TRANSITIONS | Adding a Newborn

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What do you get when several moms with different perspectives weigh in on the same topic? A great conversation!

This post is part of our MomSense series on transitions. From what they eat and where they sleep, to who takes care of them and how they learn, parenting young kids means navigating a series of important transitions. If you think about it, you’re probably in the middle of one (or more!) right now. Keep reading for one contributor’s experience, and click here to read all posts in this series.

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As you can see in my new bio pic, my husband and I have a precious new addition.  Our son, Elijah, came home in March.  He is just the most edible little bear you have ever seen.  We are certainly basking in our babymoon right now, but transitioning home a newborn hasn’t been without its challenges.  The timing of this series couldn’t have been better to share the things that made our life (or could’ve made our life) easier in bringing him home.

~After an afternoon feeding when I knew the baby would rest, my three little girls have quiet time.  One friend has a brilliant technique for helping establish this.  She puts on a classical CD and tells her child that he must lay quietly on his bed until the CD is over.  Then he can get up and play quietly until Mommy comes to get him.  Usually the soft music lulls him to sleep.  If not, she at least knows she has the duration of the CD for downtime.

~Give special jobs to the siblings, especially the newly displaced baby.  “The Boss of Socks” gets to make sure the baby has socks on when it’s chilly, puts the socks on the baby’s feet, rub his feet to warm up the socks, etc.  “The Bottle Boss” collects all the bottles throughout the house, dumps out extra formula and takes them apart to be washed.  “The Comforter” picks the song we sing to the fussy baby.  It makes them feel connected to caring for their new brother.

~If people are making you meals, have one person head it up.  Talk through details with her about how and when meals would be best and least stressful for your family.

~Right after you pack your hospital bag, shop for your house. Buy the economy size of sturdy paper plates, bowls and silverware.  I know it is not environmentally friendly, but especially with 3 other children in the house, dishes piled up faster than I could blink.  Comfort your super recycling self by thinking of all the water you’ll be saving on the showers you won’t be getting once your bundle of joy comes home.

~Ask a few close friends to forgo a shower gift for you and go in on a maid for a day instead.  A few weeks in to having a new baby and your house certainly can use a scrubbing.  It will be enjoyed just as much if not more than the little outfit she’s going to grow out of in 2 weeks.  (if you have a friend whose baby is coming home through adoption, scheduling a maid to come right before their mandatory check up from the social worker is the greatest stress reliever!)  We had a group from our church do this for us this week and it was. GLORIOUS!!

~Start going to bed earlier.  This was really challenging for two night owls like us.  We soon found, however, that trying to fight past the exhaustion to keep our regular schedule wasn’t going to last very long.  Oh, the ridiculousness of thinking we are young still.  😉

~On the heels of that last one is carving out time with your hubby.  I wish we had talked through how we would have time for each other and get extra rest. Even to seasoned parents, a new baby brings a flood of emotion and stress.  Your most important relationship can sometimes find itself at the bottom of the list.  Safe guard it and set yourselves up to succeed.

I know every baby that comes home to every family is a unique situation, but these are some things that helped us with our growing family.  We are so in love with our son and can’t imagine life without him.  What a blessing these little sugarlumps are even if they come with some major adjustments.

What was the one thing you did that made bringing home your newborn easier?

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Cate Johnson has been married to her best friend, Sean, for 10 years.  She is the mother to their three Haitian princesses who came home forever in 2008.  They also brought home a son domestically in March.  She is passionate about Jesus, adoption, and attachment.  She also loves coming alongside prospective adoptive parents as well as those struggling through transition and attachment. Cate blogs about all of these topics and more at Gathered From Afar and Attaching Hearts.

 

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Cate Johnson has been married to her best friend, Sean, for 12 years. She is the mother to their daughters who came home through international adoption in 2008. They also have a son that came home through domestic adoption in March 2011. The baby is another son, who is biological. Cate is passionate about Jesus, photography, writing and adoption and attachment. She also loves coming alongside prospective adoptive parents as well as those struggling through transition and attachment. Cate blogs about all of these topics and more at Gathered From Afar and Attaching Hearts.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Great ideas! I love the CD for rest time. My almost 4 year old still naps and I know it is going to be so hard when he stops!!! This might just do the trick!!

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