Monday, 9 May 2011

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7 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Baby Arrived


De-cluttered everything: The first few years have flown by and to say I have been busy is an understatement. My home which was once tidy and organized with everything having a place is now in disarray. I have been told to expect that it will be like that until school starts and not to get hung up on it and that friends visit to see us and not the state of the house. I didn't realize how much stuff I had, that I didn't need. I have someone whom likes to investigate and leave a path of destruction in her wake. Whilst sorting and cleaning up one mess, another two are being made at the same time. Actually being able to see the floor and being able to walk around confidently without standing on or tripping over a toy becomes a distant memory.

I would have had more lazy sleep ins. If I had to equate getting enough sleep to surviving the first year, then a couple of months of total sleep may have done it. I would have read fiction in peaceful spots. Just lost myself in my favorite genre and spent a few days reading, whilst lying undisturbed on the chaise in the sun, at a cafe over good coffee whilst taking my time savoring tasty treats.

I would have become informed about the different sleep methods to use for baby. Whilst I might have had definite thoughts about which method I would use and would not be intending to use, at least when I was sleep deprived and barely functioning mentally I would have hoped that I would have gone on autopilot and used the knowledge I had to actually use one, rather than spending a year sleep deprived and never getting to sleep the whole night through.

I wished I knew what was involved in changing diapers before baby arrived. As I had to stay in the hospital a mid-wife showed me what to do, then later on my Mother who works with babies also assisted, so I was fortunate in this respect, whereas some mothers are sent home relatively soon after the birth. I happened to be present at a new baby support organization where there was a 6 week old with very bad diaper rash. The mother didn't realize that her baby needed a barrier cream applied with every diaper change. And for your information; a newborn requires changing (sometimes twice) after each feed, which, with demand feeding, can be every 3 to 4 hours.



I wish it had occurred to me to fill up the baby bath with the shower in the shower box, as this would have been easier and made more sense, being sleep deprived you don't always see the obvious.
Although I attended breast-feeding courses, I really had no idea and assumed that it would be natural and easy. It wasn't. I wish I knew there were expert support groups and organizations that encouraged and nurtured breast-feeding.

I was told that babies sleep all the time. The reality was that most everyone else's baby slept all the time, mine didn't get that memo. So make time to be you and do the things you want, because it can be a long time before you get to be and do the things you like to do again. The onslaught from when baby arrives, the recovery from a c-section (planned or unplanned), breast-feeding, baby not sleeping much or often, and a colicky baby can be some of the issues you are faced with, this without mentioning the day-to-day concerns of life in general. It could be a long time before you can be a 'you' again.
Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing!

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