I’m going to let you in on a little secret – newborns present plenty of challenges. Don’t get me wrong …. You will love your baby more than life itself but many parents I see (and am one of those myself) say that having a newborn is harder than they expected.
So I am putting it out there ….. in the first few weeks of bring your baby home:
…. you will second guess yourself at least a million times, you will cry on numerous occasions, you will (although desperate to breastfeed) probably give your baby either a bottle of expressed breast milk or formula just to get your baby to sleep. You will buy about 10 teats and dummies until you find one your baby will take. Remember, breastfeeding is natural but it takes practice. It doesn’t always go smoothly in the beginning but practice makes perfect. You will get there I promise. But until you do, let me remind you …. YOU ARE AMAZING!
You will be exhausted. We all know that babies cry but when you’re a sleep-deprived your baby’s tears can be especially hard to handle. You will be tired. You will get online and order new wraps, sleeping bags and alike because your baby won’t settle with any of the techniques you have tried (and trust me you will have tried hundreds). All you will want is a hot cup of coffee or tea. Getting your baby to go to sleep – and stay asleep – is a big challenge and you will want it desperately. Your baby’s up a lot at night, you’re sleep-deprived and you’re not sure what to expect or what is about to come. You will feel frustrated, you will be exhausted. But let me remind you …. YOU ARE AMAZING!
You will go to the chemist and spend a fortune on colic/wind formulas which may or may not work, you will pace the floors for hours on end and dream of sleep – both yours and your baby’s. You will be tired, you will eat cereal for afternoon tea, you will cry, you will second guess your choice to breastfeed, you will hold your baby for hours willing your baby to sleep. All you want is your baby to go to sleep. All you will want is a hot cup of coffee or tea, but even more than that, you want some sleep, even just 20 minutes! But let me remind you …. YOU ARE AMAZING!
You will use ‘Dr google’ more times than you would like to tell anyone. You will feel alone and you will be tired. You will express after a feed and worry because you don’t think you have enough breastmilk. You will not have a shower until your partner gets home. When you finally get your baby to sleep you will keep checking on them – all the time – to make sure they are ok. You will stand next to your baby’s cot watching them sleep, even though you are exhausted and should be sleeping yourself. But let me remind you …. YOU ARE AMAZING!
BUT you will not change it for anything. You take that deep breath and carry on. I promise …. It does and will get better.
From a mum to another mum: It does NOT matter how you feed your baby: breastfeeding or bottle feeding, expressing or a bit of everything. It does NOT matter where your baby sleeps: in your room, in its own room, in a cot or bassinet. It does NOT matter if you swaddle or do not swaddle, demand feed or are trying to get your baby into a routine. What DOES matter is that you have beautiful baby’s and love them to bits. You all love, care for and cuddle your baby’s and do what works for them AND your family. What DOES matter is that you ask for help if and when you need it.
Parenting is the most amazing experience and yet, in the same breath, it can also be one of the hardest roles you may ever experience. We should NEVER judge each other on our choices. Support each other and congratulate each other on what amazing jobs you are all doing for your beautiful baby’s. It breaks my heart when I see the pressures my parents put on themselves for what they believe ‘should’ have happened or what they ‘should’ be doing.
You are ALL amazing and are doing an amazing job! And if you didn’t know: Let me remind you …. YOU ARE AMAZING!