So you just told everyone that you are pregnant or maybe you are coming up on your 20 week anatomy scan. I can almost guarantee you’ve heard the phrase, ” Congratulations! What are you having?” Am I right?
When I first got pregnant we had struggled so long to get pregnant that I decided I didn’t care what the sex was and we opted to wait to find out the gender. I know, I know you think I am crazy but hear me out. There are so many wonderful reasons to wait to find out the gender of the baby until the moment they are born. So here they are.
12 Reasons to NOT Find Out the Gender of Your Baby
Reason #1 No Expectations
There are so many expectations for new parents. Maybe everyone in your family has felt a certain way during their pregnancy or everyone just ‘knows,’ you’re going to have a girl first. Taking the gender of the baby off the table until the day of can be a bit freeing.
There is no expectations for what the baby will be. But more importantly it takes any expectations off of your unborn child (at least of a little while). You can hold off the ‘Johnny is going to be the best quarterback on the team,’ or ‘If it’s a girl you’re going to name her after aunt Bertha, right?’. These comments can be so overwhelming as a new parent.
Reason #2 You Get to Pick Two Names
If you don’t already have names picked out, waiting to find out what you’re having gives you the opportunity to pick a boy and a girl name that you love.
When my husband and I decided to wait on finding out the gender I was excited that we got to sit down and really spend time thinking of a name we wanted for both sexes. It made the the experience sweeter. Dreaming up names for a girl or a boy not knowing which name you will use until the day of.
Reason #3 It Drives People Crazy
Okay, this one of my favorites, it drives people crazy that they can’t know the gender! I know it’s bad but come on! Everyone has so many opinions and you get so much unwanted advice, it really is nice to have this one thing that no one can take from you.
I secretly loved when people asked with their preconceived notions and I could shut them down with “we’re not finding out.” I just enjoyed this one thing about MY pregnancy that no one could make a comment about.
Reason #4 The 20 Week Scan is So Much More Than Gender
So many moms, especially first time moms may not know this. If it wasn’t for my obsessive researching I may not have either. The scan where you normally find out the gender is actual to locate so many other things than sexual organs.
This scan also is for the doctor to make sure your baby has all the chambers of its heart, a kidney, a liver, to measure the spine, etc. SO MANY IMPORTANT THINGS! When you leave gender out of it, it’s amazing how excited you get over a kidney and knowing baby has all the right organs.
Reason #5 People Buy You More Gifts After Baby is Born
This one may seem selfish but I mean it in a sweet way. Since people couldn’t bombard you with gender specific gifts at your shower (at least for us) right after baby was born people went and bought more clothes and small items that were gender specific.
I was a nice little welcome for baby to have a few pieces of gender specific items without having only tutus and bow ties.
Reason #6 The Gift You Do Get at the Shower Are Necessary
To piggy back off reason 5, the gifts you do receive at your shower are useful and necessary. We actual had people approach us because they didn’t know what to buy because they didn’t know they gender… huh? As new parents you need so many things and when people are asked to buy stuff you need and not just the ‘cute,’ stuff you seem to get stuff that is necessary.
Reason #7 Gender Neutral Gear is Great for Baby 2
If you plan to have more than one child having baby gear that is gender neutral is awesome! At least for the first couple of months you have clothes that would work for a girl or a boy. For us that has been great. When our first outgrew things we would pack it up and save it. Of course you could do this knowing the gender as well but if you end up with the opposite gender the second time then you have clothes you won’t use.
Having gear that works for both genders has been amazing and saved us a ton of money!
Reason #8 There is No Chance the Scan Was Wrong
I think we all know someone who knows someone, who had a scan and the gender was WRONG! Can you imagine? You think you’re having _____ and it’s ______! By waiting to find out you don’t risk the scan being wrong because you find out in the moment. I know it doesn’t happen often but it gave me piece of mind knowing they would just tell me when baby was born.
Reason #9 In Labor Not Knowing the Gender is Great Motivation
When you’re in labor and pushing any motivation is welcomed. Not knowing what gender our baby was or what their name would be was AMAZING motivation for me to give it my all. I wanted to give ‘one more push,’ each time because I was so excited to find out what we were having.
Reason #10 It Helps You Stay On Budget
When you are buying things that you need and not things that are just cute you stay on budget. When I went out shopping for baby I knew what we needed for baby. Not that I didn’t buy some cute stuff but staying gender neutral kept my eye on the prize and on budget. I bought what I knew we needed to have and things that would last instead of buying something strictly because it was ‘so cute.’
Reason #11 It’s the Best Surprise
I know there are only two options but mama when you are pushing for hours or after you have major surgery and you find out what your little one is, and what their name is… It is the best surprise EVER. There is no party or gift like not knowing what your baby is one moment and knowing the next. There are few things left in life that we can be surprised by. This one is one I wish everyone could experience.
Reason #12 There is Nothing Else Like It
If none of the reasons above convinced you not to find out the gender, then listen to this one.
There is nothing else in the world like the doctor telling you “it’s a _____,” and not knowing beforehand.
There is absolutely nothing like looking at your partner and knowing which name you are going to use.
There is nothing like spending the hours after the birth talking about how you feel knowing it’s a girl or a boy. If you are looking for one of the rare beauties in life, this is one of them.
There is no right choice. this was ours and we loved every second and are so excited to do it again. If you chose or are choosing to not find out the gender I would love to hear you reasons in the comments.
How I Survived a Super Cranky Baby
This is how I survived a super cranky baby and so can you.
When my son was born my husband and I were over the moon. We had struggled to get pregnant and had watched everyone else have babies for the last 16 months and it was finally our turn. I had been around babies my entire life so I had some idea of what newborn life looked like…. or so I thought.
