Photo by The Daybook Blog
Babies are precious and adorable, and we as mothers are genetically programmed to love them no matter what. But no matter how many books you read, or experienced mothers you talk to, there are always things that you somehow miss. Here are some things we felt you should know to be prepared.
That’s what my husband and I called them, anyway. We were told our baby would poop a lot. Like, 12 times a day, a lot. But, we weren’t warned about the…volume? Not only do babies poop insanely often, but their poop is so runny and there is so much of it, that it will frequently fill their diaper, and splash up the top of their back – sometimes all the way to their neck and hair. Seriously. Poop-splosions happened ALL THE TIME when my daughter was an infant.
I recently read a “life hack” article that mentioned how onesies are designed with those envelope necklines so you can pull them down off the baby, rather than up over the head. This knowledge comes in particularly handy when you are faced with a poop-splosion.
Baby Messes Won’t Be Gross to You
You’re not a baby person. You’ve never changed a diaper. You hate poop and pee and boogers. Bla bla bla. When it’s your own kid, no matter how squeamish you are, you won’t be grossed out.
Your Baby’s Cries Might All Sound the Same
We hear a lot of talk about mother’s intuition and how you will know your babies cry. That may be true, but when you first give birth, it’s not like you are automatically infused with a baby cry-reader. For myself and most moms I’ve talked to, it doesn’t automatically work that way. Yes, in time, you learn your baby. But when you bring home that little bundle, here’s how it goes down – your baby cries and you go through the list – trial and error – are you hungry? Wet? Gassy?
It doesn’t make you a bad mother if you don’t know what your baby’s cry means. If we’re honest, no matter how many baby books we read, we are all just learning as we go.
This one is a little scary. You hear and read about all the newest guidelines. When we were babies, our mothers were told to lay us on your tummies to prevent SIDS. Now, they tell you to lay your baby on her back. Back ONLY. We follow all the rules and we check to make sure baby is breathing every few minutes. Then, we freak ourselves out when our baby starts breathing weird.
Babies sometimes breathe irregularly. Ob-gyn, Glade Curtis, M.D. and author of Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week says, “Occasional catching or skipping a breath is part of the development of the diaphragm [the muscle that enables breathing] and neurological system.”
According to parents.com, you should seek medical attention if your baby stops breathing for longer than 20 seconds or turns blue or limp. But, as for occasional rapid breathing and pauses, not to worry – all normal.
My Baby Never. Stops. Eating.
This is especially true of breastfed babies because breast milk is digested more quickly than formula. You feed your baby every two hours, but a feeding is supposed to be timed by when it begins…and some babies will nurse for 45 minutes. So, yeah…it’s pretty much around the clock, at first. But, for good reason. Your baby’s frequent nursing increases your milk supply.
Don’t worry. You may feel like a milk factory right now, but your baby will slow down soon enough.
My Baby is Always Asleep
I remember when my daughter was a newborn, my whole family would rush over and stare in awe, the moments her eyes were open. Her little eyelids would flutter and we would get a good five seconds of semi-eye contact before she dozed off again.
It may seem weird, but newborns sleep about 16 to 17 hours a day. Of course, they don’t stay asleep along, which is why it’s so exhausting for YOU. But, your baby needs this sleep for that little developing brain.
Around 6 to 8 weeks, most babies will start sleeping less during the day and longer at night and sometime between month 4 and 6, your baby should be capable of sleeping through the night. Woo hoo!
The bottom line is, babies are unique and mystical creatures that will keep you constantly learning, constantly on your toes, and constantly awake. They are the most precious little blessings you will ever receive and the adventure of motherhood will thrill you – poop-splosions and all!