When I was pregnant I used to read all of the pregnancy chat rooms, every blog I could get my hands on and it all made having a newborn seem like rocket science. There were so many dos and don’ts. All the information had my head spinning! With one of my best friends back in America pregnant, it’s made me think about all the things I would have told myself if I could go back in time and give myself advice as a pregnant mum-to-be.
Every plan you have for your baby will go out of the window. When I was pregnant I insisted on my “plan” for how I would raise Mia in the first few months. She would be sleeping on her back in her crib and never in my bed, I wouldn’t allow her any tv time until she was at least 2, I would never give her a pacifier and so the list goes on. When it came down to it, all my plans went out the window. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing and simply made it up as I felt was right. I started safely co-sleeping with her, she was allowed tv time when she got older if it gave me those extra few minutes of her being distracted so I could clean the kitchen and once I gave her a pacifier at 3 months I cherished that pacifier until she gave it up around 15 months and wished she would still take it for long after that. The pregnant me would be horrified at the way I have raised her so far but I have done what feels right to me at the time. I got to the point where I would prefer to enjoy her childhood rather than miss it stressing about the small stuff. My goal is to raise a happy healthy child and I will endeavor to do just this and enjoy every second I have with her!
Take photos of everything! If your memory is as bad as mine, you will get so caught up with your baby growing up and forget how tiny they were. I didn’t get into photography until Mia was around 6 months so have very few nice photos of her as a newborn and I so regret that now. A little polaroid camera would be fantastic! Instant photos of your growing baby that you can look at for life. You’ll love this nifty little Instant Camera!
Don’t be pushed into an induction just because you hit full term. I was pushed into having an induction at 39 weeks because I had slightly raised blood pressure (and I really mean only slightly raised, nothing dangerous to me or Mia at all). I agreed to it because I was aching and tired and impatient to meet my baby, when in reality I could have gone into labor naturally very easily. I was tied onto monitors and IV’s to monitor Mia’s response to the induction drugs, I had crazy amounts of drugs pumped into me to make sure my baby was “born by lunchtime”. Turns out, I was having regular contractions when I was admitted the night before my induction so I could have definitely gone naturally that night but I was never given the chance.
I hate the travel system stroller + car seat. I was bought the most beautiful travel system for my baby shower gift, I lusted after it the whole time I was pregnant, I couldn’t wait to put a baby in there and take her for walks! Unfortunately, once she was born, I realized that my hopes of pushing a stroller around the neighborhood with a baby in were lost. Mia was, and still is, a very clingy baby. She loves to be held and carried around and hated to be in her car seat. With one of the hottest summers I had every experienced in full force, I didn’t blame her. She got so hot and sweaty in the car seat. This meant I never really used the two together, and when I did, I couldn’t ever get the car seat to click into the stroller! I had chosen it so carefully, read all the reviews saying it’s so simple to put together, but I couldn’t get it to save my life! I would spend hours in the parking lots trying over and over to click the stupid car seat into the stroller just to have my baby scream to be held 2 minutes after I got it! If I were to do this all over again, I would buy a wrap or a soft structure carrier for those squishy newborn days and a really lovely infant seat rather than waste money on another travel system. You’ll love this stroller. It’s totally what I would buy if I had another baby!
Breastfeeding is hard. It hurt so badly for the first few days! After 3 days of bringing tears to my eyes and nearly giving up, I went to see a Lactation Consultant who fixed Mia’s latch and magically made all my problems go away. I’m so glad I did because I breastfed her for 2 years and loved every minute of the bonding it gave us. Just that one simple fix made the world of difference! So thanks Jean!! Don’t get worked up over it, don’t stick to a rigid feeding schedule or obsess over the number of ml that they are drinking, simply nurse your baby as often as they want and relax. Everything will be ok!
Learn to swaddle your newborn and give it a chance! I was one of those first time Moms who tried to swaddle her baby, did it wrong, didn’t give it a chance and just wrote it off. I said she hated it to anyone who suggested it to me when they heard my never ending complaint about Mia not sleeping. At 3 months I bought these magical swaddle blankets and watched a youtube video of how to swaddle her. She went to sleep almost immediately and napped for almost 3 hours, something that was totally out of character! From then on I swaddled her for every nap and at every bedtime and she slept so easily! Learning to swaddle her properly was a huge life saver for me and I wish that I had given it a better try when she was a newborn.
You are not alone. The baby blues are real folks. Having a newborn is hard work! Don’t suffer through it in silence, find other Mum friends and talk about it. The chances are, most other Mums are experiencing the same thing. Having people around you who understand how you feel is guaranteed to make you feel tons better!