One Month of Eleanor Jane

Motherhood

one month of eleanor jane

The one month recap of Eleanor Jane, how is that even possible? She is currently sleeping in her bouncer post-walk while I type this in what spare time I have. It’s remarkable to think that a whole month has passed since her birth. It feels like just yesterday that she was born and joining our little family for the first time. I have been trying to soak up every little moment with her and it’s been incredible to see her change and grow each and every day. I have been attempting to document her growth with endless photos (my phone camera roll has blown up) and by jotting down her milestones in her The Short Years scrapbook.

As I type this, I’m reminded that I need to print off a few photos of Eleanor before they fall deeper into the abyss that is my camera roll. I desire to be able to look back one day and read about my journey into motherhood as well as reflect on all of her changes and growth , so here we go with a one month recap of Eleanor Jane…

one month recap: How are we really doing?

Honestly, the first 3 weeks after Eleanor was born were hard. Like really hard. Whether it was because of my postpartum hormones and baby blues or struggling with the lack of routine and predictability within my day or not knowing how to help her during her acid reflux moments, I cried almost daily for the first 3 weeks. I was easily overwhelmed and frustrated by every little thing, especially when it came to my issues with breastfeeding coupled with my lack of sleep.

Eleanor has truly been such a happy and snuggly baby and I thank God everyday for her gentle temperament. She has been very easy to take care of. I absolutely adore holding her and looking into her wide and beautiful eyes! But because of how wonderful she is I would often feel guilty that I was struggling in my new role as a mom.

Fortunately, my own mom came to help us 3 days after Eleanor was born and she was the biggest helper and encourager throughout Eleanor’s first month of life. Together my mom and I would troubleshoot every problem area and pain point I was having and she was full of so much grace and understanding. She constantly reminded me that being a mom is hard and it’s okay to struggle, have moments of frustration or cry. I can honestly say that because of her compassion, I feel empowered and equipped to take care of Eleanor on a day-to-day basis now (since Zach had to go back to work 1 week after she was born).

So, if you’re a new mom or are preparing to be a mom, please know that it’s okay if it’s hard. You can still love your baby with all of your heart and find it difficult to navigate your new role as a mother. But I can also tell you that it will get better, just give yourself grace and patience. And hold that baby as much as you want!

one month recap: Let’s talk about sleep…

Let’s start with Eleanor’s sleep. From the time Eleanor came out of the womb she has loved sleeping. It’s her favorite thing to do. Post-delivery when I was recovering in the mother and baby room at the hospital, I’m pretty sure Eleanor slept for 30 straight hours before finally waking up to join the world.

The day we came home from the hospital I decided to put her on a feed/wake/sleep schedule. Proper and consistent sleep is so important to me, so besides making sure she was growing and healthy, prioritizing sleep for both her and myself was our primary goal.

Prior to Eleanor being born I thrived on 8-10 hours of sleep and Zach works in a career where being well rested is incredibly vital to his critical-thinking and decision-making. It took a lot of patience and trial-and-error but we have been fortunate that Eleanor has done very well on a feed/wake/sleep schedule of every 3 hours with an occasional 4-5 hour stretch at night.

As for me, even though Eleanor was sleeping surprisingly well as a newborn, no one can quite prepare you for the exhaustion that sets in. During her first month, I slept about 4-5 hours per night but in broken increments, therefore I never felt rested. I know that my lack of restful sleep was a huge contributor to my frustration and crying, so the days I could sneak in an hour nap were glorious.

When I was pregnant I heard stories of women whose babies didn’t start sleeping through the night until 8-12 months old. I knew I wouldn’t be able to thrive let alone survive being a stay-at-home working mom on poor sleep, so making sure Eleanor was on a schedule also made sure I was on a schedule. We also actively practice the french art of Le Pause. As I type this, just last night I got a 4 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep. Hallelujah!

things i love for sleep:

  • Bringing Up Bebe bookthis is one of the most insightful and entertaining books I’ve ever read. Pamela has such a way of delivering French wisdom while not being afraid to share her own trials-and-errors in raising children. Our biggest takeaway from the book this far has been Le Pause. This French technique has been key in helping our sweet Eleanor begin to sleep for longer stretches at night at only one month old.

  • Swaddle Me SwaddlesEleanor loves to be warm and cozy and swaddling her at night has been the perfect way to wrap up our little burrito. We love these swaddles because they are simple and hassle-free.

  • The Owlet Smart Sock 3there are many things a parent can do to prevents SIDS, but the Owlet Smart Sock 3 has been our favorite purchase. It’s a pulse oximeter that is easy to put on your child whenever they sleep and it will alert you if their heart rate or oxygen level go outside the set parameters. Knowing her stats gives us so much peace of mind! 

one month recap: How’s breastfeeding… really?

