I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ‘lessons’ I learned during Henry’s first three months of life.  When you’re a first time mom, you try really hard to IMAGINE life with a newborn, but it’s impossible to know what it’s really like until you’re living it. And then, of course, all babies and experiences are different!  So maybe these lessons won’t even apply to my next child. But I thought it would be fun to make a list and share it… I’d love to hear what YOU learned with your first baby, too!

PicMonkey Collage

Before you leave the house for the hospital, take one last ‘just the two of us’ photo with your partner.  You’ll want to remember that moment!


After you deliver the baby, you still have to deliver the placenta.  It’s a lot easier, but it’s still work.


You’re about to have the longest period of your life. Stock up on pads.


Sitz baths, peri bottles, and stool softeners are your friends. Afterwards, you’ll probably regret all the nights you skipped perineal massage.


For the first few days after delivery, you’re going to be functioning on little sleep.  You’ll be surprised at how awake and alert you feel.  You’ll wonder what everyone is talking about when they bitch about sleep deprivation with a newborn.


Three to five days after birth, reality is going to hit. You’ll realize that you’ve never been so physically and mentally exhausted in your entire life.  You’re so tired that you can’t feel your face.


Yes. Your baby really is the cutest baby EVER.  Cutest baby in the whole world, in fact.


Even if you hate doing laundry, you’re probably going to love folding little newborn clothes.


Try to talk to your partner and friends about something besides baby poop and feeding schedules, even though that’s all you can think about at first.


Let your partner do as much of the childcare as possible, even if you secretly think they are doing it “wrong.”  They probably aren’t – they’re just doing it differently than you.  And the worst thing you can do is make your partner feel obsolete or useless.


You are desperately, desperately, DESPERATELY going to want to feel, look, and act like your ‘old self.’   Don’t forget that YOU JUST HAD A BABY.  Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.


I promise… One day, you will feel like your old self.  Or a new version of your old self.  It just takes a while.


On that note – something has got to give.  You can’t be 100% mom, 100% worker, 100% house cleaner, 100% social maven, 100% superwoman.  When people offer to help, accept it.  Hire help – a maid, a food delivery service, childcare.


Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes mom footage to someone else’s highlight reel.


Even when your baby is happily sleeping, you’re still going to wake up in a panic and make sure they are still breathing.  This may last for months and months.


Your house is going to be a disaster. It’s okay. There’s plenty of time to clean up later.


The first time you leave the house with your baby, you’ll be terrified. But it gets easier and easier over time with practice. You can do it!


Old ladies in the grocery store are going to tell you to “savor every moment” when your breasts are leaking on your shirt, you’re running on two hours of sleep, and your baby is screaming hysterically.  You are going to want to punch that sweet old lady in the face.  It’s okay not to savor every moment when you’re experiencing it.  But I bet that two years later, you’ll understand what the old lady meant – time goes really, really fast.  You aren’t really aware of how quickly time passes until you have a child.


Speaking of breasts leaking on your shirt, you should probably stock up on breast pads.  And you should wear them religiously at first.  Because the ONE TIME time your boobs spontaneously decide to spring a leak, you’ll be wearing a tight gray shirt and talking to your father-in-law… <— true story.


It’s tempting to eat a load of junky food – sugar propels you through those sleepy days – but try really hard to eat a vegetable every now and then. 


For the most natural thing in the world, breastfeeding does not always come naturally.  Read books, surround yourself with good and helpful examples, and reach out to a lactation consultant. 


You need fewer baby clothes than you think, especially if you have quick access to a laundry machine.


You don’t have to change the diaper just because it has a drop of pee in it.  It took me two months to realize this!  Oh, and there’s going to be SO. MUCH. POOP.


When you run to the store for diapers, dish soap, or paper towels, buy it in triple.  You’re going to run out sooner than you think.


Ask your friends if you can borrow their swing, baby wearing device, or bouncy chair before you buy one.  Your kid may hate it.  Also, generally speaking, you don’t need as much baby “gear” as retailers make you think you do.


Even if you’re a horrible singer, your baby will love to hear your voice.


If you have a two story home, have a diaper changing station upstairs and downstairs. A diaper changing “station” can be an old towel, a pack of diapers, and a bunch of wipes.


On that line, put a bag of emergency baby items in the trunk of your car.  Stock it with extra clothes, more diapers and wipes, formula if necessary, etc.  Throw in an extra outfit for you (remember – “SO. MUCH. POOP!”).


