Some friends and I were talking recently about how every new mom seems to have one thing she stresses about more than anything else with her baby. For some, it is feeding: Is my baby getting enough milk? Will I have enough milk? Will I need to supplement? When should I start solids? For some, it is sleeping: How often should my baby nap? What time should I put her to bed? Should I wake her? When will he start sleeping through the night? Should I sleep train? Is it OK to rock him to sleep? Maybe for others it is developmental milestones: Why isn’t my baby rolling over yet? Shouldn’t be sitting up by now? Is it bad that my baby isn’t crawling yet? When should she start walking? Clearly there is no shortage of things to worry about when you are suddenly in charge of a tiny human for the first time…
For me, I remember worrying SO much about Sam’s schedule (or lack therof). I really felt defined as a mom by whether or not my three month old was eating, playing, and sleeping in that order at the right times. When he wasn’t (which was… well, always), I felt like such a failure. I literally drove myself crazy.
Later, when he was a little bit older, I was a nervous wreck over the fact that he wasn’t talking when I thought he should be. No joke, from about 14 months on, I called my pediatrician every month on his “birthday” to report that he still wasn’t talking (I know). We had tubes put in his ears (which he did need, but they didn’t magically make him start talking), and even paid for private speech therapy starting at 18 months (because the doctor wasn’t concerned AT ALL and didn’t think he would qualify for any free services). I thought he would NEVER talk and spent many a day crying/worrying myself sick over it.
Not surprisingly, both of those things worked themselves out over time… I’m happy to report that Sam, at age 6, is now on a very consistent schedule that includes sleeping every night (mostly all night), playing/learning from 7:45AM – 2:45PM at school, and eating three solid meals a day (plus 423 snacks). 😉 He also starting talking around two and a half, and hasn’t stopped since. In fact, people often comment about how “advanced” his vocabulary is or how he “sounds like a little adult.”
By the time Nora came around four years later, I had loosened up SO much. When she was two weeks old, I deleted all scheduling apps from my phone and never looked back. I also have no idea what her first word was (oops) and don’t recall worrying about her language a single time. There is something SO nice about the perspective you have parenting the second time around…
So, tell me, what was the ONE THING that really kept you up at night with your first baby (besides a hungry, crying baby, of course)?!?!
Also, for bonus points, tell us how that one thing played out over time, and what was different for you the next time around (if you’ve had other babies since)…
Hopefully this will be a fun convo for veteran moms and an encouragement for the new moms deep in the trenches to know that they are not alone and #thistooshallpass.
Love you guys!
Nikki Miller says
Love this post.
I think it is so TRUE that we all obsess over something.
For me it was definitely the “eating” thing. I was diagnosed with a low supply, my daughter had a tongue tie that she got “snipped” at 10 days old… it was basically a mess! When she was 4 days old she was so dehydrated that she peed ketones. She is 6 years old and that is STILL one of my WORST days as a mom.
When I went back to work I drove myself INSANE with pumping and increasing my supply. I took TONS of supplements.
When my second daughter was born (21 months later) I was more relaxed. We supplemented with formula when needed and she nursed until she was 22 months.
Now, both girls are still pretty picky by my standards. I guess the “food” thing is my thing… hahaha.
Amanda K. says
honestly, as a person who has perspective (oldest is 6.5) and is currently in the trenches (youngest is almost 4 months) i can say that I both worry and am much more relaxed.
with my youngest i’m constantly thinking about her sleep, but i also can’t manage it really because I have other kids to worry about, so i worry about THAT. even though i’ve NEVER had issues with nursing (and have nursed my babies 12mo-2 years) i worried about supply.
when thomas was a baby he never rolled over. i forced him to do tummy time ALL THE TIME and still, he didn’t roll. and as a result of the consta-tummy time, he never sat up. but then he crawled really early and is my most physical child. i still think he was messing with me 😉
anna is my 4th baby and every time she cries and i can’t get her to stop, my brain still searches for the “why” and it varies from maybe she’s hungry/tired/cold/upset tummy to worrying that there’s something actually very wrong.
i think that when you look back you just don’t remember the worry with your second. you still worry. it’s just not such a raw, new feeling. when my first was a baby, the feeling of such worry was so foreign to me. now when i worry i think, “yeah, of course i’m worried. that’s part of the deal.”