Being the mother of a younger-than-1-year-old is difficult, so here are 10 things I’ve learned in my 4 and a half months of motherhood that I think everyone should know!
1) It’s okay to let them cry. Of course no one likes listening to a baby crying, but if you got stuff to do, it’s really not the end of the world. At first, if I was pooping and I heard her crying, I’d run to her with my butt hanging out. Now, if I’m dropping one and she cries, I think, “She’s just laying in her crib. What’s the worst that could happen in the next 5 minutes?”
2) Breastfeeding is hard. It’s uncomfortable. It feels like there’s no comfortable way to hold her while she’s eating. My back and arms get stiff and ache, and a lot of times she kicks while eating so my legs get sore. Then my nipples get sore and chaffed when she eats for a long time. Breastfeeding in public is even worse, because Ember HATES eating under the cover, so I’ve recently been exercising my legal right to feed her without a cover and let everyone kindly get the fcuk over it. If my baby is hungry, she’s gonna eat. Anyone that thinks that’s wrong or indecent can kindly write their complaints out, fold up the paper, lube it up good and shove it up theirs.
3) Clothes don’t last long at all. Ember outgrows clothes like crazy. She’s 4 months old, and wearing sizes 6-12 months. She’s gigantic. You could say, “Hey, just buy a few outfits in each size since she outgrows them so fast, you don’t need that many.” NOPE. She needs to get her clothes changed sometimes up to 5 times in a day at most and 2 times at least. She throws up all over herself, spills her food, has poop and pee explosions, etc. Unless you wanna do laundry every single day, stock up on onesies.
4) Mittens are a must. Baby nails are long and sharp and hard to cut. Like everyone else, babies get itchy and scratch themselves with those long and sharp nails. Getting mittens on your baby helps prevent them from hurting themselves, plus they’re just really cute. When Ember learned how to take her mittens off (she’s such a smart cookie), I resorted to putting baby socks in their place, because they’re tighter and harder for her to pull at.
5) Put in that extra effort to get your baby to sleep. It’s tempting to put Ember down with a pacifier and hope she falls asleep on her own, but I know that’s not how it happens (unless she’s super tired to begin with). If you got stuff to do and you need your baby to sleep, it’s worth spending those extra minutes rocking them or patting them or singing that song or humming those lullabies. Rushing through the process will only lead them to wake up sooner than you’d like, so taking the time to bond with your baby and make sure they sleep well and enter a deep sleep will not only make them feel better, but they’ll sleep longer and let you do what you need to do.
6) Getting gross and sticky is unavoidable. Babies lick their hands and touch stuff with those gross sticky hands and get their food everywhere and occasionally poop so much and so fiercely that it explodes out of their diapers. The one thing I hate most is being sticky, but I’ve been starting to get over it, especially now that Ember started eating baby food. Babies are messy and get dirty, and you just gotta let them be.
7) Always remember to burp and change them! Always burp after feedings, and change diapers every 2 to 3 hours. Burping will make their tummies feel better and help prevent them from throwing and spitting up, and changing them frequently helps prevent diaper rash. Rash cream is always good to have on you at any given time.
8) Always pack more than you think you’ll need. You think packing one spare change of clothes is enough? Nope, they’ll throw up as soon as you finish buttoning it up. Think 3 diapers is enough for a quick run to the mall? Nope, they’ll take a massive poop as soon as you close that diaper. Then they’ll squirt those last nuggets out once you replace the previous one. Think 2 bottles will be enough? Nope, they’ll throw up the first one and get hungry again. I never leave the house without at least 2 spare outfits and 6 diapers. Thankfully my boobs go everywhere with me, so bottles aren’t my biggest concern.
9) Car rides are your friend. It is a truth universally accepted that a parent in want of their baby to nap is in need of a long car ride. Everyone I know that has a baby has spoken about the miracle of car rides. Just makes babies pass right out.
10) Trust yourself. When it comes to parenting, everyone’s got their own ideas and suggestions, and everyone’s gonna try to throw their beliefs onto you. Whether it’s breast or formula, backpacks or strollers, disposable diapers or cloth, store bought vs home made baby food, or any number of other things, it’s up to you. At the end of the day, you’re the parent, and you make the calls. No matter what you pick, as long as all of your decisions are made with love, your baby will turn out fine.