The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the lessons learned from the previous one. As a new mother, it provides the chance to review the things you got right and assess what you may need to improve on for when baby number two comes around.
Here are 7 things I’ve personally learned as a new mom!
1. When you see your child smile or laugh for the first time, it really does make every second of pregnancy, labor and the painful recovery worth it.
2. Sleepless nights aren’t limited to the first 2-3 weeks after baby arrives. Baby’s sleep schedule can fluctuate periodically as he experiences a growth spurt…meaning even after baby seems to finally have a good schedule down, there can be nights (or weeks) where he (and thus, you) will be up several times throughout the night. Just expect it.
3. Diaper explosions are bound to happen. It doesn’t matter if you’ve secured the little one’s tush perfectly, they are inevitable. Take a deep breath and make sure you have ample wipes and stain remover available.
4. Everyone will tell you “nap when baby naps” but that doesn’t quite work. Why not? Well, after you manage to do the 50 or so things on your list, you might just need that time for showering, eating or just vegging out.
5. The whole “cry it out” routine isn’t an exact science. Besides the fact that it’s heart-wrenching to ignore the incessant cries of your child, research doesn’t quite agree on this one. Some studies argue that letting babies cry it out is best for new parents, while others point to the detrimental effects it can leave. I’ve learned that you just have to follow your gut: sometimes you will need to pick him up to comfort; other times you have to let baby learn to self-soothe, lest you drive yourself crazy.
6. Once baby starts solids, feeding time will get messy. It’s just unavoidable. At first you’ll try to wipe every little spill, grab plenty of paper towels and stock up on those EZ-wipe bibs. Then you’ll just let baby eat whichever way he does, and clean up afterwards.
7. Being a mom is A LOT of work! Yes, motherhood has it’s moments; most of those being AMAZING. But the reality is, there are also many days when you just want to rip your hair out from the stress. Take it in stride and remember it gets better. And if not, tag out, and demand your partner step in!