A lot happens in the first year of a baby’s life, and sometimes it feels like an emotional roller coaster with so many highs and lows – from their first smile to the lack of sleep. Rest assured you are not alone, and while we can’t give you a quick fix solution which will remove all the bad bits, we can guarantee the parenthood journey is well worth the ride!
Okay, so there is no right or wrong way to bring up children, we all know that. You will get given a lot of advice from well-meaning friends and family, as well as a lot of comparisons to their own children and experiences. We are not going to tell you the best ways to do it, but we will say to do what YOU feel is right for you and your family.
So what if the person you made friends with at antenatal class has a baby that sleeps right through, generally we all know one of them. Also, those that can actually put their baby down and get on with things, instead of having to carry them about wherever they go? Please don’t beat yourself up over it, wondering what you have done wrong, and putting added pressure on yourself. Everyone’s family circumstances are different, and every baby is different. Routines that work for others might not work for you, and at the end of the day everyone knows (even you) that you’re doing the best you can and know how to. This experience is new to all of us at some point, so we learn from any mistakes and grow.
The first year with a new baby is challenging – you’re trying to get into routines with a lot of feeding, changing and sleep (the baby, not you). On top of all this there are the usual household jobs to keep things ticking by, as well as remembering to eat and drink yourself (especially when breastfeeding). Popping to the shop for some milk can be an achievement in itself as your days just seem to go by so quickly, and before you know it you feel like you have done nothing – when in actual fact you have done more than you think. You’re caring for a little person who depends on you for everything; you are their world from morning until night (and probably through the night). Cherish these moments with your baby, and forget everything else that can be put off until later.
Capture each new moment and milestone your baby achieves, and enjoy the time together while you can. Don’t compare to how others are progressing – everyone is unique and things will happen as and when they’re ready to. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t document and photograph every single milestone that’s in the blank baby book you were bought months ago, because we all know time is something new parents lack the most (after sleep). Download the Baby Biography app on your phone on one of the many occasions that you’re sat holding your baby who is either feeding or asleep. Then you are able to record the moments that mean the most to you as and when they are happening. Not only this, but you will have all those happy moments in the palm of your hand to pick you up each time you’re heading to a low on the roller coaster of parenthood.
Good luck, and enjoy it!!