It’s all worth it the first time your baby smiles at you. 


Ask someone to take photos of you WITH your baby.  You’re going to be behind the camera most of the time… It’s nice to have photos of the two of you.  <3


What lessons did you learn with your newborn?  There are so many unique and personal lessons!



  • Allison August 14, 2014, 11:29 am

    I love your comments about feeling like your NEW self after awhile. When I was talking to my doctor about running again after birth (which she allowed at 3 weeks, since I was pretty lucky with delivery) she said it was important to do the things that made me feel like my “new normal” self. That phrase always sticks with me – I am a “new normal” all the time since my kids change so fast.
    Also want to say one of the lessons I learned the hard way was always having an outfit for myself stashed in the car. I had to learn this the hard way again, and again, and again for some reason!

    • Ashley August 14, 2014, 12:27 pm

      I agree that probably my favorite tidbit of advice was about the feeling like your old self (and also the cutting yourself a break – can’t be 100% everything). Something more people should talk about/promote.

      My experience was different than most people (I had twins born at 32 weeks and in the NICU for 30 days), but I learned early on that a good schedule was MY FRIEND! While preggers I imagined just doing my thing and bringing my baby(-ies) along with me to concerts in the park, get togethers at friends’ houses, and whatever else. That came with time but, especially in the beginning, I learned to NOT mess with the schedule. If it was nap time, we would be home. Some babies can nap in the car or in a park or whatever/wherever, but that was not our reality. As a result, we spent a LOT of time at home initially. I would want to tell my old self to expect that, and that it was OKAY to stay mostly home. Invite friends over instead of going out!
      -sorry this was so, so long!

      • Carly August 17, 2014, 12:25 am

        Ashley – ditto that! I too have twins (born at 29 weeks and in NICU for 63 days and 91 days!) and a schedule was seriously the only thing that kept me sane. Keeping them on the SAME schedule was essential. They are 14 months now and still on the same schedule as each other.

        My other piece of advice – just nod your head and brush it off when random people give you baby advice. You are the mom, you know what’s best for your kids even if that takes you making mistakes to figure it out.

      • Rachel August 17, 2014, 3:57 pm

        Never. Mess. with the nap schedule!

        • Ashley August 19, 2014, 4:40 pm

          Amen, sista! : )

  • Kaleigh August 14, 2014, 11:34 am

    Love this post! So much so, that I think I may bookmark it. Pregnancy brain has hit hard for me even though I’m not due till December! I feel like there are some good nuggets here I will want to go back too (particularly the extra diaper stations and including an extra set of clothes for me!)

  • Katie@LifesNextBigStep August 14, 2014, 11:36 am

    That people everywhere are going to want to give you advice about *everything* and to take it all with a grain of salt and do what you feel is right for you and your baby.

    If you have questions, don’t be afraid to call your pediatrician (or your OB, depending on who the question is about).

    You’ll surprise yourself at how little you care who see’s your boobs those first few days/weeks. And you’ll be surprised how many strangers (i.e. nurses/lacatation consultants, etc) will be touching your boobs, and you won’t really care.

    Don’t work yourself up about getting back into the swing of things so quickly. Let your body heal, sleep when you can, and walk when you can. Exercise will come soon enough, don’t rush it.

    Be prepared to have little control over your bladder the first few weeks.

  • Erica { EricaDHouse.com } August 14, 2014, 11:38 am

    I don’t have kids and I just wrote a post this week asking if having kids sucks as much as so many make it out to be. I appreciate reading the insight of a mom talking about what life is really like post-baby!

    • Caitlin August 14, 2014, 12:34 pm

      It’s really hard at first. But well worth it 🙂 heck i am doing it twice!!

  • M.C. August 14, 2014, 11:48 am

    Here’s the lesson I’m re-learning from your newborn…… I cried a little the first time I saw a picture of Henry! #mightbedoingitagain 😀

  • Britt@MyOwnBalance August 14, 2014, 12:13 pm

    Great post! I’m exactly three months away from my first child! I’m trying to get prepared but it seems like all I can do is wait. Still, its helpful to read something like this!

  • Jennifer F August 14, 2014, 12:43 pm

    This is totally not baby related, and maybe weird, but I think your husband was in my yoga class this morning at 9:15!

