Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

1 month with Lucy! Plus 6 things I'm doing differently for baby #2

Lucy is a month old now! Time flew. Caring for a newborn is never easy, but in some ways this experience has been pretty different than my first month with Otto.

1 month with baby Lucy

Jason has been home with us the past whole month (starts back at the clinic today). It has been so huge to have his help. It's hard to care for a just-potty trained toddler and a fussy newborn who eats around the clock at the same time. I'm so grateful he's been able to be here helping with Otto. Mostly he's been hanging out with Otto while I feed, help to sleep, etc. Lucy. We've both been doing dishes and things around the house, but following week 1 when I was still recovering physically, I've been able to manage pretty well, too. 

It's funny, for newborn care I guess I just feel more confident, and I've been used to watching a toddler so comparatively it's actually a lot easier in some ways because she sleeps almost all the time. I've found myself thinking, Ha!, why did I think this was so hard before? Taking care of just a newborn is a piece of cake! Most of the time. Haha! 

I'm also just in a better place overall this time around... feeling more supported with Jason here, and my labor with Lucy was so much better, and just knowing what to expect... I am feeling much more confident in general.

But watching two little ones at once is not easy and I realize I'll need to learn some new parenting skills when Jason isn't around anymore!

Otto wanted to read to Lucy!
Day date (alone time plus baby) for my birthday

Lucy is still so new she really doesn't do much yet. She eats really well and is already basically out of newborn sizes, and gained her birth weight back (and then some) quickly. She's a very weird sleeper--excellent napper (we have to wake her up to eat again most of the time), terrible night sleeper so far (like, a lot of 1.5-hour chunks for a while there! So rough), and she wakes herself up after 10-20 minutes a lot (or maybe she was never fully asleep but then gets tired of laying there half-asleep). The late nights and sleep deprivation have been easier on me this time around (still really hard), maybe cause I knew what to expect, maybe cause I've been better about going back to bed when she takes her first nap. But I'm also motivated to do a better job with baby sleep this time around (see some of my list below!).

The past couple nights Jason has done a dream feed with pumped milk at 11:00pm so I've been able to sleep 9:30pm or so till 2:00, which has felt so good. Think we'll keep with some version of that.

6 things I'm doing differently with baby #2

  1. Breastfeeding: Just doing it much better. See this recent post with my 6 essential tips and tools. I'm feeding her more often (possible since my nipples never got sore because I used these MAGICAL soothing cups), using the Haakaa milk catcher/manual pump (replaces pumping in the morning for me!), eating a lot.
  2. Sleep: I've read everything worth reading about baby sleep. Last time and this time. I've had plenty of time, being awake 3-6 times a night, sometimes for up to 2+ hours. Ugh. I never believed the advice of putting baby down "drowsy but awake" would work with Otto so I didn't do it till he was way older, like 4 months, and then we had to do some actual sleep training then and later to night wean. I haven't had a ton of success with Lucy yet, but I swear this time I'm going to be better about teaching her to fall asleep on her own. I recently found a new source of advice (I thought there was nothing new): Cherish the First Six Weeks, written by a professional nanny, which recommends a schedule that includes waking baby in them middle of the night in the beginning but promises to teach them to sleep through the night way, way earlier than I expect. It's not universally praised but I read every review I could find and I agree there are a few things I can toss out, but I'm 100% down to try a schedule and her sleep recommendations. I'll report back next update on if it's working! I'm only partway through the book now.
  3. Postpartum recovery: Go to pelvic floor (and low back) physical therapy right away! I had back pain for a long time postpartum with Otto and it's been way less this time, but I've noticed it a few times. Before it gets bad I'm planning to revisit my PT exercises from last time, and if that's still not helping, go back to get checked out again and get some new exercises. A lot of PT clinics here are doing remote visits, even.
  4. Attitude: Chill out more. Already I'm way better at this than I was with Otto. I was so stressed! Like I said earlier, watching just one baby, even a fussy newborn, is easier than watching a toddler which I'm already accustomed to, so now I just need to combine them. I've also noticed my threshold for crying is higher--I still hate when she cries, but there will be times when I can't get to her right away, and it's not as stressful as it was when Otto was brand new.
  5. Me time: Get out more!! Pretty hard during a pandemic but the other day while Lucy was sleeping I drove to the library to pick up my holds (no-contact, booths outside) and just having 25 minutes to myself to listen to a podcast and look at the outside world felt so good. I could even probably go to the grocery store on my own while Lucy's napping and Jason's home, especially once we're more confident about her schedule.
  6. Accept help and don't feel guilty about it: Having Jason around has made a huge difference. When he goes back, I'll have my parents watching Otto for a couple hours two days a week, and I think I'll relax my no-screen time practices so there will be a lot more Daniel Tiger going when I'm with both kids alone for a long time. I'm also more comfortable saying sure, let's get takeout tonight! and not feeling guilty.

Lots of babywearing around here (the soft wrap is an instant nap maker) and she stays asleep when I put her down mid-nap, but I hope we can get away from these all the time when she learns to fall asleep better soon!

All in all, things are going really well around here. Looking forward to the next few weeks and months as Lucy becomes more of her own person!

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