6 Things I Didn’t Realize About Having a Baby

January 23, 2017


6 Things I Didn't Realize About Having a Baby

Before having Augustine, I did a ton of reading on pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the early weeks. Even still, I feel like there have been a few things that have come up that I wasn’t prepared for. Or things that not a lot of other moms talk about. Today I’m sharing 6 things I didn’t realize about having a baby. Hopefully this list will help any of you pregnant ladies out, as you prepare for your new adventure in motherhood. I’d also love to hear from other moms about your own experience. Do you agree with the 6 things I listed? Do you have any of your own to add? Share with me below!

Mara and Baby Augustine

6 Things I Didn’t Realize About Having a Baby

1. Some babies don’t sleep.

Those of you with good sleepers, I envy you! When I was pregnant, I assumed that Matthew and I would have the chillest baby who loved to sleep. Everyone in our house, except for Augustine, loves to sleep- Matthew, me, and Ginger, too, of course. Ideally I would get 9 hours of sleep a night and when I was pregnant I slept 11-12 hours a night. It was heavenly! Matthew and I were both great sleepers as babies, so we assumed Augustine would be too. Wrong! As much as we try to keep him on a schedule, there are days where he only gets 9 hours of sleep a day. Babies are supposed to get about 16-17 hours in a 24 period, so you can see what a discrepancy that is. I figured Augustine would sleep a lot and then I would be able to get my work done, but I think he just doesn’t want to miss out on the fun!

2. The weight doesn’t just fall off.

Everyone says the weight will fall right off after the baby. Lies! I feel like I have 15 pounds that still haven’t gone away, despite the fact that I’m exclusively breastfeeding. You lose the majority of the weight because the baby isn’t inside anymore, but I feel like everything else just hangs on. And when you’re breastfeeding, you’re constantly hungry, and needing to take in extra calories for baby, so there’s no way you can really diet and lose the weight.

3. Breastfeeding isn’t easy.

Breastfeeding is the more natural thing in the world, but it doesn’t come naturally. It’s hard work and we had our struggles, especially in the beginning. I only feel like in the past month or so we’ve gotten into a good groove with nursing. I’d recommend meeting with a lactation consultant in the hospital to make sure you know what to do and how to deal with issues that come up- poor latch, engorgement and mastitis. Also, as easy as it sounds to pump, it’s actually a lot more work. You have parts to get ready and clean, and every time you feed with a bottle, you need to be pumping as well, so that you don’t decrease your supply. In my experience, pumping has been more work than it’s worth. I’m also lucky though that I work from home and don’t need to pump. I have so much respect for the moms that pump at work so that they can still breastfeed their babies. I’d do the same, as hard as it would be!

4. You don’t need all the gear.

Just like I think I packed more than I needed in my hospital bag, I think there’s a lot of baby things you “think” you need. We had a ton of cute clothes for Augustine but usually we end up rotating through the same few outfits. We also have a swing, a bouncer, and a playmat, but really they’re not totally necessary. Sure that stuff is great, but at the end of the day you just need food {usually that means you!}, diapers, and a few outfits.

5. Babies are surprisingly time-consuming.

You’d be surprised how fast the days go by with a little baby! I’m frequently looking at the clock and wondering where the day has gone. You spend more time than you imagine feeding, burping, changing, and rocking a baby. In the evenings I feel like it takes a good 3-4 hours to put Augustine down to sleep. Again, he’s not the best sleeper! Around 7pm Matthew and I will be like, “We should watch a movie tonight,” and then by the time he’s asleep it’s 11pm and we’re exhausted too!

6. You’ll do things differently than you said you would.

You hear you should put a baby down drowsy, naps need to be at consistent times, and co-sleeping creates bad sleep habits, but at the end of the day you’re just trying to get by and do your best. You’ll use a pacifier when you said you wouldn’t, and you’ll rock the baby to sleep because otherwise they’ll cry. You’ll do what’s best for you and your baby and, at the end of the day, that is what’s best. There are a million and one articles out there about how you should and shouldn’t parent, but I’ve learned that it’s ok to do things differently. I have no judgements for how other moms raise their babies because I know they are making their choices out of love – and a need to survive. The first few months are so rough, especially if you have a spirited little baby, and you have to be easy on yourself and trust in your new role as mother. You might not do things as you expected, but that’s perfectly okay!

6 Things I Didn't Realize About Having a Baby6 Things I Didn't Realize About Having a Baby

Mamas, was there anything you didn’t know before having a baby? Things you wish you had known?


P.S. Check out my Newborn Essentials, New Mom Essentials and Augustine’s most recent 4 Month Update

photos by Valorie Darling