In 3 days I’ll have been a mom for a whole year. I think this means I can stop using #newmom?
Where does the time go? I’m amazed every day at how much babies grow and advance in a year. It’s HUGE. I mean, you probably know this, but I don’t think you truly realize it until you go through the year with your own baby.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what the past year has taught me and what people told me and didn’t tell me about parenthood. What was actually true (for me) about being a mom and what wasn’t.
So to dispell any myths and talk about any truths….here we go. (Obviously, this was true for us, your family may be different!
The first thing: sleep before the baby comes because you’ll never sleep again. First of all, I HATED hearing this. I was prepared to not sleep with a newborn and it wasn’t so bad. Turns out they sleep A LOT. Even without having the best sleeper, we sleep trained and guess what….we get sleep! Liv sleeps from 7:30-7 (ish). I sleep from 9:30-6 generally. Plus, now that we sleep, we don’t even remember the days/weeks on end when we didn’t sleep through the night.
Enjoy every second because it goes too fast. This is the understatement of the year. They are not tiny for very long. When you’re in the trenches of newborn-ness and your baby isn’t napping it feels like forever, but really it’s a blink.
Don’t compare your baby. Your baby has no clue about a timeline or what the next baby’s doing. Don’t worry about when they roll, sit up, crawl and walk, etc. I did this a lot with sleep. Liv didn’t sleep through the night until we sleep trained. Also, Liv didn’t roll until what seemed like late, then she crawled at 7 months and she’s just about to walk. Don’t even give it a second thought about the milestones, they will come. (Of course, talk to your pediatrician if you have any true concerns.)
Teething sucks. You’ll get a little teething gremlin occasionally. No one told me teething can be ROUGH. And guess what, 16 of those suckers need to cut through.
The beginning can be boring and isolating. Life with a 1 year old is on the go. She’s moving and I’m moving. In the beginning there’s a lot of sitting and sleeping. Try to make mom friends and hang out. Find things to do. Suddenly a trip to CVS is FUN!
Tell your husband how he can help/communicate with him. Whether you stay home all day with your baby for maternity leave or long term, when your husband gets home from work let him know how he can help out. Do you need him to change/feed/play with your baby? Do you need a break? Sometimes it can be hard to ask for help, but we all need it. AND you need a break, so make sure your husband knows what he can do to help out. They’re not mind readers.
It’s normal to hate your husband a little bit after you have your baby. Enough said? It goes away I promise, but it’s a totally normal feeling to have. Obviously you don’t really hate them, you love them under the hate, but it’s a legitimate feeling and don’t be worried by it. Sometimes it feels glamorous that they get to go to work and talk to adults…and like, get a coffee if they want one (without a diaper bag, stroller, diaper change, outfit change, burp cloth, etc). If you’re lucky enough to have a husband like mine, then he’d rather be home than at work but he goes (and does a great job) to support our family.
You’ll be so busy, you’ll forget to eat. Um…never happened to me. I did have days where I’d be feeding Liv and starving…and thinking about eating but had to wait an hour to so…but I never forgot. I also had meals (and still do) where I’m eating while following Liv around or on the counter.
Get on a schedule. Schedules worked best for us. They’re not set in stone and they’re not by the clock. Pay attention to awake time and you’ll be golden. So for example, instead of thinking your baby will nap at 9,12 and 3…they’ll be awake for 1.5 hours and then need a nap. (Just making this up, refer to chart for actual help.) This finally changes around 9-10 months. Now we nap at 9 & 2:30 generally. I say generally, because if her first nap is long, then sometimes she’ll wait until 3 to nap and guess what, sometimes she won’t take a second nap. (We’ll be in this 1-2 nap transition for awhile I’d imagine.)
Eat, play, sleep. Your baby MUST EAT, PLAY, SLEEP!!! Just kidding. I was so worried when my baby did: eat, sleep, play. Sometimes she’d even eat, play, eat, sleep. What was I doing wrong??? NOTHING. And it doesn’t matter. Do whatever works for you guys. Olivia doesn’t need a bottle to sleep and hasn’t since we sleep trained…which brings me to my next point…
Survival! For the first couple of months you’re just trying to get by and keep your baby happy and growing. Whatever you do to get there doesn’t matter. Maybe this s bad advice, but we did whatever we had to for the first 3-4 months and we dealt with it later. Swing, pacifier, rock n’play, feeding baby to sleep, bringing baby to bed to sleep, rocking to sleep, letting baby sleep on you, are all things considered to be creating “habits”. Well at 12 months we haven’t done any of those things for months and we are doing just fine. (P.S. if Liv would ever let me rock her to sleep or take a snooze with her, I would love to occasionally….girl loves her alone time and her crib, so this doesn’t ever happen.)
I would LOVE to hear your advice and what was true for you. What did you figure out after the first year? Did any of these things ring true for you too?