New Mom Monday, Three



If you don’t have kids you are probably tired (get it? haha) of hearing us parents talk about sleep. While I don’t want to fall into the parent trap of constantly rambling on about things that no one else cares about, I’m here to talk about it just a little bit more.

Recently, my darling Winifred has been sleeping for stretches of three or even four hours at a time at night, and I want to thank the Academy and anyone else listening for this wonderful turn of events. She is even at the point where I can usually put her in her crib, walk away, and she just goes to sleep. I’m starting to wonder if she has switched places with a twin I don’t know about.

It’s true, my extremely gifted child has figured out the most highest of baby talents, and yet, I keep messing it upjust my luck!

This past week alone, I have completely ruined three sacred sleep sessions:

Tuesday, 1:47 PM

I killed a cockroach, NO BIG DEAL. I’m not afraid of cockroachesI like to let them hang out a while after I’ve smashed them with one of my husband’s shoes (certainly not one of mine!) before I pick them upI AM NOT AFRAID OF COCKROACHES. I bent over to scrape it up with a credit card offer envelope roughly five hours later after I laid the baby down, and as soon as the corner touched its mangled body, it flipped over and ran across the room with the few legs it had left. I chased it around with a broom, trying to hit it with the bristles and letting out a short, high scream every time I missed, like a group of girls who are the victims of a rival bunk’s hijinx at summer camp. No naps were had that day.

Tuesday, 7:30 PM

Sometimes I like to leave the house without my baby, and the universe usually likes to punish me for this. I left her with my husband one evening, who took her on a “little ride” to “get a drink” before “putting her to bed.” Well his car must have had a mind of its own, because an hour later I came home to an empty house! An hour after that, they walked in the door from shopping the Dillard’s sale, at the mall, and she was wide awake, staring at me with her lovely, scary (1980’s) Elizabeth Taylor eyes. This one wasn’t really my fault, except of course it was, because I’m the mom.

Thursday, 7:34 PM

Every night I make sure to lay the baby down the opposite way from the night before, so that her head doesn’t become misshapen and then she can’t move to Manhattan and become a carefree socialite, as is her destiny. The other night, I reached down to pat my restless baby’s foot in an attempt to comfort her and recoiled in horror as my hand touched her warm, wet mouth. I accidentally freaked out and shrieked, then had to spend the next 20 minutes rocking and convincing her she was still beautiful and could go back to sleep.

While I’m still pretty clumsy at figuring this whole sleep thing out, I’ve got to say that having a baby that finally sleeps on her own is, to use a term I have been over-using lately as a new mom, life-changing. I have walked her around in her baby wrap during naps; I have gone to bed at 8pm so that she would go to bed at 8pm; I have read the sleep books; I have read the message boards saying not to listen to the sleep books; I have wrung my hands in pathetic conversations with my not-listening husband about our baby’s sleep; I have lost sleep thinking about her not sleeping; and while I’d like to think that all that time and energy has paid off, the reality is that she decided she was ready to do something so she started doing it.

I hope that’s just a baby thing!

Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby. You can read more of her musings on her blog and follow her baby wearing adventures on Instagram @sweetcheeksbabywearing

Meeting a new sister

When I had my second child, I was worried that the first would feel left out. Isn't that funny how we worry about potential reactions? So I bought my firstborn a gift to open for herself at the hospital when she met her new baby brother. I did the same thing for the two older kids when they came to visit my third baby, their new brother. By the time I had my fourth baby, I knew that the other kids would be getting enough treats from their grandparents at home while I labored at the hospital.

The reactions on these videos to the new siblings are priceless. Did your record your children meeting for the first time? I would love to see them.

And now I'm a puddle.


10 Tips for Surviving Your Newborn

If you are like me, you started researching (on Pinterest) everything you could about pregnancy and babies the minute you thought you might want to start trying to convince your husband it was time to maybe think about the possibility of potentially getting pregnant. And you have read all the lists of things you need for those first few weeks of adjusting to life with a newborn, including those wonderful blessed frozen postpartum pads -- those are top notch and they are the very reason I’m glad the internet was invented before I had a baby.

