December 4, 2012

What You Need to Know Before You Bring Home Baby


Are you expecting your first baby soon? Congratulations! Babies are truly little blessings for anyone who comes in contact with them…especially their parents. While you are probably over joyed with the idea of how much your life is going to change in the months after you bring the baby home, you do need to realize that while babies are fun (and a blessing), they are a lot of work. Bringing home a new baby can be difficult and stressful when you have unrealistic expectations. Below are just a few things that are good to know before you bring home your new little bundle of joy.

1. It may take months to establish a “real” schedule. When I was expecting my first baby, I was determined that I was not going to be one of those new moms who ran around looking ragged because I was going to make sure my baby was on a schedule. Looking back (five years later), I actually laugh at myself when I think about what I thought life with baby was going to be like.

The truth is that it took at least three months (if not more) before my son settled into a regular schedule of his own. The most frustrating thing, for me, in regards to the newborn stage was that as soon as I thought I had him and his schedule figured out, he would throw me a loop and change it up. So, don’t expect to settle into a rigid schedule right at first. Your little one is going to be calling the shots the first couple of months. Luckily for us, they don’t remember the days they had “control” over the family, giving us the ability to easily regain that control.

2. There is such a thing as too many clothes. Buying baby clothes is one of the most fun things when planning for a new baby. At least it was for me…and I had a boy! I can’t imagine how much fun shopping for a girl would be with all the fancy bows, irresistible baby dresses and shoes out there for them! Sadly, you really can buy too many clothes for your infant. Why? Babies generally grow pretty quickly once they come home, making it possible for them to outgrow outfits before they are ever worn. Therefore, try to keep your baby clothing purchases limited during the first year. If you don’t, you may find yourself wasting a lot of money.

3. You can hold a baby too much. I understand that this statement goes against what many of us want to believe, but it’s really true. Five years ago, when I had my son, he was held for 18 hours straight at the hospital. As a result, when we came home all my son wanted was to be held. And, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to hold him. However, I didn’t get anything done when I held him all day and all that did was teach him that he was always going to be held when he was awake. I slowly had to limit the amount of time I held him (in one setting). This allowed me to get the things I needed to done around the house and also taught him that it was okay to sit in his swing or lay on the floor for a little while by himself.

The only reason I’m bringing this up is because I don’t want you to feel guilty for putting your baby down for a while. Take this example, I have a friend who had a baby a few months ago and because she would hold the baby anytime she cried, the little girl instantly starts screaming when she is put down now. (She’s 5 months old) In addition, she won’t let anyone else hold her aside from her mother without screaming. This has my friend beyond stressed and she has even admitted that she shouldn’t have held her little one constantly. Therefore, don’t feel bad for not holding your baby all the time. They really can get held too much and when that happens, it’s incredibly hard to “break” them of the habit.