I remember being so deliriously happy. So overwhelmed and exhausted. And so amazed at the little addition to our lives.
Life as a new mom is an emotional roller coaster. It takes some time to get into a groove, to figure out your changed family’s rhythm.
Of course, as the baby grows, that routine and rhythm will evolve as well, but the framework remains.
How to Create your Formula for a Happy Family
Patience and Grace
It certainly takes a bit of trial and error to find out what works well, especially with a brand new baby. Everything changes. Everything! We must remember to be patient, not just with our child but with ourselves. I remember getting upset at myself for not being able to keep up with everything – the house, the baby, pets, etc.
But I had to remind myself that I just went through an earth-shattering change and we all needed time to adjust to our new reality. Motherhood is certainly a balancing act and giving ourselves grace goes a long way to helping us achieve some peace.
Household chores can wait. Priorities will change, some things will fall through the cracks, and that is okay.
A Happy Baby makes for a Happy Family
One thing we learned very quickly is who was calling all the shots. Hint: it wasn’t us, the adults.
When the baby is happy, we have some peace. But when the baby is unhappy? Well, then we are all in trouble. Personally, I can’t concentrate on anything when a baby is crying or screaming at me, so learning to do things one-handed is an important skill.
I also learned very quickly that babywearing helped with so many of our issues. The baby wanted to be close, and I needed to get things done, and sometimes the swing or the bouncer were just not good enough.
As our child grew and his world expanded, we could introduce new ways to keep him happy and engaged, giving us a little more time to ourselves. When he learned to crawl, the playpen was a huge hit. He was able to play with his toys safely and still have plenty of room to move around.
The general happiness of our child really could dictate how our day went. If he was in a good mood, we could even leave the house and run some errands. If he was cranky and fussy, well that was an entirely different story.
Rhythms and Routines
A routine is good for everyone, not just for the predictability of the day but also for the comfort and simplicity of it. It helps keep things moving and flowing and also keeps us from getting too flustered not knowing what to do next. Because that’s exactly what I was my first month or so with a new baby: flustered. I was often grabbing at things and pantsing it (you know, flying by the seat of my pants). Then I realized I had to slow down and pay attention to our patterns and the natural rhythms of our day, and having a more mindful routine made the days better and somewhat less stressful.
Learning how long it took my baby to feed and how long until he got tired and needed to nap helped plan the play time and our interaction. I also learned very quickly that when my baby was hungry, the world needed to stop and pay attention to him. Whether you’re breastfeeding, formula feeding, or doing a combination feeding like I did, we can all agree that a hungry baby is a force to be reckoned with.
Because of the issues I had keeping up with my breastmilk supply, I was happy to have infant formula to help keep my always-starving baby content. His appetite seemed off the charts, especially right before bedtime. There are a variety of formula options available. Did you know that Gerber® Good Start® Infant Formula is modeled after the proteins found in breast milk and made to be gentle on a developing digestive system? Also, it is Non-GMO.
Our evening routine typically looked something like this: nursing session, followed by formula. A bath, lotion massage, a fresh diaper, and soft pajamas. Then lots of cuddles and reading a book (which he may or may not even pay attention to). The routine then ended in a top-off feeding just before putting him to bed. That hungry tummy of his rested much better when full, and allowed this tired mom to get a few good hours of consecutive sleep.
You can pick up Stage 1 Gerber® Good Start® at the baby isle of your local Kroger or Target. I like the Gentle for Supplementing option that I grabbed at my Kroger. This formula is loaded with infant nutrition while being gentle on baby’s tummy and allowing me to continue breastfeeding while feeding formula as needed.
Are you a mom of a newborn or infant? Grab a coupon for $6 off Stage 1 Gerber® Good Start® Infant Formula so you can try it out for your baby!
What’s your formula for happiness with a baby? Would love to hear all about it!