Babycenter.com is a parenting site that my sis introduced us to at the beginning of our pregnancy and I am so happy she did! I can’t begin to tell you the invaluable information we have come across on this website including the article that I want to share with all you moms-to-be today! This is a post by one of Baby Center’s guest bloggers and I think it’s a must read for any expectant parent. Enjoy!
by Cindy Dyer
Mothering is a challenge, no matter how well prepared you think you are. Now that I’m on baby number five, there are a lot of things I wish I’d known when I had my first newborn.
Here’s the list I’m planning to send to my younger self when our household inventor (builds that time machine he keeps talking about.
1. There’s no such thing as a perfect birth. Yes, most births are fairly straightforward, medically speaking. But when you’re the person doing the pushing, it doesn’t always feel that way. You might be less stoic than you thought, for instance. (Not me, of course.) Or your birth plan might not pan out. When it’s over, don’t let unfulfilled expectations ruin your happiness. Focus on your baby!
2. Brace yourself for hormonal moments. The day after I had my baby, I became a slobbering, quivering bundle of nerves. I’d never felt so hopeless in my life. I handed baby over to the nurse who was caring for us, blubbering “Take him. I can’t do this.” It wasn’t until my next birth that I realized that it’s normal to feel crazy on the second day.
3. It’s OK to ask for help. Practically throwing your child into the nurse’s arms is really bad form. If I’d asked for help sooner, instead of trying to figure it all out for myself, I’d have had a much easier time of it.
4. You might not “bond” at first. So much is made of the magical bonding time immediately after birth. It can be wonderful, but sometimes a new mother gets to that first moment, looks down at that wee baby face, and feels – well, nothing. As I found out with my second son, sometimes bonding takes a while. If you don’t get that surge of puppy love right away, wait for it. It will happen.
5. Loosen up and PLAY! Did I mention that I was uptight with my first baby? I was so wrapped up in feedings, changings, and naptimes that I forgot to revel in the scrumptious baby-ness of my son. Save yourself some regret and sing to your baby. Play peek-a-boo. Kiss the toesies. Munch on those tiny fingers.
6. Read to your baby. Newborns love to hear Mommy’s voice. Get into the habit of reading to him now. You’ll want to stock up on Dr. Seuss, eventually, but for now, whatever grown-up book you’re interested in is fine. He doesn’t care what you read, as long as it’s your voice he’s hearing.
7. Don’t blink. The days may drag by–sleep deprivation can do that—but the weeks and years fly. It won’t be long before he won’t let you hold his hand in public anymore, and you’ll be wondering what happened to your helpless little baby. Spend as much time in the moment as possible. Someday even the hardest nights will be sweet memories.