My son was born in early May and those first couple of weeks were AMAZING!! My husband got a full 2 weeks off of work and we were running like a well oiled machine. What one of us lacked the other made up for and vice versa. It was magical.
and then my son turned 5 weeks old….
So it began
It started with a few hours a day. My little one would cry for a few hours straight each evening and everyone told me “he’s being a baby, this is what you signed up for.” So, a few more weeks went by and it just got progressively worse. By the time he was about 3 months old and he was screaming the whole day. 8-12 hours out of the days he was crying and/or screaming. I knew something was wrong so I took him to the doctor and after a month of back and forth we ended up at Children’s with a diagnoses of acid reflux AND colic…. He is now a happy (well most of the time) 9 month old but getting through those months were HARD. I thought I would never make it through but there were a few things that helped us cope and also seemed to help him. This is how we survived a super cranky baby and you can too!
Here are some of the things that helped us for a wide scope of reasons and not just for acid reflux.
Asking for help
I know this seems pretty basic but as a new mom a lot of us can feel like we need to do it all. As if asking for help would some how make us less amazing.. but it doesn’t! I promise it DOESN’T! When my husband was at work I was in over my head. It started with my husband telling me to go hang out with my friends in the evenings (he works in the evenings). I never wanted to though because WHO wants to listen to a baby cry all night, I didn’t and so I felt like I was inconveniencing anyone I was around.
First, my in-laws invited me over one evening for dinner and helped me out for a few hours. They would rock him and pace with him until I needed to nurse and even though I was still with him and could hear him crying or screaming being around other people helped me so much. I felt like I could breath knowing that others heard him and I wasn’t going crazy. Not to mention being able to put him down or hand him off gave me just a few moments to sit and relax.
(My son and his Pops on our Mondays out)
It was so helpful that I made this part of my weekly schedule. Mondays were the hardest because Alex was at home to help out all weekend to help out. When Monday rolled around and I was all alone with the baby again it seemed so much more difficult. So every Monday I would go to my in-laws house for dinner and to sit for a few hours. They got to visit with their grand baby, we got out of the house and I got a little time to breath. It was (and still is) a win, win, win. After a few Mondays I started to add more scheduled visits to my week to see other people. Asking for help or even working in a few dinners with friends and family was by far the biggest life saver with a super cranky baby.
As a stay at home mom (and I’m sure for working mamas too!) feeling like the walls are closing in was a feeling I got a lot. By that I mean, you can only be in the same rooms for so many days before you feel like they are getting smaller. As a first time mom who had gone to work Monday through Friday, staying home everyday was a HUGE culture shock to say the least!! My baby was born in May so the weather was normally warm. My husband was home in the mornings so that’s when we would walk. Every morning we would either find a new park or just walk around the block. Babies are so curious and on the days where I got my son out and walked with him he seemed to be a little less cranky.
I would load him up in his baby carrier (I love this carrier for newborns and smaller babies and this one for older babies ) so he was close to me and on nice days we would walk, just for a short time like 30-60 mins. Not only was he getting out of the house and exploring new things to see and hear but I was getting out too! Babies pick up on your emotions so when I felt stressed and over whelmed he picked up on that. So getting out of the house would help my mood and in return help him as well. Again, a win, win. Bonus I was getting a small workout in each day too!
(A few photos from our walks)
Now this tip may seem a little nontraditional to some but I was trying everything at this point.
One evening my son was going on hour 8 or 9 of screaming when my husband got home from work baby and I were both in tears . I was so overwhelmed and I felt helpless. My husband jumped in the shower and we sat in the bathroom so I could talk to him while I cried. The screaming was getting worse and all the sudden my husband said take his clothes off and throw him in here with me…. what!? Babies can’t have showers! Well, mine did! I stripped him down and my husband held him in the shower.
IT WORKED! For the first time in over 8 hours the crying stopped. I felt so relieved. This small miracle lead to other water related things that worked. When he was crying sometimes I would fill up the bathroom sink and let him kick his feet in the water, give him a bath, take bath with him or just wipe him down with a warm rag. All of these things helped… sometimes.
Anything I could do to distract him I would try. One night after he woke up we turned the vacuum on. It was loud and a constant sound. It immediately calm him down. We quickly realized we couldn’t run our vacuum all night so we had to search out other options. The first thing we found was a wonderful YouTube video of a vacuum running for 8 hours!! It was a life saver. We would throw our phone on charge and turn the video on and we all three would fall asleep to it. This worked for a little while but when we went to transition him into his own bed we had to find another source for sound.
We used this awesome little white noise machine.
It’s small but works wonders! Not only does it make multiple sounds it has pictures it projects on the ceiling.
Yeah, Yeah I know it’s corny… But seriously.. mamas, LOVE. Love your little baby and love on them. What I mean is even when the baby is crying and has been for hours try and step back or step away and think about how happy that little baby makes you. Love on your little one. Keep him/her close. In those first couple of months especially all they have ever known is the sound of your heart beat and your scent so hold them close. You’re not going to spoil them they NEED you. Hold them, lay them on your chest, just love on them.
For me I had to walk away or think about it before bed. Just the simple fact that I had spent so many nights praying for that little bugger and now he was here. Whether he screamed all day (and night) was irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. In those silent moments I would think of the good, that one little smile I might have gotten that day or the sleepy snuggles… I would think about how this time will pass. That cranky baby won’t be little forever. So..while they are little take time to love them even when they are at their worst. It’s not easy but nothing about being the parent of a tiny human is.
(bath time one night when he had been screaming for hours)