Yesterday was Joanna’s one-month birthday! There’s something about being a whole month old that makes her seem so much more grown up … we’re not counting the weeks anymore! Every month for the next year or more, we’ll be documenting Joey’s birthdays with photos and an update on what’s going on with her. We decided to switch things up a little. Instead of taking her photo on her rocking chair like we did with her weekly photos, we’re going to use a flat background, similar to what we did on the birth announcement that we designed (which we’ll show you next week!). So here is our little Joey Lulu at one month old — and stay tuned to find out what things we just can’t live without these days!
I love that she almost has a little smile in this pic! Joanna isn’t quite smiling for real yet, but she’s definitely starting to increase her eye contact and reacting to hearing our voices, which is really sweet. We’ve also noticed in the last couple of weeks that her hair has gotten darker, practically overnight, and her eyelashes are getting really long. Her cheeks are also pudging out and I can’t wait until she’s super squishy! I wish we knew how much she weighed now, but our scale seems to have gone missing in the move. (Something always gets lost in a move, right?! And then it’ll inevitably show up in like a year in the most random place.) She’s definitely getting bigger because she’s already starting to outgrow her newborn clothes.
We’ve come to rely on some products to get through each day. The smartest thing I did before we registered was to email a bunch of my friends who have new-ish babies and ask them what products they loved and/or didn’t like at all. There’s a million products for babies out there, and it’s so hard and overwhelming to figure out what you really need when you’re like us and don’t know a single thing about babies. It was super helpful to get input from my friends, and I pretty much registered for everything they suggested — even when different people recommended opposite things (one baby hates a swing, one baby loves it). Because every baby is different, you really have to just sort of try different things and see what works for you. Over the last month, we’ve definitely come to fall in love with some things, to the point where we pretty much couldn’t get through a day without them.
- t-shirts — we were given one of these t-shirts in the hospital and loved it so much we immediately ordered more. They’re perfect for when baby’s belly button is still healing and you don’t want it to get rubbed by a tighter onesie. Also, onesies are a giant pain in the butt to put on and I really don’t get why they’re so popular. On cold days, we like to layer a t-shirt under a zip-up/snap-up sleeper to keep Joey warmer. Then all we have to do is unzip the sleeper to change her diaper, easy peasy.
- pacifier — I actually have a love-hate with the pacifier. When it’s in her mouth and keeping Joey calm, I love it. When she drops it every 30 seconds and starts to completely panic each time, I hate the thing. But overall, the opportunity to keep her calm outweighs the negative. Our rule is that Joey isn’t allowed to have it at night because it’s too annoying for us, but it can be a real life saver to keep her occupied during the day. This Wubbanub pacifier with the attached animal is cute and really easy to find when it gets dropped… unfortunately Ruby the dog also loved it and ate it.
- rock n’ play — one word: godsend. I really had no idea whether we needed a rock n’ play, a pack n’ play, a swing, a bouncer, etc. etc. etc. Right now Joey is sleeping in her pack n’ play in our room at night, and she spends a lot of time in the rock n’ play during the day. We love it. It’s soft and cozy and has a vibrating function that immediately relaxes her and often puts her right to sleep. Now that she’s starting to be more alert during the day, she’s also enjoying just hanging out in her rock n play watching the world. Since it’s small and lightweight, we can easily move it from next to the couch to next to the dining room table when we eat dinner, or pull it into the kitchen when we cook. We really love this thing.
- changing pad liners — we change A LOT of diapers all day long. And not everything that goes in a diaper stays in a diaper, if you know what I mean. Since we don’t want to have to put a whole new cover on the changing pad every time Joey decides to pee while we’re changing her (which happens more often than not), these liners are perfect for catching the mess and keeping the changing pad clean. When one liner gets dirty we can quickly pop another one on top of the changing pad and throw the dirty one in the wash, while the actual changing pad cover stays clean. The liners come in sets of three and I’m seriously considering buying a second set since we go through them so often.
- bottles — we had some issues with breastfeeding right off the bat and decided to commit to exclusive pumping and supplementing with formula when necessary. That means A LOT of bottles. These Medela bottles go with my pump, and I really like them. They’re easy to clean, easy to use, and Joey seems to like them. This kit is perfect if you plan on storing milk for later because it includes some smaller 3 ounce bottles and bags, but we only use the 5-ounce bottles.
- nursing/pumping bra — this thing changed my life. I pump about six times per day for 20 minutes each time, which is TWO HOURS of every single day. Before I had a hands-free bra, it was two hours a day when I couldn’t do anything else and it was awful (I hate pumping anyway, but that was even worse). A hands-free pumping bra means I can at least use my hands while pumping, so I can give Joey her pacifier or toss Ruby her toy instead of sitting helpless and miserable. There are a few different options for hands-free bras, from a corset-looking thing that you put on over a standard nursing bra, to cutting slits in a sports bra. I decided since I’m committed to pumping for a few months and the whole process is so unpleasant already, it was important for me to have something that was not only practical and comfortable, but also that makes me feel a little prettier, which is really important when you’re already feeling kind of gross and squishy post-partum. I love this. It was a bit of an investment at about $70, but I use it A LOT. It was worth every penny to me.
- fleece sleep sack — Joey sleeps in this fleece sleep sack with a swaddle every night. To keep her warm on cold nights, we dress her in a t-shirt, a sleeper, and then this fleece sleep sack. She actually does not like to be swaddled. I think she’s a free spirit like her parents! So we swaddle her somewhat loosely with her arms free, which works well for her. And as a bonus, she looks like the cutest little fleece burrito when she’s all bundled up!
- rocking chair — we love this chair in Joey’s nursery. It doesn’t take up a ton of space in her small bedroom, and the design fits perfectly with our modern/midcentury aesthetic. More than that, though, it’s comfortable for all those middle-of-the-night feeding sessions. Joey sleeps in our bedroom, but when she wakes up in the night, we take her into her nursery to feed her, change her, and to rock her back to sleep in this chair.
- burp cloths — there’s so.much.spit-up. So much. I don’t know what’s normal for other babies, but sometimes Joey seems to lose as much as she puts in. So we go through a lot of burp cloths every day to catch and wipe up as much as we can. These are absolutely essential.
- sleepers — as I’ve mentioned a couple of times, we LOVE these simple sleepers that either zip or snap all the way up. Anything that doesn’t have to go over Joey’s head means a lot less tears while getting dressed, and being able to quickly get to the diaper from the bottom makes things a lot easier for us, too. We were gifted two or three of these before Joey was born, but we soon learned how great they are, so we went out and bought a bunch more. Sometimes we’ll go through three or four outfit changes in like an hour. The other great thing is you can find them for cheap, like these I pictured that are less than $10 for two. The ones with feet also are great for keeping little toes warm, but we’re noticing that Joey is starting to outgrow those more quickly.
So with one month down, we’re kind of sort of starting to get the hang of being parents for the first time, even if that means I don’t always get a shower and blog posts either happen late or not at all. But getting to hang out with our little burrito is better than anything else. And we’re so excited to see what month two will bring!