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100 Things I Learned In My First Year of Motherhood

100 Things I learned in My First Year of MotherhoodA list of 100 little things I learned during my pregnancy and my first year of being a first time mom. The road through motherhood is not always paved pretty but I wanted to share my insight on motherhood. All of the highs and lows of our first year are highlighted in this list and I hope that it helps any new moms out there. Motherhood is beautiful journey no matter how messy it might get.

  1. Eat what you feel like eating during your pregnancy within reason. I always gave into my little guilty pleasures because it was easier than not.
  2. Your weight gains will fluctuate. Don’t compare yourself to other mom’s out there gaining at a different pace than you. Everyone is unique in this way.
  3. You will most likely be very tired in the first or third trimester. Rest, relax and enjoy being pregnant. This calls for a lot of lazy Netflix days for you. Don’t worry on binging, it will be rare once the baby comes.
  4. Pregnant bellies are the cutest, flaunt it! Everyone knows you’re glowing.
  5. Getting “fat” during your pregnancy is the least of your worries. Worry about if you are getting what you need for your baby.
  6. Maternity, shmaternity clothes. If you can get around not buying expensive maternity clothes, do so. Trust me; they’re not that comfortable to begin with.
  7. Your feet will swell a little or a lot, don’t freak out.
  8. During the ultra sound reveal, don’t feel guilty if the baby’s sex isn’t exactly what you were expecting. It will pass and it’s completely normal to feel that way.
  9. Documenting my pregnancy beginning through the end was the best thing I did during my pregnancy. I now can look through pictures and blog posts to reminisce.
  10. Find a pediatrician early, don’t wait to do this. Pediatricians fill up quickly. Do your research and interview with your top choices and choose at least 2 pediatricians so that you have a backup plan.
  11. Find a daycare in advance as well. Take tours and do interviews with potential providers. Daycares fill up quickly and you want to make sure that you choose the best daycare for your baby. Expensive doesn’t always equal higher quality of education/care. They will spend a majority of their time with this provider so choose wisely.
  12. Don’t expect that your entire baby’s essentials will be met at the baby shower. Buy the essentials and keep all receipts just in case someone does buy you something better than what you’ve already bought. [:
  13. Pack your hospital bag early. I packed mine at 7 1/2 months. Make sure that all of Dad’s and baby’s things are packed as well to make the hospital trip flow with ease.
  14. Be prepared to not be prepared for your first birth. No one can tell you EXACTLY how it’s going to happen or what is going to happen until it happens. Trust your motherly instincts.
  15. Educate yourself for the big day. It never hurt to read up on c-sections and vaginal births. You never know which one you may have to endure.
  16. Your water may not break like the movies. If you’re 99.9 % you didn’t pee and it’s wet, you probably broke your water.
  17. Have Dad ask work for paternity leave even for a week to help you out during your first week back home.
  18. Labor is hard.  It will take time and it hurts a lot, but remembering that it comes only in intervals helps.  Pack things that calm you and make you happy to help cope.
  19. Making the call to do an emergency C-section was the first wakeup call I needed to believe I really was a Mom.
  20. Having a C-Section isn’t the worst thing in the world, even if at the beginning it seems like it. Take your time to take care of yourself too during recovery time.
  21. Savor the moment when you first see your baby. She has changed your life forever. You will remember everything about the moment forever.
  22. You will never be worry free ever again. You will always worry 24/7 but its okay.
  23. Remember to cut yourself some slack because you are learning along with trying to be the best Mom you can be.
  24. Ask for help from Dad at this time. He’s there to help you too, even if he’s a little lost along with you.
  25. Rocking a pony tail is necessary for days home with the baby. You look put together and your hair isn’t going to get caught in all the spit up.
  26. Sleeping the first week home with your baby and while on maternity leave is a must. You will be up around the clock until you figure a schedule out for her.
  27. Speaking of schedule; get your baby on a schedule so that she has things to look forward to. Remember, she’s coming into your life so she will learn to accommodate your schedule.
  28. Holding your newborn all the time will not spoil them in the least bit. There will come a day where they’re crawling/walking that they don’t want to be held so savor this time.
  29. The shower is your new day spa. Whenever you have the chance to get a good shower in, take it. Washing your hair is must, while makeup is now optional.