Wow. This topic is not covered nearly enough. I remember sitting in my hospital bed and Eleanor had just finished breastfeeding for the first time and I was secretly ranking which pain was worse: having an unmedicated vaginal delivery… or breastfeeding. I text two of my friends who had babies a few months prior and they too were shocked at the pain and discomfort of breastfeeding. The good news is that after multiple visits to lactation consultants it got better and now after one month the discomfort is almost completely gone. Don’t be discouraged if you find breastfeeding initially painful. It’s very common and if you have the ability to visit a lactation consultant, I highly recommend it!

It was always my goal and intention to nurse Eleanor, but from the very beginning I also knew I didn’t want to be her sole source of food. Although I work from home, I go on a lot of meetings or wanted the convenience of going out with friends or Zach and not worrying about being home in time to feed her. Pumping seemed like the natural choice, but I soon realized that pumping and I did not agree with one another. I struggled with finding the time and my output was very low. The massive freezer supply I had hoped to create just wasn’t going according to plan.

So I switched to formula. Tons of research went into finding the purest formula with the molecular makeup most resembling breastmilk. After hours scouring the internet, I settled on Kendamil Organic Cows Milk formula. Eleanor has loved it from day one and it’s wonderful being able to give her a bottle once a day whether because I’m out running errands or because a family member wants the joy of feeding her as well.

Towards the end of the month I developed thrush which is a yeast infection on my breasts. Eleanor also had it, so we were constantly passing it back and forth to one another. It started to make both breastfeeding and my day-to-day painful, so I visited the lactation consultant and both Eleanor and I were put on an antibiotic regime. When in doubt about anything visit a doctor or specialist. They are here to help you and your baby!

things I love for feedings:

  • Medela Nipple Shield: in the first few weeks of breastfeeding your nipples will likely get sore, cracked and may bleed. Don’t be alarmed and don’t let this deter you from breastfeeding either! A nipple shield will be your go-to breastfeeding tool when your nipples just need a small break to heal. 

  • Polysporin: this topical cream was life-saving for my nipples. Within a few days of applying it all of the cracks and redness on my nipples healed and breastfeeding became far more comfortable.

  • Neiwai Barely Zero Bras: these aren’t technically nursing bras but they are the comfiest and softest bras ever created. They are one-size fits all (yes, really) and are easy to pull down or move aside for breastfeeding. 

  • Medela Nursing Bras: these are my other favorite nursing bra and are easy to pull down or move aside for breastfeeding. I also love that they are a v-neck style for when I am wearing a button-down shirt or scoop neck tee.

  • Bamboo Nursing Padssave the environment and use washable nursing pads! You’ll likely be doing laundry every other day anyways (babies go through a lot of clothing), so just throw these reusable nursing pads in too. They are ultra absorbent and the bamboo is very soft against your skin.

one month recap: Other products I love…

Over the last year we have been slowly purging our household of all toxic products, both cleaning and personal. So, when Eleanor was born we knew it was more important than ever to only let the best products touch her sensitive skin. Here’s what we’ve been loving:

  • Branch Basics Laundry Detergent and Oxygen Boost: this detergent and natural whitener is non-toxic, plant-based, preservative and fragrance free, and human-safe. Oh, and it works like magic for all spit-up stains and messes! Get $10 off your purchase by using this link.

  • Primally Pure Baby BalmZach and I have been using Primally Pure on our skin for over a year, so my mom gifted us with their baby line for Eleanor. The baby balm can be used on her little booty or as a moisturizer on her whole body and we love that it has a neutral smell safe for babies. Click this link and use code NICOLEB10 for 10% off your first purchase!

  • Mustela No-Rinse Cleansing Water: sweet Eleanor developed baby acne around week 3, but within a week of using the Mustela No-Rinse Cleansing Water her acne all but cleared up. Baby acne is super common and is due to changes in the mom’s hormones being passed on to the baby, but if you want to try and help your little one’s skin this product is your go-to.

Eleanor’s First Month…

Eleanor started off the month wearing premie clothing, but now she is beginning to fill out her newborn clothing. She has gained 1.1 pounds and grown 0.75 inches since her birth!

This month we loved watching Eleanor play and do tummy time. She is so strong and could already lift her head! We also loved watching her look around and be alert. She has the most beautiful and wide eyes and we loved looking at them.

Dressing her each day (and throughout the day) is always so fun. Both Zach and I love picking out her little outfits. My favorite places to shop for infant and children’s clothing are H&M and Zara.

Her favorite thing this month is sleep and taking naps (for the most part)!

This past month she ventured out to the doctor’s office, a friends house for dinner, a few stores, church and a couples of lunches in downtown Greenville.

Our favorite thing about Eleanor is all of her sounds and squeaks. She makes the most precious noises!

Every night Zach gets to spend quality time with her by giving her a bath and then getting her ready for bed. They love this time together and I enjoy watching them bond. Also, this girl loves the water!


want more eleanor?

Check out her birth story and a look into her small space nursery.


Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links which means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, it won’t cost you more but I may receive a commission for sharing this with you. But I would tell you about these items regardless, so it’s a win-win!

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