Photography by Nicole Duplantis/Clothing provided by babyGap and Joe Fresh
By now, you probably have a good sense of how you feel about your mat leave: a joyous canvas of baby fun and freedom from a schedule, or perhaps more of a bucket of suck with a screaming overlord and not enough sleep. Most likely, it’s something in between, varying from day to day and hour to hour, and you’re both happy and sad at how quickly the weeks are passing.
If life after baby hasn’t been as enjoyable as you’d hoped, this may be the week to find new friends among fellow moms or dads in your neighborhood—there’s nothing better than being able to share the highs and lows of life with a newborn with someone who is traveling the same bumpy road.
Reaching, grasping, holding? It’s all about your baby’s hands and arms this week as they gain more control and begin to reach for things they want—including you! It’s too early for your baby to be able to reach and grab what they want, but their hands are open now and, if you place a toy in baby’s grasp, they may be able to hold on. The same goes for when their fingers grab your hair and don’t quite know how to let go—ouch!
Your baby can also track objects with their eyes at this point (you can practice by holding a colorful object close to their face and then moving it left and right, slowly enough for your baby to follow). Your baby can also turn their head in reaction to a new sound and can coo and wiggle in response to a favorite person entering the room. That full-bodied kick of delight nearly makes up for the bad night you just had, doesn’t it?enigma_images / Getty Images
Speaking of nights, your baby should be lengthening their night-time sleep periods and starting to develop nap habits that are almost (but not quite!) predictable. If you’re lucky, your baby is sleeping five or six hours at a stretch during the night for a total of about 15 or 16 hours a day.
It’s a gradual process, but the micro-sleeps of those early days should be turning into longer naps, with three or four hours in between where baby is alert to feed or play—and you may be able to run errands before the next naptime takes hold.
Feedings may also be settling into a routine around sleep patterns, stretching out to less frequent—and more efficient—drinking sessions. But growth spurts and their greater demands have a way of messing with your best attempts to establish some kind of rough schedule, don’t they? If you’re using formula or breastmilk by bottle, you may find your baby draining a full four-ounce bottle at each feeding at this age (it may even be time to upsize to larger bottles or inserts) or you may have a few more weeks of smaller servings.SanyaSM / Getty Images
Are you wishing you had more moms to talk to? Looking for a way to break the monotony? Missing the social life of colleagues and conversation? It may be too early for a playdate for your baby, but a moms’ group (even if it’s just on Facebook) is a great option to expand your social circle without worrying about having to change out of your yoga pants or pretend that you’re not exhausted.
Even if you are not an extrovert and dread group settings, trying a few moms’ groups can help you find another parent friend who shares your outlook on life—or inappropriate sense of humour—and give you someone to meet at the park or drop-in centre when you need to get out of the house. Here are some tips on finding a moms’ group and reasons why you’ll be glad you did.kupicoo / Getty Images
Your belly is nothing like it was before baby, but that belly bulge may be a sign of diastasis recti, not post-baby flab. Your abdominal muscles don’t always snap back into place after having a baby, leaving you with a baby bump long after the baby has been evicted.
If you notice that your belly is protruding and you feel weakness in your core, have lower back pain or experience incontinence that lasts beyond eight weeks postpartum, talk to your healthcare provider. A physiotherapy assessment (even months or years after giving birth) can be the first step toward restoring your muscles to their proper place.Estersinhache fotografía / Getty Images
Most mothers plan to breastfeed, but few have any idea how it will work out. With no way to really prepare for it, the first weeks of nursing can be the hardest on-the-job training you’ll ever do—complete with a screaming boss and all-new double-D cups that seem to have a mind of their own. Watch and appreciate the 12 things that nobody told you about breastfeeding.
It’s the punchline to a joke about parenthood, until you’ve seen it on your own baby’s sore tushy—and then you’re appalled at how bad it can get and how much it seems to hurt. More frequent diaper changes are an obvious—if expensive—first step to banishing diaper rash, but there is more you can do. Read more about the dreaded redness and how to deal with diaper rash.globalmoments / Getty Images
While the rush of your newborn checklist is likely behind you, your growing and advancing baby likely needs some new gear to them through the next few months. You might already have these items, but if not, it's time to consider adding them to your parenting arsenal.
Did anyone give you a great gift for giving birth? A new car or fancy jewelry perhaps? Just a beautiful, bouncing baby? Celebrity push presents are real and some are totally sweet, but others are ridiculous (or maybe we’re just jealous). Take a look.
The Kardashian-Jenner clan are no strangers to luxury, and when the youngest of the siblings gave birth to her daughter, Stormi, on February 1, she received a pricey push present. Twenty-year-old, Kylie Jenner, shared an Instagram story showing off a black, limited edition Ferrari La Ferrari and as she’s recording, you can hear her say “push present” off-camera.
