Community//

3 Lessons I learned in my first year as a Mom

Don't make these same first-time mom mistakes!

April is often the month I spend decluttering the house. This year is very different from the last.

My daughter is 15 months old. We have boxes of newborn clothes, toys, and gear. Drawers full of breastfeeding and postpartum supplies. Maternity clothes that I’m only just putting into storage.

So much has happened in such a short period of time. I’ve never felt so alive, vulnerable, and tired.

As I look over at my chatty toddler who’s wobbly running across the room with her arms out, I can’t help but feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude.

We survived the first year. Everyone’s healthy. We have a toddler who makes us feel joy, love, and laughter like we’ve never experienced.

While there were many joyful moments, being a mom wasn’t always instinctual for me.

Here are 3 lessons I learned in my baby’s first year.

You don’t need every baby product

There are many baby products you’ll never need or use. I thought I had a pretty trimmed down list until I actually experienced baby life.

Here are a few examples of things I never used:

  • Baby bottles because she ended up being exclusively breastfed
  • Nursing pads because I never leaked enough to need them
  • Baby books because when we had questions, we just looked them up online

Here’s a list of baby essentials for the first 3 months including all of the things I never used, but purchased.

Related: FREE Baby Samples

Breastfeeding isn’t easy

Sometimes breastfeeding is not as simple as putting the baby to the breast. I started trying to breastfeed within 5 minutes of her being born. It took over a week for my baby to latch properly. In the meantime, we tried different latching positions. My nipples cracked and bled. I was feeling the pain from severe engorgement and got mastitis!

Eventually, she learned how to latch. I wish I had looked up breastfeeding best practices in advance. It’s not as intuitive as you might think.

Babies communicate in different ways

What a baby says and does isn’t necessarily what you always think they’re communicating. Sometimes the gestures are obvious. My baby lifts her arms up because she wants to be picked up. She reaches for a cup because she’s thirsty.

There are some things she does that can be misinterpreted. She occasionally throws food on the ground early on in the meal.

At first, I thought she did this because she was full or didn’t like the taste of the particular food. Then I realized that she throws her food because it’s too difficult to eat (it’s not chopped small enough or it’s difficult to chew) or she’s bored. We put the food in a container or on a spoon and she ate it right away.

Every baby is different. I thought this was important to note because we could have easily stopped feeding her certain foods thinking she didn’t like them. It’s worth trying different things and not jumping to conclusions right away about what your baby is thinking.

    The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    “How Extremely Busy Executives Make Time To Be Great Parents”, With Josephine Geraci and Dr. Ely Weinschneider

    by Dr. Ely Weinschneider, Psy.D.
    Community//

    3 Lessons I Learned from Quitting My Job and Starting My Own Business

    by Jen Sabillon
    Community//

    Part One: Reflections of a Private School Mom – The Important Years

    by JODY B MILLER

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.