You’ve got to admit that the first 6 months of your baby’s life are rock and roll. Nothing can prepare you for what’s ahead of you. Not even books, not even your family and not even the internet. I thought I was ready, but in fact, I had no idea of what I was getting into and of how big this adventure was going to be.
It’s everything at the same time; beautiful and difficult. My baby will be turning 6 months old in a couple of days and I felt like reflecting on those last couple months. Through all the hard times and the fun times, I believe there are 5 tips every mom should go by!
ASK FOR HELP
That’s the first tip I ever received and the only one I never listened to. If I would be to start all over again, believe me, I would be the first to ask for help. It changes everything, mostly during the first 3 months of your baby’s life. You won’t believe how tired you will be and that’s without mentioning that your hormones will be playing with your emotions. That’s why I recommend asking for help, you won’t believe how good it will feel to go to the bathroom alone, to enjoy a long shower or even to go for a walk to change up your mind. Asking for help will benefit both you and the baby.
I should have asked for help, but I probably felt like most moms: “I can do it on my own” and “I don’t want to impose myself” therefore I didn’t ask for help. So, mamas, put aside your ego and ask for help! It will make your first 6 months with a baby so much more enjoyable.
If you are lucky enough to have a parent/friend who is retired or available, JUST GO FOR IT. If unfortunately, you don’t have any close relative that can give you a hand, know that there are many organizations out there, always ready to help you and your baby in your home:
COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY
We all know how important it is to communicate in a relationship. Once your baby arrives into the world, communicating with your significant other becomes a thousand times more important than it used to be!
Becoming parents for the first time is very challenging as everything is new and needs to be learned. In all this newness, we fell unpowerful, we feel as if we were alone on an island trying to figure it all out. I realized a little too late that I could learn from my partner… Deep down into our mama and baby bubble we forget to involve our significant other. That’s why communication is important. Ask them how they feel if they like their new role if there is a thing they wish you would do differently and talk about both of your little tips to put the baby to sleep, any subject matters.
Most importantly, tell them if you feel like you have too much on your shoulder if you’re exhausted or even lost. Often, when we share how we feel with someone else, we usually get the sense of relief as if lots of weight has been lifted up our shoulders. Together, you will be able to find solutions to make it through.
LET IT GO
Yes… “ Let it go.” I know it’s the most boring piece of advice someone could ever give you, but it’s how you will make it through the first 6 months of your baby’s life. It stands for everything; during the night, during its nap time, about the dishes, cleaning, laundry, everything. (Here I am, proud of letting it go, lol)
You also have to learn to let go of any preconceive baby idea you made for yourself: “I don’t want my baby to use a soother” or “My baby won’t be eating before they turn 6 months old” I don’t want the baby to fall asleep on us” … Or any other ideas you had in mind before the baby arrives in your life, you have to let go of it all, because after all, they are the boss!
Bonus: « At 18 years old, they won’t remember they used to be the boss!” & “Enjoy every little moment, sooner than you think they will be in school! “
Those are the sentences that I kept on telling myself when times were hard. Whether it was in the middle of the night after it had woken up 25 times or when my baby was having a crisis in the car or every evening my son used to have colic and that there is nothing you can do to soothe their pain. Those sentences calmed me down and between you and me there are more chances that a calm mom soothes their baby than a stressed mom!
LEAVE THE HOUSE
When it’s your first baby, you feel hesitant to be leaving home, you’re scared. What if your baby can’t stop crying in public, or what if they catch a bug, or what if they get hungry all of a sudden… When they get a little bit holder, we feel like going out and seeing our friends, but every time we are reminded of how much organization it takes. Planning the naps, the meals and everything else always seems so complicated…
Mamas! For the sake of your mental health… you should go out! Take a breath of fresh air, hang out at the mall, go for a walk or even a car ride. You just need to get out of the house with or without your baby. I remember one of the first time I left the house after my baby was born, I went for a walk on my own. That’s when I realized that the world kept on turning even though I had a baby. It felt good to see people going after their everyday chores, to see parents playing with their 10 -12 years old kids and all I was thinking was if they made it through the rough times… I will make it through as well.
It takes a lot of organization to leave the house with your baby, but once you’re out the door it’s so beneficial for you and your partner. It’s all right if from time to time your baby goes to sleep later because you’re having dinner with friends. You will have so much fun, laugh, have a glass of wine and leave satisfied and relaxed from your night out. Remember, one goes with the other if the parents are relaxed and happy the baby will be too.
My last but not least important tip! You will soon understand, that with the internet at the tip of our fingers we have access to a lot of information, too much information. So much that they contradict one another. As per instance, your baby’s sleep routine. If you ever do any research about the subject, you will find all the “5-10-15” technique possible out there, as well as “how to put your baby to sleep peacefully and without crying”. On one side, they will tell you to “co-sleep with your baby” and on the other hand, they will tell you that “co-sleeping is dangerous and that it might kill your baby”. Or you can even find research saying “you should let your baby cry it out, otherwise they will become fussy” or that “you should never let a baby cry, like NEVER! They are too small tounderstand. “
It’s so confusing. Personally, with my lack of confidence, when I had used all my resources and that baby would still not find sleep, I had no idea what to do. I read every single blog post ever written about the subject, I asked questions in mom’s Facebook groups, I went to a class, etc. While searching for the solution, I had so many good recommendations while others were very weird, such as giving a somersault my baby to invert its sleep pattern…
Until one night, I finally listened to myself or should I say listen to my baby’s needs. I had the feeling that he preferred to sleep in a certain position, but I was hesitant. One night, I gave it a try and then just like that, he peacefully found sleep. This technique is not always successful, but that’s what I do most nights and it works. All that I am saying is that it’s important you trust yourself. You’re the one who carried this baby for 9 months and now you’re the one taking care of them every single day and night. Only you know what’s best for your baby. If your guts are telling you something, listen. You’re probably right.
I don’t think there is a book about how to live the first 6 months of your baby’s life to perfection, but I strongly believe that with all those tips you will have a great time!