Mom soothes newborn baby

Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before Having a Baby

By Donna Duarte

You read the books, went to the classes, and even asked friends for advice. While we felt prepared for our newest little bundle of joy to arrive, there are some things we wished we had been privy to before baby.

1. Sleep deprivation is real.

“Exhaustion is a real thing. I was in a bit of a bubble prior to having my firstborn and was in no way prepared for how much the loss of sleep can wear on one's mental state. That’s why I’d always accept the open arms that wanted to hold my new baby. Their cuddles with my little one allowed me to take a quick power nap. Get rest when you can so you can start feeling like your old self again.” - Donna, Brooklyn, NY

2. Patience is a virtue.

“You know you never really understand the definition of patience until you become a parent. Even at just days old, your little one can test your patience. My first baby had colic, the poor little guy cried, what felt like, every waking moment. I had to learn to be patient, comfort him and know that in time, just like many baby stages, it too would pass.” - Angela, Oxnard California

3. You don’t need a lot of baby stuff.

“I wish I'd known I didn't need so much stuff. Essentials, such as diapers, a car seat, and a crib can get you through. While there is a lot of gear that is super helpful, you really don’t need nearly as much as you might have thought when you were pregnant. Stick to the items that you’ll use daily and wait to see if you need anything else.” - Lora, Brooklyn

4. Don’t feel guilty about taking time for YOU.

“I had postpartum blues. It was hard to get back to being me again. Reading blogs and finding other moms who were in my situation, along with my husband pushing me to make time for myself again was very helpful. Making time for yourself is so important. Trust those closest to you and try to get into a new routine again.” - Mia, Texas

5. Be your own cheerleader.

“I learned this lesson right after the birth of my first child. As delivery got a bit difficult, doctors and residents started flooding me with information, I was overwhelmed and in a complete state of panic. I didn't feel like I had any say on what was going to happen to my body. Finally, my doctor took control asking me what I wanted. This was a great lesson. I learned that advocating for yourself and being well informed is important, because a birth plan isn't a guarantee.” - Ann, Oregon

Becoming a mother is a journey that I’m always learning from, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

About Donna Duarte Ladd
A style consultant and editor of Motherburg. She and her artist husband, live in Brooklyn where you can find her on weekends running –literally running – after her two young boys. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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