Okay, it’s been more than a month since you’ve had a full night’s sleep, and maybe you were getting a little bit of cabin fever after the month long confinement so heading into the 2nd month can be tricky. This is also when people are starting to expect you to have things under control when everything still feels very new. Additionally, the baby is becoming more alert, so not only will baby be slightly more demanding during wake time, but settling him or her to sleep will also be more challenging.
However, here are a few Motherhood Hacks that have helped me to maintain my sanity in the 2nd month!
Motherhood Hack #1: The Look of Love
Babies in their second month are starting to develop their sight and hearing a little bit more, and they can quite easily recognise your voice and your face. After they have been fed, burped and changed, cradle your baby close to you and just…talk.
“Hello Baby, how are you? Are you happy?”
Quite likely, your baby will gaze into your face intently. This focus is so intense that often he or she will stop wiggling around and lie absolutely still for a few moments. Look into your baby’s eyes and see watch the expression on his face change as he listens with rapt wonder at the sound of your voice. Very soon, very, very soon, your baby will start to look for you and smile, just hearing the sound your voice.
Know without question that you are your baby’s entire world. There is not a single human being on the planet that your baby loves more than you.
Memorise this look and remember it during the times when your baby seems to do nothing except cling to you and cry. It will help you maintain perspective.
Motherhood Hack #2: The Needs are Not Many
At this stage, most babies have progressed beyond feed-me-seymour cries, their needs are still very basic and their cries usually signify either hunger, tiredness or discomfort (usually a soggy nappy). In other words, nothing that a full tummy, dry nappy and a cuddle can’t resolve.
Rule of thumb for crying – If they’ve just woken up, feed them. If they’ve been up for an hour, cuddle put them to bed. If they smell bad, change their nappy.
Motherhood Hack #3: Get your hood on
Babies at these stage are amused by very, very little. I mean, they will stare at their little hands for long moments, frowning as if to ask, ‘What are these two lumps doing in front of my face?’
This also means that the stream of visual stimuli provided by just being in the world will make babies mentally fatigued after a while, so if you need to calm them down or settle them for a nap, put them in a dark room. Failing that, literally pulling the wool over their eyes will do the trick. I always carry a large muslin cloth with me when I go out and if Thumper gets tired, I just drape it over his head and he goes out like a light. Works for birds of prey, works for two month old babies.
Motherhood Hack #4: Make like a kangaroo and hop on out
Two month olds are not mobile at all, they have no coordination to speak of, and they still sleep most of the day. This means that this is actually one of the best times to get out and about because your baby will be happy to sit quietly in a sling and doze off against your chest whilst you get a well deserved reflexology massage or a pedicure. So go on and pamper yourself!
Motherhood Hack #5: Take five
Sometimes you might feel like you can’t leave your baby’s side, not even for a minute. But at two months old, your baby physically cannot go anywhere. So if you need to take a few minutes to go to the bathroom, make a cup of tea, have a shower or just sit in a different room until your ears stop ringing, then put your baby down in a safe place (like in their cot), then go ahead and take five minutes to yourself. Your baby cannot get into much trouble whilst you are away, and those few minutes away from him or her will refresh your mind and energy stores!