When you become a mom, there is no dearth of advice from your loved ones. You take some and you ignore some.
But once your little bundle of joy arrives, with sleepless nights and over exhaustion, you are bound to make your own mistakes. The restlessness in my recovery period brain fogged me so much that I forgot every piece of information I learnt regarding a baby in prenatal classes and otherwise. I just did not think I could make those mistakes but now that I have, I know I will not repeat them in the future (in case I plan to have another baby that is). And now that I have experienced it first hand, I will certainly hope all you future moms are better prepared for these things. So, here are some new parent mistakes.
1. Understanding hunger cues
I apparently did not know that when the baby opens his mouth and turns his head in one direction, that means he’s looking for the breast to feed him.
That is one hunger cue I did not understand and know. Only with time did I realize that my baby wants to be fed whenever she makes a rooting motion.
2. Keeping the baby to myself and being overprotective
It is every mother’s instinct to keep her baby close to her as much as possible. But I went too overboard. I’d shut myself in my room and hate any visitors touching or picking my baby up.
I wouldn’t take her to any other room or give her to any other person for some time. The result? She became very clingy. Now I find it too hard to leave her alone with anyone because she wants me all the time.
3. Saying NO to help
I thought I could do all of the baby’s work by myself. When in reality, child birth takes such a toll on you that you cannot do without help, at least initially. I was lucky that my mother-in-law took care of most of the things in the house. But since I was overly protective of my baby, I wouldn’t let anyone do anything with what involved my baby.
4. Buying unnecessary things
When it comes to babies, no doubt you have to buy the best quality in everything. But I bought so much stuff for her that there so much of it that she did not even use or wear. In the end, I had to dispose of so many things. I should have rather focused on buying things that were necessary instead of things she’d never even use.
5. Not realizing the importance of pumping
My baby is not exclusively breastfed. I started top feeding her when she was less than a month old. To make sure you keep up a regular supply of milk, you have to pump – whether hand express or pump.
There were times when my milk supply would get really low and I’d have to top feed her even if I didn’t want to. But the good news is – even if your supply has reduced, you can always increase it by feeding more often and pumping.
6. Over-cleanliness around the baby
When it comes to my baby, I am hyper conscious about clean surroundings. I would not let anyone touch my baby without having washed their hands and used a sanitizer.
It literally drove me nuts. I was always aware of the fact that you have to let some dirt come to the baby for it will help develop immunity. But when it came to my little one, I drove others crazy with the hand washing and dusting rituals.
7. Not going out
I followed the 40-day home-bound period without any default. But even a few weeks after that, I confined myself to my room. I wanted to be as close to my baby as possible.
Maybe this motherly instinct comes only once you have a baby, but it did me no good at all. I stopped visiting my friends or even going out with my husband anywhere. Only because I didn’t want to leave my baby with anyone or I was worried she will catch an illness if I took her outside of home.
8. Feelings of insecurity
This is but a very natural feeling that most moms I hope can relate to. Ever since I gave birth, I always had insecurity. I would never leave my baby with anyone but my husband.
Part of the reason was that I always thought no one can take care of my baby as much as I can. Or that it was only I who had to look after her. It was only later I realized that everyone in the family has a relationship with my baby. I should have given them a chance to bond with her earlier than I did.
These are only a few of the things I remember off the top of my head. I am sure you all made your own mistakes and learned from them. After all, motherhood is an experience and you only know certain things with time.
How about you? What were the mistakes you made when you became a mom for the first time?