4 Things I Wish I knew About Having a Baby
Before I had a baby, I knew that I wanted to be a mother. I knew that I loved cuddling babies and nothing made me happier than smelling their sweet scent. I also knew that there was more to being a mother than cuddling, but looking back, I’m not sure I knew how much more.
Here are a few things I wish I’d known.
1. The cuddles/snuggles are usually short lived
I swear I would have 1,000 babies if all they did was sleep on me. And for some reason, in the back of my mind, I kind of thought that’s what the first few months would be like, just a newborn on my shoulder. I was wrong. There are definitely times when I get to snuggle a sleeping baby, but those times are often short-lived. What was hard to accept that even when the sleepy snuggles were happening, I had so many other things I needed to be doing that I would have to really force myself to sit there and snuggle rather than get up and make dinner, fold the laundry, check work emails, etc.
2. Sleep is cyclical
The first night my daughter slept 10 straight hours, I threw myself a party. I had a glass of wine, texted my family to let them know the newborn sleep stage had ended. It was ecstatic. I’m sure you know where this is going — the next night she was up twice. And so the cycle continued. I had always thought that once you figured out how to get your baby sleeping, that was the end of night wakings. But it turns out there are a million reasons your child will wake up at night. And you can’t predict any of them. From the 4-month-sleep regression to teething to being sick to just being needy, kids are up when they want to be up. It took us a full three-years to get my oldest into a good sleep place. Some of my friends with 5-year-olds are still struggling. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but it takes a lot of hard work to get kids to a good place in regards to sleep.
3. Babies grow out of their clothes super fast
So, clearly this is a weird one, but hear me out. When my first daughter was born, I wanted to buy her the cutest little outfits ever. I spent way too much money and time on her clothes. She did one of two things — pooped on them and ruined them, or grew out of them in a week. With my third, he lives in footed pajamas and gets dressed maybe once a week. I learned my lesson. Babies are cute no matter what they are wearing, so stop putting so much money and energy into that part of parenthood. An added bonus is the less clothing you have, the less there is to wash, organize, and put away.
4. You can both love and hate breastfeeding
As with anything in life, there are many pros and cons to breastfeeding. For me, the pros outweighed the cons most days, and so I breastfed all my babies well past a year (and I’m working on hitting a year with #3). But there were times when I would have given anything to quit. And it’s not because it was painful (it wasn’t for me), but because it took away so much of my freedom.
Breastfeeding meant that even if I pumped to go out, I had about a 4 hour window before I’d have to pump again. I was never truly free. At a spa day with my friends, I had to lug my pump with and find a quiet corner to pump. When all I wanted to do when my babies were little was sleep and have my husband give a bottle, I’d be woken up by engorged breasts so painful I’d have no choice but to get up and pump. When planning a vacation without my kids, I had to make sure it was after my daughter’s first birthday so I wouldn’t have to bring my pump with.
But every time I’d think about throwing in the towel, when I actually sat down with my baby to nurse, I’d remember why it was all worth it for the snuggles, the connection, and the love.
At Insurance Covered Breast Pumps, we know that the pumping life is mom life. And we want you to be successful!