When you have your very first baby it’s exciting, exhilarating, wonderful, amazing – and terrifying! So very, very terrifying!! You’re suddenly responsible for this tiny little person and have no idea what the hell you’re doing. You think about everything that can go wrong and all the mistakes you could make. And trust me – as someone who’s been there – you’re going to make mistakes. A lot of them!
From taking advantage of every buy one, get one free coupon from the local baby clothing store to camping out in the hospital emergency room every time your little one feels a bit warm. Sometimes these mistakes are little ones that you can laugh at yourself about, and others are going to make you feel like the most awful parent in the world.
But mistakes happen, and you’ll learn as you go along so here’s some common mistakes that a few new parents have made – just to prepare you!
I was here FIRST (Jane)
When my daughter was born, I was just like every first time parent – so caught up in every little thing she was doing that I had very little time to pay attention to my husband unless I was telling him about something that Marissa was doing. And whenever I could convince myself to give her over to the grandparents care, I was so exhausted that I would just catch up on sleep.
After three months my husband sat me down and told me that he was tired of being neglected. As much as he loves our daughter, he wanted more than a quick peck on the cheek as we rushed past each other. He wanted real grownup conversations, to get a 2 second snuggle before getting up to change diapers in the morning – in other words he wanted me to be more than just Mommy.
When you first bring your baby home it’s easy to get caught up in them and forget about your partner. But remember that your partner was there first and they need some loving too!
My first times ALL went wrong (Maggie)
When I first found out that I was pregnant the only advice my mom gave was that I’d better be prepared for all my ‘first times’ to go wrong. The first time I breastfeed, the first time I give my baby a bath, the first time I change a diaper, the first time I install a carseat, the first time I do pretty much anything – something is going to go wrong.
And even though I was prepared – something went wrong on all my first times! The first time I was installing the carseat, I simply wasn’t able to do that. I had to go ask my neighbor for help, and when she showed me how to do it properly I realised how easy it really was – what a fail!
I bought whole stores BEFORE she came home (Chris)
When my wife first told me that we were pregnant I was so excited and so happy – I couldn’t wait to be a dad! I found myself flipping through the advertising leaflets from baby goods stores in the local paper, browsing baby stores online and buying just about everything I thought we MIGHT need! By the time we brought our little one home I had lifetime supplies of, well, pretty much everything!
We had a six month supply of new born diapers which were outgrown in three, I don’t know how many creates of baby food which got donated because she’d never eat it all and so many toys that a lot ended up being gifted – untouched and unopened! So whenever you go shopping – take an experienced mom with you so you don’t end up buying the whole store and just wasting money! Also, there’s a lot of special deals you can look for, for instance in Kohl’s, thanks to which you will be able to get all the stuff that you need on a budget!
I freaked out about EVERYTHING (Sandy)
I’m the first mom in my group of friends, my family lives in another state and I’m a single mom. So when my son was born I had almost no one to turn to for advice or help whenever something was going wrong, or I thought something was going wrong! And so whenever this happened I was convinced that my baby was about to die.
I became such a regular visitor at the hospital that I was on first name terms with most of the emergency room staff, and my phone bill was through the roof from all the panicked midnight calls to my mom. Now I can judge a temperature with my hand, I know every single home fever remedy, and I came to terms with the fact that sometimes babies just cry!
I couldn’t WAIT for the milestones – NOW I miss them (Michelle)
When I got pregnant I started reading every single baby advice book out there, from what to expect while you’re pregnant and choosing a baby name to common infant illnesses and when certain milestones should be reached. And so I would count down the days, the hours and the minutes until John reached his next big milestone.
I couldn’t wait for him to smile, then to sit up on his own, then to crawl, to take his first step and to say his first word (along with all the others). But now I regret it! Well except for that first smile in any case! Sitting up meant John could reach further, when he began crawling everything became a chew toy, when he began walking I had to get adept at snagging a runaway artist.
And seeing as his first word was ‘Why’, well you can imagine how every single conversation goes! Oh and Google has become my best friend because I ran out of answers after the first round of why’s!! Now I spend my life longing for the days when all John did was sleep, eat, poop and cry – just so that I can get a few moments of peace!
My last word
These are just some of the new parent war stories we’ve heard, but there are quite a few more. Our one piece of advice is that your baby is going to grow fast. One minute you’re bringing them home from the hospital and before you realise it you’re celebrating their college graduation.
So take photos – of everything! The good and the bad, the funny and the sad – don’t delete or throw away a single one. Now that camera phones are so common you can take literally thousands of photos – so do it! And back everything up to multiple drives and multiple places for just in case. You will be grateful for those moments in the future!