Location: Alexandria, VA
Kids: 4 months
Anna Gokaldas works in Washington, D.C. and lives with her husband and new baby in Alexandria, Va. She is helping make BabyPage a wonderful experience for new moms as they navigate day to day life with a brand new baby.
1. What product can you not live without?
We also couldn’t live without our bouncy seat and the Rock and Play — both by Fischer Price. Also, introducing a pacifier was a game changer. I know lots of parents are concerned with the short and long term effects, especially if the baby is breastfed, but it has changed our lives!
2. What product is a major time saver for you?
A bottle. We started giving Finn expressed breastmilk via a bottle while in the hospital because we were having trouble latching and his weight had gone down. Now we still give him a bottle once during the night- still breastmilk- and it allows me to pump in lieu of feeding him, and my husband get one on one time to bond.
3. How do you take care of yourself? How do you unwind?
I have tried to sleep when Finn sleeps to avoid being sleep deprived, that hasn’t always worked.
I like to spend time working in my garden to relax. Whether it’s weeding the flower beds or tending to the vegetables and herbs, it’s a great way for me to connect with my roots. And eventually, I hope gardening will be an activity that Finn and I can do together!
4. What tools do you use to track your children’s milestones? (ex. Baby book, notebook, spreadsheet, etc.)
We have a baby book that we haven’t started yet, and a photo album that we update weekly for our family so they can check Finn’s development from afar.
5. What advice would you give to new moms?
Take a deep breath and learn to cut yourself some slack. You are doing the best you can and your baby loves you! Finn is our first child, so we’re still learning the ropes on a daily basis. I try my best not to get discouraged when things are frustrating, like when I realized that breastfeeding is really freaking hard, because eventually you figured it. Your new role as mom has an impact on your own set of relationships- with your partner, parents, siblings, in-laws, and friends, and it might take some time to work through your new role and how your interact with those around you.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
6. What is the grossest thing you’ve ever had to clean up?
We’ve had some explosive diaper situations, but the projectile spit up has been nasty too!
7. What’s a really useful product that you don’t see on a lot of registries?
It’s not a product, but the Total Baby app has been an emended help to track all of our baby’s feeds, diapers, and sleep. This was extremely helpful during the first few weeks when documenting input and output illustrated whether Finn was receiving enough breast milk. You can also input milestones and other information into the notes section.
Also, we use an exercise ball to calm Finn down. We just hold him and bounce away.
8. What is something about having kids that you didn’t know that you would love?
Watching my husband with our son has made me fall in love with him all over again.
9. If you could go back in time to when you had your first baby, what would you tell yourself?
I’ll keep you posted!
10. What is the busiest time of day for you and your family?
I haven’t returned to work yet, but I anticipate that getting Finn off to daycare and us out the door to work will be extremely challenging. I’ve already started trolling the blogs looking for time saving ideas!