The first year after bringing baby home will be a difficult year. It can be one of the best years ever, but it can also be one of the hardest. Women spend nine months growing a baby inside of her. She reads up on everything she needs to know about pregnancy and asks the doctor about what she should or shouldn’t be doing. The dad-to-be tries to take care of his partner and be attentive to her needs. He might even read some books or attend classes. They both spend time getting the nursery together and wait for their little bundle of joy to finally use the beautiful nursery.
Then they give birth to a tiny human, and their lives are forever changed. The doctor comes in and tells them it’s time for them to take the baby home. Home — where they are by themselves with no doctors telling them what is or isn’t okay. They are in charge of another person. They will try their hardest, but they will do things wrong. No parent is perfect, and no one expects a new parent to do everything right. For a lot of things, there isn’t even a right or wrong way to do things. Here are 15 ways couples fail after bringing baby home.
15 Not Asking For Help
This is one of the biggest mistakes that couples make after bringing baby home, especially if it’s the first baby. This has a lot to do with a person’s personality and how willing they are to accept help. However, it’s also hard for any new parent to accept help. For some reason there is this stigma about new parents being able to do it all. They should be able to feed the baby, rock the baby to sleep, keep the baby clean, all while still keeping yourself and your house together. I hate to break it to you, but it’s hard. You’re not used to doing everything, especially while being extremely sleep deprived. I’m not saying you need to ask everyone you know for help, but letting people bring you dinner or folding laundry is going to help more than you know. No one expects you and your partner to be the perfect parents that do it all.
14 Not Saying 'No'
When you and your partner bring a baby home, everyone will want to come see the baby — literally everyone. If you post the news on social media, don’t be surprised to get people who you barely know asking to come over. I have never personally had this happen to me, but I know many couples who have had people show up at their door unexpected and uninvited. I want to tell you that it’s okay to say no! Don’t feel like you and your partner need to worry about everyone and their feelings right now. You only need to worry about your baby and yourselves. If your baby just fell asleep and someone wants to hold them, say no. If it’s time for you to feed the baby and someone stops by uninvited, tell them that it was nice to stop by, but that it’s not a good time and they need to reschedule.
13 Not Making Time For The Relationship
Bringing a baby home is hard on a relationship. It was once just you and your partner and you were able to spend time with each other whenever you wanted. You could go on spur of the moment date nights or spend all night watching movies. The minute you bring your precious baby home, everything changes. There’s no such thing as a spontaneous date. And you probably won’t be wanting to stay up late and chat when you finally have the opportunity to sleep. It’s hard to make time for your relationship when you have a new baby, but it’s more important now than ever. If you and your partner want to make sure you are able to be the best parents for you baby, you need to spend time working on your relationship. You won’t want to leave your baby either, but getting out of the house for an hour together can be great for your relationship.
12 Not Sleeping When The Baby Sleeps
I’m not the best person to be saying this, because I don’t usually nap when the babies nap. But when I bring home a new baby, I make an exception to my rule. I am very organized and love having a clean house so I know how hard it is to sleep when your house is messy. I have to fight the urge to do laundry and opt to take a nap instead. If you don’t ever sleep, you will be utterly exhausted. It will effect how you parent and it will effect your relationship with your partner. This is when it would be a good time to ask for help. Have someone come over and clean while you and the baby take a nap. Don’t feel like you are neglecting your responsibilities — your baby is your first responsibility right now. Sleep when your baby sleeps, and you can get to the other duties when you have time.
11 Not Sharing The Work Load
The process of pregnancy and giving birth to a baby can be hard on a new mom. But it can also be hard on a new dad. Everything revolves around the mom, and it can be hard for a dad to figure out his place. What is he supposed to do to help during pregnancy when mom is the one who actually carries the baby? It’s hard for dad to find his place when you bring baby home, especially if a mom is breastfeeding. Babies need their mom to feed them, but they don’t technically need dad. Sometimes dads can pull back because they think they aren’t needed, but they are needed now more than ever. My husband was always the diaper changer. He would get up with the babies and change their diapers, and then give the baby to me so I could feed them. Sometimes he would even get me a snack or drink if I needed. It’s hard for one person to do everything, so sharing the work load will help everyone.
10 Comparing Baby To Other Babies
It can be hard to keep from comparing your baby to other babies, especially when it’s your first baby and you don’t know anything else. I was pregnant alongside two of my close friends, and our babies were all born within a month of each other. We would talk about how we were doing and how our babies were doing, and it was hard not to wish my baby would or wouldn’t do something. We would talk about how often they eat or how long they sleep. My baby cried every time she was put down while my friend’s babies were content when they were laying there. If you take your new baby out and they are fussy the whole time, it’s hard not to look around at other babies being so good. However, every baby is different. Your first baby and your second baby might even be different from each other. This phase doesn’t last long.
9 Getting Upset With Each Other When Tired
My husband and I are so guilty of this one. Even if you have a great baby and even if you nap when the baby naps, you will be tired and you will feel exhausted. This is all new for you and your partner and it’s going to take time to get used to everything. If you and your partner are both exhausted, it can be easy to turn on each other. And believe me, it can happen fast and for no reason at all. I think I snapped at my husband over diapers not being thrown away or something weird like that. Like I said, it happens over the silliest reasons. It will be so easy to get upset at your partner, but you just have to remember that you are in this together and that you are a team. You are both going to be tired but you need to work together.
