When I had my first baby, I was pretty young. And I was the first one in my group of friends to have a baby. I didn’t have a ton of people to come to for baby advice. My husband and I did it on our own. We didn’t read books or go to classes. We just learned by experience and did everything we thought would be best for our child. Not much has changed now that we have three beautiful girls. Every day is a learning experience in parenting! But, I have to admit, there are a few things that would have been nice to know BEFORE we had a baby, the things we had to figure out the hard way…
- Wear your baby. Seriously, babywearing is a lifesaver. With my first, I only used a carrier when we went on long walks or hikes. With my other 2, I wore them constantly. And they rarely cried. Babies are often happiest when they are close to mama, or even skin-to-skin.
- Breastfeeding is beautiful. Everything I had heard about breastfeeding before I had a baby was negative. It hurts. It’s hard. It’s impossible. No one told me how wonderful it would be. Breastfeeding has been one of my favorite parts of being a mother.
- Babies cry. That’s just part of it, friends. Most of the time I can make the crying stop by holding, rocking, singing, nursing, or changing a wet diaper. But sometimes, they just need to let it out. It doesn’t mean that you are a bad parent and it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a perfect baby.
- Don’t stress out over sleep. Every other article I read is about how to get babies to sleep better. Babies are all different. Some sleep through the night right away. Some never do. I know this now, having 3 babies. The more stressed out you are about trying to get your baby to sleep, the harder it will be for you to get any rest.
- Carseats don’t go on top of the cart. I realize this is a pretty specific one. But this is a mistake I continuously made as a new mom. Thankfully, I’ve learned from other moms and from articles I’ve read how dangerous it is to put the carseat on top of the cart. Just don’t do it.
- Babies don’t have to start eating rice cereal at 4 months. As a new mom, I just did what everyone else did. Sure, there’s no harm in giving your baby these things so early, but it’s just not necessary. Babies really don’t need the calories until much later.
- Baby shoes don’t fit for several months. With each of my girls, all of the newborn shoes were a waste. They never stayed on and sometimes they even got lost. It seems like around 6 months of so, their feet start to grow and flatten out, and shoes become an option again.
- It’s the greatest thing ever. Before I had kids, the only thing I heard was that my life was over and that I’d never get any sleep again. While the sleep thing might be true, no one told me how amazing it was to be a mom. It really is the greatest thing ever and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.