    • Caitlin August 14, 2014, 12:46 pm

      He was!!! Were you the teacher?? Or a student? I almost went but then I ran instead 🙂

  • Erin August 14, 2014, 12:47 pm

    For the second one, I had a lot of “oh yeah, I remember this moments” but they don’t have the same intensity because you don’t have the same learning curve.

    A couple of other things I learned:

    if you are recovering from a csection take the drugs to manage your pain, you’re going to be exhausted anyway, don’t add so much pain to it if you don’t have too

    Leave burp cloths everywhere

    Start watching a really good dvd series so that you’ll want to get up every morning at 3am to feed/find out what happens next

  • Jess T August 14, 2014, 12:58 pm

    I’m 33 weeks with #2 right now and I am honestly (crazily?) excited about having a newborn again. Maybe I’m hoping that this time around I’ll stress less and enjoy things more.

    The thing I learned is that breastfeeding will hurt less, eventually. So. many. tears. shed. in those first two weeks over how painful it was. By three weeks, it was mostly all better.

    I also learned not to rush babies to the next developmental step or clothing size or whatever. They will get there soon enough and then you’ll miss the teeny tinies and immobility!

  • Kendra S. August 14, 2014, 1:12 pm

    Kegals are your friend!!! I took mine seriously and didn’t have a single stitch touch my body after both of my kids. Not sure if this is genetics or if my kegal exercises and increased protein really did help, but either way, I’m grateful!

    I think what’s also important here is that new moms just have to go through it. Don’t you think? It’s easy to know what you really need and to have the hindsight to list it all out having been there. But when you are in the thick of it for the first time? Ha!

    My message to a first time mom is to just be. Be a first-time mom making mistakes and learning from them. Be put together and confident one minute and a clueless hot mess the next. It’s all okay and a new mom will be better for all of it. Keep at it and do whatever you need to do to get through your first year. The resources are there if you need them and your own instincts will take you far. But you have to figure it out for yourself. The most rewarding “right of passage” in my opinion. 😉

  • Clare @ fitting it all in August 14, 2014, 1:14 pm

    Gosh I’m no where near a first time mom and this is so so sweet to me. I’m looking forward to it:)

  • Jill August 14, 2014, 1:15 pm

    Ohhh, I learned a lot. I had the epidural, then I had a section, I got extremely comfortable with nudity, and breastfeeding did not work for us in any way, shape or form, so we did formula. I don’t regret a single choice or experience (okay, no, I would have taken the epidural sooner had I known it was an option.) We have a fabulous, healthy 19 month old. That was my “one and done” for childbirth, as our little dude rounded out our family of four, with our 6 year old by my husband’s first marriage. The worst part of the experience was in the operating room, when I was so out of it I couldn’t tell if my husband was in the room yet but couldn’t stop puking long enough to ask, and the best (or one of the best) parts was when our then-5 year old first met the baby, wandering slowly into the hospital room with an awed look on his face and said, “Who’s baby is that? …it’s ours? Can we keep him???”

    (and yeah, I didn’t feel like “me” until MONTHS later).

  • Tracey August 14, 2014, 1:19 pm

    I loved reading this. My little boy is 6 months old and it’s just going too fast. I miss every little moment, yet he’s cuter and more fun each day. The poop thing is sooo true, but now we’re in the phase of waiting for the one giant blow-out that comes every 24-48 hours. Ha! 😀

  • Aishah @ Coffee, Love, Health August 14, 2014, 1:58 pm

    Hi Caitlin- You know I read your blog RELIGIOUSLY but don’t always comment. Especially because these days have been so busy for me. But this post was so sweet and I just wanted to say how you make being a mom look so amazing- you are so full of love and HONESTY about what it’s like being a mom the first time. But through the ups and downs your love for Henry beams through your blog and the picture you posted with him made me smile… I feel like you BOTH have grown so much together. Too cute. Love the blog and your beautiful family… I always learn so much THANK YOU. <3 xoxo

    • Caitlin August 14, 2014, 2:15 pm

      Awww thank you for all of this!!

      • melissa August 14, 2014, 4:17 pm

        i agree! it makes me excited to have kids!
        quick question…we’re you both “trying” for both kiddos? i’m not sure if you posted about that at all but we’re trying and i was wondering if you had any advice on it (or if there is a previous post on this or maybe something in the future to write about?)
        keep up the awesome job!

