It’s been almost 2 months with our baby girl Kennedy and it’s been a whirlwind to say the least. I can’t believe I’m over half way through my maternity leave. It all seems like a blur – a roller coaster of emotions and by far the hardest job I’ve ever had , but I wouldn’t change this mommy-hood journey for the world. I absolutely adore the little peanut and just feel so lucky to be her mama.
With Kennedy being born during COVID-19, we’ve been quarantined her whole life. It sounds sad writing that but it’s actually been a blessing because we’ve had more time with just us, adapting to life as a new family of 4 and soaking in all the sweet moments of her newborn days.
Since most our friends and family have only had the chance to meet her virtually, after weeks of posting pics and videos of Kennedy the most common responses I get are “she is so happy!” “I’ve never seen a baby smile so much!” “Does she ever cry?” I can’t help to deliriously laugh reading those comments, because keeping it 100% real, the first few weeks were pretty rough. It’s partially my fault for only posting the “highs” on social media. Of course, I want to share those snuggly/toothless smile/ laughing baby pics because they are what I want to remember, not the ear-piercing inconsolable screaming moments that were frequent in her early days. Only Peyton would truly understand but during her first few weeks, she cried and cried and BOY did she cry- so hard that the neighbors were probably wondering what was going on over here. And then I cried when I got a moment alone because I felt helpless, like I was failing at this whole new mom thing.
After many sleepless nights up googling and reading about #colic, I decided to give up dairy a few weeks ago, which has helped tremendously with her seemingly digestive discomfort. Yes, I gave up all my favorite things (Ice cream, cheese and milk chocolate) UGH, but I’d do anything to make this little gal happy! 2 months in and she still has some normal baby fussy moments throughout the day, though nothing compared to those first few days and weeks. She’s overall turned out to be a pretty happy baby and is getting quite the personality.
All that said, as new parents we’ve tried just about every baby product out there to try and soothe her during her fussy times, and while I realize every baby is different I thought I would share our favorite products so far. I by no means claim to be an expert (2 month old new mom here!), but these are what has worked for us, and I hope will help some other mamas out there who are registering for new baby items, or up googling in the middle of the night “How to make my baby stop crying..” and frantically buying every product on Amazon like I was ?
- Bouncer This was recommended to us by a friend so we registered for it, and Kennedy loves it! 9/10 times if she’s crying and we put her in this she will calm down. It’s great for giving mom and dad their hands free for a little while ?
- Pacis We have a bunch of brands of pacis but these seem to be what she likes the most. Attached to the WubbaNub are great because I can prop it up against side of bassinet so it doesn’t come out of her mouth every few seconds. #lazymomhack
- Baby carriers Unfortunately the only way she’ll take a lengthy nap during the day is if I wear her, but I’ll take any sleep we can get ?The Solly is great for around the house and made of a comfortable t-shirt material. The Ergo offers a little more back support (she’s getting heavy!) and will be better for outings and for Peyton to wear too.
- Swaddles We got several swaddles as gifts but these are the easiest/ fool-proof ones. No need to watch YouTube videos – you just stick them right in the little pouch and velcro them in.
- Stroller / car seat Hands down my favorite two baby gifts thanks to my mama and mama’s best friend. This stroller and car seat are not cheap, but I highly recommend purchasing a quality/safe stroller and car seat even if it means spending a few extra bucks. Walks and car rides instantly calm Kennedy, so these two obvi made our list!
- Play Gym In the early days, I did nothing but sit on the couch and pace the living room rocking Kennedy, before realizing she was probably bored and needed some stimulation. She loves this play gym, especially the black and white ball and flashcards. Her excitement during playtime makes this middle of the night purchase 100% worth it.
- SNOO I did a lot of research on bassinets, and while this is one of the more expensive options, I ended up pulling the trigger solely for safety reasons and peace of mind that she wasn’t going to roll over in the middle of the night. I’m so glad we did. The SNOO has a built-in swaddle that secures to the bottom of the bassinet, and white noise/ soothing noises that adjust to varying levels if your baby is crying. Despite the daytime crying in early days, K is becoming a pretty good sleeper (6-8 hr stretches) and I have the SNOO to thank for that. They also have a rent option now which is nice if you only plan to use it for a few months before moving to crib.
- Lounger We tried the Dockatot which was great when she was tiny and slept all day, but she no longer likes to be completely flat / horizontal when she’s awake, likely because of her reflux and tummy issues. This lounger pillow is great to put on couch and prop her up next to us while we’re watching TV.
- Shusher Great portable soothing sound machine, that was also recommended by a friend. We keep this one in our living room for naps in her bassinet during the day. I also brought it to hospital and used it the first few nights.
- Zip PJs / Night gowns Ok so I cheated – this one is more to benefit mom and dad vs baby ?Snap onesies are cute, but you will curse each and every snap in the middle the night trying to get them back on when changing diapers every few hours, so the zips are the way to go IMO. These little nightgowns are so soft and wonderful for ease of changing. We have them in multiple colors/prints and I’ve received a lot of questions on where to purchase them. Both options have built in mittens so baby doesn’t scratch.
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Kelli Arduini says
I want you to know that you are rockin it! Times are bittersweet for all of us. On one hand, so extremely grateful to have them all to ourselves for a few months, and then not getting to see a lot of firsts, or relationships develop, or get help when we have no idea what to do. I think all of us new mommies have that crying feeling of failure at one point when they are inconsolable for weeks. I, too, had to cut out dairy in order to help Luke’s little tummy. It was difficult but worth it. I agree whole heartedly with all of your words and advice! Especially, NO snaps!!! I appreciate you taking the time to let people into your life at home. It brought me a sense of relief that I’m not the only one! And it is okay to post the happy, laughing, and beautiful photos you post! No shame in keeping the hard times, the crying, and the sleepless nights to yourself. The moment luke laughed out loud for the first time, I felt it was all worth it.
Keep doing the best you can. You are that little ones whole world! Please know that others are going through the same thing, and can lend support if you needed it. Us mommies need to stick together. Stay happy, stay healthy, and Happy Mother’s Day!
Kelli – you are too sweet! I’m glad to hear I’m not alone, and agree us mamas should stick together ? Luke is adorable and you’re rocking the mom game too 😉 happy belated Mother’s Day!