Noah’s entrance into the world was a reminder that motherhood is filled with the unexpected. Plans are just that — plans, and they’re almost always going to change with a little one around! I’d planned to labor at home, deliver in a birth center, and return home with my newborn baby within hours of delivery. Of course, none of this happened.
On Friday, June 3rd, I went to my regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment and ultrasound. I’d had an ultrasound only one week prior, so I was feeling pretty confident my plans to deliver in the birth center wouldn’t be hindered. We were only one day past my due date, so not too bad! So, both my doctor and I were surprised by the ultrasound results which showed extremely low levels of amniotic fluid which mean that I needed to be induced immediately. Bye-bye birth plan.
I went home, urgently packed for a hospital stay that I hadn’t planned on, and checked into Labor and Delivery that afternoon. Late Saturday night, I welcomed my bundle of joy, Noah Alexander Voit, into the world and officially became a new mommy!
He was 6 lbs 7oz and 20 inches long (though he now measures at only 19 1/4 inches long!). He’s happy, healthy, and all around perfect according to the doctors(and his mommy)! He loves cuddles, story time, and milk.
Even at this young age, I’ve found plenty of fun ways to engage with him. Each day, we aim for one to two tummy-time sessions, a music session, and story time!
So far, we’ve read:
- Guess How Much I Love You
- Goodnight Moon
- Are you my mother?
- I Love You to the Moon and Back
- A Gift from Pooh
During the first week of his life, it was tough to squeeze a fully story in. He’d often fall asleep during the story, but that’s okay! I finished the book regardless of whether or not he’d fallen asleep. By the second week of his life, he was staying awake for much longer periods of time, and we’d often read two or three stories at a time!
So far, his favorite story is I Love You to the Moon and Back. His eyes light up when we read this book, and he’s captivated by the pictures.
He also loves “Guess How Much I Love You.” He clings to the bunny’s ears as we read.
Last Monday, Noah went to his very first (outdoor) story-time at the library! He was the youngest story-time attendee! He also slept through all of story time, but mommy had fun! Perhaps he’ll be awake for some of story time next week! Story time consisted of three stories, three songs, and bubble time to say good-bye!
Parents can start tummy time with full-term babies as soon as they return from the hospital, and I couldn’t wait to do so! Tummy time boosts gross motor skills, helps encourage head control, helps build strength for skills like rolling over and crawling, and reduces “flat-head” syndrome. Plus, it’s fun and can make your baby smile!
Noah loves his Lovevery Play Gym (Thank You to Arika Shah and Family!). The Lovevery Play Gym is an activity mat designed for tummy time. I spent a lot of time evaluating play gyms and tummy time mats before settling on this one. I wanted something tech-free that would hold up over time. I loved that this play gym provided opportunities to explore various sensory inputs too.
So far, the mirror is his favorite element. He also makes a pretty good attempt at crawling, and he’s rolled himself over from tummy to back a few times! This impressive skill is probably temporary though as most “early rollers” lose this ability once they reach 9 lbs.
Experts recommend starting with just two to three minutes of tummy time and working your way up from there, but Noah loved tummy time from day one. He spends anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes on his tummy before he gets tired. Then, it’s time for some relaxing cuddles (and milk!).
Babies love music. It can improve their mood, stimulate the formation of oxytocin and dopamine, boost concentration skills, and produce numerous other positive changes in neurodevelopment. Plus, singing and dancing is a great way to bond with your baby.
I thought I knew a LOT of children’s songs until I tried to sing them. I found myself making up over half of the lyrics to each song, but Noah didn’t care! In either case, I set out to learn them. We’ve been really enjoying the “Really Simple Songs” station on YouTube. Thankfully, babies love to hear their mommy’s voices, so Noah doesn’t complain that mommy can’t sing!