Surviving the first year of Motherhood - Tips and tricks

Surviving the first year of Motherhood - Tips and tricks

They say the days are longer and years are shorter when you become parents and it does hold so very true in our case as well!! Motherhood happened to me last year when my son Ayu was born. He turned a year old last month and it seemed that the last year just flew out of my hands. I love looking back at his newborn pictures and it amazes me to see him grow up so quickly.

Motherhood is an overwhelming feeling and I wanted to share the highs and lows of my first year. Here are the hits and misses I had – and the lessons I learned that helped me to survive my first year of motherhood.

#1. Postpartum blues are for real – deal with it!

I always thought that delivery is the toughest part, little did I know that taking care of the baby after delivery is tougher. Your body aches because of all the hard work of pushing the baby out and the constant bleeding. It leaves you exhausted and the time when you need rest the most, you can’t – because there is a small human in your lap to take care of.

#2. Swaddling is a must

And I didn’t. For some reason, my mom was against it. The weather was crazy hot and I could not get myself to swaddle to the baby. I know I should have begun doing it sooner, and what a relief it was when I finally did! Swaddling can help in settling them to sleep and reducing awakenings.

#3. Take care of yourself

I had an episiotomy and I was advised to take sitz bath thrice a day. I used to skip the whole thing altogether, which resulted in more pain and then opening of the incision. This lead to two months of more medication, which could have been avoided if I had taken care of myself from the very first day.

Also Read: 100 Game Ideas for Kids – Age Group 3 years to 7 years

#4. Proper Nutrition

There will be times when I just didn’t want to touch food, but I urge moms not to make this mistake. Your body needs a lot of nutrition during postpartum and breastfeeding period, so don’t neglect your nutrition from your diet. !

#5. Outings with the baby

Can you believe it that I did not go out with my little one (except for a few visits to my grandparent’s place) in the last one year? I should have taken him for a walk in the stroller, or taken him to the mall. It’s easier to take care of babies than toddlers in malls and eateries – so mommies don’t deny yourself some retail therapy – go shopping with the baby!!

#6. Tummy time

This was our hit! One small success! We did lots of tummy time since birth. It helped a lot to release the gas and strengthen his neck and back muscles. Bye Bye Colic!!!

#7. Too many toys aren’t required

Just a few attractive ones to keep the baby busy. Don’t add tidying up toys to your chores – keep it simple as long as you can.

#8. Night time weaning

This is a highly debatable topic. We co-sleep and the best way to put him back to sleep at night is to feed him, but I should have stopped doing that after six months because that is the time when babies start learning how to self-soothe – but I didn’t. The outcome? I still need to feed him to sleep. And this affects my sleep a lot.
Babies need to learn to put themselves back to sleep, else it becomes tough for the moms. So moms take this tough call sooner, else you’ll regret it like me.

#9. ME time

I actually started focussing on me time when I started working out. Half an hour for myself and the day got better. The yelling got lesser. I recently stepped out alone to the mall and left Ayu with his dad. And I repented all the time of starting doing this too late. I should have begun going out earlier which could have helped a lot. But better late than never.

#10. Let Dad feed him

You don’t want your baby to starve, right? So just in case, you are not there or even if you are, let the dad feed the child. It will give you some time and also help in building the bond between the kid and the father.

#11. Its okay if your baby falls sick

The first time Ayu got sick, I lost my mind. I was so worried that I couldn’t sleep even when he did. Eventually, I realized that falling sick is part of life. Slowly their immunity increases and gradually their bodies start fighting infections.

#12. Introduce books early

We did and we are proud of it. We love to cuddle up with a book at night – after a long hard day of laundry, feeding and yelling!!!

#13. Don’t force feed

Like adults, babies also have moments when they are not hungry and do not wish to eat anymore. Do not force feed your child.

#14. Babies love schedules

Set a schedule for your baby. It became so much easier!

#15. Don’t push them to achieve milestones

These little miracles of God learn things by themselves. I remember how Ayu learnt how to roll over in a couple of days. I do not push him to learn just help him to achieve his milestones. Live each moment, And not wait for the next milestone or fret over missed ones. These babies grow up very quickly – so yours will too! Just relax and enjoy the time with him.

Also Read: 10 Useful Tips & Tricks to Handle the Fussy Eating In Children

#16. Snuggle as much a possible

Because they grow out of it when they grow up. Get in as many hugs and kisses as you can!

#17. Travel with them

I didn’t because I was always so scared of it. But later on, I realized that handling babies in flights is much easier than toddlers.

#18. Babywearing

I started when he was around six months old. I would recommend babywearing from the time they are born. It is so helpful. Keep the baby close to you.

#19. Let them fall

Because that is when they will learn to rise. Don’t be there to pick them whenever they fall, they learn how to stand and move on. (That doesn’t mean you let them fall when they are too young)

#20. Share the Load

Be it laundry, or feeding or cooking – don’t try to be a super mom else you’ll just burn yourself out!!

What was your go-to mantra for the first year? What worked for you? Share below!!

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The author of the article is Anchal Narayan who blogs on TheMumStory