Confessions of a First Time Mom

Not too long ago I wrote a post on my breastfeeding confessions. After that post, I got to thinking that it might be fun to share some of my first time mom confessions. I’d love to hear some of yours, too. Make sure you leave them in the comments!

Confessions of a First Time Mom - Click to find out the only pregnancy book I read and my strange first pregnancy symptom. What's your confession?

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.)

The only pregnancy book I read cover to cover was Baby Bumps by Nicole Polizzi (a.ka. Snooki from The Jersey Shore). I probably should be embarrassed to admit this but I’m not. It was a really good book. Especially, since I faced an unplanned pregnancy. Though Nicole’s circumstances were very different, I could relate to and felt comforted by her initial feelings toward finding out she was pregnant.

I once got out of the car at a stop sign, while very pregnant, because I was angry (over something really stupid, of course). I ended up in Starbucks sitting at a table crying to some strange man about my problems. Hormones anyone?!?!

One of my first pregnancy symptoms was gas. I looked it up and it’s totally normal. I then called a friend and asked her why I’ve never heard anyone talk about this. Seriously. Why? Am I the only one?

I got a lot of nose bleeds when I was pregnant. Another symptom I had no idea about!

I was so sleep deprived the first month of my son’s life, I hardly remember it. So glad I recorded a lot!

I was really freaked out to use that Nose Freida thingMy son was 4 months old the first time I used it. And, yes, it is as amazing as everyone says. If you don’t have one, you should get one… if you can get over the fact that you’re sucking up snot!

I have second guessed my son’s name. A lot. Don’t get me wrong, I love his name. In fact, I wrote it down a couple of years before he was born. But he actually goes by his middle name (the name I love) and I’ve often thought maybe I should have just gone with that as his first name. Also, he has a hyphenated last name. I’ve wondered about that decision many times. Ugh. 

I once referred to my son as “my nephew”The really bad part is, it wasn’t that long ago! But, in my defense, I was an aunt for 19 years before becoming a mom. It takes some getting used to!

Motherhood is way more fun than I ever expectedI knew that I would love being a mom but I also knew that it would be tiring and hard because that’s what I constantly hear moms say. All. the. time. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how fun it is!

These are just a few. I could probably write a book with all my confessions. Who knows?!?! Maybe I will!

Ok, you’re turn! What’s one of your confessions? 

Did you know I launched a new blog in October 2016? Check out For the Love of Mom where there’s less kids stuff and more stuff just for YOU! 

The Truth About Co-Sleeping

My son and I co-sleep. Actually, we bed share (more on that later). This is a fact that I didn’t use to talk about openly. Yes, there was a little hesitation to open myself up to all of the “opinions”  but, more so, because I know that there are legitimate concerns about it. But after months of trying to hide it like I hid the emergency formula (you can read about that in Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mom), I started noticing something – a lot of moms co-sleep, at least sometimes. Like me, though, many don’t willingly offer that information. Specifically in the U.S., sleeping with a small child is not culturally acceptable.

And yet… many of us do it. But, wait, aren’t we the culture? Something is amiss. 

I am not writing this post to declare that all parents should co-sleep. What I hope to do here is shed a little light for parents that are considering co-sleeping, are co-sleeping and maybe even those who shame others for doing it because there is a lot of misinformation and fear surrounding the topic.

The Truth About Co-Sleeping - Is it really bad to co-sleep Click here to find out the truth!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure for more information. 

Co-Sleeping doesn’t have to mean sleeping in the same bed. 

Co-sleeping is often used to reference parent and child sleeping in the same bed but co-sleeping doesn’t necessarily have to be thatCo-sleeping is sleeping in close proximity of the child (close enough to touch) but not on the same surface. For the first month of my son’s life, this is what we did. I had the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper and I slept as close as possible to my son without him being in my bed. Then we transitioned to bed sharing. Which, is exactly how it sounds – sharing a bed. 

Co-Sleeping can help baby breathe better. 

When baby and mom sleep close, their breathing patterns will sync up. This is especially helpful in the newborn stage, when the baby’s sleep pattern is irregular. In a sense, baby is still learning to breathe and being close to mom while sleeping helps with this process. 

Co-Sleeping babies spend less time in deep sleep.

Now, this may sound like a negative thing but when it comes to concerns such as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) this is actually a good thing. One of the concerns with SIDS is  the lack of sleep arousal but when sleeping next to mom, mom and baby have what Dr. Sears (my go to guy!) calls synchronous arousal. This means when one stirs, coughs, etc. the other does as well. Again, this is a huge benefit in preventing SIDS. In fact, sleeping in the same room decreases the chance of SIDS by up to 50%

Co-Sleeping may actually help baby to sleep better than sleeping in a room alone. 

