Having a baby for the first time is the most nerve racking thing I’ve ever done. Newborns are scary as f***! They need you 24/7, 365! You are literally in charge of keeping a very vulnerable tiny stranger alive! I knew all of these things, but didn’t realize the magnitude until I was neck deep in the middle of it.
Looking back 9 months, these are a few things I wish I had known before day 1.
Everything your baby is going through is a phase.
Whether it’s crying nonstop, teething, refusing to eat, not sleeping through the night, rolling over, or crawling. It is just a stage and it will pass. Some of these phases will pass like a kidney stone. Others at lightning speed, but I promise they all pass. Hold the baby, embrace the cuddles. You’ll blink and they’ll be crawling and refusing to cuddle.
Babies eat A LOT and at the same time have tiny stomachs.
My son at one point wanted to eat every hour on the hour. Every time I said, “He can’t be hungry still, I just fed him.” He was indeed hungry and scarfed down his entire bottle. Tip: you count time of feedings at when they started eating, not when they finished. So if they take 30 minutes to eat and they eat every 2 hours you only get to sleep/eat/have alone time for an 1 hour and 1/2. May the odds be ever in your favor.
You will never be in control again.
(See above) The sooner you figure this out, the better. Up until now things have probably gone your way or you’ve at least had a good grasp on your life. I hate to break it to you, but kiss that goodbye. Whether it is the unexpected quick delivery or a traumatic birth. Planning on breastfeeding and it not working out or breastfeeding and discovering your baby can’t tolerate anything you eat. Whatever it is, that is the moment you lost control. I thought I had a grasp on this, I did not. That tiny human is in full control, at all times. Embrace it, the sooner the better. Deep breath and repeat after me, “You are no longer in control.”
Sleep deprivation is real.
You will learn to live with it. How, you ask? I have no idea, but you do. I lived with it for 7 1/2 months, you will live. Anyone who is asking you as a new parent if you’re getting any sleep is just being mean. Those people should be cursed with sleep insomnia. Just roll your eyes and walk away.
You’re relationship with your partner will change.
For the first 7 months we lived in pure survival mode. My husband and I had more arguments about parenting style than I can even begin to tell you. It was always little stuff, but when you’re more exhausted than you can ever imagine, the little stuff escalates fast. In those moments, try and remember you’re a team. Forgive always and admit when you’re wrong.
You will never love someone or something as much as your child.
It’s cliche, I know, but it’s true. I find myself just staring at my son all the time. When he’s in the room I have a really hard time concentrating on anything else. He is the most beautiful thing in the world. My greatest accomplishment and he is enough. I want to be a better person for him and because of him. I wouldn’t trade him for anything.