important it is to stimulate him.
On another note, we did our newborn photo shoot around 2 weeks and just recently received the photos which make me cry every time! Now that he’s over a month old I cannot believe how quickly he grew. The photos are amazing and were done with Laura Arriaga Photography.
We almost didn’t do photos since I usually keep up with documenting things and my push present was a brand new DSLR, but I’m so glad I got in front of the camera instead of behind it! These memories are priceless, and I’m happy all his quirky little features were captured. He crossed his eyes because he kept trying to focus on the camera, and his crazy little cowlick wouldn’t lay down the entire time.
After the first week or so was behind us, I was much less scared to branch out and escape my apartment. We go out A TON. I haven’t been shy to exposing him to the outside world because I really do think it’s good for his immune system. We’ve gone to restaurants, friend’s houses, grocery shopping, even the park. Partly for him, partly because being cooped up makes me go crazy. I was iffy about how breastfeeding in public would feel and I had bought a cover in case I was uncomfortable. I used it a couple times before realizing he HATED how stuffy he get under there and I hate how inconvenient they are to use. Can you imagine trying to blindly latch a squirmy newborn while also balancing this awkward blanket so that someone ELSE doesn’t feel uncomfortable? Of course some are more modest and would like to cover up, which is fine, but personally I think breastfeeding is natural and if my boob bothers you’re welcome to put a cover over your head until I’m done.
Thanks to my hubs, I’ve also been able to take some time to go out myself. I’ve been to blogger meet ups hosted all over DFW. I’m usually gone about 2 hours at a time, just enough to grab some coffee and meet with friends. Baby took a bottle at about 3-4 weeks and did really well and I have a small stash of breastmilk stored up for when I’m back at work.
The longest I’ve been gone was when I attended a charity gala and was gone for about 7 hours. If I’m being honest, it was too soon for me and I got really bad anxiety as time went on, so I’ll stick to shorter time frames from now on. It’s hard to enjoy yourself when all you feel is guilt because someone else is watching and feeding your baby.
Lastly I’ll talk about what everyone assumes I’m NOT doing, which is sleeping. Baby P’s sleep schedule is the bomb. He sleeps at night and is awake almost all day, which makes the days feel long but is great because I get to sleep on a regular schedule. He does wake up about every 3-4 hours at night so that he can eat and get a diaper change, but he’s straight back to sleep after. He started to sleep this often at about three weeks, but the first couple of weeks weren’t that bad regardless. I keep telling my husband how lucky we are to have gotten such an easy baby!
Even with how relatively “easy” he has been, it can still take a toll on you how big of a shift becoming a parent is. I would get so upset with myself toward the beginning for feeling overwhelmed or complaining because I know I’ll look back on this time with my baby and miss when he was so small and when I and was his everything. Whenever I’m feeling tired of being latched onto all day or when he hasn’t left my arms for hours, I tell myself I won’t always be able to comfort him by putting him on my skin in the middle of the night. He won’t always need me like he does now and one day I’ll be wishing to go back to these times.
My biggest tip is to just create opportunities to take a break from diapers and milk and really absorb the beauty of every second with your little love. Reminding yourself to be grateful will renew your drive. You’ll have so many positive experiences to look back on and you’ll make the most of your precious time with baby. That’s how I’ve been able to survive this first month, and I’m sure that’s how I’ll make for the next 18+ years.
Happy memory making.