Motherhood hit me like a tonne of bricks. Nice fluffy soft bricks, but still it weighed a tonne. The first 4 months were a whirlwind to be honest, nothing really prepares you for motherhood. During pregnancy, I was so wrapped up in being pregnant that I kind of forgot to think about after birth and the fact that soon I’d be responsible for this little, tiny human! You get so busy buying all the stuff you need (think you need) or eating all the things you should be eating, and no one reminds you to stop and think about when baby actually arrives. So, if you’re pregnant and reading this, take 5 minutes to stop and think about when little one arrives. What do you envisage your first week to be like? Have you thought about what your first month with baby will be like? What the first time you hold baby will be like – what you want to capture? You’ve bought the baby bath, but do you know how/when to bath baby?! I realised after Myla was born that I had so many unanswered questions which I just didn’t take the time to think about so we kinda winged it and went with the flow. To be honest we’re still winging it!
I can’t believe how much Myla changed in the first 4 months and actually how clever babies are! If you think about it, babies have SO much to learn and they’re constantly developing. One minute all they need to know is the comfort of the womb and then suddenly they’re in this big open world. No wonder they need to sleep so much! Everyday Myla saw things differently. At 4 months she looked around the house like it was a brand-new place every day. When I moved from the living room to the kitchen, she looked around as if this is not the house she’s been in for the last 4 months! I could see her eyes and the thoughts like ‘wow look at that cupboard’, ‘wow look at that door’. I loved watching her watch the world, I still do 6 months in!
The first 3 months…
Being in the middle of a pandemic, the first three months were a rollercoaster. There were negatives and positives, but it was our normal and we had to get used to it. Myla’s (and we’ve) been lucky to have both me and hubby home for much longer than it would’ve been. But it’s been a shame that we’ve had to be a lot stricter with visitors and Myla hasn’t had the chance to meet hardly any of our families/friends. I just have to remember that she doesn’t know any different to this world and she really isn’t expecting much else!
Amongst the chaos; the figuring out feeding, the nappy explosions, the constant questioning of “is this normal?”, daily googling “why is my baby crying?”, the first 3 months fly by, like really just whizz past. I can barely remember her first few months (luckily I’ve taken enough pictures and videos!). What I do remember is how good those cuddles felt, and I wish I soaked up more of them. If anyone tells you not to hold baby for too long because they’ll “get used to it”, don’t listen. You enjoy those new-born cuddles, they’re the best! Before baby gets wriggly and wants to play, get that cuddle time in, trust me.
Here are some things that helped or things I figured out in our first three months:
- New-borns sneeze A LOT, its normal – don’t bother Google with this one, she’s busy!
- Hiccups don’t bother babies like they do adults, really they’re completely fine with it. Let it be.
- Get a tripod – you’re going to want to take a lot of family pictures – our first picture as a family of three was when she was 12 weeks. Almost 3 months in! Why did we take so long? And don’t worry if you don’t look your best – no one cares (and it doesn’t matter if they do) – you will want the memories regardless!
- Don’t put pressure on yourself with trying to entertain baby during the first 4-6 weeks, watching you or the world around them is enough. No toys required. The only things I’d recommend are some black and white images (books or prints)
- White noise machine is God. Buy one ASAP
- Its never too early for a bedtime routine. We always had baby down by 7 which meant we had a nice chunk of our evening relaxing while baby slept
- Babies cry, its what they do! Sometimes you can go through everything and still question a million times why she’s crying. Obviously if you are really worried then definitely get further support or help. But I realised, that (most of the time) rather than baby crying, what really bothers us is what other people are thinking when baby is crying. If you’re out and about and baby cries, try not let your first thought be “Oh no, the crying will bother other people!” The crying will panic you a lot less if you forget about what other people are thinking – and a calmer Mummy makes for a calmer baby.
DAD FEATURE [In most of my posts, I’ll be getting my Hubby to Dad blog for a small section – it’ll be a small snippet of his take on whatever the topic is]
I was very lucky to be at home for the first 3 months because of lockdown. I got a chance to spend a lot of time with Myla and build a bond quite quickly. Even though I couldn’t help with feeding her I was a pro with calming her and getting her to sleep. Tip: squats while cuddling baby calmed her down and sent her to sleep nicely! I always made silly faces at her to make her smile – and there’s nothing better than seeing her smile!
Month 4 is when the fun really began for us (and by “fun” I mean sleep deprivation). We were lucky that Myla was always a good sleeper until her teeth started to come through. And because she got her first two teeth early, at 4 months, it felt like we went through a year long sleep regression. She didn’t nap, she didn’t sleep at night and we struggled to sooth her teething pain. [It’s an inevitable period, all babies go through it – believe me when I say its so worth it]
Despite all the teething troubles and lack of sleep our little 4-month-old was amazing. She loved music (still does), started to babble and started to make the funniest faces. She also loved going out and about, and seeing the world – people watcher like her Mum! – so taking her to parks and gardens was the best! In general, we tried to do as much as we could outdoors as a family and not let COVID restrictions get to us. We got into a nice little routine with Myla and I’m glad we adapted her routine as needed to allow us to go places, as opposed to changing our lives completely to fit around a new baby routine. We even managed to fit in a nice little staycation!
The first few months are HARD, really hard, but so good at the same time. If you’re in those first few months, just take a look over what you’ve already achieved and look at all the positives. Focus on the good things and leave the negatives behind a closed door. Writing this as Myla turns 7 months old – it’s gets so much easier I promise.