If you’ve never heard of the fourth trimester, I’m here to tell you all about it. It’s kind of like that “13th” grade or first year of college after high school when you feel like you’re thrown into the real world with actual responsibilities. It’s an extension of what once was and also the beginning of what will be. A transition, adjustment period, or period of rapid forced growth.
The Fourth Trimester is the first 3-4 months after baby is born. The transition from womb to this gigantic crazy world. It takes a lot of empathy, sympathy, patience, deep breathing, and sometimes medication for us women to get through it. It’s no joke, its tough, and it’s that way for both mom and baby. The good news is that women are incredible and babies are beautiful, so we manage to get through it.
In order for us to get through these months, before purchasing a single item that we think will help, we need to understand WHY the fourth trimester can be so crazy.
The baby is thrown into a life outside of the warm, quiet, peaceful, un-stimulated, constantly moving, dark womb. This explains why babies want to be held or swaddled all the time these first 4 months of life. It’s what they’re used to. They constantly want to be rocked and held close to their mother’s chest to listen to the slow steady heartbeat. Before the beautiful or traumatizing (it can go either way) birthing event, babies have never had a hunger pain, smelt a strange smell, or felt cold. Every single sense and thing in this world is new to them. Talk about terrifying. Hold your babies close mommas. 🙂
As a mother, we are given another human being to keep alive. A small helpless child, who depends on us for 100% of their needs. We try to figure out how to manage life with a baby and we quickly learn this new life is lived one handed (or zero hands if this is your third child or beyond). We’re trying to learn the babies needs, likes, and dislikes…that are all constantly changing. We have to stop what we’re doing every 2-3 hours to feed them (priority #1) and we can’t seem to shovel enough food in our mouths to keep us satisfied when breastfeeding (hello metabolism). Plus, since we just birthed this child, our hormones are going crazy, so help me Jesus! Oh, and did I forget to mention most of us have to work while going through all this because the US government or entrepreneurs don’t know what maternity leave is.
As we all know with any adjustment, it can either be smooth sailing or a bumpy road, and we all want it to be the smoothest sail we’ve ever experienced. That’s why the baby industry is a billion dollar industry. We buy loads of stuff (room fulls!) trying to help us have the smoothest adjustment with a new baby.
I’m not writing that any of these products have a 100% satisfaction guarantee because if there is one thing I know about babies, it’s that they are all remarkably different!
Medela pump – Seriously, don’t waste your money or time with other pumps. I’ve had mine for 6 years and it’s still pumpin’ along! I replace the tubing and accessories every year for sanitation purposes.
Minbie Bottle – I am swearing by this bottle only because my first two children did not take bottles and this is the only bottle I have ever had one of my three kids take. (Although he is regressing and not taking any bottle at the moment…) As far as any other bottles, I have friends, nieces, and nephews who all have loved Dr.Brown’s and the Joovy Boob
Fin & Emma PlayGym – If you want a play gym in your house that doesn’t make your living room look like a daycare. This play gym is absolutely perfect for babies 0-8 months! It’s not over-stimulating with all crazy noises, it has organic wood/toys for them to chew on, you can put over any baby seat or mat, and the toys are removable to attach to car seats. My 4 month old and 8 month old niece both love it!
Nook Lilypad – When your baby has it’s face on a mat during tummy-time, you’d probably want it to be non-toxic, breathable, and comfortable…right? This was a must for us since we don’t have much carpet in our house.
Muslin Swaddling Blankets – I cant recommend these blankets enough! They are super soft and breathable…for babies who think it’s cute to grab them and cover their faces! You can use them as a light blanket in the summer or double them up for more warmth come winter.
Sleep Sacks – I’ve been using the Ergo Cocoon Summer Swaddle and couldn’t say greater things! It’s made of lightweight, stretchy material, so baby doesn’t need any blankets (safety hazard) and can still move around inside the cocoon. There are buttons in the arm area so you can easily transition to arms free swaddling.
