I am writing this down, should God bless us with more children later on. I want you to read this, and remember. Reality is that you can get advice from other moms, but really only we know what works for us, future Megan.
Ezra is now four months old, and we have survived the fourth trimester. Don’t laugh. It’s real. Ezra spent three months fostering a love/hate relationship with the womb-like swaddle and trying to figure out where the umbilical cord went. He searched for it in the middle of the night. He searched for it while he was supposed to be taking a nap. He searched for it during a pediatrician’s appointment, while screaming in my ear. Oh, and during my postpartum appointment, Ezra, thanks for that. He searched for it in the middle of a road trip, while strapped down in his
torture device car seat.
It’s me. Megan from the past. I’m here to give you some reminders. Because every time you ask other moms what they did when their babies were this age, they don’t remember. All they remember are ridiculous things, like, “Oh, I think she napped maybe once… all I remember was that she pooped so much it filled her socks once. It really was a big blur.” I am confident that all I am going to recall about surviving the fourth trimester with Ezra is that giving him raspberries on his cute lil belly scared the %$#@ out of him.
So, here we go. A pep talk for future Megan.
First of all, do not listen to the people who try to advise you to keep Baby up during the day so that he’ll sleep at night. That is the most absurd advice, and it comes from either the poop-sock mom or from people who do not have children. Their motivation is purely selfish–they want to hold the cute baby instead of letting him sleep in his comfy crib. Sleep begets sleep, future Megan. Stick to your guns.
Also, regarding sleep, once the fourth trimester is over, there is something magical about naps at 9 AM and 1 PM. The sleep books say it’s so, that it’s some kind of magical sleep time for most babies. Been-there-done-that moms who actually remember their children’s babyhood (not the poop-sock mom) say it’s so. And it’s rung true for Ezra. Random naps fall where they may, but there’s something about 9 and 1, give or take, that is fairly reliable.
Gosh, I hope all our babies sleep through the night at 7 weeks. I know it’s unlikely, but can you let me know, future Megan? Thanks.
Oh, and regarding sleeping through the night, remember that Ezra forgot how to sleep through the night for a couple of weeks just after the fourth trimester ended. The sleep experts calls it “sleep regression,” and it ends. Trust me. Ezra is four months old, and I (Megan from October 2011) am well-rested.
I also wanted to let you know that our personality really likes keeping baby in the crib near our side of the bed for a long time. Yeah, they’re noisy at night, but we sleep better with their noises than without them. We really have no desire to transfer Ezra to a nursery anytime soon. It’s just how we roll. So spend the third trimester just resting, not painting the nursery. You’ll be much more prepared for the fourth trimester if you rest up.
Also, do not go out into public before you’re ready. Don’t go to church. Don’t invite guests over. Don’t make yourself exercise. Don’t feel like you need to introduce everyone to the baby. They’ll meet him soon enough, and he’ll be just as cute at 2 months as he was at 2 weeks.
On the same note, as soon as you’re ready, get out of the house. Carry Baby around in the Moby or the mei tai from the start. It will keep people with dirty fingers from poking at Baby. And if they hate the carrier, teach them to love it. Ezra hated the carrier at first, remember? But the carrier is your sanity. Nurse in the carrier. Remember how we did it? It’s like riding a bike. This is the trick. Ezra began to realize that good things could happen in the mei tai. It wasn’t a straight jacket after all. And we like the snuggle time with two hands free to do things like vacuum or wander around Walmart in search of Oxyclean.
Oxyclean kills baby stains. Don’t forget.
Regarding cloth diapers, just start doing them right after the meconium passes, OK? It’s not like you’re out, knee deep in the creek out back, slapping diapers against rocks. All you have to do is throw the diapers into the washing machine, add soap, and push a button. It’s not that hard. So save some money, avoid blowouts, and just get started. Also, babies outgrow size one Thirsties wraps at 14 lbs. Not 18 like the tag says. So, once baby hits 13 pounds, just start gearing up for the emotional task of putting away those tiny outgrown covers.
Fluffy cloth diaper baby butt will make you want to implode from the cuteness. Just so you know, future Megan. Prepare yourself now.
Can you let me know how diapers are once solids start, future Megan? I’m kind of concerned. I’m hearing things about scraping with a butter knife from the cloth diaper community, but I’m going to try to install a diaper sprayer so we won’t have to go through that. They say it works, but I’m dreading. Does that end up working for us?
Also, I’m wondering what we end up deciding to do about solids? At four months, I’m just kind of avoiding the issue until my mommy-gut tells me it’s time.
Oh. The mommy gut. Does that ever go away? Not the instinct gut. The gut on our midsection. Let me know.
Well, I think I’ve covered the third trimester: eat, poop, sleep, rinse and repeat. This is what worked for Ezra and I, and probably some of it will work for you, future Megan, and future Baby, whoever you are. I hope this trip down memory lane has proven helpful.