I came across a note from a year ago on my phone. It had a list of things I had written down that I wanted to remember if I had the opportunity to have another child. I read through it and thought it may really help a new Mom, so I wanted to share. I called it “Notes To Myself.”
No matter how hard you try to conquer baby and toddler sleep, there will be phases that are hard. Relax and follow your gut instead of google. Stop stressing so much and go to bed early instead of staying up. I know “you time” is tempting, but sleep is vital.
Your baby doesn’t need much to be happy. They don’t need all the fancy stuff and latest gadgets. They just need you.
Your child will be clingy sometimes (or a lot). This won’t last forever. Hold them while they still want to be held. I know it feels hard, but mindset determines a lot.
NOT A RACE
Don’t stress about getting rid of a binky, potty training, or anything else—it’s not a race.
Enjoy being a stay at home mom over the first year. Many moms wish they could do that. It’s hard, but focus on serving your family.
Don’t stress so much about naps. A strict nap schedule may be why your child is waking so much at night. Relax and be more attentive to what they need each day instead of forcing them to nap at certain times because all the advice online said they needed to. Flexible schedules are good, but your child isn’t a robot.
Don’t google in the middle of the night. You will drive yourself crazy. Google is not often your friend.
Don’t do too much screen time (for you or your child). Get off that dang phone! It’s sucking the life out of you and making you miss all the moments.
Don’t be scared of baby led weaning. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can puree and do some baby led weaning. Also, don’t buy into all the fancy stuff, just give your baby some of what you eat at each meal. Don’t make it so hard.
Start child training early. Have expectations for behavior and for helping around the house.
If you feel yourself about to burst because they won’t listen, get down on their level and look into their eyes and really connect. Try to have consistent expectations. See if there are any unmet needs–hunger, sleep, one-on-one connection.
Take really good care of yourself. Try to take naps if you can. Take your vitamins, exercise even if it’s only 15 minutes, eat well, and sleep/rest whenever you can.
Don’t feel guilty that you had to supplement with formula. Get help right away with breastfeeding. Check further for tongue and lip ties and get multiple opinions.
Don’t obsess about pumping.
ADVICE FROM OLDER WOMEN
Listen to advice from older women of how they used to do things. Some of those things worked really well for a reason.
WORK AS A TEAM
Realize that you and your husband are on the same team. If you aren’t working together, you both lose.
Get trustworthy babysitters more often and go out.
Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or does. Do what is best for your family and your child.
It feels hard because it is. No one is doing it “SO” much better than you. It’s a learning process, just like anything else. Give yourself lots of grace and lean into the grace that God has for you in this season.