Baby Bouncer – I bought the Mamaroo for my first in 2011 and all 3 of my kids hated it. The only reason why I wouldn’t get rid of it was because of the price tag, but it’s had it’s last try with my babies. I know some babies who have loved it, so again, I’m not totally throwing it under the bus.
Fisher Price Bouncer Comfort Seat
Baby Bjorn Bouncer
Baby Sleeper – The sleeper I use, I received as a shower gift when I was pregnant in 2011. It’s been the best baby present I ever received and it’s still going strong being used today! I must add that it was recalled due to people not following the huge warning sign attached to it that states to always use on the flour and to not leave a child unattended in it. I simply use this as a spot to put baby (on the floor) when I’m cooking, playing with my other kids, getting kids dressed for school, taking a shower, etc. It’s a cozy spot that all my babies have loved to snuggle up in. It’s very similar to this DexBaby Day Dreamer. ***If you have any troubles with reflux, colic, or congestion, this could help!
Fisher Price Rock-N-Play Baby Sleeper
Graco Pack-N-Play with Newborn Napper attachments
Stroller/Carseat Travel System – A car seat that attaches to a stroller is a must! You DO NOT want to wake a sleeping baby to drop kids off at school or grab a few items from the grocery store. Just make sure your stroller has a car seat attachment that fits your carseat! I have the Bugaboo Cameleon stroller (circa 2011) and I used the Bugaboo Graco adapter for my car seat. When it came time to buy a carseat that wasn’t pink, I purchased another Graco car seat thinking it’d fit my Bugaboo adapter. WRONG. I purchased a Graco car seat that has the “ClickConnect” technology and it turns out that Bugaboo doesn’t even offer such thing. Thanks to hours searching on Google I found out I could use the NUNCA brand Graco ClickConnect carseat adapter on my bugaboo. Good night!
Stroller Accessories: Stroller Fan – Baby.Florida.Summer. Need I say more? I’ve even attached this fan to my ergo while my older kids play at the park! Stroller Organizer to keep your phone, wipes, coffee, or wine (no judgement). Mommy Hook for something to hold your bags. Milk Snob! A car seat cover AND nursing cover!
Baby Carrier –
Lifesaver and your arms will thank me late. The trend of baby carriers change every time I have a child. In 2011 the hottest baby item was the Baby bjorn, then the Ergo in 2013, and now it’s the Tula. There are so many amazing baby carriers on the market today, I can’t keep up.
Ergo – My second child lived in this baby carrier. What I love most about the Ergo is the head cover. I can be on the go and nurse my baby at the same time. No one will even know you’re nursing, except nosy people who insist on trying to lift the cover and say “whatcha got under there?!” (Insert side-eye) *Update! The new four position Ergos give you option of wearing baby facing outwards!
Tula – These are so trendy you might have actually heard a “Tula in the wild bird call”. This is so real and outrageous it makes me smile. I have many friends who swear by the Tula just as much as I swear by the Ergo. To me, they look exactly alike.
Baby K-Tan – I’ve used this wrap for all 3 kids, but this time around I ordered the breathable fabric since it’s hot as lava outside right now. I mostly wear this carrier around the house while doing chores when baby is fussy.
The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Bath Tub – Giving a newborn baby a bath can be terrifying. This bathtub was a quick purchase from Walmart and it’s been so helpful! The top mesh sling is removable for when baby gets bigger.
Bella Materna Women’s Maternity Sexy T-Shirt Nursing Bra — It’s taken me five years to find an everyday nursing bra that I love! The Bella Materna Maternity Sexy T-Shirt Nursing Bra is all.the.things. Supportive, comfortable, smooth under clothes, pretty, makes me feel like a normal woman, etc. If you’ve been searching for a nursing bra…This is it!
Babies Don’t Eat Pizza – A book for older siblings all about babies and being a great older brother or sister!
Right now Rockwell is four months old and we’re officially get out of that “newborn/fourth trimester” stage. He is now somewhat aware of his surroundings, doesn’t sleep all day, and wants to be sitting up able to see the world! Now that the Fourth Trimester is over for this one, we’re on to bigger (and scarier) things! This next stage of life he’s going through is one of my favorites. It’s the age of discovery!