As new parents, we are learning constantly. We never intended to have a child, so our knowledge base was at absolute zero. While it has only been a few months, we have already picked up a few things that we are seeing as being key to successfully keeping Beckham healthy and happy, and that makes us happy too!
Here are a few tips and tricks that we have picked up so far:
Clip baby’s nails while he’s asleep
I don’t know about your kiddo, but mine has the craziest little hand movements! There is absolutely no way I could safely clip his little nails while he’s awake. But if he’s asleep, he’s so relaxed that I can safely trim his tiny nails.
Clean dirt from under nails with a damp toothbrush
This is some of the best advice for cleaning my baby that I found. I took a damp toothbrush and used the bristles to gently push the dirt out from under his tiny nails. It works like charm! You just have to get the right angle with the bristles and you’re set. Don’t be worried that your baby has that dirt under their nails in the first place. They are gripping and touching your skin and their own. It all has dirt and oils that then find their way under baby’s nails. It is completely natural, but just needs a quick clean every so often.
Prep bottles for overnight feedings before you go to bed (including the water amounts to go with them)
This was a game-changer for us when we started doing it! We line up bottles on our kitchen counter with the formula amounts portioned out in them and another little bottle with the associated water we need for each bottle. This allows us to more quickly make a bottle in the middle of the night saving Beckham crying time and us the awake time/stress.
Put your Boppy pillow around your waist when you need to hold or feed baby
I thought this was something that most everyone knew as a parent, but a friend saw me doing it and said they’d never heard of this before! Boppy’s are great for cushioning baby safely while he learns to sit on his own. But if you turn it around and wear it like a swimming pool donut, you have a resting place for your baby while they relax or feed. This takes the weight of the baby off of you while giving them a comfy pillow to lay on against you.
Parenting book – Helps for getting baby to sleep through the night!
The biggest complaint from new parents is the lack of sleep they get. This is the only baby book I would recommend and it dives into how to handle just that. It is Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman. I read this cover to cover in about a day and then had my husband read a few select chapters (the ones about sleep and eating in particular). We had Beckham sleeping about six hours straight each night starting around one month of age. By two months, he was sleeping through the night! And I mean THOUGH THE NIGHT. Dude goes to sleep before 10pm and is asleep until between 6-7am if not a little later. He still takes a morning and an afternoon nap, as well.
Commit to a schedule before baby is here
Drew and I read that book and had a number of discussions around what we wanted or didn’t want to do when Beckham arrived. We had agreements for what we were going to do, and what’s more, we had our own routines established for our days/weeks that we integrated Beckham onto from the beginning. While we don’t have set times for his feedings or naps during the day (we let him tell us when he needs those), we do have him working around our day and not the other way around. Establishing and sticking to schedules that work for you is something we’ve found to be key to keeping ourselves, the pugs, our household, and (most importantly) Beckham happy and put together.
Make your life that much easier and use an app to track feedings (breast feeding, bottles, or both!), sleep, baths, and diapers! We had initially planned to use a notebook and write everything down, but Drew found an app that we love while we were in the hospital and put it on both of our phones. It is also super easy to share it with friends or family that babysit! My sister was the first one trusted to come over for an evening while we attended a friend’s wedding. Within about a minute, I was able to share the app with her so that she could track everything throughout the night. Bonus: I could see what Beckham was eating or doing with her while I was out if I really wanted to.
Here’s a peek at his tracker (linked on both pics!):
While we do have a full-on diaper bag (it’s a backpack, but still), I found that it’s too much for me to want to carry my purse and a diaper bag around. So instead, I found a large makeup bag to do the trick! I stock it with diapers, wipes, a bottle, a backup onesie, and a burp cloth. All the essential I’d need in the time I’d have Beckham out of the house with me. It fits into my larger bags or can hang out in his stroller storage compartment so that I always have what I need for him.
I hope this helps you with your little one! Feel free to reach out with questions at any time either via email or on any social media and I’d be happy to chat. Even if you just need to vent as a new parent! We all have those moments regardless of how much organizing or trying we’ve done!