1. The birthing process is not easy and yes it is painful, but it goes by so fast and you forget all about the pain when your precious cargo arrives. It is truly amazing what women go through and it is a beautiful experience so try to enjoy the whole process of giving birth- even the rough, painful, not so pretty moments, because like everything else it goes by so fast.
2. Stay Positive. Yes, you will sleep again. If you are a good napper and are blessed with a baby that naps, then by all means nap. If you aren't great at napping on demand, like me, then just take that time to relax. Watch TV, walk on the treadmill, take a bath, do whatever makes you happy. Just remember that the rough times of the baby waking up will pass, so push through and try your hardest to enjoy all the moments with your tiny little baby.
3. Sure, listen to people's advice, but trust your gut and raise your child the way you want to. There are a million and one opinions out there. Your mom's, your mother-in-law, your pediatrician, all your friends, your neighbor, Dr. Google, I mean it never ends. Everyone has an opinion and that's fine, you can listen to what other people have to say, but ultimately, no one knows your baby better than you and it is your decision who and what to listen to. Don't feel bad for doing things differently than other moms.
4. Take the pressure off, don't compare your baby or yourself. For me, with my first I so desperately wanted to breastfeed, I tried and tried and it didn't work out. The first few weeks from trying to breastfeed and trying to pump and being unsuccessful I felt miserable, defeated, sad! Then, I realized how much happier my baby was and how much she was growing and thriving from having formula and that she wasn't missing out on anything and I immediately started to feel better once I took that pressure off of myself. It is the same thing with milestones, all kids are different, as long as your baby is healthy, let them take their time.
5. Take pictures and notes. Try to write in their baby books, take pictures of them, enjoy them! They only stay little for so long and then they grow up right before your eyes, so write down your special memories and take tons of pictures. It is fun looking back and reading and seeing those tiny little moments that just make you smile.
6. Stock your diaper bag and always remember to check it before you leave the house. You will forget things sometimes, it happens to the best of us. I have recently had an experience out with my son that I had all the pieces of the bottle except the ring that goes around the nipple. Well, he had to eat, so painters tape to the rescue. Thank goodness we were at my dads, but we were sitting down for dinner and I didn't want to have to go to the store and buy a new bottle, so we made do and it all worked out.
7. If you want your baby to sleep and in their crib, put them on a schedule asap. Again, to each is own, but as a working mommy these were things that were very important to me and now that my son is 9 weeks old he is already sleeping through the nigh and hasn't even hit 10 pounds yet. I am one proud momma! Schedule is key, wake them at scheduled feedings, they will go back to sleep if they are tired. Put them in their crib by around 8 weeks so they can get used to it- again only if this is something that is important for your baby to master. If co-sleeping works for you- that is great too!
8. It takes a viillage. Don't be afraid to ask for help. From your hubby, from your mom, from a babysitter for a night out. Do what makes you happy. Remember, don't neglect yourself, your baby or your marriage. Ask for help!
9. Relax (as much as you can) and enjoy! Again, they only stay small for so long and each stage is an amazing one. The way they stick their arms out while burping as an infant or how my daughter used to cover her eyes while napping. Every stage they go through is so amazing, enjoy them all. You will make mistakes, you will ask yourself how you let that happen. They will fall, they will get sick, none of this means your a bad mother, enjoy everything and take it easy on yourself!
10. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new little family! Love on your baby, yes life will change, your husband and your relationship will change. Everything changes, but all for the better. You will never look at your husband the same again, you will look at him in such a more profound way! You will never love someone as deep as you love your child. Enjoy your life as this new little family. Focus on the LOVE!