My son had terrible separation anxiety starting at about 6 months. I used to joke, “it’s like he thinks I’m gone forever”. Well, guess what. He probably did. Babies don’t have the reasoning that says, “she’ll be right back” or “she’s just sleeping in her own room”. Babies also don’t have the out of sight out of mind ability that we do. When a baby under one wakes during the night and mom is not there he panics. When a baby wakes in the same room he is more likely to fall right back to sleep.

Again, I am not trying to convince anyone that they “should” co-sleep, I am just addressing the fact that co-sleeping is not bad. There are many benefits, in addition to the ones I’ve shared in this post. That being said, it is important that parents who decide to co-sleep do so safely.

5 Tips for Safe Co-Sleeping: 

Parents should never bring a child in the bed when they have been drinking or under the influence of drugs.

Parents that smoke should not co-sleep/bed share.

Moms that smoked during pregnancy should not bed share.

It is not recommended that formula fed babies bed share, ever.

Make sure sheets are tightly pulled, baby’s area is free of pillows & blankets and the bed does not have any gaps for baby to fall through.

Check out this article for more tips on safe co-sleeping/bed sharing. 

If you would like more information on co-sleeping I would recommend checking out the articles and books listed below. Bed sharing has been a wonderful experience for my son and I… and I am not ashamed to say it!

Co-Sleeping and Bed Sharing 

Co-Sleeping: Yes, No, Sometimes

Cosleeping Around the World 

Sleeping with your Baby (Book) 

The Baby Sleep Book

Did you know I launched a new blog in October 2016? Check out For the Love of Mom where there’s less kids stuff and more stuff just for YOU! 

Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mom

In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, I thought I would share some of my breastfeeding confessions. Also, I am sharing 12 really great breastfeeding posts written by a few of the mamas from my Mom Blog Tribe. Make sure you scroll down to check them out – these moms have some great experiences and advice!

Ok, let the confessions begin..

Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mom - Breastfeeding Blog Post Roundup & Super Basic Breastfeeding Checklist included - Click to get it!

I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding for the first few months. 

The first day my son was born, I was in complete awe over how he nuzzled his way down to nurse within minutes of being laid on my chest. But once we left the hospital that awe went straight out the window. It hurt. It was awkward. And it hurt. When my friends would tell me that I would start to love it, I had serious doubts.

I constantly questioned my milk supply. 

There was no reason to, I just did. My son gained weight fine, he peed and pooped as he should but, still, I was always thinking I didn’t have enough.

I was too lazy to pump. 

The only times I ever pumped was during the engorgement stage and the few times that my son slept through a feeding. (I know there’s different school’s of thought on this but mine is, unless there is a medical reason to wake the baby for a feeding, I don’t!) Other than that, I was just way too tired physically and mentally to keep up with pumping on a regular basis.

I gave my baby some formula.

Being away from my baby and unable to feed him was extremely rare but for such events (since I didn’t pump) I had formula.

I hid said formula because I was ashamed. 

Yep. I have only ever told a couple of people (until now, that is) that I had formula on hand as backup because I felt so guilty and feared being judged.

I worried that my milk wasn’t good enough for my baby. 

Ironically enough, I often worried that my milk wouldn’t be nutritious enough and frequently thought that maybe I should just give my son formula.

I co-sleep because, again, I’m lazy. 

To me, one of the biggest perks of breastfeeding is you don’t actually have to get up to feed the baby. Just make sure the boobs are out and sleep tight. (I love my sleep!)

I’ve never worn a nursing bra. 

A friend of mine told me to buy nursing sports bras. So, I went to the store to get one and… yikes…  they’re expensive. I bought two regular old sports bras for less than the price of one nursing sports bra. I wore those for awhile then, eventually I just started wearing my regular bras again. I fill them in a little more than before but, to be honest, I kind of like it.

I have nursed my son while in a moving vehicle. 

Don’t worry, he was safely buckled in his car seat. I’ve also nursed while sitting in a kids’ playhouse at one of those little kiddie land places, in the bath tub and on the toilet!

I’m pretty shocked that I have breastfed so long, or at all. 

I initially set a breastfeeding goal of 6 months because mentally that felt much more doable than a year or more. But, honestly, I had little faith in myself that I would make it past the first two weeks (I’m pretty sure my support people had even less faith in me!). I was quite shocked that I even made it to six months let alone 14 months (and counting).

