This is not a sponsored post. All editorial reviews and opinions are solely my own.
Congratulations on making it to 6 months! Whew, that 1st year! While you try to lose your baby weight, you mostly lose sleep. From a continuous cycle of feeding, changing diapers, and staying caught up on life, this season of “baby” can be considered the hardest. I don’t at all assume to be the expert at “The 1st Year of Babies,” but after having gone through it twice now, I have learned some key points that have helped me survive these days.
1. Make a schedule for yourself.
At the top of your list of priorities should sit the word YOU. If you don’t plan for your week with sleep, diet, and exercise, you will not thrive at your very best. A new mom has to be flexible of course, but by taking the time to plan out these three areas for the week, you will find what is needed the most…energy and a clear head. If you are still nursing at 6 months, make sure that you are maintaining the necessary diet as required by your doctor. If you are formula feeding, than you are pretty much free to follow the diet that works best for you.
After both pregnancies my crash diet was Atkins. With Atkins and exercise in place, I was able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight within 5 months. Although I did cheat at some point each week, having the discipline to plan out my meals plus the convenience of the Atkins meal replacement shakes and bars, I was able to maintain an eating schedule that paid off.
Since exercise was a must, but so was returning to work, I used Insanity and PiYo by Beachbody to fit in just the right amount of strength and cardio I needed each day. Plus the DVD’s change up the workouts often enough so that you don’t get bored with the same thing everyday.
Finally, schedule in your sleep. If you are following a sleep schedule for your baby, plan ahead with your partner to have them take some of the night time feedings if still needed. You need your sleep and doing it all by yourself can make everything else seem like such huge tasks.
2. Make a schedule for your baby.
After planning for yourself, it is time to plan for baby. I have always looked to Babywise to help guide my schedule for our babies through their first year (more on books that helped me in the first year HERE). This is a detailed guide that lays out the sleep, eat, and play schedule your child should have at each week until their first birthday.
Having this guide helped me to lay a foundation for our babies that easily carried over to spending the day or night away from home. Thanks to this plan, our girls started sleeping through the night by 6 weeks and to this day they both sleep at least 12-14 hours a night.
3. Stay Social
I can speak first-hand to post-partum social anxiety that I almost drowned in. Even at the 6 month mark, scrolling or posting on social media made me frantic. If it had not been for my husband and OBGYN I would not have found the strength to push myself back out into the digital world, much less the physical realm of actually going out with girlfriends again.
So, the tip of saying stay social can be way harder than it sounds. However, start small. Make your presence known once again on social media, but make accounts private. Not that you need to do this, but for me it did help to feel like I had a little bit of control. From there, begin to like and comment on those closest to you. Limit yourself to 5 minutes a day and then make an effort to text or call a family member or close friend each day.
Little by little your social life will come back around. However, remember that if this is truly a struggle for you then share it with your doctor. It is not uncommon for us women to find ourselves becoming hermits after giving birth. God knows we just lived through one of the most miraculous events that the human body can perform.
4. Wear The Red Dress
Finally, the most important tip of all is to get confident and grateful. Easier said then done, right? The key is to trick your mind. If you’re like me, your mind is programmed to speak the negative about yourself and your situation. The trick comes in through gratitude. As cliché as it may sound, writing out what you are thankful for each morning has such power. Your words can transform your thoughts for the day ahead. Get a journal and start writing.
Confidence is what The Red Dress is all about. Sure, put on a real red dress…this can always make you feel sexy. But more then that is putting on The Red Dress in your mind. You are a beautiful, life-giving, hard-working woman. Believe it, pursue it, speak it, and live it!
Pictures were taken at Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, Georgia.
(1st Pic: Falyn at 6 months, 2nd Pic: Falyn and Me, 3rd Pic: My family)