What would you tell your first time mom self?

posted 3 weeks ago in Babies
Post # 2
Member
559 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Not quite a second timer yet (pregnant with #2) but my first is almost 18 months. I still have to tell myself that everything is a phase. Whatever difficult thing they are going through will pass, they won’t refuse to sleep/not want to eat anything/other annoying things forever. More generally, the newborn phase doesn’t last forever. I know plenty of people who liked it, but I didn’t. It was rough, even with an easy baby. Eventually, they won’t be newborns anymore and you will have a better idea of what’s going on and the post partum hormones/fog will clear. I love having a toddler, even if he’s significantly moodier than he was as a baby. 
Also, read up on sleep techniques and implement them early. I’m not talking about sleep training but like awake windows and ideal hours of sleep per age. Early self settling techniques etc. I didn’t do this with my first, and we hit a hard sleep regression at just over 3 months. I know plenty of people who have started focusing on sleep ASAP and skipped the regression/have young babies who can already put themselves to sleep etc. May not have worked with my son, he was a real tricky one even with sleep training (much more stubborn than the book predicted haha), but I plan to at least try next time and hope that we get through the 3-6 month period more smoothly 🤞

Post # 3
Member
4995 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

Things will get better. 

Post # 4
Member
330 posts
Helper bee

It gets better. Seriously. Some things (like sleep deprivation, colic, etc.) are SO HARD because they seem endless. But everything is a phase. (This is what I’m telling myself as we are expecting numbers 2 and 3 in a few weeks.)

Post # 5
Member
1226 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

My daughter just turned 4 months last Monday so I only really have advice up to there ;P It DOES get better, but it definitely does suck SO much those first six weeks or so- grant yourself grace and accept all the help you can get. Everything’s a phase, and that includes the good stuff- don’t get too used to your 3 month old sleeping 7 hours in a stretch and assume that now that she’s done that, that that’s how it’s going to be forever. 

Also, if someone offers to come over and help out in the early days, if they’re able to do so have them come first thing in the morning with Starbucks/donuts/bagels etc. When I’d be up in the wee hours of the morning it was so helpful to keep remembering that someone else was going to be there to help in 4 hours.

Post # 6
Member
1421 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Hold the baby, nurse the baby, keep the baby near. Throw away the books that are telling me that my child will never sleep or be independent if I sleep with her or carry her. Throw away the books and ignore the experts telling new mothers that they must have a schedule and must put the baby in her cot and they must not let the baby “manipulate” them.

And respect the baby for the perfect person they are and will grow to be.

Post # 7
Member
9285 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Be kind to yourself. And find your mom tribe. (h/t March 2018 Mamas!!! 💕)

Post # 8
Member
949 posts
Busy bee

Also not quite a second-timer yet (will be in a few weeks!). LO is almost 2. These are things I’m telling myself to prepare for the next one, but we’ll see if that’s actually worth anything, lol:

– Echoing PP: Nothing really lasts forever–both the good and the bad. The bad things aren’t lasting as long as they’ll feel like they’re lasting, and take time to cherish the good things (such as how teeny and cute newborns are).
– Listen to your gut. I know I’m a smart, capable, logical person, who wants the best for my baby. I’ll read and consider all advice, but if I really don’t feel popular advice is appropriate for my situation, I’m not going to feel guilted into applying it. At the end of the day, you’ll know your baby best, and you’re their parent for a reason. Don’t let people make you feel like you’re not capable of raising your own child.
– Go with the flow, learn general acceptance and adaption. If you need to keep switching up your daily routine to accomodate fluxing baby phases, just let it happen. If that means training your eye to become blind to the pile of junk collecting on the kitchen table, let it happen. If that means asking hubby to do a chore he normally never does, ask him to do it. Again, everything’s a phase and you’ll get back to normal eventually, so let things happen as they need to happen. My kid went through a Cheerio phase where I had to accept that cheerios would just be showing up everywhere no matter how much I’d follow her around with a vacuum. Stepping on a cheerio 12 times a day just became a part of life for a few months; if I  stressed over keeping things 100% clean all the time, I would’ve lost my mind. 
– Babies are super resilient and highly forgiving. You’re gonna make mistakes, but 9/10 that’s not going to matter. Baby won’t remember that time they rolled off the couch because you looked away for 2 seconds too long (and they’re going to survive rolling off the couch). Their bond with you won’t break because you sleep train them, or tell them “no” to chewing the laptop cord. You’re going to be the cause of your baby’s crying at some point, sometimes for reasons you can’t avoid, but you’ll still be their favorite person at the end of the day, and *they’re going to be okay*. Forgive yourself. 
– Accept help when it’s offered, and don’t be afraid to ask for it when you need it. You don’t have to be super-mom. Parenting is HARD, and you NEED to take care of yourself to take care of others. This is something I didn’t do with my first, so I’m trying to drill that into my head this time around. The first 3 months were a really dark time for me because I felt like I had to do it all alone, and I’m grateful nothing bad happened. It’s okay to accept that you need help, even if it looks like everyone else is able to juggle things on their own. Putting on a fake smile and saying everything is great when it’s not, does more harm than good. 

Post # 9
Member
1207 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

The first 2 months were the worst for me. I was in a fog, sleep deprived, emotional. I was exclusively pumping for the first month before my little guy learned to latch. It was exhausting. I would tell myself to just roll with it, and not have any expectations on how it’s “supposed” to go. 

Post # 10
Member
3801 posts
Honey bee

You are not a bad mom if you use formula. 

Post # 11
Member
504 posts
Busy bee

Your needs matter too. When it comes to baby sleep, do what works for your family, whether that’s cosleeping or putting your baby in a crib in their own room from night 1. Sleep training is not abuse, like some internet warriors will try to tell you. Breastfeeding can be great, but it’s not more important than your own mental health. 

Post # 12
Member
8280 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I’m pregnant with #2 but I’d tell first time-newborn mom to get the mental help she needs sooner. I didn’t listen to my gut and was told “oh baby blues are totally normal” and yes, they might be, but I don’t have to be miserable either. 

Kemma :  that’s actually the one thing I was proud of myself for doing with my first! People said “you’ll spoil the baby” and I told them all to politely go screw lol. I nursed my daughter to sleep every single night for 14 months. I never let her cry it out. Oh the horror! She decided on her own when she didn’t need that anymore and she’s not spoiled at all at 2.5 years. She’s actually a pretty independent kid who knows her parents are there when she needs them. 

Post # 13
Member
348 posts
Helper bee

els2016 :  F*ck what everyone else thinks or tells you. Seriously. It DOES NOT MATTER. In fact, you’ll mess up more following others advice/expectations. Love yourself and love your kid. Thats all that matters.

Post # 14
Member
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Following because I’m a first time mom who is due in 4 weeks or less. Keep the advice coming ! Much appreciated 

Post # 15
Member
6673 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

els2016 :  check for a lip tie. Holy hell, #2 is easier to nurse. It was easily the most stressful thing about him because he was almost never satisfied, even with bottles. Also if your baby doesn’t spit up, revel in it. Baby #2 pukes like she’s getting paid for it. 

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