Today my baby boy is 4 months old and to celebrate, I thought it’d be nice to share with you some of the learnings I’ve gathered as a new mum over this time. Here we go!
- Trust your baby, he knows exactly what he needs. You’ll probably find that most people have an opinion or advice ready to give you, but no one knows better than your own baby what he needs in each moment. Just make sure you learn to read his signs, that’s all you need to listen to.
- You will be the best mum for your baby, so don’t worry if your experience does not match with other people’s. Listen to you heart and instinct and do what feels right for you and your little bundle of love. The mummy and baby tandem is a very special one, and probably unique to each of us.
- Lower your expectations about what you will and won’t be able to do once the baby is here, otherwise you’ll end up frustrated with yourself. If there is anything that you absolutely want to do, make sure you do it before the D-Day. Having said that, there is one thing that you’ll absolutely need to do for your self’s sake: find the time to have a nice longish shower every day, your baby needs a happy, healthy (good-smelling) mamma.
- You will be pretty much back into your pre-pregnancy body in about 4 weeks. I was gladly surprised to see how quickly my belly went down and I could wear “normal” clothes again. Also, breastfeeding speeds up this process since each time your baby feeds you produce the hormone in charge of reducing your uterus to its pre-pregnancy size, so it is definitely a win-win situation for both you and your baby.
- Breastfeeding is the least straight forward human instinct. I used to think that it couldn’t be that difficult since humans have been doing it for thousands of years…. well, I was wrong. It is more of a learnt process rather than an instinct. In the past, an especially before formula came into the picture, breastfeeding was the norm and most women were familiar with it through observing others. But now we don’t get the chance to see other mums and learn from them, which leaves us, new mums, completely lacking a rather important skill when the baby finally arrives.
- Don’t asume that any mum that has breastfed knows everything about it. If you ask a 1000 mums about their breastfeeding experience, you’ll get a 1000 different stories, and unluckily many of them rather traumatic. I feel sad that so many mums did not enjoy this part of their lives (probably due to lack of information and advice) but it doesn’t have to be like that for you. I stuck with it and it was the best decision I could have ever made. For me, it is the ultimate mummy-and-baby bonding time.
- You are allowed not to have visitors at the hospital. Actually, I did know this before I had Mateo and I am extremely thankful to the person who told me about it. Don’t get me wrong, I was dying to show my friends and family our little beautiful baby, but we just felt we needed time on our own, me, my husband and the baby, getting used to each other, resting together, looking at him for hours, learning to take care of him. Some people may not understand it, but the people that really care for you definitely will.
- Weight is not the only indicator of your baby’s health. There seems to be a kind of unwritten fact: your baby is only as good and healthy as his weight. Well, that is not the case. There are so many other indicators that your baby is healthy and happy apart from the scales. Trust your instincts, if your baby looks healthy, he probably is, even if he is on the lower half of the average weight charts.
- When your baby cries it will be like if someone tore your heart apart. The only reason for that is just pure mummy love, and you just can’t help it.
- As hard as it can be at first, don’t wish the days away. I’ll be honest, I found the first few weeks of motherhood quite hard, probably because I had the wrong expectations and breastfeeding was way harder and demanding than I could have ever imagined, but I tried to tell myself: “This will pass and won’t come back, so enjoy every moment of it”. Of course, this is easier to see hindsight but I always try to remember it when I’m feeling a bit tired.
11. You will love your baby a 1000 times more than you could ever imagine!
Thanks for reading!