I remember my mom telling me before Autumn was born that sometimes babies just get fussy and regress a bit, usually right before a growth spurt. One of the things I didn’t know was that there was a way to predict those spurts, and I’m so thankful that for Abigail at least I had the Wonder Weeks app to help me keep track of when those rough weeks were coming up.
This week was leap #4 and I was surprised how much less stressed I was this time around, even though Abbie was definitely not making it easy for me. she was clingy and needy all day and made it hard to get a lot done outside of the very basics. But, we are getting through and I wanted to share a little bit about how a little preplanning has made it easier for me to survive (and sometimes thrive) during leap weeks.
I am a huge fan of attachment parenting with newborns and young babies. Having read a lot about newborn and child development, I know it’s good for baby to be around Mommy, so they can be comforted and so they can learn and adjust to this new, big world we’ve brought them into. So, I do a lot of babywearing during the day, and usually have her nearby when I’m doing things where I can’t conveniently or safely wear her. When I’m cooking or doing dishes, it’s just easier to have her in a bouncy seat or swing so she’s safe but also close by.
I personally use the Boba 4GS for wearing Abbie. I got one used when Logan was little and loved it so much I got another one on clearance when I was pregnant again. I’ve also used a stretchy Moby wrap with all three of my kids.
Ease up on the house tasks
During leap weeks, I usually slack a bit on the activities that I need to do without holding Abigail. This means a big of preplanning, as my family still like to do things like eat and have clean dishes. 😂
- Freezer meals made ahead – I actually mark stormy weeks out on my calendar and try to remember in the weeks preceding stormy weeks to throw some extra things in the freezer that are basically no effort. That doesn’t always happen, which brings me to my next tip.
- Easy low prep/no-prep meals Ian can make in the evenings after he’s home from work. He’s an excellent cook, but usually, after work, he would prefer to do something easy, and I don’t mind making it easy for us to work as a team at dinnertime.
- Paper plates – I don’t usually buy them because I hate the waste, but if I’m already overwhelmed when I will definitely spend a few bucks a grab some cheap disposable plates at the store. I can’t do it all, and dishes are an easy thing to outsource inexpensively. Alternatively, I’ll also shift around which chores I ask for help with since dishes are usually my thing. Instead of having Autumn putting away laundry, I’ll reassign her to dishes, and ask Ian to help out more with that job. I really don’t love paper plates.
- Budget for one night of takeout – usually Ian and I do one night a week where we grab take out or a special treat after the kids are in bed, and do something outside of our normal weekly routine. We call it out at home date night. During leap weeks, I budget for an extra gimme night, where Ian picks up dinner on the way home. Because sometimes leap weeks just become overwhelming and dinner just isn’t gonna happen.
Plan to nurse. A lot.
I know not all moms breastfeed, but I do for a few reasons. Firstly, Abbie was an easy nurser which made my life easy and made breastfeeding a no brained. Secondly, I don’t love binkies, and neither does she 😂. So when she needs comfort, I have the milk-makers on tap ready to go.
Nursing isn’t just about food for your baby, it’s also about comfort. So during leap weeks, I not only nurse a lot but I also usually nurse in a lying down position or another one that allows her to relax and have lots of comforting body contact (aka we snuggle a lot). That helps her get the extra rest she needs and helps keep her from being so much of a grouch.
As I’m writing this, I’m actually laying on the couch and nursing her. We are currently in leap number four, and it’s been so exciting seeing her progress. when we visited my in-laws last week she hadn’t quite mastered grabbing things and bringing them deliberately to her mouth. This week, suddenly she can do it easily. She’s also been grabbing my mouth, which I thought was super weird until I realized it was just a leap thing.
Leap weeks are just hard.
I wish I could give you some tips for making them easier, but aside from the essential oils I use to help everyone’s moods, preplanning is the key to making leap weeks much less miserable for everyone, especially you momma!