And what does an extravagent push present like this cost? About $1.4 million! Is it a gift from her boyfriend (and Stormi’s father) Travis Scott? We’re not sure. Kylie may be able to pick up diapers in her new push present, but the suicide doors and lack of a back seat suggest that it isn’t exactly car-seat friendly.Photo: Courtesy of @kyliejenner via Instagram stories
When Pink and her husband, Carey Hart, welcomed their second child Jameson in December 2016, the mom of two got a sweet push present—a custom-built motorcycle. Pink took to Instagram to thank her hubby for the rockin’ gift.Photo: Courtesy of Pink via Instagram
Ask and you shall receive—at least that’s the case if you’re Kim Kardashian. Before the reality star gave birth to son Saint West, she hinted at her dream push present online.
“This pregnancy, I would love a Lorraine Schwartz diamond choker, like the ones I’ve worn before to the Art + Film Gala. Too much? LOL,” she wrote on Twitter. Kanye was obviously paying attention, because he bought his wife the million-dollar necklace!Photo: Courtesy of Kim Kardashian via Instagram
After the birth of Princess Charlotte, Prince William made sure to give his wife a sparkly thank-you gift—a pair of custom-made earrings.
The earrings are made of green tourmaline, green amethyst and diamonds and were designed by Kate’s favourite jeweler, Kiki McDonough. Compared to Kim’s choker, the earrings were quite a steal at only $4,000.Photo: Courtesy of Kiki McDonough via Instagram
Every mama should follow Chrissy Teigen’s lead and buy themselves a perineal irrigation bottle. Before Luna’s birth, Chrissy tweeted that she had bought herself this practical push present—it truly is a gift for all that pushing.Photo: Courtesy of Chrissy Teigen via Instagram
Former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky snapped a picture of the push present her fiancé, Kevin Manno, gifted her after the birth of their daughter, Molly. Kevin opted for a minimalist gift: a rose-gold bar necklace engraved with their daughter’s name. Aww!Photo: Courtesy of Ali Fedotowsky via Snapchat
Jay Z got Beyoncé a very fitting push present—a blue tanzanite ring to celebrate the birth of Blue. But this isn’t just any ring. It’s between eight and 10 carats and has a price tag of $35,000. Wowza! I wonder what Queen Bey will get after the birth of the twins?Photo: Courtesy of Beyoncé via Instagram
When Adele and her ex-husband Simon Konecki welcomed their son, Angelo, the singer got a gold Buddha necklace to match her golden voice. The $5,000 necklace was designed by U.K. artist Marina Cowdray.Photo: PR Photos
Evan Ross shared the spotlight with his wife, Ashlee Simpson, when he gifted the soon-to-be mom a Chanel graffiti messenger bag at his album release party back in 2015. The designer push present is one of the more practical gifts we’ve seen—it can double as a diaper bag (albeit an expensive one) for their daughter, Jagger.Photo: Courtesy of Evan Ross via Instagram
Who says your partner has to give you the gift? Blac Chyna treated herself to a push present before she gave birth to baby Dream. And the model spared no expense: she gifted herself a Rolls-Royce with a price tag of $400K!Photo: Courtesy of Blac Chyna via Instagram
After the birth of their first child, Ben Affleck gifted then-wife Jennifer Garner a diamond ring… which she promptly lost when it fell down the drain. Thankfully, a plumber was able to rescue her ring. Jennifer shared the incident on Live with Regis & Kelly, which was the first time both the audience and Ben heard about it.Photo: Rex Features
Mila Kunis wanted to make sure her push present helped other moms. She partnered with Italian designer Marina B to create a motherhood ring to celebrate the birth of her daughter with on- and off-screen love Ashton Kutcher.
Mila’s dream motherhood ring was an 18-karat yellow-gold band fashioned with an emerald Gemfields stone from Zambia. The rings sold for $4,800 with proceeds donated to maternal health care in Zambia.Photo: Courtesy of Mila Kunis via Instagram
It turns out that good things do come in pairs—with both diamonds and babies. After Jennifer Lopez gave birth to twins Max and Emme, she was given two push presents—canary diamond earrings and a ring to match. Then-husband Marc Anthony spent a whopping $2.5 million on the gifts.Photo: Jennifer Lopez via Instagram
Helena Bonham Carter received an unconventional (and practical) gift from her unconventional husband, Tim Burton. In 2007, after the birth of their daughter, Tim showed his appreciation to Helena by giving her four—that’s right, four—pairs of biker boots. Ride on, Helena!Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images
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