  30. Learn how to use the bathroom efficiently. You will understand how quickly 30 seconds pass when you need to care for a baby and go to the bathroom at the same time. Your days of going to the commode solo are gone.
  31. Get rid of the need to always have your house clean and spotless, having a clear floor path is all you need.  Your house will never be clean clean again it’s nearly impossible.
  32. You must plan everything and I mean EVERYTHING. Your schedule will be filled with people wanting to see the baby, time with the family and time with yourself.
  33. Letting my baby cry it out doesn’t mean that I doesn’t mean I love her any less. Babies have to learn how to soothe themselves.
  34.  She doesn’t care about my expectations of being a mother. All she cares about is how much I love her.
  35. Not being able to breastfeed for as long as I’d like doesn’t mean I failed. What’s more important is that my baby is healthy and thriving.
  36. Have a schedule for feedings for yourself. Plan around feedings so that you’re prepared to wake up when they need you.
  37. Prepare for nightly feedings. Do not SKIP this; you will never regret being over prepared when they wake you up at 2 am.
  38. Babies still need to burp even if they aren’t newborns anymore. It will take time, so give it time.
  39. Babies go through growth spurts. Be prepared. My girl would inhale 6oz , fall asleep and repeat 2-3 times a night during this time. It happens from time to time for about a week a time. This is what we called our “no sleep” weeks.
  40. Learn to love meal planning/prepping for the family. The Crockpot will be your life saver when you’re in a time crunch and need to prepare dinner. You will always have better tasting home cooked meals than take out.
  41. Returning to work from maternity leave is rough, but necessary. You can always call your provider during the day to check up on them for an update.
  42. Savor the times that she will fall asleep on your chest. This time will be the one of the few times that you think to yourself that you are a successful parent.
  43. Doctor visits to get shots are never fun for them or you. Make sure that is the day that they get lots of TLC from you and Daddy.
  44. Tummy time may seem impossible at first, but they will grow to love it. It is necessary for their development.
  45. Once babies learn how to roll over, it is all they will do. Make sure that you’re always with them.
  46. Making sure that your babies’ bottles are always warm is prepping your baby to be a picky bottle feeder. You will not always have a bottle warmer with you. We always used room temp water.
  47. Brand name formulas will tend to make babies constipated. Use generic brands (we love the Target brand!) No constipation and a hell of a lot cheaper.
  48. Teething can start early and will happen quickly, painfully – you must be prepared even if you don’t know what is going on. Always keep checking for new teeth and old symptoms. We bought all natural medicine for her to take.
  49. Hylands All Natural medicine works WONDERS. Do not be fooled by the fact that it’s natural. It works.
  50. Teething necklaces do work. It gives you the assurance you need that your baby is okay and you will see the difference when you use one.
  51. Don’t be set on them eating exactly at six months. Let them explore, have fun and learn from eating. Start slowly, but introduce them to all different kinds of food.
  52. Giving up the bib during eating times (with solid foods) was the best decision we’ve ever made. We strip her down to only the diaper to let her plan and explore with her food.
  53. You will cry at every milestone for your baby. Embrace the happy, bittersweet tears.
  54. Allowing her to explore is a lot more valuable than having her clean and tidy.  There is never a day she doesn’t come home dirty and happy from a day at school.
  55. She will continue to grow and learn just as long as I help her along the way.
  56. Baby laundry piles up quickly. Doing more than one load a week will help.
  57. Speaking of laundry, babies love a nice warm pile of laundry to crawl into. Don’t get too attached to your folded laundry.
  58. Music always helps; for car rides, cleaning up and for dancing to be silly. It’s the biggest stress reliever.
  59. No matter how awful you sing, they will listen too! They will try to even sing along with you.
  60. Reading with babies is almost impossible, but they are interested so you must keep reading!
  61. Sleeping in her bed will always be more comfortable than anything else.  Don’t even try to think otherwise.
  62. Making your own baby food (rice cereal, fruits and veggies) isn’t hard. Take the time and just do it. It saves you a lot more money than you think.
  63. Having her watch a little TV won’t kill her. In all actuality it’s not that appealing to them compared to spending time with you.
  64. Allowing her to explore and not giving into every little cry/whine will make her independent. She will find a way to entertain herself.
  65. Read up on Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ’s ) if your pediatrician doesn’t readily have them available for you to check up on your baby’s development learning. We complete ours every two months with or without doctor check ups.
