As a first time mom, in my child’s first year of life, I worried about my daughter’s development, eating habits and sleeping schedule. With hindsight being 20/20 and all, I now have perspective more than a year removed, especially after accepting that there’s no one right way to parent. Here’s what I’d go back and tell myself in all my shiny, new mom-ness.

Was she getting enough to eat?

I pumped. I supplemented with formula. I nursed every hour around the clock. I ate lactation cookies and swallowed fenugreek capsules.

Why the doctors were worried about my ten-pound-at-birth, ninetieth-percentile baby’s weight, I haven’t figured out. But as a new mom rife with raging hormones, I wasn’t questioning, just following direction.

What I’d tell new-mom me

I’m fairly certain my daughter wasn’t starving; that extra pumping sessions post-feeding and other measures to increase my supply may have been excessive. And by supplementing I did what I needed to maintain my sanity and, contrary to theories on breastfeeding, saved my nursing relationship with my daughter.

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Were we doing enough together?

I tended to worry about the breadth of experiences my child was getting in her first year of life. Social media sites are great for comparing yourself to others and making you feel like a lesser parent, right? I saw pictures of my friends’ newborns at the beach, infants in carriers on hiking trails and the backs of road bikes, and babies on a variety of vacations with their parents.

I felt guilt for not taking my child anywhere of real significance in her first year; hell, we barely made it out of the house those first couple months.

What I’d tell new-mom me

It took me a long time to realize that those trips and outings weren’t for the kids; they were for the parents. No child needs their first boat ride in infancy. Those experiences are great for children of any age, but I wasn’t depriving my daughter of anything by not being more adventurous in her first year, either.

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Was she sleeping enough?

My daughter slept rocking in her swing, for the first 3 months of her life. It was the only way she’d stay asleep. She didn’t sleep through the night until she was one and a half years old. She took nearly every nap when with me in my arms, in a post-nursing coma. Slowly the motion of my moving car became necessary for her to nap. I worried about the quality of her sleep, the amount she was getting, and if she’d ever figure out how to do it better.

What I’d tell new-mom me

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What were the things that plagued you as a first-time mom? If you could go back, what advice would you give yourself ?

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