When you’re pregnant (after the morning sickness and tiredness subsides – usually second trimester), everyone gushes about how amazing it is going to be to have a bundle of joy added to your family. Days of just staring at their tiny fingers and toes…the way newborns smell – that baby smell…strolling around the park with your little bubbila.
Little do you know – there’s a lot more to caring for a baby than hugging and kissing this little miracle of life and filling the closet with the cutest clothing around. Here are some things I wish people told me before having my son.
RIGHT AFTER THE BABY’S BORN
After you have the baby, your belly doesn’t miraculously go back to that six-pack status you once had. I remember standing up for the first time after having N, I looked down at my belly and it was still there – like I was still 7 months pregnant. I thought that the doctor might have left something in there after the c-section.
You’re so excited to be home with the baby, but when you’re settled in, you realize that the nurses aren’t there to help out when in need. AND that super quiet newborn has found his lungs – and they are strong!
All of those nights you couldn’t get a good night’s sleep when you were pregnant? They were meant to get you used to when the little one arrived. Getting up to go to the bathroom at 1 am and then at 3 am is now replaced with feedings and late night HGTV.
HEALTH & NEWBORNS
Colic is REAL. I swore my youngest could tell time before he even knew what a number was. At about 4:30pm every day, he would start to fuss. My husband and I would take turns trying to calm him but inevitably this would end in a bath with calming lavender, a super comfy swaddle blanket and a good night’s sleep for the little guy in his swing. G-d forbid the batteries died in the middle of the night. I finally got smart and kept replacement batteries and the screwdriver in my nightstand.
It was like a switch turned off shortly after his 3-month checkup. 4:30 pm became like any other time of the day and we could slowly transfer him to his crib.
They are sensitive little flowers. N had weak jaw muscles, which didn’t allow for breastfeeding, and led us on a hunt for the one formula that wouldn’t upset his tiny belly. G, on the other hand, had very sensitive skin. We went through many bouts of cradle cap and eczema, introducing us to different body washes, shampoos, and laundry detergents until we found the one that worked.
Your baby will develop at his or her own pace. There are specific milestones that the pediatrician looks for and compares against a benchmark – hence when you hear, “He’s 90% in height, 75% in weight…” If you notice that your baby isn’t reaching milestones, bring this up to the pediatrician so he/she can keep an eye on the progress.
My older guy didn’t walk until 14 months; his first tooth didn’t grace us with its presence until shortly after the walking started. The pediatrician wasn’t concerned with this, so I wasn’t.
He wouldn’t eat solid foods, and at 18 months old even a Cheerio would make him gag. After noticing that, and the fact that he didn’t make a sound other than a cute interesting laugh and cry, we were concerned. We became his advocate, going from therapist to therapist, hearing test, genetic testing, etc. to found the perfect team of therapists to bring him up to speed. (You can read the whole story here.) You’d never know what we experienced looking at my now 6th grader who is in all advanced classes and speaks more eloquently than a lot of people my age!
My advice is, at whichever phase of your parenthood you are in, listen to your heart and know that what’s right or happens to someone else may not happen to you. Babies don’t come with manuals – do what you feel is right for you and your baby!
Enjoy the little moments!
Lavonnia AllisonBurres says
You have such beautiful children. I wish I lived where they have that available too.
Thank you so much Lavonnia! Did you enter to win?
Susan Quackenbush says
enjoy every moment, it goes quickly!! And rest when baby sleeps.
Susan, time does fly – I never realized it until I look at the boys now and am in awe at how much they have grown!