Whitnee tells us all about the first year with her baby

Whitnee tells us all about the first year with her baby

Renske Gosselink

Name Whitnee Hawthorne

Occupation Entrepreneur

Baby Hendrix, 17 months

Describe your feeling the moment you just came back home with your newborn? 

HOLY MOLY?!?!?!? Um, where is the manual? Is it ok if I just cuddle him 24 hours  day? 

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What & when was the first time you did something just for yourself again? 

Two weekends, after we came home. My mom stayed with us and really encouraged me to get out of the house. As soon as I was comfortable walking, my husband and I took a long walk and stopped at a bar (I had a shirley temple). It was about 40 minutes and I was freaked out the whole time, but it really set the stage to help me learn to step away and do something for me. 

Name the thing your partner is the best at doing with your child. 

My husband is the best at teaching him how to use his body. He’s taught him how to safely get off the couch, use the stairs (by holding on to the bannister) and even how to play the drums! 

Did you nurse your baby? How did that go for you in the first weeks & months? 

Yes!  My son was born with a tongue tie that wasn't identified until late in his first week of life. As a result my supply dropped. While he recovered from the surgery (we has the tongue tie clipped) and adapted to his new mouth, I pumped and we co-fed (with breast milk and formula). I pumped every 2-3 hours, 24 hours a day for weeks. It was exhausting, but in the end worth it. He is 17 months old now and still nursing. I plan to make it to 2 years. Though I joke with my husband that when he's 15 I'll be running up to the basketball court like " Hey Baby Boy, forget that Gatorade, I've milk for you". That won't happen, we'll be blessed to make it to 2, but it makes me laugh. Anyhoo, to all nursing mamas you got this, to those not nursing, support nursing moms and know you got this do. As long as we all do what is best for our babies and support each other, this world is going to be a better place.

How did (or do) you deal with sleep in the first few months? Did you sleep train?

Sleep?!?!?!? What is this thing you speak of? JK, our son actually was a great sleeper. We slept train starting at 11 weeks and it worked! He had regression and we’ve dealt with them. We all sleep pretty good now. 

Before sleep training, I didn’t sleep more than 90 minutes at a time.  I was nursing or pumping every 2-3 hours. To help me get some rest, we created a support schedule. I would feed him in our bed room at 9PM and then we would sleep. Around 12:00AM I would feed him and then my husband would take him the other room so I could go right back to sleep. He would bring in to eat around 3AM and then take him back into the other room. After the 5AM feeding I would be up for the day. It was rough. I know that it was but I honestly can barely remember how bad it was. In the moment it feels unmanageable but then, in the long term, it’s just a blip in your memory. 

How did you deal with the first time you left her for the day? one tip for new moms?

My son started daycare around 4 month. The first day, oh man, it was tough. I cried, non-stop. Weeping, heaving, body shaking tears. I did take him to daycare BEFORE I had to start back. So at the very least I wasn’t a boo-hooing mess at work. I did some nice things for myself that day (went to the spa and had a nice lunch). It still sucked.  So, I highly advise any mom who is going back to work to spend at least 1 day away from their baby before work. Start your childcare at least 1 day early so you can understand how it’ll be for you and you don’t have to figure that out AND have the stress of starting back all at the same time.  

How/when did you start on solids? Do you have a fun story about first meals

We started solids around 6 months. No crazy stories, he likes to eat.

What makes her/him laugh the most?

Our baby boy loves to be tickled. 

What's your favorite game to play currently?

Right now he loves, put the things in the box, take the things out of the box. Stack the things then knock them down.  I’m not sure if that is an official game. 

What was her/his first word? How did it make you feel?

Ball! Was his first spoken word.  We did baby signs and milk was his first sign. Which I loved.  The moment we could actually communicate was magical. His little face lit up like “ you understand” and I was like “you know things” and it was very awesome.
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