There were a lot of things I wish I knew about newborns. For example, I wish I knew that they woke up often to feed, even at 2 am. And at 4 am. Not to mention 6 am. I honestly thought they slept a lot, which they do. However, I didn’t know how often they needed to eat.
I wrote a post about what I wish I knew after having a baby. I was curious to know if other moms had similar thoughts on what they wish they knew about newborns and having a baby. Thus, I’m going to share what I found about how other moms feel about this.
1.Growth Spurts. Obviously, babies grow, but some moms didn’t know the effects of these growth spurts. For example, one mom discussed how her baby would eat literally every hour or even every half hour.
One effect of these growth spurts may be to alter how you feed your baby. For example, this may mean pumping at different times and realizing that there will be times that your baby will need to eat a lot. Also, one should realize that these growth spurts don’t stay and that there will be times your baby doesn’t have to eat as much.
2. Not as much free time. One mom discussed how she didn’t have much free time. Yes, babies sleep a lot, but they are also awake quite a bit too. Babies may want to be held a lot, so you might not have as much time to do housework and other things. Thus, one may have to be creative in finding ways to get the house clean. It may mean that you wear your baby often, so you can do household chores. But also know that it’s ok to sleep when the baby sleeps and to also focus on taking care of yourself. Your house doesn’t have to be clean all the time, as you and the baby are adjusting to a new life.
3.Unnecessary baby items. There are some baby products that you don’t need. For example, one mom discussed how you don’t need fancy nursing pillows. This mom got one with a belt for back support, and it also had a pocket. However, she found that it was difficult to get herself into this while holding a screaming baby! Another potential unnecessary baby item is a playpen. I know from my own experience, my baby was NOT HAPPY to be in this playpen. Alas, it was a waste of our money. It was better for us to thoroughly baby proof and section off parts of the house that she needed to stay out of. My baby most definitely preferred to be able to crawl and walk most places instead of being stuck in a playpen or “baby jail”.
4.The body changes. Stretch marks and a saggy tummy might be things you expect to happen. However, one mom experienced more than that- her thighs and booty also sagged and stretched. This left her feeling self-conscious and not wanting to wear shorts throughout the summer. But, she did mention that they slowly firmed back up.
5. Consider working on changing your schedule before the baby comes. One mom discussed how she wished she worked on flipping her schedule before the baby came.
You might be more of a night person. However, babies are morning people! I had a baby that would get up quite early. Even now, I consider 9 am sleeping in. So, if you are someone that sleeps late, you might consider switching your schedule to where you wake up sooner, so it’s not such a drastic change when you have your baby.
6. You will need a support system. I know that I didn’t have any family close by, so I had to count on a close support system of friends for when the baby did come. Another mom mentions finding a support system that seems to mother like you want to mother. As a first time mom, I know that I needed a lot of advice, so I did seek out my support system. It was also important to have a group of people I could go to if I needed help. For example, when I needed to get work down, it was super helpful to have someone who could play with my baby while I worked. It was also important to take care of myself and get out of the house occasionally. Again, occasionally, I did ask some friends to help watch the baby. And they were wonderful with that! I’m forever grateful for that group of people that were so helpful. They helped me get through the challenging parts of having a new baby and being a new mom.
7. Keep a sense of humor. Babies are cute and have quite the personalities! However, there are some challenging times, so remember to keep a sense of humor to help reduce stress. There are so many times I wanted to cry, because my baby was crying and I had tried anything and everything to help her. However, she still kept crying. In order to keep my sanity, it was important to just go with the flow and find the humor in some of these challenges. These times won’t last forever either.
There are many things that moms wish they knew about newborns! For example, while they do sleep a lot, they still get up often to eat, among other things. So, it’s important to find ways to still get enough sleep. Also, there are baby products that moms wish they knew that they wouldn’t need such as fancy nursing pillows and a baby playpen. Other products certainly helped me more such as a baby swing (this helped us sleep on more nights than I can count, as it helped my baby sleep!).
While having a newborn can be challenging, they are so precious and just need your attention and love. Things don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to be “the perfect mom” and do everything. Just be there for your baby and everything will come with time.
If you want to know more about caring for newborns, check out these books:
And your wish may have come true with this baby manual (I have used this, and it was helpful!):
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