The time is rapidly approaching; the larger the bump in her belly grows, the shorter the time becomes. Drink these moments in, because there is nothing comparable to the excitement of expecting parents.
Expecting parents can be tempted to frantically prepare their homes and stress about the smallest details, trying to make everything perfect for their little one. Yet, the secret is, it won’t be perfect and you’re never quite ready, but that’s okay!
With that in mind, let’s take a look at ten things those baby books just don’t tell you.
#1—You Won’t Be Ready
As an expecting parent, we naturally want everything to be just right. We have to have all of the clothes, bottles, and diapers, etc. While it’s definitely a good idea to be prepared don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ll soon come to find out when the baby arrives you’ll spend all your energy taking care of it. So, don’t jump the gun and deplete yourself before your baby arrives.
If you’re in a relationship take those last few nights you have before the baby comes to go on dates and have a little fun. Sleep in on your days off and get out of the house, because you’re going to have a gauntlet of baby duty soon enough.
#2—Sleep Training Is Not For The Weak
Imagine the amount of energy needed to care for an infant during daylight hours and carry that into the night. Sleep training sounds easy in theory, but you must be disciplined to practice it. Mentally prepare yourself beforehand and accept that you will stick with it. The comical aspect of sleep training is, right when you have the baby trained they change their sleep schedule on you, welcome to parenting.
The most important thing to remember when sleep training is to take care of yourself. The techniques can work, but sometimes they don’t. Every baby is different so don’t get discouraged if your baby refuses to be trained.
#3—Sleep Train Yourself
This might sound odd but it’s important. Weeks before the baby arrives start sleeping more, take naps if you can. Your little guy or girl is going to give you so much joy, but they’re also going to take all your energy. The best way to get some of that back is to practice resting, so take it easy.
There will be a day when your sleep pattern comes back to a solid 6-8 hours, but it won’t be anytime soon, so accept that. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help; if you have parents or friends who can watch the baby for a few hours to let you nap, do it. Remember you first need to take care of yourself and then you can take care of your baby.
#4—Not All Parenting Advice is Right For You
When it comes to parenting advice you will never be lacking. There is so much information out there it’s mind-boggling and some of it contradicts, strangely enough. It’s important to do your research and discover what’s best for your family.
Some parents have a strict organic food policy and that’s great, but maybe not for you. Some parents load up on baby technology; they have sleep monitors, health monitoring socks, and diaper bins; while all you might need is a crib and some clothes. When it comes to raising babies there is a ton of advice, don’t feel like you’re lacking because you don’t do what other parents do.
#5—Don’t Worry You Will Make Mistakes
Raising an infant is one of the biggest learning curves you’ll ever experience! As you know with learning something new comes mistakes. You always want to be mindful of course, but you have to understand that you’re not going to be a pro parent the first day. It takes time learning how to warm-up bottles, change diapers, and even dress your baby.
Give yourself some time and before you know it you will be a pro. However, don’t get frustrated that you’re not there yet within the first few months. Often many new parents think they have to know everything and ace it, like a college exam. This is not the case it’s a learn as you go type of knowledge and you’ll get it down.
#6—They’re Not as Fragile as You Think
This one might seem a bit crazy, but there is some truth to it. The human body is incredibly resilient. While it is important to keep a clean and healthy environment, you don’t have to go crazy with the Clorox.
Too many times our babies catch a cough and we run to the almighty Google for answers. This is probably the worst thing you can do as a new parent, you know why…because Google will find the rarest illness it can and freak you out. New Parents are already high-strung and researching your baby’s symptoms is gas on the fire.
What you want to do is if you’re concerned call your doctor first. They know your baby and can give the medical attention the child may or may not need. Remember, tread lightly when internet searching symptoms.
#7—Sometimes You’ll Lose Your Cool
It’s 3:00 AM and your little angel has not slept through the night in three months. You raise your head off the pillow and stare into the darkness of night and just sit. The baby’s screaming at this point and guess what, there’s been a diaper malfunction and their crib is soaked in pee.
You love the baby with all your heart but at the moment your mind wants to scream. If you’re in a relationship typically at this point you’re testing the patience of your partner. Because the conversation will go as follows:
“You need to get up and change the baby.”
“I did it for the last three nights! You never do it!”
“What are you talking about? I spent the whole day with the baby!”
It’s important that in these times to try not to escalate the situation. Everyone’s tired and it’s best to just handle the situation and understand that this is just one chapter in the book of life.
#8—You’re Going to Fall in Love
To be fair baby books do obviously inform you, you will have a deep connection with your child. However, to elaborate even further, it’s the strongest type of love you’ll ever experience. Make room in your heart because parental love demands all of it. It’s not always love at first sight, some parents find it hard a first to have that moment. Don’t worry if you don’t feel a deep connection with your baby a first, that is normal. It’s when you start to take care of it, feed it, play with it, and laugh with it…and at it, that you fall head over heels.
Parental love is the closest form of unconditional love. This type of love is full of forgiveness, patience, and joy. We overlook so many wrongs in our children and choose to see the right. Perhaps, we should learn a thing or two about this kind of love and carry it over in other facets of our life.
The point is your going to experience a life-changing type of love.
#9—You’re Going to Change
We won’t get into the science behind it all, but studies show that both dad and mom change after children. Mothers experience both a hormonal change and psyche shift and men the latter. You’ll find yourself becoming more compassionate in many ways relating to children. A lot of this is you understand the vulnerability of children and this herd mentality kicks in to be mindful of other children.
A lot of research is poured into discovering more about this process, but one thing is for sure when you have babies you mature. Parents still like to have a good time, but there is also this other side of us that reminds us to be mindful of what we choose to do.
You might have always wanted to skydive, but then you have a kid and all the sudden you find that desire is gone. Mostly, it’s your parental instinct kicking in saying, “what if something happened to me? How would that affect my baby?”
The fact is you change, don’t worry mostly for the good!
#10—They Grow Up Fast
You’ve heard the saying, “don’t blink”, well it’s true. Don’t ever wish your life away, cherish the moments you can hold your little ones in your arms because soon they’ll be running out of them.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly time flies, one moment you’re in the delivery room, the next you’re little one is taking his first steps.
There are so many wonderful stages that your baby is going to go through, enjoy them all! Take lots of pictures but don’t forget to put the camera down and live in the moment.
Hug and kiss your baby every day and tell them how much you love them. One day you’ll look up and your baby will be having a baby.