        • Caitlin August 14, 2014, 5:00 pm

          Yes, we were trying for both. I wish I had some thougthful advice to offer in this department, but we were just really lucky both times around and got pregnant without any strife. But I guess the good thing about that is to know that not everyone has problems getting pregnant… I know that when I was gearing up to try for Henry, I was really scared that I’d have fertility issues because it seemed like everyone I knew and read about did. But on average, most couples get pregnant within a few months. I did use an ovulation predictor based on my periods, which I think helped us a lot. Good luck in your journey!

    • Kendra S. August 15, 2014, 11:40 am

      Aishah, you nailed it with this comment! I agree with everything! 🙂

  • Katie August 14, 2014, 2:09 pm

    “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes mom footage to someone else’s highlight reel.”

    So, so, so true! It’s so easy to think you have the (crankiest, loudest, gassiest, fussiest, etc) baby of all time when you only see pictures on Facebook or spend an hour with another mom whose child is asleep in their carrier.

  • Elizabeth August 14, 2014, 2:31 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with the get out of the house statement. I had triplets 9 weeks ago and we have been getting out of the house since week 1! I felt PPD setting in San knew I had to do something besides stare at the walls and at them! It gets so much easier after the 1st few times and now it’s like 2nd nature! Always always always pack extra bottles! Never make the mistake of thinking they won’t get hungry because they just ate!! That will be the one time they are starving an hour after feeding and you don’t have anything to feed them!

  • Caitlin Restivo August 14, 2014, 2:39 pm

    It is ok to relax while the baby is sleeping – When my baby was a newborn he would take long, epic naps while laying on top of me (3+ hours). I would set up my “station” on the coffee table – phone, book, remote, water and enjoyed the snuggles. Also, my baby loved bouncing on the yoga ball, the only thing that kept him happy in the early days!

  • Lori August 14, 2014, 2:40 pm

    Great post. One of my biggest lessons from my first baby, which I hope I remember when I’m in the thick of it this time around (I’m due in 6 days) is not to panic, overreact, and feel like I have to find a solution to every little “problem”. I think as parents we want to identify what is causing the issue and fix it right away, when sometimes there is no real reason, or it’s just nature. For example, as a newborn my little one seemed to have gas pains every morning starting around 4 am and even though I desperately wanted him to have only breast milk in his system for his first 6 months, I gave in and tried gas relief drops, a couple types even, and they didn’t even work. So then I was really pissed that I bothered with those and felt guilty for potentially screwing up his intestinal flora (overreacting again!). It wasn’t a major problem that needed to be fixed. Some tummy massage worked better than the darn drops. Or when they start waking up at night out of the blue and you drive yourself crazy trying to fix any little thing it could be, and resorting to Tylenol because it *must* be teething, I mean, it *must* be something, right??!! Well, maybe not. Even with Tylenol, he still woke up, so why keep giving it? We can’t always fix everything. Sometimes you just have to ride it out. It’s hard to see your newborn with a stuffy nose, but it happens, it’s not tragic, you don’t need medicine, and it will pass, probably very soon! Relax! Retrospect is always 20/20

    • Amanda August 14, 2014, 4:55 pm

      Yup. “Just relax mama” is great advice. I wish I knew that with my first newborn. My WHOLE first year of his life would have been exponentially more pleasant for everyone in our home. I think I was so tense because I was separated from my baby at 12 weeks to go back to work and I had extreme anxiety about it. It wasn’t natural for me to leave my son. I will try hard not to be the same way the second time around, but I know it will be just as hard. Though, they grow and you get used to it. I already miss his needing me so much 🙁 Time to have another 🙂

      • Mish @ Eatingjourney August 14, 2014, 6:28 pm

        I feel so bad for so many American mamas. I give it to you, I don’t know how you ladies go back to work (I know you have to). I have a year off here in Australia.

  • Ashley August 14, 2014, 2:53 pm

    I’m not a Mama yet but I loved reading this 🙂 <3 It all seems so true.

  • Zulkey August 14, 2014, 3:00 pm

    Take shortcuts where you can those first few weeks and don’t look back. Eat bagged salad with ranch if you need to eat a vegetable. Order in as much as you need. If it seems exhausting to wash a can out and put it in the recycling, just put it in the trash–one time won’t kill you. Plenty of time to get back to normal.

  • Hilary August 14, 2014, 3:17 pm

    The crappy reality for me was that after baby #2, my body most assuredly did not return to its former glory like it mostly did after baby #1. 3 years later, I’m still waiting for my abs to make an appearance; )

    You were very tired after baby #1. You will be much MUCH more so after baby #2 because – surprise!- baby 1 still lives with you… and is a needy toddler.

