How I Finally Learned to Love the Newborn Baby Stage
The newborn baby stage is filled with so many overwhelming emotions, both highs and lows. It can be a bit of a roller coaster. Nearly nine years ago when we took our oldest daughter home from the hospital, I was admittedly in a state of shock. My life had been completely turned upside down and I had no idea what to expect. With the adjustment of having to take care of someone and learning what selflessness truly is for the first time, I failed to take the time to enjoy it. Between the constant feedings and lack of sleep at night, I focused more on the parts of the newborn stage that were challenging and less on the beau-tiful moments.
Welcoming home my second daughter wasn't as overwhelming as the first time around, however the adjustment of having more than one child in the house was a bit hectic. Once again, I'd failed to truly marvel in the many blessings of the newborn stage.
And then we were surprised with a third baby. Having been through two babies and knowing how quickly that newborn stage passes, I took full advantage of that sweet time I had with my newborn. Rather than dwelling on sleepless nights and a baby that wanted to eat around the clock, I relished in those precious moments that you can only really get in the newborn stage.
Here are some things I finally appreciated with my third baby:
I know this sounds a bit crazy because newborns have no particular sleep schedule and are completely unpredictable in terms of how much or when they are going to sleep. However, the thing I love about newborns is they love to sleep and they do it often, especially during those first few weeks.
With my first two children, I took the advice from everyone who said "sleep when baby sleeps." I put too much pressure on myself to try to fall asleep during that time that I never ended up falling asleep. It was a vicious cycle because I wasn't getting any sleep and felt guilty for it.
When my youngest was born, I promised I wasn't going to put any pressure on myself to sleep when he was sleeping. If I wanted to just have him in my arms and watch him sleep, I was going to do it. If I wanted to do something special with my girls while he slept quietly, I did it. If I needed a shower or wanted to enjoy a hot meal, I did it. If I was exhausted and wanted to sleep while he was asleep, I slept. I knew the days of him sleeping so much was limited, so I took advantage of it in the best way possible.
While all three of my children still love a good cuddle with me, there is nothing quite like the cuddles from a newborn baby. There are many benefits of skin to skin contact. While it's comforting for baby, it's also really soothing for mom too. Before they get too squirmy and just want to crawl around or look at everything around them, I made sure to have that little one as close as possible during our down time. One of my favorite things to do after I put my two oldest children down for bed was to grab my son and cuddle him in the rocking chair. The house was quiet and the moon shined through the window. They were peaceful moments that I'll cherish forever.
I wanted to try to do it all by myself with my first child, however it didn't take me long to realize those who were coming to meet our newest addition and asking to help, really wanted to help. The allure of a newborn brings loved ones from near and far to pay a visit. It also presents the opportunity for them to lend a helping hand. Whether it's babysitting, a freshly cooked meal, or even something as simple as adult conversation, take advantage of it. I loved being able to have friends and family over to meet my littlest one while also taking some much-needed time for me.
The hands, feet, clothes, everything is so tiny when our babies are brand new. I never real-ized how emotional I'd get over those itty bitty newborn clothes until I had to take them out of the closet and put them away in a box. Knowing that my baby will never wear that tiny onesie I took him home from the hospital in is a very bittersweet moment. There are many outfits I look at from all three of my children and each one sparks a memory. Those tiny ba-by clothes are so much more important than we think.
I took a trip down memory lane as I was decorating our Christmas tree a couple of months ago and I pulled out the handprint ornaments we made for each child. Their hands were so little and it's amazing how quickly we forget those things. Embrace all of that tininess be-cause soon that hand you could fit in the palm of your hand will soon be able to clasp it tight-ly as you walk around together.
There really isn't any other time in your child's life when they will need you as much as they do during the first weeks after they are born. Sometimes it can easily get overwhelming, but that feeling of closeness they need doesn't last forever. Whether it was walks around the block with him in the baby carrier or just wrapped in my arms while we sat peacefully in the rocking chair, having him close to me was such a heartwarming feeling, especially what I needed just after giving birth.
Middle of the Night Feedings
The middle of the night feedings were the hardest for me to get used to when I was a brand new mom. Waking up every couple of hours in the middle of the night takes a lot of getting used to. With my youngest, those middle of the night feedings were one of the only times during the day where we truly had one-on-one time together. There was no one asking me to do anything for them and I didn't have to multi-task. It was just the two of us completely connected with one another. That time was pure and absolute bliss.
Bringing home a new baby is one of the greatest joys life gives you. Don’t forget to try and find the joy in the ups and downs in the newborn stage.
About Lauren Jimeson
Mom of three Harlan (8), Avery (5) and Macks (3), experienced Freelance Writer, Publicist, and Social Media Consultant. Her work has been featured nationally in online, print, and tele-vision media. Lauren is passionate about sharing her experiences as a mom and everything in between.
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