Please note, I am speaking from the experience of someone that had minimal challenges. We had a very small latch problem that was fixed in the first three days and my son had oral thrush for two months but there were no major difficulties for us. So, for me, the biggest battle was really and truly my own will and mindset.

What breastfeeding confession do you have? 





As promised, here are some really great Breastfeeding articles from my Mom Blog Tribe. Check them out! 

The Early Days of Breastfeeding – Sophia Says Hello

Intimacy and the Breastfeeding Mother – Lactivist in Louboutins

Breastfeeding My Biggest Nursing Surprises – Short Sweet Mom

5 Things to Include in a Distraction Free Breastfeeding Zone – SoLace in a Small Town

Challenges with Breastfeeding a Toddler – Healthy Happy Thrifty Family

Lessons in Breastfeeding – Momma Junebug

These are a Few of My Favorite Breastfeeding Things – Naturally Made With Love

Breastfeeding While Traveling – Tapped Out Travellers

Confessions of an Exclusively Breastfeeding Mom – From Nurse to Mom

Working Mom Breastfeeding Essentials – Fab Working Mom Life

15+ Recipes that Boost Lactation for Breastfeeding Moms – Fab Working Mom Life

Remembering the Last Latch – Fab Working Mom Life




One more thing! Are you a soon-to-be breastfeeding mama or know someone who is? 

Get a FREE Download of my Super Basic Breastfeeding Checklist. 

 Super Basic Breastfeeding Checklist - Click for a FREE download

Interview with a Real Mom on Postpartum Depression

Real Mom Interview - Postpartum Depression - PPD - Diary of a New Mommy - Real Moms Talk

When I started Real Moms Talk, I knew right away that I wanted to discuss PPD and Baby Blues. What I didn’t know was what an overwhelming response I would get from women wanting to share their stories. Today, we have an interview with Misty Eilar from Adventures As a Wife and Mommy. Misty is talking about her experience with PPD. I am so grateful that Misty was willing to openly share with us! My hope in doing this interview (and others to come) is that women facing postpartum depression, baby blues and other maternal mental health concerns will know that: 1) they are not alone, 2) there is no shame and 3) they can reach out. I hope you will share Misty’s interview with anyone you think it could help. 

Before we get to the interview, I want to share some basic information about PPD:  

It is not uncommon for women to experience feelings of worry, fatigue and sadness after giving birth. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, about half of mothers are affected by these feelings in the first few days after having a baby (most commonly between days 2 and 5, postpartum). The term for this is Baby Blues and it will generally go away within a couple of weeks. Baby Blues and Postpartum depression (PPD) are not one in the same.  The feelings with PPD are more intense and last much longer. PPD is a clinical depression. Approximately 15% of mothers get PPD each year in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Symptoms of PPD are similar to that of depression but may also include: 

  • Crying more often than usual
  • Feelings of anger
  • Withdrawing from loved ones
  • Extreme worry about your baby or feeling distant from your baby
  • Worrying that you will hurt your baby
  • Feeling guilty about not being a good parent or doubting your ability to care for your baby

(Above information taken from the CDC website.) 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.

Real Moms Talk NoviceMommy.comInterview with Misty Eilar: 

  1. Were you diagnosed with postpartum depression? Yes, I was diagnosed at about 5 months postpartum. My husband made me go because he was worried.
  2. What were the symptoms you experienced?  I was sad, depressed, anxious, irritated all the time, and couldn’t handle anything. I noticed my sadness first. 
  3. How long after having your baby did you notice PPD symptoms? I noticed them at about 3 months, but I was dealing with C-Diff at the time and really didn’t think about it much.
  4. Was there a specific event that caused you to seek help? I was finally relatively healthy from C-Diff and was still feeling off for some reason. 
  5. Did you confide in anyone before going seeing a doctor? I confided in my Husband and my friend, Anne.
  6. Did you have any guilt or shame associated with your diagnosis? No not at all. It is somewhat common and I already had Anxiety issues before. 
  7. What did you do to recover? I am on Zoloft and I have people to talk to when I need it.
  8. What advice would you give to a woman that thinks she may have PPD? Please be honest and ask for help. There is nothing to be ashamed of. 
  9. What advice would you give to a woman who has been diagnosed with PPD? Work at getting better. There is no quick fix. If you do take medication, please talk with your doctor before you decide to go off of it. 

