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4th Trimester Truths

Real moms reveal what those first few weeks with a new baby really feel like.

4th Trimester Truths

We’ve partnered with Baby K’tan to share the untold stories of the 4th Trimester.

For a lot of mamas, the 4th Trimester is the hardest part of pregnancy. Sure, you've weathered the aches and pains of a growing belly, the anxiety of adding a little one to your life, and even the intensity of birth, but those first three months after baby arrives fully encompass you in a way you just can't prepare for.

Postpartum life is physical, emotional, mental and existential. Your baby’s adjusting to the big, new world while you’re adjusting to life as a mother -- all while recovering from one of the most traumatic experiences it’s ever gone through: birth.

Below, meet 3 new mamas who tell it like it is. Hear about their challenges, their triumphs and the things that empower them to get through the day. In fact, the entire 4th Trimester. Then tell us about your own 4th Trimester experience, and scroll down to our to win a Baby K’tan to give you a little love and support while you carry baby over that hump.

Esther Werdiger and Baby Nathan

One day you're a regular gal, galavanting around Brooklyn, and the next day you're a brand new mum entrusted with a tiny slip of a thing who needs you more than anything has ever needed you. The sheer bigness of it all is so hard to be prepared for.

I had really wonderful support from my husband and family, but it didn't stop me from going on an emotional roller coaster that took me anywhere from crying on the couch for three hours straight to staring at my baby's tiny face in the dark, wondering where on earth he came from, all in the space of mere hours. I'm six weeks in and have only just started feeling like I can begin to come up for air.

From day one, I truly felt I'd been thrown into the deep end--there's so much to learn, and you've got to do it quickly, and on very little sleep. But I've observed myself grow more connected and protective--instincts kick in and you find yourself very invested in making sure your tiny human is off to the best start possible.

It's a beautiful experience, but is also, at times, so overwhelming. The relentlessness of the routine was really hard. I was used to being able to do whatever I wanted, and now basic things like a good shower or coffee felt totally out of reach.

When I'd purchased my baby carrier, I envisioned myself out and about, going out to eat and going on nice long walks with my new family. The truth is, just wearing him at home has been a lifesaver. Your baby is close to you, settles in moments, gets great sleep, AND you also get to have both of your hands, and you can do whatever you want with them! You can make a nice, big salad. You can finally cut your nails. You can water your plants, or read an article from the growing stack of New Yorkers on your coffee table.

In those first few weeks, when so much is in flux, it's important to remember to do the things that make you feel a little like your old self. It makes for an easier transition, and any way you can feel a little more cared for is going to make you a better caregiver, and a stronger mum.

Niurka Maldonado and Baby Paulina

I think the biggest unspoken question in the mind of any mother that is pregnant with her second child is, "How will I love this baby as much as my first?" I knew, logically, that I would, but I couldn't quite picture it - my life with, not one little girl, but two.

The biggest surprise I had since the birth of my Paulina was how much she felt a part of me and of our family instantly. The best way I could describe it is, it wasn't a love that grew overtime; it wasn't a period of getting "accustomed" to the new addition, as I had anticipated. It was a passion and devotion that seemed to have always been with me; she was a limb I never knew I had. It was as if she had always existed.

The most fulfilling part of my 4th Trimester has been experiencing that feeling that our family and my life are whole. The biggest challenge, of course, has been knowing that this darling girl will likely be our last child, so with every passing day and stage, I am reminded that this will never be experienced again.

We are a family. We read together for hours and we talk constantly. Paulina is now a part of those moments, and I love sharing them with her pressed against me. Nora and I have always been very active together, we enjoy the city life by visiting all of the museums and parks that we can reach by train or bus. Babywearing has helped us keep up with all of our interests; it's been quite an adventure.

 

Chelsa Crowley and Baby Via

Friends of mine who have children filled me in on the hard things that come during those first few weeks, like sleep deprivation, breastfeeding challenges, and how your life will change. But until I was knee-deep in it, I couldn’t fully appreciate it -- nor is it the same for every family.

Conquering breastfeeding was one of the most rewarding (and painful!) things I’ve ever done. After tongue and lip-tie, three lactation consultants, pumping every 2 hours round the clock, nipple guards, clogged ducts, thrush, and literal blood, sweat, and many tears, we finally got a successful latch. She’s been nursing like a rockstar ever since. The only good thing about that period -- besides humbling me -- was stockpiling an insane amount of breastmilk for the future.

Getting out and about has been crucial in helping me cope. As tired as I was I made sure to shower every day and even throw on a little makeup during the day, sounds silly, but a little makeup can really make a girl feel like herself again. I love using the Baby K’tan to keep Via close to me. It’s comforted her and helped me feel mobile.

I’m surprised at how much I love being a mom...not that I thought I would hate it, I just didn’t realize how amazing it would feel and how fun she would be. It’s hard to even remember our lives before she was here.

Enter below to win a Baby K'tan and accessories, or use code WRNY15 to get 15% off at Baby K'tan now.

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!


A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.

$239.99

A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.

$219.99

A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.

$379.99

A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.

$29.99

A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.

$99.99

A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.

$15.99

A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.

$79.99

A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.

$99.99

An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.

$24.99

A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.

$59.99

And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.

$79

Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.

$30

Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.

$32

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.

$37

The Snoo bassinet

Snoo

Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!

$1295

Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.

$59.99

Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!

$46.99

Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.

$259.00

Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.

$27.95

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