5 Need to know Newborn hacks to help you survive the first three months!
I have put together 5 of the best hacks that have helped me and countless friends over the years. Some I have done since having henry nearly 3 years ago and some I have picked up the second time around. Number four is definitely one of my favourites as it really made a huge difference when Henry was going through sleep regressions. Plus I have included a bonus tip at the end as I just can’t list newborn hacks without mentioning this one thing.
I have a caddy in each of our changing stations. One in the lounge and one in our bedroom. We also have a basket in Henry’s room as we all spend time in there together too. I seriously can’t believe when Henry was a baby I used to run up and down the stairs to his bedroom every time I had to change his nappy. In my mind I thought… ‘I must use the changing table every time’. Apart from probably being a little unsafe venturing up and down stairs multiple times a day sleep-deprived, it just didn’t occur to me to have more than one changing station. When he got a little older this became a lifesaver. In our caddies we have:
- A changing mat
- Nappy bags
- Spare hair bobbles
- Water bottle
- Nature bond pump (which leads to my second hack)
Nature bond and water bottle
One of the ultimate newborn hacks if you plan on breastfeeding. I’m now combination feeding but at the start, it was exclusively breast. I’d get so much leaking milk from whichever side she wasn’t attached to, which felt like a waste. I started using the Nature Bond suction pump which meant I could capture all that goodness and freeze to give her in a bottle when we were both ready. Literally, as soon as she latched on I would feel my mouth turn to sandpaper. It’s like my nipple’s being used as a straw to suck all the moisture out of my body! When Henry was little I would sit down to feed and completely forget every single time so would have to ask Ian to grab me one – this time I have the biggest water bottle I can find dotted in all the locations I might feed, mainly bedroom and lounge and fill them up at the start of the day.
Wheat sac and shirt
This is a lifesaver when babies go through fussy periods or leaps (check out the @TheWonderWeeks) and especially in winter. When you are feeding bubs they are often snuggled up close on your chest and its all warm and smells lovely like Mummy. When you transfer them to the cot that warmth and the familiar smell disappears which can be really jarring and often cause them to wake up. One of the best tricks I learnt was to put the top or t-shirt I had been wearing that day over the mattress (so it’s nice and secure) and then a hot water bottle or wheat sac in the cot while I was feeding, so that when I finally braved the transfer it was still warm and smelt nice to them. You can see my example in the picture – I put the teddy there so you can see – but my jumper is pulled over the mattress so there’s no chance of it covering bubs face.
Dream feed and zip-up onesie
This is one of the best newborn hacks I learnt with Henry was the dream feed. It enabled me to get him to sleep through by 3 months. So every night before I go to bed about 10.30/11 I semi wake Emilia to give her what is called a dream feed, shes just about awake enough to take a feed but not fully awake that I have to fully settle her back to sleep. I lift her out of the cot and just stroke her face to stir her and then feed her and pop her back in bed – babies are capable of one 4-5 hour stretch of sleep and you want that to ideally be when you are also sleeping so by waking and doing the dream feed you are shifting that long stretch back to the middle of the nights I’ll only change Emilia in the night if she has done a poo – I don’t change her every time she wakes for a feed as I do in the day as I actually put her in one size up nappy at night so it doesn’t fill as quickly. And when I do need to change her – enter the zip-up onesie these are an absolute lifesaver in the middle of the night – I can not tell you how frustrating it is to have to fumble around with poppers in near pitch-black or worse put on a light so you can see and then you are wide awake and cannot for the life of you get back to sleep whilst bubs and hubby are snoring soundly next to you. My favourite brand is ZIPPY.UP as theirs are really soft and snuggly. Enter the zip-up onesie! To be honest, I don’t know why all onesies aren’t just zip up but hey that’s a question for another day.
This isn’t one of the newborn hacks that I am actually using all that much at the moment. As I am writing this in the midst of COVID 19. So, we are just not going out and about very much at the moment which my changing bag. I used this loads with Henry, the idea is that you can fold all the items of clothing you need into one nice little neat bundle that you can pop in your bag and grab in a jiffy if there has been a poo explosion – there is no need to dig around trying to find all the separate pieces
Plus I couldn’t do a newborn hack blog post without telling you about all white noise! I will bang on about this until the cows come home as it seriously is the best hack I have ever found. I use this white noise machine and we run it all night (and pretty much anytime she is asleep in her cot) and sometimes if she is really unsettled I also have a shusher machine which I can run for 15 min or 30 min which just helps soothe her while I stroke her nose or cheek. If you want to see more about our newborn sleep routine check out this post for the Sleep Routine for our Newborn Baby Girl