Meet Misty: 

Misty Eilar - Adventures as A Wife and Mommy - Real Moms Talk Interview - PPD - Postpartum Depression I am a mommy of a wonderful 15 month old girl named Annabel. My husband Brandon and I are going on our 5th wedding anniversary. I am a stay at home mom and blogger. My main focus of my blog is mommy, DIY and Saving Money. I also do product and book reviews. I don’t do it for the money (I don’t make any). I do it just to spread my love, life and knowledge with everyone.

 

Would you like to share your story? Real Moms Talk accepts interviews and original posts on a variety of subjects that matter to moms. Email inez@novicemommy.com. 

7 Breastfeeding Essentials

When my son was a newborn I had a couple of different friends ask me how nursing was going and both had told me that it was “beautiful”. I remember thinking, there is nothing beautiful about this. I will say that the way he knew exactly what to do minutes after being laid on my chest as a newborn was beautiful. It was amazing. But, days and weeks later? It was awkward. It hurt. And it hurt. Did I mention it hurt? Don’t believe those lactation experts. It hurts! Thankfully, I did get past the “this is not beautiful” stage and really began to love it. Breastfeeding is beautiful and it is something special that you and your baby have just between the two of you. But, yes there is a bit of a learning curve. And, now that I’ve done it, I totally get why so many women give up in those first few weeks. There are a lot of great products to help nursing moms. I have compiled a list of 7 Breastfeeding Essentials that really helped me out as a new nursing mom. 

(This post contains affiliate links; I may receive  commission for purchases made through these links.)

7 Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy

  1. Lansinoh SoothiesOh. My. Word. These things are AMAZING! My sister is a lactation consultant (I know, how lucky was I?) and she swears by these. In the beginning when I was experiencing a lot of discomfort, she ran out and bought me some. Like I said, amazing. They instantly sooth nipple soreness. Seriously, get themLansinoh Soothies Gel Pads. 7 Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy
  2. Lansinoh Lanolin – Also for the soreness (cracking, blistering… oh my!). In those first few days/weeks, you will be sore. Unless, of course, you have nipples of steel. I only had a small tube that the hospital gave me. I didn’t even use the whole tube but it was still very helpful to have on hand, especially for the first couple of weeks. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin. Breastfeeding Essentials. Nipple Cream. Nursing Supplies
  3. Sports Bra – A friend of mine suggested that I buy nursing sports bras as they are more comfortable. I have one that someone gave me but I actually ended up buying regular sports bras. I eventually started wearing regular bras but at first I only wore sports bras. And when I say “regular” I mean regular.  I’ve never purchased a nursing bra. (And only own the one that was given to me.) Sports Bra. Breastfeeding Essentials.
  4. Nursing Pads – For the leaking. Need I say more? I used Lansinoh Disposable Pads. They worked really well for me. Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads.
  5. Ice Pack – In the event of engorgement, you will want an ice pack. I used a regular old ice pack but there are ice packs and cold compresses specifically for breastfeeding. Whichever you choose, make sure there is an ice pack in your house! Breastfeeding Relief. Breasfeeding Essentials.
  6. Water Bottle – Get the biggest water bottle there is. Nursing makes you thirsty. Really thirsty. I got a 32 oz.  hydro flask as a gift when I was pregnant and it was perfect! Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy
  7. Nursing Cover – This is probably not something you will use right away, unless you plan on having lots of guests that you feel comfortable nursing in front of but not so comfortable that you don’t care if they see your breasts. But, when the time comes, you will may want a nursing cover. I don’t use a cover a whole lot, only because we’re pretty much always home. But I do have a cover. One of my biggest tips on choosing a cover, is get something lightweight. After all, it is going over your baby’s head! You want to make sure it’s not too heavy, so it doesn’t get too hot in there. There are a lot of different covers to choose from. You could go with the sheet/apron looking kind. I was given two of these. Free works for me. Or you could go with some of the more fashionable covers.  I was recently introduced to Hannah Grey Nursing Couture through Instagram. They have some really cute covers that can be used as ponchos, scarves and even car seat covers or blankies for baby. I really love their collection! Oh, and did I mention they’re offering us a discount? Use my code “diary15” for 15% off! This offer ends May 20. 

    Use my code "diary15" until May 20 for a 15% off discount.
    Use my code “diary15” until May 20 for a 15% off discount.

So, that’s my list. These are the things that helped me in my nursing experience. (Yes, I realize I didn’t include pumps. We’ll talk about that later.) What are your nursing essentials? 

