You guys how…HOW do I have a baby as old as the amount of time I was pregnant with him? Leyton is 9 months old today and I simply can’t believe it. I also can’t believe I have never done an update on him, parenting, and everything in between until now! So today Jill Comes Clean about all my new parent thoughts. What I love, what was an adjustment, what I don’t miss, what’s surprised me most, and what I will and will not do the second time around if God decides he wants to put up with me again in the new baby department. So let’s hop to it!
First let me just catch you up to speed with where Leyton is at today. I’m sure I’m just like every new parent but he.is.so.stinking.cute! Every day he does something else to make us laugh or smile. He is a really good baby and just when we think one stage is our favorite, he enters a new one and we are loving that more than the last. He’s currently crawling all over the place and loves to pull himself up to stand. When he does it we squeal with excitement so now, every time he does it, he looks to us for praise. It’s endearing to say the least. He loves solids and is at three a day now in addition to breast milk. He’s learning to high-five and babbles all day long. He says “mama” or “mum” constantly, although I don’t think he actually says it knowing it means me. He loves Baby TV (and so do we to an extent) and he cracks up laughing at anything that makes Eric and me look foolish or exhausts us (ie: Eric bouncing up and down for 5 minutes straight).
I will say I think we are now starting to see what people mean when they say it flies by! When I look back at his newborn pictures I miss that cuddly, sweet stage, and can’t believe how quickly it came and went. With that being said, in the beginning Eric and I both said, “who says this flies by?” “It’s been 2 months and it has felt like 2 months!” Don’t get me wrong we were proud parents and have loved pretty much every moment, but that very beginning period where you have no idea what you’re doing, and just when you figure out one stage you’re onto the next, and you’re exhausted….yeah, that’s legit! I’m happy to have had that time and I’ll gladly do it again for another child (God willing), but if we are being honest, the cuddles and snuggles are really the only thing we miss about the newborn stage. I miss that tiny little peanut (I mean ahhh look at him in that above picture), but I love that I now have a bigger peanut that recognizes me and interacts (and eats less often, sleeps longer, and doesn’t need changed frequently).
So let’s talk some mom things I have loved and some I haven’t over the past 9 months.
Breastfeeding: Listen, I am beyond happy that I was able to breastfeed especially because so many women want to and can’t. I am grateful and wouldn’t change it for the world but ladies…..in the beginning it.was.terrible! And all the people out there saying “it shouldn’t hurt,” I say this in the nicest way possible….you must have boobs of steel. Please stop talking. I almost threw in the towel several times had it not been for a wonderful pediatrician that had just had a baby herself and assured me that it does in fact feel like a snapping turtle for a few weeks, and that’s normal! She urged me to give it one more week, and I did and sure enough it improved immensely! So breastfeeding I hated in the beginning and hands down think is one of the biggest challenges of motherhood, but once we got it figured out (and especially once feedings were every 4 hours instead of every 1-2) I have enjoyed it.
Going out in Public: So we got lucky with this one in the beginning because Leyton was born in January and it was a bad flu season and I was happy to hunker down and not leave the house for months. Plus, I was still trying to figure out a newborn and no way was I messing with a car seat and all of that on top of everything else. Now that he’s older it’s the total opposite and I find myself wanting to leave the house with him during the day for something to do and because it changes the scenery for him. But, can I just point out that I never realized, until having a baby, that if you don’t like having to converse with total strangers, then do not go out in public with a baby because people are attracted to them like food attracts ants. The random people that just strike up a conversation! Most are very sweet and not annoying, but it’s just the fact that I, miss anti social, has to suddenly make small talk with people I don’t know. Cringe!
Sleep Training: Okay guys so I’m gonna talk about something here that has been somewhat controversial, and no its not sleep training per se….it’s sleep coaching. That’s right, Eric and I enlisted the help of a sleep coach, and yes I would do it one thousand times over again. It is hands down my most recommended thing for new moms. In fact, if you’re about to be a new mom or know someone that is, THIS should be a registry gift item. I get many eye rolls when I tell people I used a sleep coach and I’ve heard plenty of “what’s a sleep coach?” “You have a what?” “Oh you don’t need a sleep coach, just figure it out.” Friends, I’m willing to trial and error my way through most things with this baby stuff, but sleep isn’t one of them. In the very beginning Leyton was having major issues with sleep and it was taking 2 hours to get him to bed, and this was back when he was a newborn and only slept for 2 hours at a time sooo you do the math. I wasn’t sleeping. I was exhausted. I was desperate.
