Surviving the first 3 months

The nine months that a couple waits in anticipation for their new little baby is marked with excitement, expectations, and preparation. If it is your first child, then you have all these “ideas” about what having a baby will be like. Sure, you know you will be tired and sleep deprived at first. Yes, you know your baby will cry now and again- all babies do, right? You’re busy registering for the baby essentials and picking out crib bedding and room colors. But even all the books, stories, and advise can never truly prepare you for the unexpected adventure of caring for a newborn baby. You really don’t know what it is like until you experience it first hand.

The first two months seemed difficult just due to lack of sleep and Cooper’s refusal to sleep longer than 45 minutes at a time for the first two months. Nighttime sleep during those first two months was difficult having to wake up every 2-3 hours. Then magically around 8 or 9 weeks old, Cooper start to sleep 7-8 hours a night. Even though he was sleeping better at night, the crying did not stop. He still cried quite a bit. For me, Susanne, the crying was hard to block out. A newborn’s cry is like nails on a chalkboard for me. Kind of hard to ignore. Oh and then the growth spurts! Cooper seemed to hit a growth spurt about every 3-4 weeks. That meant marathon nursing, eating almost every 2 hours and sometimes less. Growth spurts also meant less sleep for mommy and baby. The newborn stage (0-3 months) also means that the baby still really needs help to calm him down and relax. Newborns need lots of rocking and holding. They lack muscle control so they really cannot suck on their fingers. I can remember times when I would put him to bed. It would sometimes take him an hour to finally calm and fall asleep. Then there was Cooper’s fussy peak from 5-9 weeks old. Then just as I thought we were out finally coming out of the newborn stage and on to easier more manageable days, Cooper (at 3 months) gets a cold, then gets an other cold, and battles gas (colic), oh and hits a growth spurt too- geeezzz!

But We survived! No amount of warning, advise, or reading can ever really prepare you for those first 3 months. But I remember my friend Annie telling me that when a baby hits 4 months old they become so much more fun! Man was she right!! The crying stops, they have learned to self-sooth, they interact with you more, and they sleep longer and better both in the day and at night. Yes there were fun moments when Cooper was a newborn…but I am enjoying my days with Cooper more so now. I think it also helps when the parents is able to finally get some much needed sleep and rest. Also Cooper does not eat as fequently now, which makes it so much easier to get things done. So to all your new parents out there just trying to get through the first three months, hang in there. You will sleep again! He will stop crying eventually!