 

8 Ways to Play with Your Baby (0-3 Months)

It is never too early to play with your baby (in fact you can even play in utero)! Play is crucial for your little bundle’s physical, emotional and mental development. Babies are born to learn from our sensitive, loving care – this means, you are the best teacher! Also, playing with your baby is a great way for you and baby to bond.

8 Ways to Play With Your Baby - Diary of a New Mommy

Here are 8 ways to play with your baby:

  • Face to Face – Babies love face time (I mean, the original face time). And they respond more favorably to happy faces. So, engage your baby by looking in his/her eyes, smiling or even making some funny faces. Remember that newborns only see inches away, so you’ll have to get nice and close if you have a new little love.
  • Peeka-Boo – This game will be your friend for a long time, so you might as well get to practicing now. Hide behind a wash cloth, receiving blanket or your hands and call your baby’s name. Then… “peek-a-boo”! As your baby grows you will notice that he will become more responsive with smiles and eventually laughs.
  • Reach Out and Touch Something – Many baby items come with mobiles or hanging toys of some sort and for good reason! Reaching out will help baby develop hand eye coordination (also many of these items help baby learn things like colors, shapes, etc.). Use one of these toys to play a game of reaching out. Talk to your baby as you touch the items. What color are they? What shape is it?
  • Music Time – Babies love music! It’s soothing to them and it may even enhance their mental development. You can play all types of music for your little one. Sing and you can dance, too – baby will love the closeness!
  • Reading – It’s never too soon to start reading with your baby (in fact, many moms do so during pregnancy). Reading is great for language development.
  • Balloon Kick (1 month or older) – I found this on Pinterest when my son was a newborn and decided to give it a try after somehow acquiring a helium balloon (I think he was around 2 or 3 months). Tie balloons to your baby’s ankles, allowing her to kick and watch the balloons move. This is not recommended for baby’s that can roll.
  • Sensory Play – Your little one learns through all of the senses. Use sensory play to help your baby learn. The type of play will evolve as baby gets older but even from birth you can engage your baby in touching and feeling the world around him.
  • Rattle Socks – Put socks on your baby with rattles and let her kick away!

Now, I didn’t want to insult you by putting tummy time but, of course, this is a great (and doctor recommended) way to play with your little one from birth.

How have you played with your baby?

8 Ways to Play With Your Baby (Newborn to 3 Months) - Click for ideas on how to play with your little one.

10 Interesting and Fun Facts About Newborns

Interesting-and-fun-facts-about-newborns

Becoming a mom in my mid-thirties means that I have watched almost all of my friends become moms and many family members, as well. I was also a children’s pastor for 13 years, which means… more mommies and babies!

Though there are downsides to being an “older” mom, my late entrance to the baby making world means that I have had a lot of mommies to go to for advice. It also means that I was pretty comfortable with babies and knew quite a bit about them… or so I thought.

Do you know as much about newborns as you think you do? Click to find out!

Here’s a few interesting and fun facts that I didn’t know about newborns:

  1. 1. They sneeze a lot. At 6 months my little one still sneezes daily but not nearly as much as he did as a newborn. Newborns sneeze often because they’re clearing out their nasal passages. They could also be reopening a closed nostril. Particularly when a baby nurses, a nostril can close up. The baby will sneeze afterward to reopen.
  2. They pee approximately every 20 minutes. This is why diapers are a wonderful baby shower gift!
  3. A newborn recognizes mom’s voice at birth. Also, this is the sound newborns respond to best.
  4. Breastfed babies’ poop looks like mustard with seeds in it.
  5. Most babies will lose all of their hair that they are born with. I always knew babies lost their hair but I didn’t realize that many babies lose all of it. I found this out when someone asked me if it was normal that my son had lost so much hair. I confidently replied, “yes” and then hung up the phone and googled it!
  6. Newborns don’t shed tears. I think the first time my son shed tears, I did too. This can happen anywhere from one to three months. (I’ve read some say as early as two weeks.)
  7. Newborns see best from their peripheral vision. They also can only see about 8-12 inches away.
  8. They flail a lot. Newborns have been living in a pretty tight space. Now they have plenty of room but little control over their little bodies.
  9. Newborns have more bones than adults do. Babies are born with around 300 bones while adults have 206. So where do all those bones go? They are fused together during development.
  10. Their strongest sense is smell. I’ve heard it said that babies could pick their mommies out in lineup based on her scent. This is particularly true with breastfed babies, who can smell their mother’s milk from 3 feet away!

Read an updated version of this article on The Huffington Post.