Enter The Cradle Coach and you guys, they were a total life saver! They suggested I sleep him at an incline because they suspected some reflux and recommended I go back to swaddling (I had stopped) and literally with those 2 suggestions, he slept amazing! I was hooked, and even more I was a believer and so so grateful. So when it came time to “sleep train” I contacted them again, and they helped us get a training that worked for us (they have a very gentle version of cry it out that isn’t the “cry it out” most think of, but we opted for a different method instead and it’s been so helpful). Because of the help of The Cradle Coach we have been able to get Leyton on a wonderful schedule with naps and bedtimes, and they also helped with just an all day schedule including feeding times. It’s been so nice to be able to plan our day now knowing when he will eat and sleep. They have been there to answer all of our questions day or night. They are moms and have been there themselves. They are wonderful. I cannot recommend them enough!
Traveling: We haven’t traveled too much with Leyton in his 9 months but we have done 2 very long car rides and a plane ride! Overall, we don’t mind traveling with him. Even that time I had to sing every baby song and nursery rhyme known to man, in a foolish weird voice for over an hour just to keep him happy until we reached our destination, wasn’t too bad. He’s a good little traveler and really only gets upset when hungry, wet, or if he’s been in his car seat for too long, but can we blame him? Even babies need to stretch their legs. It’s been nice knowing that he pretty much roles with whatever, and that we are able to plan for trips.
Entertainment: Leyton currently loves Baby Tv. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but despite it’s major lack of HD quality, and some super weird shows (I’m looking at you Zumbini Time and Tek the Tractor), it’s actually really cute programming and he looooves it! I’m talking he gets giddy when his “shows” come on. And it’s educational and Eric and I actually like some of the shows. We try not to give him a ton of tv time but when I’m doing things in the kitchen or just need him to be entertained for a little while it’s been a wonderful go to.
And can we just talk children’s books for a second? What in the world is up with some of these? Some of the most “popular” books for babies and kids are down right awful! They are like 3 sentences and done. This might be controversial but I’m just going to say it….Goodnight Moon is the dumbest book! And nursery rhymes….ummm what is up with some of those? Some are actually pretty discriminatory and others literally make zero sense. Our favorites in rotation these days are Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, Steam Train Dream Train, the Llama Llama series, and our absolute favorites are Moo Moo Mooing and Roar, Roar, Roaring but Melanie Joyce.
Teething: I’m pretty sure you don’t need to me to state whether I love or hate teething, but just to be clear, teething is awful. When he got his two little bottom teeth we barely knew they were coming in, and I thought, what’s all the fuss about? Teething is nothing! And then his little mouth decided to sprout 4 top teeth at once and you best believe we quickly found out what all the fuss was about. To be fair, compared to other stories I have heard it wasn’t bad, but it did cause some restless nights and middle of the night wakings when he had been sleeping through, but overall he’s been a champ. During the day you would never know anything was popping through, but night time is a different story. I think they are about to break through any day though, so fingers crossed.
So that’s pretty much been the past 9 months in a nutshell. He’s been such a wonderful blessing and each stage just gets better. I know this has been the longest post ever so if you’re still reading this thanks for sticking it out! To round out this post I’m just going to end by answering the topics I listed in the beginning.
What I love: I truly love every stage more than the last. I hear that’s common, But just when I think “oh this is my favorite stage!” the next one comes and is even better. I LOVE his laugh and belly giggles and when he babbles. And I adore his chubby cheeks and how he finds everything we do so funny.
What’s been the biggest adjustment: I would say breastfeeding has been the biggest adjustment throughout the 9 months, and in the very beginning learning how to function on little sleep was an adjustment. Now, I would say just figuring out each new phase is the current adjustment to navigate.
What I miss: Although I do love each new stage that’s not to say I don’t miss some of the former stages. When I look back at pictures and realize how much he’s grown I miss those times. I miss the snuggly little newborn at times, and I think mostly I just know I will never get those years back, and I just hope I enjoyed them to their fullest, and hope I am enjoying the current stage as much as I can.
What I don’t miss: Figuring out breastfeeding, and being exhausted!! While I would gladly do it over again because it’s such a short period, I definitely don’t miss getting up every 2 hours. I also don’t miss the early days of no schedule. I’m so type A and love a schedule and routine and in the beginning it’s so much of just going by cues and when they need things and it’s impossible to plan your day. I’m happy now to have some structure back.
What surprised me the most: I’ve never been one to really enjoying playing with kids and I was worried that I wouldn’t like playtime with Leyton, but I realize now, it’s so different when it’s your own child. I love seeing him figure things out, or concentrate on a task and just learn and grow.
What I would do again: I would hands down do a sleep coach again, and as much as I enjoy him being in his own room and not having to tiptoe into bed at night for fear of waking him, I would still have him in the bassinet in the room with us for the first few months again.
What I won’t do again: I actually have been very pleased with all we have done so far and think for the most part it all worked out. I think I just wouldn’t freak out as much about every little thing and google everything or ask a million different opinions. I think I would just go more with the flow, but that’s easy to say now that I’ve done it once :).
Be on the lookout come January for a 1 year update post. Looks like I better get birthday planning!!