15 Things Every Parent Needs to Know Before Having a Baby
You’ve got your hospital bag packed, the nursery is set-up and car-seat is installed. You’ve complete the checklist of things you’ve been told to do before baby arrives, but there are quite a few things that happen postpartum that friends and family may not have told you about.
We enlisted the help of you(!)— our customers and community of moms — to provide us with the top things you wish you would have known before having a baby.
You’ll get (really) frustrated… and that’s ok!
“Don't get frustrated when things don't go how you pictured. Most likely, it’s not going to! It’s a learning process for you and baby, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have everything be perfect” - @jennaluca
Baby poop color will change… many times
“Familiarize yourself with the many rainbow colors of baby poop and what they all mean! I was constantly googling them to make sure what was normal and not. Your doctor may have a chart to reference to ease your mind.” - @jessmcnitt
You’re going to be emotional
“Your body spent 9 months building up hormones and growing a tiny human. In the first week, your body flushes out all of those hormones. It’s okay to cry and be emotional. Also, it’s okay if you don’t get your pre-baby bod back as fast as you’d like. Be kind to yourself. You’re doing the best you can!” - @marisleigh3
Realize each day is a new day
“There is a lot of trial and error in parenting! Don’t worry if you and baby have a bad day, tomorrow will be a new day and everything may go perfectly! Babies are always changing so just give yourself some grace and do the best you can each day. Do not feel like you have to know it all. Google, friends and your doctor are great resources. Take care of yourself and let people help you!” - @ldpenn
Take advantage of the postpartum nurses
“The labor and delivery/postpartum nurses will be your best friend and they can help in many more ways than you think. For example, let them help serve as gatekeepers if you have pushy family you want to keep out of the delivery or recovery rooms.” - @meremo
Nursing? You’ll be HUNGRY
“I don’t think anyone told me how breastfeeding affects your hunger levels — I felt like a bottomless pit!” - @taramarie1205
You can get sleep in the hospital!
“If you think you can handle it, let your baby go to the nursery at night. That sleep is precious and it will help you in your first few nights at home!” - @meremo
You can so “No” to visitors
“With my second child i felt more liberated to say ‘no’ to visitors when I wasn’t ready. With my first child, I felt like everyone rushed over to our house and everyone wanted to hold the baby and it was very overwhelming. Give yourself the space you need to adjust, heal, and bond with your baby. While everyone wants to share in the joy of a new family member, it’s important to honor your own needs and personal boundaries.” - @mspice18
Bring the right sized clothing to the hospital!
“I packed 0-3 month clothing to bring our new baby girl home in. They were HUGE on her and we ended up not being able to use them. Next time I’ll bring newborn sized clothing as well just in case. You can always return what you don’t use.” - @jessie_mash
Pack nipple cream in your hospital bag
“I wish I knew that nipple cream really works and can help a lot with sore breastfeeding. Lifesaver” - @beastyhoneybud
You’ll get a lot of unsolicited advice
“Take advice from others with a grain of salt. You’ll get a lot of it. You know better than anyone else what is best for your baby and what is best for you. If you have a question, ask your doctor!” - @katerhae7
Postpartum Depression happens… but there’s help!
“I wish I knew that postpartum depression does not make you a bad mom, that it gets better, and to enjoy those first few weeks. Because things will get better... your heart has grown bigger than ever, and you are all someone knows and loves! Reach out for help. You don’t have to to do it alone.” - @heatherallan13
“The perfect mother” doesn’t exist
“To be honest, what I really wish I had known is that there is no such thing as the perfect mother. We put so much pressure on ourselves as mothers and tend to forget we are all just doing our very best. I read this a while back and it was life changing: “The perfect mother doesn’t shout, doesn’t scream, and doesn’t lose her patience. But more importantly, she doesn’t exist!”. I repeat it to myself several times a week when I see myself going doing a guilt trip spiral!” - @verofrancos
Nursing can be a beautiful and stressful experience
“I learned that breastfeeding isn’t always easy at first, but it gets better. I thought that since it was natural then it should be easy and all rainbows and butterflies. I was unaware of how much work it can be. It can be very stressful trying to figure out if your baby is getting enough food. All in all, it is one of the most beautiful things I’ve had the privilege of doing for my two boys, but I wish I was told the good AND the bad about breastfeeding so I wasn’t so scared and anxious.” - @Mrslbharvey
When in doubt, it’s best to trust your gut
“I wish I would’ve known that when all is said and done, mama knows her baby better than anyone. You can read all the books in the world (which is exactly what I did!), but ultimately, you just have to trust your gut when it comes to caring for your little one. It’s the most rewarding and humbling journey you’ll ever take.” - @annie.p.baird