8 Doing Too Much Too Soon
Moms are especially guilty of trying to do too much too soon. Their body has just carried around a tiny human for nine months and it’s trying to recover from getting the baby out one way or another. Not to mention that you are probably extremely tired and mentally overwhelmed with everything that is going on. For some reason, moms think they are super woman and can pick up with their old life. They try to do their weekly grocery shopping trip right after the baby is born or make sure dinner is on the table every night. However, dads can be guilty of this, too. My husband hates to be stuck in the house. So he tried to be out and about right after baby was born because he wanted to be doing something. Moms and dads need to relax after the baby is born and just take some time to themselves.
7 Worrying About Everything
Telling a new mom not to worry is almost impossible. Believe me I know. I am a worry wart and a helicopter mom and all those other names. Basically, I worry, a lot. But it doesn’t change the fact that worrying isn’t going to help most situations. If your baby gets a little diaper rash, it’s okay! Don’t worry about it. If your baby sleeps longer than normal, let them sleep and don’t worry that something is wrong! One of the best things my doctor told me is not to google anything. She said if I have any questions or concerns to just call. If you google your baby’s symptoms, you’re going to come to the conclusion that they have four arms and have two days to live. Seriously though, try not to worry about everything. But obviously don’t hesitate to call your doctor if you have any concerns at all.
6 Trusting Unreliable Parenting Sources
If you have a fellow mom that you trust for advice, that’s great. Go ahead and ask away. Sometimes I think my mom friends have the best advice because they are going through the same thing that I’m going through, and they are in the same phase of life as me. However, it’s important not to trust advice from any old source. If your neighbor comes up to you and tells you that her aunt’s sister’s friend said that it’s okay to let your kids play in the street, maybe you should think twice before listening to them. This is especially true when you look up things on the internet. There is a lot of great advice on the internet, but there is also a lot of bad advice. You don’t know who is writing what or how they parent, so make sure to double check your sources before following any advice.
5 Installing The Carseat Improperly
Installing the carseat improperly is the biggest mistake I see couples make when they have a new baby. Before the baby comes you need to learn how to install the car seat correctly. You can look at videos and articles online, but be careful what sources your trust. The best piece of advice I can give is to find a place that will help you install your carseat correctly. There are many different places that offer free car seat installation including certain fire stations or health departments. It’s best to call around in your town and see where the closest one is for you. What’s nice about places like these is that they can also show you to properly put your baby in the carseats and the safest way to have the straps. There is a proper way to have the straps and there is also a specific place to have the chest clip.
4 Thinking Baby Should Sleep
This is the hardest thing for new couples to understand. You get told over and over how babies never sleep and that you will be tired. You know that you will have to be up with the baby a lot and that it will be exhausting. But you also hear stories about how babies slept through the night in the first few weeks and think maybe that’s how a baby should be. I hate to break it to you, but that is the exception, not the rule. And there are studies showing that it probably isn’t the healthiest for your baby anyways. A sleep deprived mom wants nothing more than for her baby to sleep, but your baby will do it on their own time. There’s not a timeline that they are going to follow. Again, this is only a phase and it will pass, but it will be difficult.
3 Not Savoring The Moment
Babies are so amazing. They come into your life and you can’t picture your life without them ever again. But babies are hard, especially when you first go home. Most of their days are spent crying and pooping. They test your patience and cover you in spit up and poop. The keep you up at all hours of the night. Sometimes it’s easy just to wish for the next stage of life so you don’t have to deal with not sleeping or being used as a milk machine. But one day, when it’s all over, you’ll almost find yourself wishing for it back. When they sleep on their own, you are going to want them to cuddle with you and let you rock them to sleep. When they eat on their own you are going to want to spend time feeding them. Savor the moment now because it won’t last forever.
2 Letting People Smother Baby
People are going to love your baby so much. There is something about a cute little nose and tiny fingers that make people go crazy. They will want to hold your baby and touch their hands and kiss them. If you are okay with your family doing this, that’s completely fine. But when strangers want to kiss your baby, that’s where you need to draw the line. If it’s flu season, you can’t let you baby be passed down the line at church because chances are that they will get sick. A little cold to you, is a huge sickness that could possibly put your little one in the hospital. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it’s at the risk of your baby’s health. People will understand. And if they don’t, it’s not your fault to worry about that. All you need to worry about is keeping your baby healthy.
1 Rushing Milestones
It’s so exciting when your baby does something for the first time. The first time they grab your hand or the first time they smile at you are moments you will remember forever. But at some point, we start looking forward to the next milestone before our baby has completed the last one. Yes, it’s so exciting that he smiled, but I can’t wait until he laughs. She rolled over, but it will be so cute when she sits up on her own. It’s so easy to start wishing for the next milestone and forget that we need to be excited for the current milestone. The next milestone will happen. And there will be several more after that. At some point, you are going to be remembering that first time your baby looked in your eyes and smiled, and you are going to wish you could relive that moment.