Leading up to Miles being here we got A LOT of advice, tips, suggestions, and just warnings in general of what our life would be like with a newborn at home. People tell you about the sleep deprivation and they warn you about the late night changings. Well, it’s been just over 3 weeks since we brought Miles home from the hospital so today I am teaming up with Baby Dove to share some of the real side of motherhood. These are some of the things NO ONE told me about coming home with your newborn.
1. Feeding a Newborn is a Full-Time Job
Would you believe me if I told you in the first two weeks we had Miles home I spent about 12+ hours a day just feeding him? Now, this will be a little different for everyone depending on your babe. Miles was jaundice and he also lost 10% of his body weight before leaving the hospital so beefing him up was priority #1. I breastfeed Miles but also pump after every feed and also supplement with formula where needed to make sure he gets enough to eat every day since his weight has been a concern.
I was prepared that my time would be completely consumed by my little guy at first, but I wasn’t prepared for how much time in the first weeks would be dedicated solely to eating.
2. Routine Isn’t Impossible
Everyone will tell you how your newborn will take over your life. And, the truth is, he will. Your schedule is now dictated by your babe.
That being said, having some semblance of a routine isn’t totally impossible. Actually, I’ve found it really helps. The first two weeks home Michael was off from work and we had no schedule or routine. The lack of any general routine kind of put us both out of our elements. When Michael went back to work, I decided I should attempt to have some general routine to follow on a day-to-day basis to allow me to feel like I had some control over my days.
So, now I make a general outline of each day. While I’m always willing to let this outline fall apart if Miles needs extra snuggles, takes longer to eat, etc., the general outline helps give my day a little structure and helps to make sure I don’t feel as overwhelmed. Sure, very often I have to throw my schedule out the window or constantly readjust, but just having a basic outline makes my days a lot better and gives me some feeling of control.
3. You’re Going to Question Everything You Do
I think it’s just a rite of passage as a new parent to question everything you do. One day you go into the hospital and two days later they send you home with a tiny, defenseless human that’s 100% dependent on you for everything. You’re going to worry over all your decisions.
Is his bath water too hot? Is to too cold? Can a baby suffocate from a stuffy nose? Is he sleeping too much? Is he not sleeping enough? Is it comfortable to hold him like this? Does he need another blanket? What’s that red spot on his face? Is that bassinet safe enough? Be prepared to question everything and Google things more than you did when you were pregnant.
4. Every Day is A Chance to Hit the Reset Button
Heck, every hour is a chance to hit the reset button. You’ll have good days and bad days. Good hours and bad hours. Constantly remind yourself that there’s always time to hit reset and start new.
You ARE going to get frustrated and overwhelmed. The best way to combat this is to find ways to shift your attitude. I try to remind myself that “this phase is temporary” – both the hard parts and the good parts. The constant feedings and late nights and endless pumping are temporary, but so are these newborn snuggles and sweet little baby moments. So, remember that the hard times will pass but so will the good moments, too. Soak it all up while you can.
5. You’re Not Alone
No matter what you’re struggling with with your new baby, you’re not alone. Whether you’re having trouble breastfeeding, your baby is crying all the time, he won’t sleep, your milk isn’t coming in, you’re feeling baby blues…no matter what you’re going through… you’re NOT alone. Mothers all over are struggling with the same things you are. You’re doing the best you can. If it helps, reach out to the community of other moms online to find support. I’ve been amazed at how many moms have connected with me as I’ve shared some of our feeding struggles on Instagram Stories. It’s made me feel supported and given me hope that we’ll get through this!
6. You’ll Struggle to Find Balance
When a newborn enters the house, they put a huge wrench in the balance that’s there. They consume A LOT of time and they run on their own schedule. At some points, you’ll wonder if you’ll EVER have a regular life again.
The truth is, motherhood isn’t exactly what it used to be. Sure, raising a child is the same, but now we’re faced with the added pressure of social media. We see seemingly picture-perfect moms and families online and wonder how they can do it all while we’re barely keeping it together. We fall into the gutter of mom guilt or the comparison game. You’ll wonder how other moms get so much done when you didn’t even have time to put on clean underwear today. Social media can make it look like you’re the only mom in the world who is struggling to find a balance with your newborn. That’s why I’m partnering with Baby Dove to celebrate the REAL side of motherhood.
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I can’t wait to use the Baby Dove Rich Moisture Tip to Toe Wash and Baby Bar in our little one’s first bath, and Baby Dove Rich Moisture Baby Lotion is perfect for keeping baby’s skin soft and kissable all winter long.