8 Mistakes First Time (& Second Time & Sometimes Third Time) Moms Make

I was at Babies "R" Us yesterday buying a gift for a friend, and I found myself in line next to an obviously new mom. There was no baby in sight, but she reeked of baby powder and had the tell-tale unshowered and glazed look emanating from her. She was in her own little world, probably on her first outing without child, so I didn't bother her with any pearls of wisdom. But, damn, I was tempted. For her, and for all of those other first time moms, I offer some of the many mistakes I made ...

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1. Washing newborn clothes before the baby comes home. I know, I know, it's so tempting to rip all of the tags off and have everything waiting neatly in dresser drawers. But, the thing about washed and folded clothes? They can't be returned and you're shit out of luck when your baby breezes through newborn sized onsies in a week.

2. Not accepting offers of help. Because, seriously, the offers have a very short shelf life, and before long, you're on your own.

3. Stressing about the perfect nursery. The baby doesn't care. Your husband doesn't care. Your friends don't care. Your mother doesn't care.

4. Stockpiling diapers. Have an extra pack or so, but when a diaper gets too small, it's completely ineffective. Oh, and if you have a boy, make sure and point his penis down when you put the diaper on. It took weeks for me to figure out why Ben was leaking through every diaper as soon as he had it on.

5. Buying everything new. With Lily, I scoffed at consignment stores and hand-me-downs. My precious baby deserved the newest and the best. By the time Evan came around, I was happy taking something someone discarded on the side of the road for him. A run through the laundry machine or wipe down with Lysol and it's as good as new.

6. Not letting your baby cry. Ever. I have some of the worst sleepers in the world and I'm quite sure this was the reason.

7. Not showering. Yes, you're tired. Yes, it's hard to find time for yourself. Yes, I understand. But a shower a day will do a world of good for you. And the people around you.

8. Pretending you have it all under control. You don't. And it's OK.


Image via Scary Mommy

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NatAndCo NatAndCo

Oh god... The newborn clothes. I didn't listen when the women in my family said to go easy on newborn size because they'd just grow right out of them. Lo and behold one of my twins was born out of the NB 5-8lb size, and the other was half a pound away. So much wasted money bc I just had to clean everything.

Sweet... SweetPieMama24

I took everyones advice and didn't buy newborn clothes. Well both of my kids were 6.11 and 6.12 and I guess bc the length was small, the 0-3 months were swimming on them. So here I was at walmart with a 5 day old getting him newborn clothes bc anything I had didn't fit him. They were actually both in newborn clothes for a good 6 weeks!!

Albond86 Albond86

I skip newborn size! I love buying some new but love used stuff now! And while I agree everyone should shower, not because it will do others good not to smell you when out, because no one wants to smell the baby puke and Bo.... But shower because it will help you feel better, I always feel great after a shower! Lol

Evaly... EvalynCarnate

I learned a LOT from my first time around. These are all very true, actually. I've sweeped Goodwill and consignment shops like crazy, Im WAY less stressed about the nursery and I've definitely steered clear (and advised my friends and family who've offered to throw me a shower) of the NB size. My daughter was nearly 9lbs, so my son due in Sept will probably be along the same lines :-p

Littl... LittleFrogsMA

Many women are sent home with pain medication and are exhausted.  Yet, they are left making all the decisions and care for a new baby.


My biggest mistake was not reallizing how compromised my decision making was because of exhaustion.

Rebec... Rebecca7708

Oh, showers. They were my sanity savers. It was so easy to pop the baby in his bouncy seat or car seat and just bring him in the bathroom with me. It wasn't until the second baby that I ever had trouble finding time to shower.

the.d... the.deadly.mrs

Yes, it took me forever to figure out to point the penis down, NOBODY bothered to mention that lol

nonmember avatar mama.leigh

I agree with you about everything BUT the crying. While everything else on your list has to do with wanting everything to be ready and perfect, whether or not you let your baby cry is about parenting. I really don't think it's healthy to encourage new mothers to NOT follow their instincts on their newborn baby's cries, and I think it's sad that this social pressure to NOT respond to your baby still exists.

MR777 MR777

I'd say, skip on all the new toys! When they are first born-they could care less about a rattle or a toy dangling from their car carrier!!! It will be a good 3mo. before they are ready for anything like that!! And  the crying one can be left until the child is older to do a little CIO.... When a newborn cries-there is a reason.... I just remember bringing our youngest(#5) home from the hospital and that night-kinda like her oldest sister-decided to scream.... I had just fed her, her diaper was changed, but what helped her was her daddy and I took turns pacing the floor w/her.... I think she had a burp stuck in her and it was making her very uncomfortable! She still doesn't burb like the other kiddos do!

mik1of3 mik1of3

I'm with everything but the crying.  Letting a baby cry it out is not 'encouraging good sleep habits'..its teaching your baby that he can't rely on ANYONE to make him/her feel safe, secure, or loved whenever he/she needs it...but that her whims, needs, fears, and wants are only conditional upon what the parent thinks is appropriate at the time.

Mine was never allowed to cry it out...and she started sleeping through the night at 4 weeks.

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