When my boy was a newborn, I remember everyone telling me that the first year will go by super fast but for me those words felt like such a joke. For me the first few months lasted a lifetime and even if I had already started to doubt if I’d ever be able to leave the house, we somehow got to this day and just passed that pretty special one year mark. Hooray! Honestly, I am so relieved. This past year has been hard and we’ve had to survive with way too little sleep (as probably most parents with small babies have to!), and even if our lives are not changing magically overnight, I feel so much lighter now than in those early days of motherhood when everything was so new, and a bit scary too.
I’ve come to realise that speaking about motherhood and the very honest feelings that we as mothers go through, is not an easy thing to do. It’s not all love and snuggles, as there can be so many mixed feelings about our lives changing so remarkably. It’s so easy to think that other moms are doing great and enjoying their days to the fullest while you’re just trying to get through the day somehow. But in reality we all go through a lot of the same feelings (positive and negative) but some of them are not just shared openly, even though they really should be. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during this year, it’s that openness is healing and the more we share the better we are at finding our ways to mother.
In addition to being a big mental change, motherhood and the everyday life with a baby has brought so many other new things to our life. Like a crazy amount of stuff, an incredible talent to google anything, a different body, a lot of persistence, a chaotic home, being able to lower your own standards (luckily now I have finally realised that perfection really is not the way to go), and also a certain level of new found self-confidence. It’s pretty relieving when you realise that the opinions of others are not that important anymore, as the key really is to find Your own ways and methods both in motherhood and in other aspects of life too.
Even though I haven’t figured out how to sit down and read a book, I’ve managed to spend so many hours on google and on different sites to read about the gazillion things I could either do or buy to get my baby to eat, sleep, burp, be happier, or just to keep myself somewhat sane. And a lot things have been tried and tested! So in order to share all this (hopefully) useful info, I thought I’d write down all the things that have helped us this past year in case they could be of help for someone else too. So if there are any (future) mamas out there, I hope you’ll enjoy my survival kit to baby’s first year! ♡
Baby Björn bouncer: The bouncer chair was my ultimate savior, as my boy could watch me while I was doing all the housework, took a shower, got dressed, ate, or worked out. So if by any chance you’ll get your baby to like the bouncer chair, use it as much as you can!
Baby carrier and slings: Babywearing is super handy as you can use both of your hands and keep your baby close when she / he is awake or sleeping. For us babywearing became rather a necessity, as for the first few months we could get our boy to nap only in a baby carrier or sling during the day, which meant that I almost exclusively carried him for a couple months. So thanks to our Tula Baby and Ergo Baby 360 carriers and also the Baby K’Tan Active sling, I managed to get something done while my baby slept.
Pomelo Best baby changing backpack: Such a great find from Amazon, and it comes with a great price too!
Bebiboo baby nest bed: Newborns are so tiny and it felt funny to just place him on his own bed, so a nest bed was great during those first few months. We used it in our bed, in the baby cot, and sometimes in the pram too.
Love To Dream Baby Swaddle: Swaddling has a great reputation for soothing babies but we never understood how on earth to get our baby to stay in the swaddle, so these swaddle pyjamas were the perfect solution.
Baby cot: We’ve been super happy with our moKee Mini Cot Bed that can be used from the newborn phase up until three years old. You can get a lot of different add-ons to it and the bed is painted with an eco-friendly water-based paint.
Hempea hemp sheets: These sheets are super soft and made from 100% hemp, meaning that they’re ecological and a totally safe material for your little one. We’ve loved these a lot and and I really like that they’re super lightweight so they’re easy to pack with us anywhere we go.
Doomoo nursing pillow: To help you find that comfortable position during the endless breastfeeding sessions.
Weleda breastfeeding tea: A tea that is supposed to help with your milk production, but I loved it for its absolutely divine taste.
Breastfeeding snacks: Breastfeeding can make you super hungry so make sure you have plenty of snacks around! My favorites were all kinds of smoothies, breakfast cookies, overnight oats, muffins, hearty salads, and basically anything that I could munch down with one hand.
Entertainment: During those first few months it felt like I did nothing but breastfeed, so it was good to have some distraction while staying put for hours a day. So I strongly recommend watching all the shows you’ve been wanting to see, all the (not so smart) movies, and if you manage to read at the same time, go for it! Those moments will be missed, even if I thought I’d never say that :)
SÖPÖ breastfeeding cover: When you’d like to have a little privacy while feeding your little one, this simple cover is a handy solution.
Boob nursing top: If I’d do something differently, I’d buy a lot more better nursing clothes! Boob has great basic tops, tees, and other nursing clothes and the basic tank top was the one that I used A LOT.
Choomee Food Pouch: These reusable pouch bags have been super handy, as you can serve porridge, yogurt, smoothie or just pureed veggies from them.
Nurture Naturals food molds: If you’re making food for your baby and want to save it for later, these freezer molds are the perfect size and they are dishwasher safe too!
Stokke Munch bib: Feeding babies is unbelievably messy but this bib has been great, as you can easily wash it after every meal of even put it to the dishwasher.
Vitamin D/ DLux Baby Spray: Absolutely the easiest way to give your baby the daily dose of vitamin d!
For bathing: I really love the Baby Oil by Sophie La Girafe as it makes my baby’s skin wonderfully soft.
For skin: Sophie La Girafe Baby SOS Cream and Weleda Calendula Body Cream are both gentle yet efficient creams to nourish a newborn’s skin (and they’re great for moms too!).
For diaper rashes: Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream, Weleda Baby Derma Zinc Cream and Little Butterfly Nappy Change Cream are all our favorites.
It’s so easy to just focus on your baby and get all the best things for him / her, but taking care of yourself is very important too. Coping with too little sleep, breastfeeding, and taking care of your baby is hard work and can easily make you feel exhausted (at least I’ve been exhausted), so any kind of self care and pampering is good for you. Here are a few random things that have helped me to keep my sanity and made me feel a bit better about myself this past year!
Supplements: I took a few vitamins throughout breastfeeding and in addition to taking some of my favorites I talked in this pregnancy post, I also used vitamin D (I really love this one from Wild Nutrition), Terranova’s magnesium calcium complex, iron from Wild Nutrition and especially during the flu season I took triple zinc (by Puhdistamo) and vitamin C (by Wild Nutrition)
For skin: I’ve always been pretty minimalistic when it comes to skincare and even more so now when there’s so little time for myself. So instead of long lasting routines I’ve put a little bit more effort on finding the right products for my skin (I’ve got a sensitive skin that needs a lot of moisture). I’ve totally fallen in love with this Whamisa Toner Deep Rich as it’s super effective. I also really love the oil cleanser by Whamisa and this exfoliating mask by Kora Organics is the best one I’ve ever used.
Water jogging and swimming: Once I started to exercise again after labor, I took it really easy and mainly went for walks, swims and did some water jogging too. I really love swimming and water jogging as they’re both great ways to move your body no matter what shape you’re in!
Working out at home: Sweat App was my go to in the summertime and it’s great if you have some equipment at home. I do free workouts usually from Youtube and my favorite channel has always been Popsugar Fitness. Moving my body just for 10 or 20 minutes always makes a difference in the way I feel, and it doubles as entertainment for my baby too!
To listen: Thanks to all the stroller walks, I’ve really gotten into podcasts this year. For family topics I like to listen to DocEmilia (in Finnish), but generally I love Goop and Yoga Girl.
Sending you all the love! ♡