Things you wish you knew about having a baby

Your little one is here, they have finally made it and now you have them home with you. Was it what you expected? Here are 12 things that no body told you about having a newborn:

You`ll Stare at Your Baby for Hours at a Time

You’ll hear someone shout Mam in a shop and turn your head – even though it couldn’t possibly be your twelve-day-old. You’ll find a way to say “my son” or “my daughter” dozens of times a day- like any proud new Mum.

You will be overwhelmed when you consider that just a short while ago you were a couple and now you are a family.

The thought of going for a #2 will scare you

Many hospitals won’t discharge you until you’ve proven you can still master this critical bodily function. As magical as those pain killers can be, one of the not-so-lovely side effects is constipation.

Even though your little one is born you’ll still look pregnant for a few weeks

Even if you were a lean, mean, marathon-running machine before your pregnancy, it takes a while for your womb to shrink back to normal size, and it may take your tummy even longer. For some women, snapping back into shape happens easily and naturally; for others it’s a lifelong struggle.

You might not bond with your baby right away

Not all women feel an immediate bond with their newborn baby. Some admit that it took weeks (and in more extreme cases months) before they felt that fierce, soul-stirring, hurt-my-child-and-I’ll-bust-ya kind of mama-love. Some women also say they felt an immediate protectiveness of their new babies, but not exactly love.

Not feeling an instant bond with your baby isn’t necessarily a sign of postpartum depression. After all, your hormones are all over the map, you’ve just been through a gruelling physical transformation and you don’t even know your baby yet. But you’ll fall in love with them soon enough.

Breastfeeding may be natural, but it`s not easy

Back in the olden days, breastfeeding was a skill passed on from mother to daughter. Today, there’s at least a decent chance your mom didn’t breastfeed, and even if she did, she probably doesn’t live next door or upstairs anymore.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. The truth is, breastfeeding is a skill, and it can be hard to master. Our best new-mama advice? Get some help! Call your GP, ask a friend, call our careline or hire a trusted lactation consultant. Often times it only takes a slight tweak here or a tiny adjustment there to become a breastfeeding pro! Read some our of breastfeeding tips here.

Everyone will have an opinion on pregnancy and parenting

We’re not just talking about your sister or mother-in-law (although they’re sure to give their two senses worth, too). Friends, neighbours, other moms, total strangers and anyone in your vicinity who’s birthed a baby before will offer unsolicited advice about roughly everything baby-related. They’ll tell you how, when, where and what to feed your newborn (be prepared for the chirpy “breast is best!” comments if you pull out a bottle); suggest toys, books, gadgets, gear, babysitters, classes, swaddling methods and more; interrogate you with lots of embarrassing questions about bodily functions (yours and the baby’s).

Our advice: Nod your head, smile and say nothing at all. If hard pressed, offer a vague yet simple “good to know” and then remove yourself from the situation. Have you watched our Well Done Mums video? It’s all about celebrating motherhood instead of badgering woman with unsolicited advice!

You may not feel good in any of your clothes

You’re tired of your entire maternity wardrobe, but none of your pre-baba clothes fit yet. You already know this but it bears repeating here: Black is your friend. It’s universally slimming and hides all sorts of bulges.

A shower is no longer routine hygiene, it`s a luxury

Remember when you’d wake up leisurely and enjoy a nice cup of tea. Yeah, those days are over. Even though your newborn won’t do much, they demand constant attention and take up an unholy amount of time.

When you can’t live with your greasy hair for one second longer, bring her car seat or bouncy seat into the bathroom and strap her in where you can see her as you soap up. Until then, brushed teeth & a bottle of dry shampoo may be as far as you get with your personal grooming.

‘Sleep when the baby sleep’s’ they say

We’ve all heard the saying but in theory, it will rarely happen. As soon as you put your little one down for a nap, you’ll suddenly be able to do all of those two-handed tasks you couldn’t do when they were awake. And once you get a few of them crossed off your list, you’ll realise that your baby could wake up any minute so if you decide to just get the dishwasher unloaded! Queue baba!  And just like that you’ve missed the nap window. Again.

New Mums are crazy-competitive

Is Jane smiling/laughing/rolling over/sleeping through the night yet? You’re doing mommy-and-me baby yoga, aren’t you?

Since newborns don’t come with handbooks, all new mums are pretty much winging it. Comparing milestones and milk output helps some of them feel better about the choices they’re making. And sometimes, they’re just trying to make simple conversation or feel validated in their own choices… so don’t rush to the defensive. Either way, don’t let another mum’s parenting style make you question your own; only you know what’s best for your baby! Likewise, try and be supportive to other mothers – we’re all in this together after all and a word of encouragement can mean a lot when someone is feeling down.

You`ll cry at shampoo ads and wonder if you`re crazy

You’re perfectly normal, or at least as close to normal as a sleep-deprived, hormone-ravaged new mum can be. Beyond biology and exhaustion, bringing a baby into the world is a hugely emotional experience. And because of that, your feelings will never be far from the surface. But don’t worry, eventually it will go away.

Your partner will seem more attractive when they are holding your little one

You’re seeing everything you love most in the world all tangled up together right there in human form. Plus your baby’s little, scrawny limbs make your man look like a Greek god in comparison.