So in a week or so, I’ll officially have a three month old baby. WHAT?! I swear it was five minutes ago I was in that labour ward screaming for pain relief (and getting none mind you.. hmmf. Still FUMING over this. Read my birth story here if you fancy). Anyway, it’s been a whirlwind. It feels like no time has passed, and yet my whole world has changed and the old life seems a million miles away. Let me tell ya, I’ve learned a thing or two since popping out a sprog. So I thought today I’d share some of my new wisdom. Some of this will only apply to me and my baby, because every experience is unique and totally different. I’d love to know things YOU have learned since having a baby, if you have, so let me know in the comments!
Anyway, 20 things I’ve learned since having a baby:
1. Some things will be trial and error.
Unfortunately there’s no magic ‘one fits all’ guidebook for babies (no matter what Amazon tells you!!), so you just have to figure out your baby and how they ‘work‘ each day. For example, formula. River was on normal SMA formula for at least his first 7 weeks. But the thing is, no matter how slowly we made him drink, by giving him breaks inbetween, he still brought a lot of it back up after. So we switched to Anti reflux milk, and this worked a treat! He had a normal amount of spit up which you can expect with any baby, and no big vomits anymore. However, he then seemed to have trouble pooping and passing wind; it was like it was too tough for his little tummy. I gave him a week and half on this, just in case he was adjusting, and I know I could have give him another week or so, but honestly seeing him struggle was horrible so I weren’t happy. We then switched to Comfort milk, and we’ve finally got a winner!! He spits up a bit afterwards, but nowhere near as much as before, and he poops just fine thanks, HA. The only issue now is how smelly it makes his farts… brilliant. But yep, trial and error. This is just one example but I could honestly be here all day giving others.
2. Nappies aren’t a big deal.
No really. And I actually hate when people are like, OH NO POOR YOU, POOEY NAPPIES OMGGGG. Or when they cheer if Gary changes a nappy, grrr. Firstly, so he should! (and he does, every single day); but secondly, I’ll be honest they really don’t bother me. However a baby with a snotty nose? BLEUGHHHH.
3. You can never have too many muslins.
Everyone says this, and for good reason. IT’S SO TRUE.
4. Getting a chance to clean the house will be a treat, not a chore.
I know, I’m officially old and boring now. But the house so easily gets into a right state now, and I barely have time or energy to sort it if Gary’s working, so its a treat when I have a moment to tidy it up! Not that it lasts long…
5. NOBODY will know your baby better than you.
People will say ‘Oh babies want this/need this/will do this‘ but your baby could be completely different. And what works for one may not work for another. I know what River wants with certain types of cry now, which sounded insane to me before I had a baby. I used to think all cries sound the same; but not anymore!
6. Everyone will shove their opinions on you, even if you haven’t asked.
Ughh. It starts when you’re pregnant, and doesn’t stop. Especially when it comes to feeding/sleeping; people love to throw their strong opinions around. Here’s a tip; look after your child, and leave everyone else to theirs unless they ask.
7. Save the cute outfits for when baby is older.
I LOVE some of the adorable outfits we have for River, but he’s never in them for long. Whether he’s throwing up, had a poo explosion, or whatever; he gets changed at LEAST once a day. And then there’s the fact he’s growing all the time so he’s never in anything for too long. Luckily, we never wasted our money on this as we literally only bought him the basics for now. Every cute outfit you see him in has been given to us by someone! Which is so lovely. But yeah, save the cute outfits for 6 months onward at least if you want your money’s worth.
8. You’ll love AND hate having time away from baby.
… But you’ll need it! It’s so weird and horrible being away from River. When he’s with his gran even just for an hour or two I feel panicky. Logically I KNOW he’s fine, but y’know. I can’t help myself. So it’s brilliant when you have some freedom, but you can never quite enjoy it like before!