    But still, there is nothing, NOTHING, like being a mom sandwich squished between my 2 kiddos.

    Seeing the relationship between my kids has been truly Amazing. And I don’t toss that word around to describe any ol’ thing.

  • Lauren August 14, 2014, 4:05 pm

    I love this and definitely needed to hear this! 🙂

  • Jackie August 14, 2014, 4:48 pm

    I’ve found it to be so much easier with the second kid. My second is an easier baby, so there’s that, of course. But I also think having a toddler requires you to keep some level of normalcy. This time around, we were out & about doing stuff at a couple weeks because the toddler needed to get out of the house. I remember having my world so ROCKED when my first son was born – but this time around, I don’t feel like an amateur. In fact, I think caring for the newborn is 10000x easier than caring for the toddler.

    • Caitlin August 14, 2014, 5:01 pm

      Haha I think it is too in comparsion! It’s just the body stuff that’s going on that’s hard. If I could be perfect emotionally and hormonally with a newborn, that would be awesome!

      • Jackie August 14, 2014, 9:32 pm

        I don’t know if it was just me (anyone else?), but I didn’t have the crazy emotional stuff the 2nd time that I did the first. Maybe a couple days of the weepies, but that was it. Also, I had terrible anxiety with my first (constantly checking to see if he was breathing at night, having terrible nightmares about something happening to him, etc.) and have had none of that this time. My fingers are crossed for you that this happens because it makes it so much easier!

  • Nikole August 14, 2014, 5:11 pm

    I have a two year old and a six month old. I think the biggest “lesson” is that babies cry and it is okay not to pick them up the second they start crying. I have given up the cute bag and now have a backpack. Also baby wearing makes everyone happier. It is almost a requirement having kids so close together.

  • Mish @ Eatingjourney August 14, 2014, 6:27 pm

    When people ask ‘what do you need?’ — have them bring you a meal that you can throw in the freezer.

    Stool softners…that’s all I can say. Do it. Eat your prunes. Drink your water. Or you’ll pay for it.

    Get comfy PJs or yoga pants and nursing tank tops

    Limit how much you do. I tried to over do. I WAS SUPER MOM…blah blah blah.

    It’s ok to cry everynight or day. it’s normal. just hold your husband and tell him that’s all you need.

    Just enjoy it. all of it.

    Get a good lactation consultant (if you’re trying to breastfeed) good nipple cream and those gel nipple things you can put in the fridge.

    have a lot of snacks

  • Jen August 14, 2014, 6:52 pm

    I am not sure I am even qualified to answer this yet, since my baby is only 14 weeks old, but so far I’ve definitely learned not to compare myself or my baby (especially my baby’s sleeping habits…) to others, because it ends badly. Listen to my intuition, not books on baby care and especially not the internet. Be nice to myself, because this is not easy. And wow, I can get by on way, way less sleep than I ever imagined.

  • Whitney August 14, 2014, 8:39 pm

    Agree on everyone’s rest, relax, and try not to stress (even though you will). But my best unconventional tip is that you can slouch on the couch, put the baby on your chest, and then pull your shirt (pref a t-shirt) halfway up over the baby for a blanket. Makes a nice, snug kind of kangaroo pouch for baby and you have 2 hands free for a book or sandwich 🙂

    • Katie August 21, 2014, 10:44 am

      Love this idea!

  • Catherine @ foodiecology August 14, 2014, 8:46 pm

    I absolutely love this! I’m 31 weeks (+ 3 days) pregnant with my first (& have ZERO experience with newborns), so I love hearing tips and reading advice from other (once-)newbie moms.

    I especially love the idea of taking one last “just the 2 of us” photo before heading to the hospital (of course, that’s assuming my panic allows me to remember), and thank God I’ve already stocked up on re-washable breast pads (that’s too funny about your “incident” with your father-in-law!)
    Apart from the practical tips on buying 3 of everything and keeping extra clothes/diapers/etc. in the trunk, I love the reminder about one day feeling like your old self (or “new old self”) and not comparing your raw footage to other moms’ highlight reels.

    I’m definitely bookmarking this! Thanks for sharing.

