Most people are oblivious to these things... until they become a parent for the first time. Here are 11 things I never paid any attention to until I had my daughter.
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#1. Everyone else is a parenting expert.
If you ever have any doubts or questions about parenting, never fear! Pretty much everyone you meet is a parenting expert - even if they aren’t a parent themselves! They’ll give you unsolicited advice as often as they can. Enjoy.
(Check out my post 20 Things You Should Never Say to a New Mom)
#2. Not all babies take naps.
You can look up the ideal nap schedule for your baby’s age, and you’ll find all kinds of beautiful infographics saying your baby will nap 2, 3, 4 times a day. But they might not actually do that… and that’s okay.
#3. Baby fingernails/toenails are sharper than razor blades.
Even if you cut your baby’s nails every week, or every other day, they will still probably be longer and sharper than you’d like. Babies are cute, but they can be vicious, too.
#4. Moms can feel judged for nursing in public.
You’re told all during your pregnancy that breastfeeding is the best option, healthy for you and baby, blah blah blah. Then you actually start doing it and realize that it’s still largely looked down on in our society. So I guess you’re just supposed to stay home all the time during your baby’s first year? Um, no. You just have to not care about the judging glances. You’re braver than they are anyway.
(Check out my post How to Prepare for Breastfeeding During Pregnancy)
#5. Private places to nurse (that aren’t bathrooms) are hard to find.
So since nursing in public is looked down on in many places, then those places should all have comfortable, private nursing rooms, right? But they usually don’t. Good thing there’s your car.
#6. Baby clothes sizing is a joke.
My baby is currently 5 months old. She wears some 24 month clothes. She wears some 6-9 month clothes. Her 12 month jammies are getting too small. So what size does she wear? No one really knows.
#7. Not all restrooms have changing tables.
This is a ridiculous thing to me. Why wouldn’t you just install a baby changing table in any bathroom you put into a public building? It can’t be that expensive. But it would sure make my life a lot easier. I’ve changed my baby on tiny chairs in the waiting areas of bathrooms, on my lap, even on the ground (with a mat underneath her, but still pretty gross).
#8. There is never enough time in the day.
If I plan 5 things to get done in one day or 2 things, I still rarely get to them all. Taking care of a baby is a FULL TIME job with lots of overtime. You will always be wishing you had just a couple more hours, along with a little more energy to be productive.
#9. Exhaustion has a new level you never knew existed.
I used to think I knew what exhaustion was when I crammed for finals in college, or when I traveled internationally across time zones and had to recover from jet lag. Nope. The exhaustion from being a mom is on a whole new level. A delirious, brain fog inducing, sometimes frightening level. It’s physical, emotional, and mental. But the good news is you’ll only have to deal with this exhaustion for the next 18 years or so.
#10. Baby carseats aren’t convenient to use on shopping carts.
Baby car seats are deceiving because they seem like they should fit perfectly on top of the basket seat on a shopping cart. Sometimes the car seat does fit nicely, but usually there’s a cupholder or excessively long plastic handle on the cart that prevents the car seat from clipping on. And even if it does fit on correctly, then the car seat is so high up that you can’t see well in front of the cart. Just be prepared to bump into shelves and other people frequently if you choose to put the car seat on top of the child seat in the cart. I much prefer to put my baby in her Ergobaby Omni 360 carrier.
#11. Not all places are stroller accessible.
Strollers take up more space than you realize. I’ve been annoyed many times at how aisles in stores are too narrow for the stroller to fit through. Also, finding a ramp in place of stairs is pretty tricky sometimes. I’ve had to take much longer alternate routes when bringing my baby to appointments just so I could take an elevator instead of stairs. It’s a chore.
Despite all these things, having a baby to care for is an amazing adventure! And it’s more than worth all the little inconveniences, that you probably never even thought of before becoming a mom.
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