As a first time mom, you not going to get everything right and a lot of the time it is trial and error. Even if you have a big support system, every baby is different and what works for the goose, doesn’t necessary work for the gander.
So here is my little list of things I would do differently, now that I’m a little wiser in the parenting department (I’m no expert, I don’t think its possible to become an expert parent… even if you have 3 kids and have done everything differently with all 3 of them… there is no such thing as an expert parent, in my eyes)
I would make sure that I set up the room properly
I don’t know what I as thinking when I set up our 1 bedroom granny flat while I was pregnant, I put the camp cot so far away from my side of the bed. And I didn’t give it a second thought. It was practical and pleasing to the eye.
Until I got home with my precious bundle of joy and the first thing I did was change the whole room around while my gorgeous boy just dosed on the bed. Bearing in mind I had a C-Section and really shouldn’t have done it… there was no way I could have my baby so far away from me when we were sleeping. I needed him close, I needed to be able to hear him and see him quickly (Needless to say he slept in our bed any way)
I would cook a bunch of meals and freeze them… in family size and individual size
This one is something I wish someone had told me…. During your maternity leave you are not going to get time to eat unless someone cooks it for you… you will boil the kettle at least 5 times before you pour that cup of coffee and you will only down it when its cold. You will realize just how long your hair can go before it starts staying in the bun even when the pony tail has been out for 3 hours.
I hardly eat those first 3 months because I didn’t get time too(which didn’t help the breastfeeding story) and when I ate, it was all the wrong things; but when i finally caught my breath and had to go back to work, we found a rhythm BUT quick and easy was still the only order in the kitchen.
Pre-cooked and frozen meals would have been a saving grace…. Wouldn’t have to stress about cooking dinners and could just warm up a meal during the way which eliminates all preparation time which you don’t have, to eat something during the day.
I would wash the clothes with baby washing powder only
I ended up creating so much extra work for myself, when the last thing I had time for was EXTRA washing… just get a baby washing powder and save yourself a hassle.
You child might not be affected but take it from someone who has been through it, baby washing powder is just safer. New born babies skins are still brand new and can be sensitive. Gentle, unscented detergents is my suggestion, you can also skip the fabric softener for the baby gear. Once baby is born and you know how sensitive their skin is or not you can decide but I only started washing my sons clothes with mine when he was over 18 months…
I would have educated myself of breastfeeding prior to giving birth
I only breastfed for 6 weeks, and when it ended I was relieved and a weight lifted off my shoulders. It was a stressful time in our life and I was battling. Looking back, I wish I had preserved, I wish I knew then, what I know now. I only educated myself and found support groups like the La Leache League, after my breastfeeding journey was over.
I would do my research before, buy a breast pump and push as long as I could. And I would take at least one breastfeeding picture.
I’m lucky that my son thrived on Formula and has no digestive problems but I do feel guilty that I didn’t try harder and gave up so easily. I’m educated now and better equipped to make a better decision in the future. Again, it’s a trial and error and we can only get better but we will never be the best.
We all do what we feel is important to our children, keyword is “our”, nobody else’s. Everyone will have an opinion, take what you wants from it and throw the rest away. Trust your motherly instinct and go with your gut.
Hold on for the ride, its gets messy, bumpy and your heart will burst with love, numerous times.