The older my daughter gets, the more I'm learning to relax. And the more I'm learning to relax, the easier it is to look back at her first few weeks with a new, clearer perspective. I definitely made some mistakes, and I definitely could have made things a lot easier -- for myself and for my baby.
With that said, here are 5 things I plan on doing differently with my next baby.
I'll stress less, enjoy more. The first few weeks with my newborn were rough. And I'm pretty positive I made them more rough by stressing out so much. Worrying about why my daughter was crying/not sleeping/not pooping/whatever didn't change anything. So, next time around, unless something is obviously wrong, I'm going to just try to enjoy my teeny newborn -- crying, not sleeping, and all. (Of course, this is easier said now that I'm [somewhat] well-rested.)
I won't compare myself to other mothers. Moms love giving advice. Sometimes it's helpful, sometimes it's not. I now know -- thanks to all the advice I've gotten -- that everybody does things differently. And that's okay, because everybody's babies are different. Just because someone else puts their baby on a schedule doesn't mean you have to. If you try it and it works, great! If not, feed/sleep/whatever on demand -- and be confident that you're making the right decision. (Your baby will be your guide!)
I won't be so concerned with getting everything on camera. Of course I'm happy that I have tons of pictures of my daughter's first bath, but hey, guess what? If I had pictures of her second bath instead, which was days later, who cares? My husband and I were so concerned with capturing everything with the camera that we weren't 100 percent engaged in the moment.
I'll feel less guilty. At least, I'll try. My in-laws came into town when my daughter was 3 weeks old, and one day, they kindly offered to watch her for an hour while I enjoyed a pedicure. Yeah, there wasn't a ton of enjoying going on. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was a nice experience, but the entire time I kept looking at my watch, wondering when I'd be able to get back home. I didn't even stay for the "drying portion" where you read an Us Weekly and zone out.
I'll ask for/accept help. Everybody wants to help when you have a baby, so why not take them up on it? And why not be specific? If a friend wonders if there's anything she can do to help, and you need milk, ask her to pick some up for you! It'll make your life easier, and it won't bother them in the slightest. Think about it: Would it bother you?
What did you do differently with your second baby?
Image via Nicole Fabian-Weber