7 Things I’ve learned as a First time mom

Being a first-time mom can be an exciting, but also overwhelming experience. As I reflect on the past few months of motherhood, there are several things that I have learned along the way. Here are seven things that I’ve learned as a first-time mom.

Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor, Lawyer or Financial Advisor. All posts are my opinions and things that have worked well in my life. Please consult a professional for advice.

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1. Baby may not like to sleep in their bed

Before becoming a first-time mom in March 2018, I had little hands-on experience with babies. My knowledge came mostly from reading books and articles and receiving advice from friends, family, and strangers. When it came time to buy items for the baby, I followed top baby items lists and registry lists that I found online or in books. My first purchase was a bassinet, which I planned to use for the baby’s nighttime sleep and naps.

However, when the baby was born, she did not like sleeping in the bassinet or the swing, and the only way she would sleep was on my chest, in the car, or in the stroller. After doing some research, I learned that other parents had similar issues and were able to get their babies to sleep in a rock and play. I convinced my husband to buy one, and the baby loved it from the first day. While I enjoyed having the baby sleep on me, I was happy to have a safe bed for her to sleep in.

2. Baby may not like their pacifier

As a mom, it is emotionally difficult to see my baby hate her pacifier. Every time someone tries to give it to her, she makes a distressed face and spits it out. While pacifiers are not generally recommended for exclusively breastfeeding babies due to the risk of nipple confusion, some babies have no problem with both breastfeeding and using a pacifier.

In my baby’s case, she simply does not like the pacifier, and has only sucked on it twice in the past two months. I have tried various brands to ensure that the specific type is not the issue, but she simply does not want it. While I do not force the pacifier on her, I had hoped to have another option to soothe her besides breastfeeding. Fortunately, she does enjoy sucking on her hands, which helps to calm her when I am not available or it is not time for a feeding.

3. Freezer meals are amazing and necessary!

I was so lucky that my mother offered to cook frozen meals for me for the first two weeks after the birth of my amazing baby. My husband’s parents came to visit us on the first weekends and brought food and groceries, which was also a blessing. For a breastfeeding mother, this was great and necessary! For the first few weeks, I lived on my very comfortable couch and let the baby nurse as needed. In the first few days, the baby’s stomach is still very small and the baby eats very often. In the first three days, the body only produces colostrum, which, although in small quantities, is rich in all the vitamins and nutrients the baby needs.

During this period, the baby wants to eat often, even if it does not yet eat much. This is an important time for the formation of a good attachment, which you must practice with your child. In addition, the baby needs to suck a lot in these early days, as this is a signal for the body to produce mature milk, which normally forms between the fourth and fifth week of pregnancy. In short: In the first few weeks you have to adapt to the baby, so that you both get used to breastfeeding, which does not leave you much time for cooking or normal household chores. If you have no one to cook for you, the last weeks of pregnancy, when you are expecting a baby, are a good time to prepare tasty meals for this special time.

Read also: Overcoming Picky Eating: How I Rediscovered My Love of Cooking

4. How to properly put on a diaper

Before having my own baby, I did not have much experience with newborns. My husband, who had been hands-on with his niece and nephew when they were babies, taught me how to properly put on a diaper. I had thought that all you needed to do was place it on the baby’s behind and snap it down in the front, but I did not realize that the diaper needed to be properly adjusted on the baby’s bottom to prevent leaks. I am grateful that my husband showed me the correct technique.

5. Sleep when baby sleeps

I heard this a lot during my pregnancy, but I didn’t realize how real it was until the baby was born. Every child is different. Some sleep well at night from the start, others or most of them confuse days and nights. It took me a while to get used to not sleeping only at night. My baby slept 2 to 3 hours in the morning at first, then 3 to 5 hours, so I usually slept 4 hours, which was fine for the first month. At that time I felt that I was working with a lot of adrenaline. In the next month things changed a bit.

She started to be awake and playful until 6am! That’s when I made sure I took a nap with her, and I got the rest I needed. At seven weeks I started a bedtime routine. At 7pm I gave her a bath, then a book, then baby food. When she fell asleep, I turned off all the lights and electronic devices and created a dark, quiet and peaceful atmosphere. After this procedure, she got used to sleeping all night (occasionally waking up to eat and falling right back to sleep) and waking up for the day around 7 or 8am.

6. When you thought you had a routine down it changes

Babies go through many changes in their first year as they grow and develop. They may sleep differently or eat more or less at different times, and may experience periods of fussiness or happiness. In the beginning, I found myself frequently checking online to see if my baby’s behavior was normal and comparing it to what other babies were doing. While I still check on occasion, I have learned that babies are constantly changing and grow and learn at their own pace, which may be faster or slower than other babies. It is important to remember that every baby is different.

Read also: Navigating the Challenges of Parenting a Strong-Willed Child

7. The joy

Last but not least, I was able to experience the joy of being a mother, which I have heard from so many, and what a blessing it is! For me, there is nothing more beautiful than the joy of being a mother. My mother used to tell me about certain things she did and why being a mother was so important to her. She said that one day I would know what she meant, and now I do! Every day I am thankful to God for her!

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