Thousands of books line the shelves telling you how to be a parent. They tell you how you can get your baby sleeping through the night by a (unrealistic) early time. They are there to tell you tons of advice on every subject. But, sadly, babies don’t like to follow books. They are not textbook material and we can’t expect a book to solve our problems. As a mom, you’ll have mothers instinct, for sure but other than that, I’d suggest staying away from books. Now that I’m a year into this motherhood gig, I thought I’d share some things that oh.my.god. had to happen with my babe, but may not with number two in the future.
What I’ll Do Differently Next Time:
Not stress about short naps and a schedule so early:
Oh gosh was I convinced that I needed a schedule early on! It was actually pretty terrible and I wish I could just go with the flow more. I was a schedule, type A person to a tee before having A, so naturally, it was really hard to be patient and go with the flow. I’ve gotten significantly better with that over this past year, so I’m hoping that if short naps are the thing with number 2, I’ll be better with it. I also don’t think I’ll have time to worry so much since I’ll have a child running around, so spending hours rocking a baby just isn’t going to be possible.
Be more flexible with where naps are:
For instance, I was so afraid that napping somewhere other than the crib or in her room would cause problems. Hello, it probably would make her more flexible. She did sleep in her swing for months but I kept trying to make sure she was put down, and I regret that because newborn days will never be the same.
Stop stressing about everything:
A lot of this pertains to naps, but I stressed a.lot. Was she eating enough? Was I the problem with reflux? Was she sleeping enough? It literally drove me insane and I know I missed things because of the stress I caused myself.
Get out and about more:
Actually use that ergo and baby wear! This will definitely happen more because I just can’t rock a baby back to sleep or be stuck in a house with a toddler (or older whenever this happens! ha) It was easy to stay inside and be home for naps when there was just one, but even still, I wish I had gotten out and about more.
Try not swaddling if possible:
Swaddling in those first few weeks is pretty important in my mind because newborns are so used to being cooped up in a small space. But, if my next child doesn’t have crazy reflexes causing he/she to wake up constantly, I would like to not count on the swaddle. It’s really hard to break them from it and it’s just another crutch I’d like to not have.
Not having a bottle be apart of the bedtime routine:
This is mostly because I was terrified of ending it and didn’t want to. Annabelle always had a bottle before bed, but she didn’t fall asleep with it until probably months 9-11. She’d fall asleep being rocked or with her bottle and then go down fine and sleep all night. She then started staying awake and pushing off of us to be put in bed. I did stop the bottle a few weeks ago, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I’d rather add books into the bedtime routine (which we did replace the bottle with now!) instead.
Know one day won’t ruin things:
Some days are crazier than others but one day isn’t enough for a baby to get in a habit of sleeping on you, in a carseat, etc. The babe won’t be screwed up for life with missed naps or with naps cut short.
These things are all basically for me to go back on whenever I do have baby #2 and remind myself of! Hopefully you found something useful if you have a baby or are expecting yourself. It’s hard being a first time mom and trying to do everything right. There’s no doubt in my mind I’ll still worry about my child and think of all of these things, but who knows. Every baby is different and none of these things might work!
Who knows, maybe I’ll do every single one of these or maybe not. In the end, my baby is healthy and happy, so that’s all that matters to me!