  66. They don’t always need new toys. They would much rather play with pots, pans and Tupperware.
  67. They always want to be with you. Give them a break, they haven’t seen you all day so make a little time for just the both of you.
  68. Never leave the house for an overnight/long trip without her favorite doll/thing. Mowglie must come with us everywhere we go.
  69. Poop does not kill you. If she has a diaper rash- wash her butt! Most of the time wipes only make it worse.
  70. Learning how to multitask and quick. You will need to do 2-5 things all at once and you need to be quick and master them all.
  71. You will have to be superwoman more often than not but all you have to do is plan and prepare for S#%^ to hit the fan at home.
  72. When she is sick, you will have to take a sick day. You will worry, you might get sick too and you will have to just spend time with her in her time of need.
  73. Bath time isn’t always relaxing for babies, but you should do your best in trying to do so regardless.
  74. Errands will never be the same. It will take you 2x as long to get through the store.
  75. You must find shoes that are comfortable and practical for them to wear once they start working. Cool, expensive shoes don’t always fly with the little ones.
  76. Don’t get attached to new clothes. They will get ruined no matter how hard you try.
  77. Hand me downs are perfectly acceptable. There is nothing wrong with a great set of hand me down clothes.
  78. The moment that they run up to you when picking them up from daycare will always be the best part of your day.
  79. Sensory is a huge thing with them. They need to touch and feel everything, let them- just make sure you have the wipes/sanitizer to help them out after they’re done.
  80. Always over estimate the change of clothes they will need where ever you go. Blowouts puke and etc. will always surprise you.
  81. Talking to your baby will not make you look like a crazy person. It will make you look like a parent that actually cares to talk to your baby. If you talk so will they.
  82. You will cry at when she says her first words, even if it so happens to be “Dada”.
  83. When she finally speaks more than a few words you will be so proud and when she finally says Mama your heart will race and melt all at once. There’s no other better feeling than that.
  84. When walking letting them fall isn’t the worst thing that can happen to them. Allow them the freedom to explore what to do and what not to do.
  85. Do not compare your baby’s development to others. Every baby is different. But making sure their development is moving along is important.
  86. Crying and frustration is allowed as a mother, just make sure that you know you’re doing the best you can for both of you.
  87. Join a group of mothers or befriend new mothers for support during this first year.
  88. Going to work doesn’t make me any less of a parent, but you bet your ass I love my daycare provider for loving my child while I’m away.
  89. Baby proofing outlets was the only thing we did to baby proof. They will learn what not to touch/get into even if it means more work for you.
  90. Don’t stress about having them suck their finger/thumb/binky they will stop when they’re ready.
  91. Take all the help you can get. It will not kill you or make you any less of a mom.  Support is support!
  92. Your friends will change as your priorities change. You will be busier, but they will understand that your life has changed for the best.
  93. Your sole priority is your baby now. Everything is done for their best interest and not yours.
  94. Moving them over from bottle to sippy for milk is a harder transition than you think, you will have to give in to this one. That transition will happen when they’re ready. However, starting them on a sippy cup is essential and no time is too early.
  95. They will mimic you. You have been warned.
  96. You will get smacked, kicked, hit by an almost toddler tantrum. Be aware and learn how to counter it gently.
  97. Take too many pictures of your little one. A year passes by quickly and you don’t want to miss a thing.
  98. There are no hard and fast rules on parenting. Go with your gut and you will do just fine.
  99. Even on your toughest days, it will get better.
  100. I will always be known as “Haidyn’s Mom” and there’s nothing else in this world I’d rather be.

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About Jannine Wells

Jannine Wells
Jannine Wells is a Navy brat traveling the world and moving every 4 years until finally settling in Nevada. She was raised in Fernley Nevada and moved to Reno in 2010 to finish her degree at TMCC. She has a background in childhood education and is an advocate for children’s education and development. Jannine is married to her high school sweetheart and is raising a beautiful one year old daughter, Haidyn, and kitty daughter, Sassafras. She is a paper pusher by day, blogger and amateur chef by night passionate about learning how to become a better mother.  Jannine started her blog Sunny In Reno to write about her pregnancy and journey through motherhood.   View all posts by Jannine.

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