9. Even if baby sleeps wonderfully, you won’t.
First off, I’ll say outright that we’re so lucky with River. He sleeps SO well, right through the night (from about 10pm until about 6am, then has a feed and goes back to sleep until around 9am) and I do think some of it is down to our routine, but otherwise we’re just really lucky. However, it doesn’t mean I sleep like I used to pre-baby! My mum senses are now on full alert and I swear my brain keeps listening to every breath of his even when I’m asleep. I now have the ability to go to sleep, and wake at just the sound of a change in breath or a dummy popping out. It’s like a magic power… but a really shit one.
10. You’ll become that person who can’t stop talking about their baby.
Ughh, I hate this about me at the moment; but it can’t be helped. I’m not working (even though I’m staying creative), and my whole day revolves around the baby, so I don’t have much else to talk about! I do actively try to keep it to a minimum, but please – forgive me if it’s super boring.
11. You can really struggle with the smallest things.
Some days when you’re really tired, baby might be crying for no reason that you can fathom, a big bill has just landed on the door, and you’re alone all day – it can feel like everything is crumbling a bit. Sometimes just dealing with baby alone for the day is a huge task, and other days it’ll be a breeze. Just roll with it.
12. Your body really isn’t the same again.
Not just in the obvious ways. Things are softer, or alien, and don’t quite feel the same as before baby. Not just physically too, you’ll feel like your body is a whole new being to you because of the immense job it’s done bringing a child into the world. Epic stuff really. Still, running my hands over my belly after having the baby and not having that big, round, hard lump was WEIRD.
13. Sometimes babies cry for nothing.
Ughh, what little bastards. But yep, true. At some point they’re ‘testing’ things like this through developmental leaps, just to see if you come running. Which you will. And you’ll tear your hair out trying EVERYTHING to stop them crying. When this happens, give yourself a medal for getting through it.
14. You second guess everything.
Is baby too hot? too cold? Are they comfortable? Am I doing this right?? Are they developing on time?? ARGHH.
15. You’ll try anything to get some sleep.
White noise toys, different noise apps, light projectors, swaddling, rocking baby to sleep, positioning them differently, giving them a bath before bed, singing to them – whatever it takes, you’ll try it. You’ll find your groove eventually, but man it’s hard when sleep is a thing of the past you barely remember. Also, sidenote – be kind and patient to sleep deprived parents; honestly it really is SHIT. It makes us so so grumpy and sad, and we can’t help it!
16. You’ll realise no two days are the same.
I wish things ran with military precision, as I’m someone who loves a plan, a routine, a strict schedule. But sadly babies don’t work that way. Having a routine definitely DOES help, but don’t be surprised if it all goes tits up every now and again.
17. You WILL have a bit of a breakdown at some point.
Mine was a bad one. It was about 2 weeks after Gary went back to work, and everything had been fine up until then for me. But suddenly it all went wrong. Nothing big, just small little things all piling up; and then the cherry on the cake was when I couldn’t get the pram to open up, and River was screaming away. I burst out crying, and cancelled all plans for the day, it sucked. But you get through it! It’s like a right of passage.
18. Your thoughts become quite morbid.
Okay this really might just be me, but my mind now thinks unspeakable things. I imagine everything horrible that could happen to River, or I imagine everything I could do wrong. I picture myself spilling hot tea on him, falling down the stairs with him, tripping over, accidentally dropping him, smothering him, ughh, the lot. Any morbid, horrible, frightening thing – yep, my mind is now obsessed with it. New mum brain is horrible!! Please tell me someone else gets this?!
19. You’ll wonder what you did with all the time you had before baby.
I’ll admit I’ve always loved a productive day, so I’ve never exactly been lazy or anything. But man, what I wouldn’t give to live like that again for just one week! I could get SO MUCH DONE, haha! Now I’ve learned to take advantage of a quick fifteen minutes here and there…
20. You’ll probably think everyone else is doing a better job than you, at some point.
They’re not. We’re all just muddling our way through. We all do it differently and some babies are easier than others, but it’s hard on everyone! So give yourself a break eh? (Must remember to say this to self more often).
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