I admit, when people used to tell me “time flies with a baby” and “they grow so fast” I used to roll my eyes. Now, I could not agree more, I cannot believe we have a one month old (and by the time I had a second to sit down and write this post, he’s already 5 weeks old) so today I’m sharing a one month baby update for life with baby Ben. I’m about to get really personal, so if you’re just interested in recipes no worries, I’ve got you covered: I have over 750 recipes for you to browse in my recipe index!So many of you gave awesome feedback after last baby updates and asked when more updates were coming! It is so touching, and means so much to me to hear that you guys like reading about what life is really like behind the scenes of SweetPhi- it’s definitely not all stylized beautiful food (these days I’ve become an expert at feeding/holding Ben with one arm and holding the bottle with my chin and then grabbing something to eat quickly with my other hand lol!)
Our newborn photos above were taken by Jill Velicer, thanks Jill! Please excuse the rest of the photos in this post that were taken on the fly with crazy busy life happening lol.
My two sisters in law made me this gorgeous blanket that you see above for the monthly baby photos-they totally need to start an etsy store, don’t they?
Let me also please preface everything I’m about to say with: every single baby is different, every single parent is different, every single thing you’re doing as a parent is awesome, you’re a super person and whatever works for you- that’s amazing!!! More than ever, I am like the least judgmental person when it comes to parents, you just do what works for you and I support you!
Having a baby is something we really wanted and that didn’t just happen over night. It took a few years (read more about that here). We took all the baby classes and thought we were prepared. Those baby classes, they really were useless. The classes should be taught by newborn parents, not by someone who has adult children and is far removed from it. They need to be taught by a sleep deprived person who can tell you what it’s really like!
Because really, life with a newborn, the first month, it’s like a blur and not at all glamorous or like you’ve heard it being romanticized about! When you hear how it’s this peaceful and loving and bonding time…I want to know…who are those people having that experience?! I went to lunch with Nick and one of his coworkers (to show off baby Ben of course), and we were talking about this exact thing- how you hear about how how it’s this special time and in reality, it’s just really hard! It’s really hard and exhausting and you’re tired, and drained, and TIRED!!! At that lunch, I laughed so hard commiserating about what it’s really like with a newborn that later that afternoon I realized I had red marks on my cheeks where my glasses hit my cheeks from laughing so much. Like in the above photo, he had been crying and screaming all day and I had to ‘wear’ him around the house because my arm hurt so bad from holding him up all day (this Solly baby wrap is super nice and soft and the one I’m using in the picture).
Time morphs and sometimes you’re left wondering “what did we do”?!? I’m saying that only jokingly because I’m so in love with Ben and being his mom. But it’s 3am, you haven’t slept and you’re left wondering- didn’t I just feed him/change him/swaddle him…what in the world is he fussing and crying about?! There have been a few bouts of unexpected tears. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but man-o-man, my husband is an amazing man and I don’t know how I could do any of this without him. He is such a supportive partner and an amazing dad. Seeing the two of them together is the sweetest thing ever, and just really gets me through the hard times.
Also, speaking of support, I have been really surprised by the lack of support where I thought there would be support, and then on the other hand the outpouring of love and support from the most unexpected people. Everyone has busy lives, but I cannot tell you how nice the “how are you doing? How’s Ben?” texts have been. My family (I have three sisters, and mom/dad) live all over and we have this daily group text going and it has been SO nice and a life saver, they always seem to know what and to say, when. Sometimes just venting and telling them what is going on just helps, and their advice – especially from my mom who has been through it 4 times with us is really nice to hear! Of course I knew my bestie Lynn would be there for me, but I did not know the extent to which she has been there-this girl lets me just talk and talk and is nothing but amazing, and she’s coming to visit in 2 weeks and I cannot wait for her to meet Ben! And let’s not forget about my in-laws, they live a mile away (literally we could walk to their house, and I plan to soon with Ben in the stroller), and you hear me talk about them all the time, but a special shout out to them (just one example: when I was about to give birth, my father-in-law came over when Nick was out running errands and built the crib for us, that was so special and I’ll never forget about that, and I love when they stop in. Also my poor sister-in-law got thrown up on- like omg biggest vomit moment ever when we were trying to figure out formulas- more on that below.)
