It’s easy to become overwhelmed those first few weeks as a new mom taking care of baby’s every need. To keep track of diaper changes, baby’s mood, and feedings (especially as a breastfeeding mom), this simple tool will help banish mom brain and help you keep it together!
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The blur of the first few days with a new baby were sprinkled with sleep exhaustion and pain meds. Nurses waking me up every 2-4 hours to check vitals, administer medication and bring baby back and forth to the nursery.
I drifted in and out of sleep, wondering how I was going to survive those first few weeks once alone at home without the assistance of the hospital staff.
Groggy and slow to move, I pressed the bed remote so I could sit up and adjust the pillows behind me. My wounds were fresh and the healing process would take time. But the moment the nurse wheeled in my new baby, the endorphins kicked in. Nothing mattered, except the new creature beside me.
Motherhood at it’s best.
I read back baby’s id numbers to the nurse and then came the questions – simple questions – but it took a minute for me to catch on. My brain had so much to process. There was a lot on my mind with a new baby entering the world.
When Mommy Brain Kicks In
If you feel like the pregnancy-brain you experienced over the past 9 months hasn’t disappeared, you’re not alone. Many experts argue that the upheaval of hormones after birth and sleep-deprivation contribute to the forgetfulness that often accompanies the early years of motherhood. Then it’s just called mom brain.
After being sent home, new moms have a very big learning curve of taking care of a newborn and providing for their every need: alleviate baby’s incessant cries, feed baby around the clock, change baby often, keep baby safe and alive. It tends to deplete your brain cells sometimes.
And boy was I feeling that pretty early on in motherhood.
How to Keep Track of Baby’s Feedings
I remember the nurse placing a sheet of paper on my tray so I could log all baby’s diapers and feeding intervals.
Start time. End time. Which breast I nursed on last. Stool counts. Increasing diapers each day.
Ensuring baby was meeting daily wet and soiled diaper goals was a good indicator of how much food he was taking in. Diaper counts and body weight are a few things that the hospital team uses to determine if baby is getting enough milk and taking in vital nutrients so he could work on getting back to that birth weight.
Although filling in the info was something I didn’t always think was important, it helped tremendously to avoid that new mom overwhelm or “mommy brain” that happens to many of us.
In fact, I didn’t realize how much keeping a track like this could be my sanity saver!
Benefits of a Baby Log or Journal
Jotting down diaper counts or the total number of ounces baby consumes each day is a great way to free up space in your mind to ease the mental overload that happens when you keep everything in your head. Once you get things out of your head and onto paper, you can focus on more important things like, skin-to-skin contact and bonding with baby.
Another huge benefit of tracking baby’s feedings, is that it makes patient-to-doctor communication much easier. You’ll be meeting with pediatricians quite often for the first couple of months. When examining baby, they’ll be sure to ask how much baby is eating and pooping. It’ll make life a lot easier, if you can quickly refer to your notes to make sure you have all the details correct.
I remember vividly, how my conversations with the doctor would go.
How much is he eating a day?
Um I think…well it feels like he’s nursing all day…but I guess…
On average every two hours? Every three?
Yeah. I think so.
How many diapers? What color?
Hmm. Like every couple hours, I think.
Yes, mommy brain striking hard!
Let’s just say I would have helped me answer a bit more confidently if I kept better track early on!
These little details will give the doctor a better idea of how often baby is feeding, if he is getting enough milk and whether or not he needs to be examined for any ailments or deficiencies.
Trust me, you don’t want to be running any unnecessary tests on your precious newborn!
The Simple Breastfeeding Tracker Tool
After my first few mishaps as a first-time mom, I knew I needed to create something similar to what I was given in that hospital stay. Something simple enough for moms to reference on a daily basis, that they could easily access to record quick baby notes like what time baby fed at, which breast baby last nursed on and whether baby was fussy or happy after a feeding.
This breastfeeding tracker was the simple answer. It’s a one-sheeter that mom can hang in the nursery or bedroom and quickly use to record everything about baby’s feeding without having to rummage through notebooks or navigate to a specific app, wait for it to load, and search for the appropriate notes area.
This simple solution will lead to a less overwhelmed mom and a little more organization.
And then of course, you can start bidding adieu to mommy brain a little more each day!!
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Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.