Our baby boy is 1 month old and oh my, it has flown by. We have experienced many things that no one tells you about when having a baby, especially when it’s your first. You know it’s going to be hard but many people don’t explain exactly why. Before you know it, your newborn baby is home with you and you’re there to figure parenthood out. It’s amazing how much you learn in your first month of parenting. You go from, “Am I doing this right?” to figuring each day out at a time and remembering that, you’re always learning.
One minute I’m giving birth and the next, I am taking a shower getting ready to go onto the postnatal ward. From the moment I left the delivery ward, I kept wondering, “What am I going to do now…?” When I arrived, I was greeted by a lovely midwife then our baby boy was placed into a cot beside my bed and that’s when it became very real. I obviously wasn’t alone because I was on hospital grounds but I was in the sense that, I became a mum for the first time and it was just me and our baby behind the curtain. I gave birth at 6.17pm and when the next morning arrived all I wanted to do was go home as a family. Luckily I could be discharged but it took a long while for my notes to be done which meant we didn’t leave until 10.30pm – 11pm. The first night at home was surreal.Since our first night home, here are some of the things we have learnt…
Your baby has their own cues
When our baby cries, we now have a better idea if he is hungry, his nappy needs changing, if it’s wind, or if he just wants a little cuddle. Who doesn’t love a newborn cuddle?! At first, to me, baby’s cry was daunting if it lasted more than a minute. I felt the pressure of making his bottles in the night or if I couldn’t quite figure what he needed. However, now, between the two of us, we have a much better idea. A baby that is fed, clean, and loved, is happy unless there’s a sign that something else is wrong. We haven’t experienced anything as such on this side other than when Freddy has struggled to to bring up wind.
We also know the he is having a poo face. You might think, “Oh lovely!” but it’s actually good to know so we can prepare for what kind of nappy we are in for!
Babies wee and poo a lot
Everyone says it but until you have a baby of your own, you don’t realise just how much your baby needs their nappy changing. We don’t like to leave Freddy in a wet or poo nappy so we always check regularly. Nowadays, most nappies have the yellow line which turns blue to indicate that your baby has done a wee or poo. Any mums or dads to be reading this post, be prepared for your baby to wee on you (or like a fountain over your baby’s head if they are a boy). Also, don’t be surprised if your baby does their business again while you are changing them!
In the second week, Freddy was leaking through his nappies. We took all the advice onboard from midwives and the health visitor such as making sure the nappy is fitted properly – not too loose, up at the back, frills out to absorb more wee/poo, and ‘pointing it down’ etc. We tried several brands and learnt that more expensive nappies do not equal better quality/less leaks, at this stage anyway. We upped to Mamia newborn size 2 and it has been much better since. It’s so much easier now that we don’t have to clean multiple Moses basket sheets on repeat or change baby more so than you already do with a newborn as it is.
It’s okay to cuddle your baby
If you want to cuddle your baby a little longer sometimes, that’s absolutely fine. We all need love. When we hold Freddy close to us – his favourite place being on our chest – he gets to moderate his body temperature, feel our heartbeat against his and be comforted by his mummy and daddy. Cuddling our baby boy reminds us of all the love we have to give and we constantly stare at him to admire his ever-changing features, his growing legs, arms, hands, feet, and those cute little cheeks. After Danny has been to work, football or to the gym, or just nipped out to the shops, he comes home and wants to cuddle Freddy because he has missed him.
You don’t need to be the perfect parent
There are no points or rewards for being the ‘perfect’ parent. To be honest, does the ‘perfect’ parent exist? Aren’t all of us first-time parents in this together, finding our own ways? You learn that you eventually pick up ways of getting into the swing of things like prepping bottles, changing nappies, settling baby, changing their outfits and so on. Your baby needs warmth, nutrition, cleanliness and happiness. We have learnt that Freddy enjoys time to explore his senses too with shapes, noises, sounds, recognising mummy and daddy, tummy time etc.
To all of the parents to be or first-time parents currently wondering how they are going to survive the first month, you’ve got this! Don’t think there’s anything wrong to ask for help or a little company sometimes.