    • Laura August 18, 2014, 10:49 am

      A word of “warning” on the re-useable breast pads…those are great once your supply is a little more established, but pick-up a box of disposables for the first few weeks. I had more than one incident where I completely soaked through the pad, my nursing cami, and my shirt. The disposable pads have a plastic-y lining on the back that helps hold it all in.

  • katie August 14, 2014, 8:57 pm

    Love this post so much!

  • Kathy August 14, 2014, 9:25 pm

    So tired you can’t feel your face! I’ve been there and I do NOT have a baby (yikes!). I remember my sister coming to see me with her fairly new baby and calmly telling with a crazed look in her eyes that “not having children is also a perfectly valid choice!!” Ha! Good thing they got through it intact and now she has the most amazing little buddy. Doing it the second time must at least give you a little comfort that you know the ropes to some extend and you’ve made it through before.

  • Sandy August 14, 2014, 9:26 pm

    Oh my gosh, all of this is so true. I remember looking and trying to determine if the little blue strip on the diaper was the slightest blue and we would change it.

    Also, I got about 1 picture of me and my baby the first week, tons with all the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and I so regret this 🙁

    Also, I stocked the heck up on breast pads and ended up never even producing enough milk to leak out so I never had to use them, lol. I have about 12 boxes though, maybe I’ll have more milk with this next one 🙂

  • Lorie August 14, 2014, 10:32 pm

    I’m a new mom and I’m still learning! But I love your comment about trusting your partner to do things,even if it is done in a different way.

    Things I’ve learned in 6 weeks…
    -Enjoy all the cuddling and sleeping time…the computer can wait,laundry and dishes can wait,the phone can wait. Cuddle that baby with both hands and enjoy every second.
    -Sleep however it is best for you and the baby. Everyone will have their own opinions,but as long as you and your baby Can sleep and feel safe,that is what is important!
    -Don’t get frustrated when your To Do list goes untouched. There is always tomorrow.

  • Miriam August 14, 2014, 11:44 pm

    My baby really IS “the cutest baby in the whole world, in fact” 🙂 I was personnaly kind of “lucky” because (now 2 months postpartum) I’m not very different than before… But I hate when people tells me that I look like my old self, because I don’t feel like it… and most importantly I had one very bad end of pregnancy (was hospitalised for 3 weeks prior to giving birth and had to have my baby 1 month and 1/2 before the due date… baby is a preemie). Because of all this I did not gain much weight total. What I really don’t want is other girls to compare themseves with me. There is way too much pressure already. I think it’s a sad thing that people gives new moms so much pressure over their bodies.

  • Tiff August 15, 2014, 7:01 am

    Haha, so true. Many of old ladies have come close to getting punched in the face. Oh, and yeah, longest period everrrrrr.

  • Daria August 15, 2014, 8:15 am

    I recently had my second baby and i couldn’t believe how much easier everything seemed compared to the first time! Everything just seems less of a big deal and i was surprised that i didn’t have sleep deprivation the second time around. I just became a pro at sleeping in shorter intervals whenever possible. I think you’ll do great and i can’t wait to hear about your experience with newborn #2

  • Bryna August 15, 2014, 9:54 am

    I loved this post. Like others, I need to bookmark it. I am a first time mom due in March, and I am so glad to have you for tips, tricks, and experience. All your advice is honest and kind, and I love it! Thank you!

  • Julie August 15, 2014, 10:59 am

    Great advice to borrow someone else’s swing, bouncy seat, stroller etc. before making a big investment. I got a manual wind-up swing at my baby shower & exchanged/upgraded to an automatic one w/ several settings, music, etc. ‘cuz I knew it was going to be used so much (my nephew LOVED his!). Well, you guessed it – she hated it. I think we “tried” to use it twice. I also loved your comment that the baby will love to hear you sing regardless of your musical “talents” – so true! 🙂 One thing that went against the grain for me, but that others recommended was to not obsess about the housework – just spend time enjoying & connecting w/ your new baby. It was an attitude adjustment for me for sure, but I’m so glad I spent the extra time just playing w/ her during her childhood years (she’s 14 now!).

  • Meghan Trupp August 15, 2014, 12:35 pm

    I love this SO MUCH! My son is almost 20 months old and I can definitely relate to 95% of these. 🙂

  • Maria August 15, 2014, 12:58 pm

    Oh boy! I second SO much of this. The longest period of your life, getting a picture with your baby, the breast pads- spot on! I would add to it…

    Don’t expect your body to go back to what is was overnight… or in three months… or even six months. But don’t give up!! It took me 15 months to lose all my baby weight, but I did it!

