Advice From a New Mom To a Mom-To-Be

posted: 08/19/16
by: Katherine Sosnoff
new mom

It's hard for me to believe it's been almost a year since we welcomed our son into the world. Before becoming a mom, I had pretty much zero experience when it came to babies and little idea what to expect. While I truly believe no one can prepare you for the incredible, exciting, overwhelming, occasionally terrifying experience of being a new parent, there are a few things I've learned over the last year that I would definitely tell anyone who was about to become a mom for the first time.

  1. Don't Worry So Much About the "Stuff": Sure, you should be prepared and I would definitely make sure you have the basics on hand, but seriously, you don't need a bunch of expensive 0-3 month onesies and a baby wipe warmer isn't a necessity. Instead of registering for every last newborn item available, add gift cards to your registry, which will come in handy when you have to buy another $300 carseat when your baby outgrows the infant one or that case of diapers someone bought you turns out to be the one brand that doesn't fit your baby quite right. In the age of online shopping, nothing you need is more than a quick click away and you're better off finding out what you'll need and use as you go along.
  1. Do Prepare: When I was pregnant, I worried a lot about getting "things" organized (see above), and I definitely read a lot about pregnancy and labor. We took a birthing class, and while I wholeheartedly recommend doing this, I would also recommend taking a class on newborn care. Read books about parenting styles. Learn about breastfeeding, if that's something you want to pursue. I worried so much about the process of welcoming our little guy into the world that I wish I had done a bit more to learn about what to DO with him once he was actually here.
  1. Don't Get Used to Anything: As a new parent, I have learned the one constant is change. My son would get into a bizarre sleeping pattern and I would panic and buy 13 books about why my child was nocturnal, and then he would just work it out himself. My son was sensitive to dairy through my breastmilk so I had to do an elimination diet (which, after a pregnancy without soft cheese, just felt evil) and by the time I finally found an edible recipe for dairy-free mac and "cheese", he had outgrown the sensitivity. Once you get used to any one phase, before you know it, your kid will be on to the next.
  1. This Too Shall Pass: While in some ways the first year felt like a century, it's funny how much of it quickly became a blur. My son didn't sleep through the night until he was six months old, and, while it seemed like forever at the time, it's such a small millisecond in the scheme of life. As much as it is difficult to grasp when you're in the thick of it, it truly is a short period of time.
  1. You Are Doing Great: It's so easy to beat ourselves up and have mom guilt about anything and everything possible. For the first few months after our son was born, our house looked like a Babies-R-Us exploded and the local Thai delivery place began to worry if a few days went by without us placing an order. While things have calmed down (slightly), our home d?cor is definitely still more "toddler chic" than I'd like and I feel like Martha Stewart if I manage to throw together an edible quesadilla for dinner. But our son is happy, healthy and thriving. He took his first steps the other day and I can tell you that the look on his sweet, determined little face as he toddled excitedly into my arms made every late night, early morning and tough day in between so incredibly worth it. Don't worry, mama - you got this.