3 months of being a Mom: What I learned & best tips
I can’t believe it has already been more than 3 months (now 4!) since we had our baby! So much has happened in these few short months. Time flew by and I am now back to hustling between working full time and being a mom. There have been several sweet surprises and some revelations along the way. I decided to document this journey and what we learned so far. Hope this helps other new and expecting moms who are anxiously waiting to embark on this journey.
Lessons from three months of being a Mom
First and foremost, DO NOT let others’ stories scare you.
They say you won’t sleep, ever; that being a parent is the hardest thing! Do not let the stories scare you. I don’t get this trend of scaring new parents about sleepless nights and all the nightmares before their baby is born. Yes, being a new parent is challenging, but it is also very enjoyable and rewarding. Why not let new moms decide for themselves instead of instilling fear? Have an open mind, be positive, trust the process and know that what ever challenge you might be face, “it shall pass“.
And yes, I got enough sleep even during the first few weeks of newborn life (and this coming from someone who loves her 8hrs of sleep)!
The first three months are, dare I say, enjoyable!
I don’t know if our little one is an “easy” baby or if I was expecting worse, but I found the first three months very enjoyable. The first two weeks were probably the hardest when I was in recovery and figuring out this new life. That period was also the most challenging as the baby’s stomach is the size of a cherry and fed every few hours (sometimes every hour). Once we were past those two weeks, our baby had a regular sleeping and feeding routine and it was very enjoyable.
Just like how your body knows how to grow a tiny human and birth it, your baby knows what to do. It is incredible how they find their way to your boob within seconds of entering this world! They have their priorities!
Two best investments (worth every penny) for sleep and sanity –
SNOO bassinet and hiring a postpartum doula
Expanding on the above points, who knew postpartum doulas existed? The “fourth trimester”, as they say, comes with a lot of unknowns for a new mom. I am someone who’d rather pay for services from experts than relying on old wives’ tales. And I wanted to hire someone who was more than just a nanny – someone who had training in taking care of babies. When I heard about postpartum doula, I was beyond excited and immediately decided to hired one. We hired Tamra for the first three weeks and it was one of the best decisions we made! She is trained in everything related to newborns and also postpartum concerns like breastfeeding and recovery. She also made delicious lactation cookies to munch on and provided insight on what to expect after the newborn stage. If you were to make one investment, I highly recommend hiring a postpartum doula!
As for sleep, we were really hesitant about the SNOO bassinet as it was expensive compared to other options. But knowing that it was designed by a sleep expert, we decided to splurge and it was worth every penny! The bassinet rocks the baby to sleep and adjusts the rocking motion throughout the night if baby cries. I believe it is one of the reasons why our little one started sleeping through the night in four weeks.
Help is overrated!
I know this sounds ungrateful and controversial. Too much emphasis is put on having help but I think help (non-spousal/partner) is overrated. I mean, if you cannot raise a baby without help, there wouldn’t be any single Moms out there rocking it! In fact, after the first two weeks, I found it to be a slight impediment. Right support, on the other hand, could go a long way in making you feel sane. Having a supportive partner and a postpartum doula (in our case), was a huge plus!
Not all babies cry incessantly. Rather,
they communicate. Understanding and making a distinction between the two will reduce a lot of anxiety. Most babies are content as long as they are fed, changed and burped.
Not all babies are bad sleepers either.
Based on others’ experiences, sleep was something I was really worried about. It is no secret that I love my sleep. And they say babies sleep during the day and stay awake at night. Luckily, that wasn’t the case with our baby (except the first 4-5 days where we had to stay awake past midnight). Somewhere in the back of my mind, I kind of felt that my baby might be a good sleeper. I credit myself for that saying that I set her up on this habit when she was in my belly, lol.
Having a schedule helps a lot in the longer term but you got to feed on demand. It is about finding the right balance. We are fortunate that our baby followed a standard schedule with respect to feeding, awake and nap times. It may just be possible that she swallowed a clock!
Moms turn into superwomen as soon as their baby needs them.
It’s like you are possessed. It doesn’t matter if you had just started eating or lied down for a nap, as soon as you hear the baby, everything else is secondary. If birthing the baby makes you resilient, wait till you need to take care of them! Along with strength and perseverance, I believe it takes certain stubbornness to take care of a newborn.
Perfect latch is the foundation for a successful breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is all about that latch. Having a lactation consultant in the beginning is advisable if you have issues. We had a few of them visit us during our hospital stay and Tamra, our postpartum doula made sure we are doing it right when we got home. On this topic, master the side-lying feed and you both can enjoy blissful afternoon naps oblivious to what’s going on outside of your little cocoon.
Think one step at a time
Every day, every week poses a new challenge. And there is a lot to think about starting with weight, growth, feeding, milestones and pressure to make sure everything perfect. When you are too overwhelmed, take a step back and think about NOW. Enjoy the precious moments and stop thinking about the future or the next thing.
More fun things to look forward to!
- Babies smile in their sleep. They also cry and grunt! Follow “La Pause” i.e. wait just 1-2 minutes and make sure they really need you. Because sometimes, babies cry in their sleep and fall right asleep!
- Phantom cries are so real! You cannot even take a proper shower without hearing them.
- Watching your baby figure out the world around them with innocent curiously is the most incredible thing to watch!
- Babies really do not need many toys. Nature and its colors are the best stimulators. Clothes, on the other hand, you will need a lot!
- You think you cannot love anyone more than yourself. You are so wrong. This tiny human is now all that you can think of and is the center of your universe!
- Skin to skin is the best feeling and is an amazing bonding experience (for both the parents).
- Cluster feeding/witching hours are a thing and can be quite exhausting! But you will get through it!
- Breastmilk is the miracle cure for cracked nipples, baby rash, redness, chapped baby lips and everything else.
- Not sure if a sound machine actually helps the baby but it will sure help you have a sound sleep.
- It is a constant battle between wishing for some alone time and not wanting (or trusting anyone) to leave the baby out of your sight for a second.
- Expectations and affirmations are the two pillars for a positive mindset after birth. My mantra before I had the baby was “This too shall pass”. All the challenges that you think might never end, are all temporary.
- All the “projects” you wanted to work on while on maternity leave, well they’ll have to wait another 6 months or more!
- You think you have it all figured out today only to have a reality check the next day. Every week is a new experience, you learn, you adapt and you evolve.
- It is equally important to take care of yourself. I am still working on it because right now, it feels like nothing matters except the baby.
- Your body is a miracle! It is crazy that you can deliver a baby, go for walks soon after like nothing happened and tend to baby’s every need.
- You might lose all the pregnancy weight but your body is forever changed. More on this in another blogpost.
- During pregnancy, when you really need one, you are not allowed a hot bath. After birth, you are encouraged to take long baths when you barely have time to shower. C’est la vie!
- If only you’d listen to the experts and “sleep when the baby sleeps”…
I understand that for some parents, the first few months can be very difficult and it is not my intention to minimize their struggles. With this blogpost, however, I did intend to show that not all experiences are the same and with the right resources and mindset, it can indeed be a beautiful time to make memories & enjoy the precious first moments that will never come back!
I am Aswani Kurra. I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. I always had an urge to write, create and travel. So I created this space to satisfy my creative itch and combine all my skills to help you plan your Charming Escape.