Babies are SO expensive. They really need to do a better job of explaining this somewhere lol, because I feel like I really didn’t know. This may have something to do with the fact that we moved literally one month before Ben was born and in our old house we had no room so I had no purchased no baby stuff/nursery stuff, basically I had purchased nothing. We waited until we moved and even then didn’t buy a lot (I went to the store one time before I gave birth with my sister-in-law who had a kid, and luckily I got some essentials), so when we brought him home from the hospital, it was like starting from square one, and omg do things add up!
Like I said in a past post, “fed is best” when it comes to babies. We took a breastfeeding class, but what they failed to mention is that breastfeeding might not be an option for everyone. Like myself, unfortunately, I just didn’t produce any milk, so what then? I tried and tried and nothing, pumping is really hard, and breastfeeding is hard enough as it is, then you’re talking to lactation consultants and still nothing…so what happens when you need to give your baby formula? How does one even prepare it? How long is it good for? What are the differences in brands/bottles/etc? That should really be explained somewhere too, right? Our pediatrician (the amazing Dr. Mark Kamsler – if you’re in the Milwaukee area and looking, I cannot recommend him highly enough) has been so helpful and I do not know what we would have done without him. We have been dealing with/trying to figure out different formulas. One made him constipated, one made him vomit like crazy (like projectile-exorcist style, and my sister in law was the poor victim of one of the vomit sessions-Ben threw up ALL over her – her hair, down her shirt, just everywhere), one gave him terrible gas…we’re on to one I think will work. It’s tough to see your baby uncomfortable!
We also went through FOUR different kinds of bottles (some the flow is too fast, others too slow), and the ones working best for us right now are the Tommee Tippee brand where the nipple of the bottle is shaped like a breast lol, it’s the little things, right? Side note – never did I ever think I’d be trying out different bottles and figuring out what kind of ‘flow’ and ‘nipples’ my baby would like best lol.
I will say that even though it’s only 5 weeks in, it is already seemingly better than it was right when we got home from the hospital and I cannot wait for it to keep getting better and better as I am truly loving life with this new little human.
One of the things we splurged on was a car seat and stroller combo that I had researched and just loved. Let me tell you – best money ever spent! The car seat (Nuna PIPA) is lighter than other brands on the market, and with a growing baby…that can get heavy, so any weight savings are appreciated! I also got the Nuna Tavo stroller, and omg it’s amazing. It’s so smooth and easy to use. Nick and I joke that it’s nicer than our cars!
Nick jokes that he can tell what kind of day I’m having based on how I’m wearing my hair. Little baby hands have got some strength when they pull, let me tell you! So I have three ways I wear my hair: down, side braid, or up in a ‘mom bun’. Nick says down means I’m having a great day, side braid means good-to-ok day, up means it’s been A DAY lol. In terms of hair ties, I love these hair ties that look like a bracelet, or these soft ones that don’t get hair caught in them.
I’ve started reading to him in the afternoons. I posted a picture on my Instagram story and got so many amazing responses with people telling me their favorite books. Some people even sent me their favorite books in the mail, how sweet is that? I love reading and I love children’s books. Right now we love The Pout Pout Fish (such a cute story), and I’m totally making a list of all the best baby books that I will be sharing (there are so many books- some are surprisingly good and some are just flat out bad!)
A few months ago I tried 6 home meal delivery services and compared them (my favorite was/is Hello Fresh because they had the least amount of prep/dishes and I liked their variety the best) and after that post I took a break from those services. Now I happened to have some credits and started using Hello Fresh again, and it’s been SO helpful because going to the grocery store just isn’t really all that convenient right now, so having something to make for dinner has been a real life saver. People say “bring new parents meals” and that too is no joke – do it! We’ve gotten one lasagna that was delicious, and that was really a life saver, I wish people would just pop on by with food lol. I didn’t make all that many freezer meals (because I really don’t like freezer meals and didn’t have the time) but let me tell you – I wish I would have made a few more! Food for new parents is a definite nice gift to receive.
I’ve also really really been cooking from my cookbook a lot. Like my brain is just blank, and I have the book on the counter and it will give me ideas, it’s like I wrote the book for me now lol. ALSO – how cool is this? It was featured on a Buzzfeed list of 23 Easy AF Cookbooks Anyone Who’s Bad At Cooking Should Own! It’s really neat that it was featured, because the cookbook just celebrated its 1 year anniversary.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
As always, I absolutely love hearing any advice, or things your baby or friends’ babies liked, I’ve gotten some of the best things Ben likes from your suggestions…they say it takes a village, and that is so true 🙂