Whether you’re a first-time mama or have kiddos already, it’s safe to say that we all have some expectation of what that first month with a newborn will be like. Yet, we are always surprised that things are different! This is even true for the veteran moms who know all too well that no two babies are the same! So, while baby #1 may have been a difficult sleeper, baby #2 may differ.
Ahead, you’ll find some humorous and maybe some not so humorous expectations versus what the reality may be when your baby arrives.
Expectations vs. Reality in the First Month with a Newborn
Expectation #1: I’ll Sleep When the Baby Sleeps
We’ve all been told to sleep when the baby sleeps at some point, right? And, in theory, this sounds great. But is it realistic for every single nap? Chances are, not so much.
Fellow mamas, let’s be honest about this. While a nap when baby sleeps is undoubtedly warranted and seriously deserved, this isn’t always going to happen, especially if you have other kiddos. The reality is that you probably won’t be sleeping for every single nap. But maybe you can squeeze in an hour of shut-eye and leave the other free hours to get to other necessities (like a shower).
Expectation #2: I’ll Get Back to Working Out Right After the Baby is Born
Most of us had some idea about when we will lose our pre-baby weight or fit into our jeans again. Some of us may even have some expectations for what our workout schedule would look like after the baby arrives. Maybe like squeezing in workouts during naptime . . . sound familiar?
While we all expect to get back into shape post-baby, it’s important to listen to your body and your doctor and take things slow. There’s no need to rush the post-baby workouts. Especially in that first month with a newborn! You just created a life! Seriously, let your body heal and take things at your own pace.
Plus, remember that “I should sleep when my baby sleeps” thing? Well, on the rare chance that you have a full hour to catch up on rest, sometimes it should take precedence over a workout during the early weeks or even months.
Expectation #3: Breastfeeding Should Be “Natural” and Easy
I remember being a first-time mom and not even giving the idea of breastfeeding much thought. I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but it wasn’t something that stressed me out. I figured I would wing it when my daughter was born and thought it should just come naturally. HAHAHAHA.
The takeaway? Mamas, if you thought breastfeeding would be easy, but it hasn’t even been close, you aren’t alone. Reach out to a local La Leche League. Or even speak with your OB/Gyn or midwife, as they often have connections or an in-house lactation consultant. You got this!
Expectation #4: My Spouse & I Won’t Need Extra Help
It’s easy for us mamas to think that we have it all covered. But there’s no reason to feel shame if, in that first month with a newborn, you feel like maybe you could use some help your friends and family have offered you.
Yes, bonding with the baby without the distractions of in-laws and eager friends willing to help out is something many of us mamas want. The reality is that we all need a break, even if it’s just 10 minutes to shower. And no, this doesn’t mean that you’ll get right back into date night. Or that you need to have your family and friends over 24/7. But, if grandma offers to hold the little one while you take a shower, hand the kid over. Or if your BFF offers to make dinner and deliver it so that you can spend more time resting and enjoying time as a family, take it!
Welcome the help while it’s being offered because these first weeks and months do go by quickly.
Expectation #5: I’ll Find a Balance & Schedule Right Away
It doesn’t matter if this is your first baby or if you have five at home. We mamas like to have a schedule. It’s easy to think that a baby will just magically fit into it.
Here’s the thing. As mentioned before, all babies are different! While one baby may easily fit into your already established routine, another may completely throw you a curveball. The reality is that newborns are unpredictable. It’s not realistic to think that we will have this magically established schedule in the first month. Try to go with the flow as best as you can. It will only help lessen the stress we all put on ourselves and allow more time to enjoy the newborn phase. It’s okay not to have a perfectly balanced schedule right now!
Enjoy Your First Month with a Newborn. They Go By Quickly!
No matter how different the first month with a newborn is from what our expectations may have been, there’s one thing all of us mamas can agree on — these early days fly by! Before we know it, our newborn babies are two months, four months, crawling. Then suddenly we’re celebrating their first birthday. No matter what stage of the brand new baby world you’re in right now, try to find even just a few minutes each day to breathe and embrace the chaos that often comes with month one! There will be a day where you genuinely miss these early days.