Updated: Sep 4, 2020
These early days are a time bubble of feeding, sleeping, changing diapers, and marking milestones on the calendar. Becoming a parent is one of the greatest life shifts we will experience. They are intense, chaotic, and wonderful. So it’s a paradox that we are thankful that the baby days are the shortest of their life and yet we want to hang on to them so deeply.
As I write this my last, and third baby, lays nested asleep in my arms. She is getting so big as she begins scooting around on her belly and grabbing food from my plate. It occurs to me that very soon I will no longer have a BABY and honestly I am not ready for this stage of MY life to be over. My wish for you and your baby is that amongst the chaos of early life to find moments each day to be present to the joy that this journey brings.
Smell Those Feet Smell those stinky sweet feet. Right now they are cute and adorable, but there will be a day soon enough that they are stinky gross teenager feet.
Trust & Forgive Yourself There are more parenting books today than there have ever been. You can find a book on parenting multiples, adoption, parenting a baby with a physical disability, blended families, everything you might need support on is out there for you. And yet none of those books will actually prepare you to parent your child. That my friend is something that must be experienced to learn, without that you don’t get the badge. Personally I believe that parenting starts the moment you conceive. From that time forward you are taking care of and parenting your child. You worry about them, you eat well for them, maybe you quit smoking and drinking, you take care of your body – you know by NOT skiing on that beautiful fresh powder this season – to keep them safe. All because you are now a parent and taking care of your child in the way they need at this time. The good news is that by the time they are in your arms you’ve had a bit of experience already.
Nobody knows this little being better than you do, the parent. Trust yourself. There will be days that you feel like you screwed up. There will be moments that you wished if you said ‘cancel clear’ it actually worked. It’s ok. Forgive yourself. Hug your little, keep loving your little, and love yourself.
Feeding Speed Bumps
There are NO RULES in breastfeeding. I have moms tell me that they read online that they must hold their breast a certain direction, drink a gallon of water each day, and eat Nettle straight from the plant to feed their baby. Ok, really don’t try that last one. It will sting. In all seriousness, babies are hardwired to breastfeed, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t sometimes speed bumps getting started. Please know that this, like everything else, will shift and grow. As your baby feeds and practices at the breast they will get better. There can be a day for you when your baby crawls over to you, snuggles up, and latches on; all without you thinking about which hold to use, which side he nursed on last, and if their mouth was open wide enough.
*If you need clinical support please reach out to an IBCLC. We want more than anything for your dreams of breastfeeding, whatever they may be, to work out.
Expect Nothing & Embrace Everything
Scratch that. Expect to get peed on, pooped on, vomited on, have restless nights, and no more private bathroom trips. Embrace the journey because it’s all worth it. Just wait until they smile at you for the first time and you know it’s really you they are smiling at and not the gas they are trying to pass. And embrace when they laugh from a game of peek-a-boo or clap when they get excited.
Take time each day to fill your cup. Steal the time if you have to or find a new tradition. What brings you joy? For me it is a daily morning shower and an afternoon latte. During these times I do my best to center my mind, really just breath deeply and tell myself that I’m doing the best I can this day. Often times all I need to recharge myself is to connect with my baby (and older kiddos) to look at them eye to eye and smile.
Hold Your Baby
We grow our babies on average for 40 weeks. That’s 40 weeks of constantly being touched. That’s approximately 22 weeks of hearing your heart beat, your stomach gurgling. That’s 18 weeks of being able to hear your voice and your song. So of course it can be scary for your baby to be left alone, put in a quiet room without noise, away from the sounds and continual warmth that they know. Think about this, at 6 months of life after birth, given that they were born full term, they have still been in utero longer than they have been out. They long for and want nothing more than you – their parent. You will not, you cannot, spoil your baby by meeting their need to be in your arms, it is primal. And I’m here to tell you after 2 kids that are past this stage and one who’s on her way out, holding these munchkins is amazing. It goes quickly, so smell those heads as much as you can, too.
These days are sweet and unlike any other in life. You can do this, just hang on and enjoy the ride. If you are feeling overwhelmed reach out, there is support for you.
This article appeared on BabyAndCompany.com and can be seen at http://www.babyandcompany.com/wheat-ridge/enjoying-the-early-life-of-your-baby-with-6-tips/#more-4959
To a Confident, Sexy, Love filled life! Kimberly Lindsay, BA, CPCC, ORSCC, IBCLC
Mental Fitness Coach for Spiritual & Creative Moms:
Who are ready to ditch their saboteurs so they can show up
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