MacKenzie Porter Embraces ‘No Sleep Era’ After Welcoming First Baby: ‘It’s Been a Whirlwind’

MacKenzie Porter, who attended the 2024 ACM Awards, is joyfully navigating the challenges of new motherhood after the birth of her first child, daughter Bowen James, in March.

Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE on the red carpet at the ACM Awards, the ‘About You’ singer shared her experience of welcoming baby Bowen, affectionately nicknamed Bowie, with her husband, Nashville actor Jake Etheridge.

“She’s eight weeks old,” Porter said, beaming about her newborn. “It’s been such a whirlwind. Last night was the first night I got a decent amount of sleep because it was the first time I was away from her. But she’s the sweetest little thing, I could not be more in love.”

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MacKenzie Porter Baby
Image Courtesy: MacKenzie Porter (Instagram)

The 34-year-old artist candidly discussed the biggest adjustment since Bowie’s arrival: sleep deprivation. “She sleeps like three hours in a row and that’s it,” Porter explained. “So, you know, that’s OK, I’m in my no sleep era, but it’ll be better one day again.”

Porter also expressed her excitement about raising a daughter, highlighting the joy of sharing special moments and experiences. “I love fashion, so probably like the clothes, but also, like, little moments of her being my bestie,” she said. “Going to get my nails done with her, or seeing my husband with her. That’s so sweet. Seeing this thing you made is so incredible.”

As new parents, Porter and Etheridge have established a guiding principle for their parenting journey. “For parenting, it would be like always being on the same page — not that we’re parenting our 8-week-old yet — but that is our goal,” she shared. “If one of us says, like, ‘Oh no you can’t have your phone tonight,’ or ‘You have to go to bed,’ the other one’s gotta team up with the other parent.”

MacKenzie Porter Baby
Image Courtesy: Country town

Baby Bowie was born on Thursday, March 14. Reflecting on the transformative moment, the couple told PEOPLE, “On March 14th, 2024, our lives completely changed. Our daughter took her first breath and she is now forever the reason we breathe.”

They continued, “Life just got so much sweeter, snugglier, and sleepier all in a matter of minutes. Mommy and Daddy love you so so so much, little Bowie girl.”

After leaving the hospital on 16th March, Porter and Etheridge embarked on a cautious drive home with their precious cargo. “The last four days have been filled with endless cuddles, 800 Google searches of ‘is ___ normal for a newborn,’ a few tears of stress, but many more tears of joy,” they shared. “There is an endless loop of monitor footage of us checking to make sure she’s still breathing, or just standing over her bassinet to stare at her perfect little squishy face.”

-Gayathri J