Being the mom of a newborn is never easy. It can be downright terrifying if you are also a first-time mom. Motherhood is full of wonderful moments, beautiful pictures, and heartfelt hugs. As the mom of a newborn, however, you are also probably dealing with confusion, fear, and apprehension. You want to be a good mom but do not know if you can be. You fear making mistakes, and you are nervous when it comes to decision making. That is all completely normal. Even a few weeks in when you are sleep-deprived and are pretty sure you have lost your mind. The truth is you have. Just kidding, kind of. You are sleep-deprived and unsure. That can be unsettling and make you feel that you do not know what is going on or how to handle things. Never fear. This is all normal. Every first-time mom has experienced feelings of insecurity and unsureness. Take it from these expert moms that motherhood is challenging, but you will get through it.
Jessica Gramc, mom and blogger on Breathe in Wheeze Out, knows first-hand not only how difficult life as a first-time mom can be but also that medical challenges can catch moms by surprise. She wants new moms to know:
"What threw me off as a new mom was that newborns have "junky breathing" for the first few weeks after birth. It's just their lungs learning to breathe air, but it can sound pretty scary if you don't realize what it is! It sounds like they need to cough or clear their throat but it's just from the fluid working its way out of their lungs completely. After a few weeks, their breathing usually sounds normal and you'll forget all about it.
The other really important thing I learned with a newborn was that they couldn't cool down, sweat, or regulate their own temperature yet. I was swaddling my son at night to calm him down, but he was overheating. When he was a week old, he woke up screaming and shaking. I couldn't calm him down. It was terrifying. I realized it was because the swaddle was adding too much warmth (even though it was a cold night) and he was hot but unable to cool himself down. I ended up getting rid of the swaddles all together to make sure he never experienced that again."
Parenting advice can be wonderful to get from others, but this proves that sometimes the guidance does not work for your child.
Likewise, Saima Nadeem, blogger at A Super Tired Mom, gives practical advice.
"I still remember the day when I found out that I am pregnant, I was so excited. I downloaded all the resources I could and read them all. But little did I know that the only way you will ever learn about newborns and parenting is when you actually become a mother. I never knew that newborn babies could sleep all day… literally all day. And that means they do not sleep at night so be prepared.
And they poop so much. Be ready to change 5 to 6 diapers a day for starting few months. Newborns don't need a lot of clothes as they outgrow them very quick. I bought a lot of stuff for my newborn and we didn't even wear that all. There are so many more things you will get to know after becoming a mother, that you never thought before so enjoy this time. You will never get this time back "
No matter how much we prepare, children do not write books. We have to learn on the job.
Kelly Barkhurst at Arts and Bricks reminds readers:
"Being a new momma is HARD and it requires giving yourself grace, lots of DAILY grace.
Each newborn is so different and it is really easy to compare your experience and your child to everyone else's experience and children. Resist the urge to do this. If you wind up loving, hating or only partially liking the newborn stage, it doesn't make you a bad mother.
Seriously, there's a reason more experienced momma's look at you quizzically when you ask them questions about their kids when they were infants; I think we're hardwired to forget. If you're anything like me, within a few years, you'll hardly remember the insecurity, fears, sleeplessness, raging hormones, sore breasts and smelly poop moments that come with the infant stage. Instead, your memories will be filled with overwhelming love and pride in your little one and newfound confidence in your momma skills.
Remember, you're still a wonderful mother no matter how you feel about the day-to-day during the newborn stage. My two best friends are adamant #NotAFanofTheNewbornStage mommas and they are both AMAZING mommies and true blessings to their children. So, take it day-by-day and give yourself grace, lots of DAILY grace!"
Every child is different, and we are allowed to love some aspects of childhood and not like others.
Tanya at Seeme & Liz is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and mom.
"Being a new mom can be overwhelming. There is so much information out there that it is hard to know where to begin. But in reality there are only a few important things that first time moms need to know about newborns. When it comes to back and forth interactions with your new bundle of joy, be prepared that this typically doesn't happen until the 4 to 6 week mark. Before that any smiles you may see are probably baby passing gas. Newborns usually begin to "coo" during this time as well. These adorable coos are precursors to babbling and later words.
Be prepared for a lot of crying. It's how newborns communicate. Typically babies will cry because they are hungry, have a dirty diaper, are cold/hot or want to be held. Some parents claim to be able to understand their newborns cries while others cannot. Don't stress and just try to be there for your new bundle of joy! Things will get easier. On that note, let's quickly talk about sleep. Quality sleep plays an important role in child development. You can have a good sleeper if you get started on a good sleep routine in your baby's first 3 months of life. The first month or 2 will be all over the place and that is ok, but by month 3 it is crucial to try and establish a good sleep routine that will last for life!"
Routines can be crucial to maintaining your self-esteem as much as feeling that you remain sane.
Lauren Williams of Warrior Mama Life tells readers:
"I remember bringing my son home from the hospital, and being in a complete daze. What. Just. Happened.? We are bringing a baby home! The complete joy, but utter cluelessness is so surreal. There are so many things that I didn't know, and just went with when our son was a newborn. For me, I expected to be up constantly, and have absolutely no sleep. Our son wasn't the worst sleeper, but we certainly made our mistakes in the early weeks. Looking back, I actually feel bad, because our son wasn't comfortable because of mistakes we made!
One of the biggest mistakes we made was not swaddling him at night! Our son would try and break out of his swaddle, which we interpreted as not liking to sleep with his arms down. Well, this was a major major mistake! Babies must sleep in a tight swaddle! It comforts them, and makes them feel like they are back in the womb. He was constantly waking himself up, and we were so clueless as to why! It took us about a month to realize what was going on. We began swaddling him up, and shortly after our son became such an amazing sleeper!"
Her advice should remind you that every baby is different. Her baby loved swaddling. Many do.
No matter whose advice hits home for you, all new moms will be nervous and feel like they are failing. The best thing you can do is go easy on yourself and keep going. You are a good mom. Contrary to all of the Instagram posts that make the other moms look perfect, we are all just figuring it out.
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