Now that I myself am a highly-experienced mother, I thought I’d write up some of my own tips and tricks to keep you sane during a very emotional, sometimes really awful and achingly wonderful time in a new mother’s life.

Here they are. Feel free to Pin.

  1. Keep all your baby packing stuff and don't open anything quite yet. I bought too many things I thought I would need but really didn’t: a swaddler for a baby who will not stand for having her arms anywhere not above her head like a drunken sailor, pacifiers for a baby who finds the hard labor of sucking on something without the reward of food superfluous and wrong, and a set of bottles that I’m still praying someone else will be able to use to feed her one day. We’ve been able to return a lot of things we haven’t been able to use and get back some of them dollas.

  2. If you have your baby in the hospital, take home whatever you can. Staying in the hospital is rough, but if you have awesome night nurses like I did, they will send you home with pads the size of your newborn and special underwear that is so easy to put on and take off in the middle of the night when you are peeing with a semi-sleeping baby in one arm. You will need these things.

  3. Know where your nipples are. If you are breastfeeding, your nipples are precisely where multiple nurses and lactation consultants will shove your frail infant’s head as the two of you learn how to nurse, sometimes in the middle of the night when it is dark! And when you are both on your own at 3 am, this is where your sweet baby will bob around in frustration and then poop all over you. Be careful not to assume your nipples are somewhere else, which could be embarrassing after 20 minutes of trying to nurse in the wrong place --  they can be up high, to the side, down low, or too slow. Even if you are not breastfeeding, I think it is still valuable to know where your nipples are, so you can be more conscious of the sweet freedom you have (well, your boobs have at least) because of the miracle of formula.

  4. Carry around a big ol' cup of water everywhere you go. Which let’s be real, is really like one or two rooms in your house, am I right? Taking care of a baby is thirsty business, and by the time you can get a drink, you will be too tired or forget, so just have your water with you at all times.

  5. Wear a pair of those ugly fuzzy socks at night. A nice thick pair of socks will allow you to sleep anywhere without having to find a blanket, which lets you sleep an additional two minutes every time you pass out on the couch.

  6. Sleep when the baby sleeps; cry when the baby cries. Let it all out. Way back when I first became a mom (three weeks ago), I let myself cry in the shower and that was it. It felt wrong crying in front of the baby or while I was holding her. One night after her bath, she was not happy about being cold and was doing this terrifying shrieking shiver-cry, and after I put her diaper and lotion on as fast as I could, I wrapped her in my t-shirt and just lost it for like 45 minutes, because I’m a terrible mother who lets her baby get cold. SHE LOVED IT. I have never seen her so happy and at peace as when I was bawling and telling her how sorry I was. Then she fell into a deep slumber and dreamed she was an ancient Sumerian princess who sentenced her useless servant to death for not running her bath properly. I don’t know what this means but she really is a sweet girl.

  7. Speaking of sleep, don't Google anything unless you have had at least two hours of it. If you are really concerned about something, wait until you are rested enough to differentiate between good and bad advice on the internet and not get more anxious than you were before. Better yet, call your pediatrician’s office and avoid the internet crazies altogether.

  8. Again with the sleep--let your "partner" sleep through the night. Listen, your “significant” other is probably going to sleep through the night anyway. You might as well get to be the martyr the next day who stayed up with the baby so he or she could get some “much needed” rest. Also, I prefer to have someone well-rested and not cranky to help me the next day than someone to sit there and watch my slow descent into another meltdown when the baby won’t go to sleep.

  9. Laugh at your baby. Babies are little weirdos. Being able to make fun of their little comb-overs and how drunk they look after they eat are the only rewards you’re going to get for a while.

  10. Be proud of yourself. You’re doing your best. After being pregnant for TEN months, pushing another body out of your body, then not being able to walk very comfortably for a couple of weeks while you are still healing, just attempting to keep an infant alive is more work than many people are willing to do. Instead of putting yourself down when something/everything isn’t working, learn what you can and move on.

I’m still having some trouble with breastfeeding, but when I’m an expert at that in a few weeks I’ll be sure to share what I’ve learned.


Libbie Henrie is a new mother and really smart gal. You should believe everything she writes, especially the super sarcastic parts. She lives in Arizona with her husband and newborn baby.