    Your nipples will hurt like crazy at first. Gel lined pads called soothies are the greatest invention known to man.

    Babies are noisy sleepers. Don’t get out of bed the second your baby makes a peep. Wait 60 seconds- half of the time they’re just resettling and aren’t even awake.

    Biggest lesson learned: you will want everything to go perfectly. Somewhere along the line, something won’t. None of us gets through motherhood completely unscathed. Maybe you won’t be able to nurse, or you’ll have a fourth degree tear, or you’ll need an emergency c section, or your baby might even have to spend some time in the NICU (I experienced those last two. Terrifying, but we made it through). The amazing thing is, you and your baby will turn out just fine. So much of what seems so scary or like the end of the world at first just isn’t.

  • Heather August 15, 2014, 2:24 pm

    I love the comment about letting your partner help out as much as possible. I’ve seen people make that mistake all the time. Just because they do it differently, doesn’t make it wrong. LOL!

  • Steph M. August 15, 2014, 5:26 pm

    I love this post! I’m due with my first baby on 11/3!

  • Laura Ann August 15, 2014, 8:28 pm

    I’m currently in the thick of it with my almost three-week-old. I had no idea just how time- and labor-intensive breastfeeding is. There can be a real learning curve at first as well as many obstacles. It takes real commitment – many times I find myself having formula fantasies! Stay well-connected to friends who breastfeed, go to BF support groups, and find a really good lactation specialist. All of these things help keep me going!

  • Jillian @ Baby Doodah! August 15, 2014, 8:45 pm

    Such a great cumulative post.

    The only thing I’d add is that the whole sleep when the baby sleeps is NO joke. Sleep. Screw everything else you’re thinking is important, it’s not… Sleep!

  • Kelly August 16, 2014, 11:20 am

    Sleep when your baby sleeps!!! That’s my best advice for life with a newborn. Don’t check blogs, Instagram, Facebook, or email. Don’t do laundry, clean your house, or do other chores. Sleep.

  • Linz @ Itz Linz August 16, 2014, 7:34 pm

    couldn’t agree more with everything you wrote! and take pictures. lots and lots of pictures! itz never too much. take pictures when they are sleeping and nursing and awake and taking a bath. pictures.all.the.time! you won’t realize how much they’re changing until you look back at pictures and see just how tiny they used to be!

  • Lital Peled August 18, 2014, 4:19 am

    my biggest piece of advice? GET OUT OF THE HOUSE !
    even if you’re a mess (and you really are, but so is everyone else)- just get out.
    start with a 5 minute stroll walk and then progress to daily walks- especially i the morning and in the afternoon- it helps to set a daily routine for the baby and the mommy, it’s refreshing and rejuvenating, and does a ton of good
    once you’ve mastered that, go to mommy and baby meetings- it helped me A LOT ! got a lot of tips and advice, made friends that way (lack of sleep and being overwhelmed makes a true bond). if all else fail, at least you’ll get to hear other people’s problems 🙂

  • Lital Peled August 18, 2014, 4:20 am

    my biggest piece of advice? GET OUT OF THE HOUSE !
    even if you’re a mess (and you really are, but so is everyone else)- just get out.
    start with a 5 minute stroll walk and then progress to daily walks- especially i the morning and in the afternoon- it helps to set a daily routine for the baby and the mommy, it’s refreshing and rejuvenating, and does a ton of good

    once you’ve mastered that, go to mommy and baby meetings- it helped me A LOT ! got a lot of tips and advice, made friends that way (lack of sleep and being overwhelmed makes a true bond). if all else fail, at least you’ll get to hear other people’s problems 🙂

    • Mackenzie August 20, 2014, 9:32 am

      I LOVE this!!! I have a 10 month old. I relate to everything on here 🙂

  • keri August 22, 2014, 3:43 pm

    Most accurate list i’ve read so far!

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork September 16, 2014, 11:27 am

    What a lovely list! I’m saving this for later. Thanks for sharing and for putting so much thought into this! I especially like the one about not comparing your behind the scenes footage to someone’s highlight reel. That is so true in ALL aspects of life!

  • Em @ Love A Latte November 10, 2014, 5:12 pm

    This is fantastic! My baby boy turns three months tomorrow and everything you said is so applicable to my life right now. Made me laugh & smile!

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