My kiddos are 11 and 16 now, so it's been a while since I've had a newborn of my own. However, I did take care of my friend's babies in my home for 14 years, until I gave it up for blogging. Now, I use my experiences to help other moms live their best lives. Over the past 16 years, so many things have changed. I could probably write a book on all of the thing that I would do differently, but instead I think I'll just share the ten things that I wish someone would have told me when my babies were born.
1. Sleep for crying out loud! I remember being told that I should sleep when my baby slept, but I felt like there was too much that needed to be done when my babies were sleeping. I'm a control freak after all. I'm not saying you have to sleep every single time your baby naps, but try to get a little shut eye. Being well rested is sooo important.
2. Be selfish! It's okay to be selfish. Everyone is going to want to come see the baby, but it's okay to say no. I don't know about you, but having guests when I don't have a baby can be overwhelming. Hosting friends and family right after your baby is born is a different ballgame all together. Only take on what you can handle, and what you are comfortable with. It's okay to say, "not today."
3. Stay off of internet medical sites! I cannot express this enough. You can type in teething and somehow read that it could lead to death. Not everything you read on the internet is true. If you are truly looking for medical advice or have a question, call your pediatrician.
4. Let your baby sleep in his or her crib, please. This will save you in the long run. It's not easy to do...it's sooo much easier to put the baby in bed with you when you need sleep. Just know, 2 years later, you'll be getting no sleep if your baby is still in the bed with you, and it will distance you from your partner. Trust me.
5. Don't forget about your partner. This is a hard one. Your baby comes along and is the center of your world. Be careful not to forget that your partner has been the center of your world up until now. Work as a team. Spend some time together while the baby is sleeping. Talk to one another. The relationship that you have with your partner will be the best example of what love should look like for your child. Show your baby how to love.
6. Get out with your baby. If you are the kind of couple that likes to get out and about, then keep on doing that, and take your baby with you. So many people think that they should leave their babies at home with a sitter when they go out because it will be easier. The only way for your baby to learn how to behave in the world is to take your baby out into the world. Not to say you should never get out without your baby, do that too. I mean, what's better than a trip to Target sans kiddos? Nothing. Nothing is better than that.
7. Take care of you! As easy as it may be to stay in your jammies and abandon all things pretty, don't do it. I'm not saying you should dress up every day, but make yourself shower and get ready. You will have more energy and feel so much better if you do.
8. Just say yes! If friends or family offer to cook you dinner, help with laundry or sit with the baby while you nap (or go to Target alone), let them. I know it's hard to let other people do things for you, but if they are offering, that means they want to help. Say yes. Believe me, there will be a time when you can return the favor.
9. Put down the camera for a minute. I'm not saying you shouldn't take pictures...you totally should! Just not so many, maybe? Try to enjoy the time with your baby. The best memories you will ever have will live in your mind forever. Don't live your life through the lense of a camera. Don't fret if you don't get every single sweet moment on film...not everything was meant to be documented.
10. Trust your gut always. I learned this the hard way...it's my only regret as a mom...not trusting my gut. If you feel strongly about something, don't let anyone talk you out of it. If you feel uncomfortable with the advice your pediatrician is giving you, get a second opinion. If a family member is trying to talk you into something that makes you uncomfortable, politely decline. No matter what, always trust your gut. You are your babies only advocate, and you know best. Stand your ground.
This is just the advice that I would give to any friend that asked. I'm definitely not an expert...just a mom of two fantastic kids. I've learned a few things here and there, and made lots of mistakes along the way. If you are a new mom or dad, I wish you the best of luck!
Please feel free to copy and print the printable above...I created it to share!