We tend to hear a lot about the challenging aspects of parenthood. This isn't necessarily a bad thing since first-time parents need to be prepared with the hard truth. Motherhood in general is tough but the immediate postpartum phase can be particularly challenging.
First there is much to sort out when it comes to caring for a newborn baby. In addition, Mom is trying to heal herself while also dealing with extreme sleep deprivation. And of course, we can’t forget that wonderful phenomenon known as mommy brain making new moms feel like they exist in a brain fog. Suddenly everything becomes more challenging.
The truth is all expectant moms hear about sleepless nights, the likelihood that their own bodies may not bounce back quickly enough, the wonderful phenomenon of mommy brain, and the fact that finding time to shower might be tough!
Newborns are truly all-consuming. That said, they are also truly wondrous creatures that are beautiful, innocent, pure, and perfectly unspoiled. We can't forget this as we stumble through those early months in a bit of a fog. The newborn days go by SO fast and then suddenly we have a toddler running around. Where did the time go?
We want to encourage new parents to really cherish those newborn days. Although new parents may wish the time away in the present, they'll undoubtedly wish for it back in several months or years time. They will only be tiny once so here we provide 15 wonderful reasons every parent should truly cherish their newborn baby.
15 That Sweet Smell
That delicious, delectable, precious smell that accompanies newborn babies is the essence of purity and sweetness. Many a parent will nuzzle into their newborn’s skin, hair or clothes to soak in that wonderful smell. It’s intoxicating.
And it’s not just parents that find this smell appealing. It’s truly universal. Watch when visitors come to meet your newborn; they will all take a deep inhale when the get close enough to your precious bundle.
What causes the smell? One theory suggests that it is due to chemicals secreted by the baby’s sweat glands. Another theory suggests it’s the result of the vernix that coats babies at birth. It can also help trigger that mothering instinct.
Whatever it is, soak it in. It won’t last forever. We don’t doubt that the delicious aroma helps moms fall in love around the planet.
14 Mom Is Their World
Babies know very little of the outside world at birth. As far as they are concerned, they are one and the same with mom. For this reason and others, they will only have eyes for you.
When in utero, babies do hear, feel, and even smell their mothers which begins the very early process of attachment. Your baby started familiarizing him/herself with you from the moment he/she began growing inside you.
Mom is their greatest source of comfort at birth and for the weeks and months that ensue. While this will be trying at times, it’s an essential part of bonding
From the first few moments in the delivery room, mom reassures baby that she is there via her comfort, her warmth and by nurturing her newborn, thus fostering that in-person attachment. Now that baby is born, this attachment grows, facilitated by a safe and loving relationship.
13 The Glorious Snuggles
There is very little that is more soothing or enjoyable than snuggling with a newborn. Plus they have the uncanny ability to fall asleep anywhere, particularly when on a person!
Having baby nap on you (safely of course) is a fabulous way to soak in those early days of motherhood. Baby will absolutely love it because all he/she really wants to do at this phase of life is approximate that cozy, warm and soothing environment of the womb.
You couldn’t wait to meet him/her so why not enjoy the luxury of having baby close by all the time? Not only is it a great boding activity, it also gives mom a chance to soak in that baby smell smell, study his/her newborn’s features or even have a little snooze herself.
12 Their #2 Doesn’t Smell
This is the truth! Parents may not fully appreciate that newborn baby poop doesn’t smell until they start their baby on solid foods and realize what a stinker such a tiny person can be!
The poop of breastfed babies barely smells at all while the pop of formula-fed babies is only sight more odorous.
Once a baby starts consuming a more varied diet, their poop smell will approximate that of the rest of the mature world which can, at times, be very smelly as we all know. As undigested food passes through the intestines, bacteria build up leading to the foul odor.
This is another great reason to cherish your newborn. He/she is so perfect that even the messiest diaper will only smell slightly sour. That doesn’t mean you’ll love changing him/her, but at least you won’t need to plug your nose while doing so.
11 Mom Couldn't Wait To Meet Him!
If you’re like many expectant parents, the last 9 months passed with great anticipation about meeting your little one. Sure, you may have been anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed at times but the overarching feeling was likely one of anticipation and excitement.
Now her/she is here! The moment you were waiting for and building towards for so many months – maybe even years – is here. Enjoy every moment. Study her fingers and toes, her button nose, her smell, and her gurgles.
Perhaps you tried to get pregnant for a long time and maybe you needed help doing so. Or perhaps it was easy for you. Either way, your body worked a miracle growing an entire human being over the past 9 months.
Love every minute of your creation. Cherish him/her and all that you’ve done to make the world a better place by bringing a baby into it.
10 Teaching Them Unconditional Love
Now that the baby is out and born, he/she will begin to process the outside world. Babies don’t need a whole lot at birth. They need to eat, sleep, be kept safe and, of course, they need to be loved.
As mentioned, your baby began to bond with you in utero and now that attachment and bonding will continue outside the womb. Babies undoubtedly learn love first from their parents but this will happen naturally by providing baby with what they need in a safe and loving way.
There are oodles of ways that baby will feel love from his/her parents and he/she will soon learn what it’s like to be cared for in a secure and consistent way. This is something that will very likely happen organically and without being too deliberate about it.
That isn’t to say we can’t cherish the fact that our babies learn to feel loved first and foremost by us.
9 The Amazing Milestones
Newborns are amazing and wondrous creatures. To the casual observer, they may seem boring but the reality is the newborn phase is one of monumental learning and milestones.
By the time a newborn is three months old, parents will likely see the following:
- first smile
- first babbles and coos
- holding a gaze
- mini push-ups
- tracking objects
- stronger neck muscles
- ability to grasp objects
- reaction to sounds
In subsequent months, a baby is likely to develop the ability to laugh, roll over, and further perfect babbling! It won’t be too long before that first tooth appears either.
Parents can help babies work towards these milestones by interacting with their newborns often and also by deliberately providing opportunities for things like tummy time. It’s a great time to begin a baby book if you haven’t already. Those first few months will be recalled as a blur so it’s a handy way to keep track of all the important events.
8 Studying Their Features
New parents will likely spend a lot of time just gazing at their baby. Don’t believe you’ll do it?!! Wait and see. Staring at your baby will result in a lot of time passing. This is partly due to amazement that this wonderful creature was created by the two of you. Soak it in! Cherish the time to study your baby while he/she is still so young.
Of course, everyone will have an opinion of whom he/she looks like, but you will likely just see your baby. That said, it will be fun to analyze his/her chin, nose, hair type and eye color. You might hope he/she ends up with your hair, hubby’s blue eyes, and auntie Emma’s great complexion. But let’s hope he doesn’t end up with Grandpa’s big nose!
Babies change a lot in the newborn phase. By the time they reach 6 months or so, you’ll see some features starting to “stick”. That 6 month-old in the baby photos will ultimately bear some resemblance to his/her adult version.
7 Laughing At The Missteps
We guarantee there will be a few missteps along the way! Many of the missteps we are referring to here are like a right of passage for new parents and make for great stories down the road. We just hope parents can find the humor in these moments that might feel very stressful while they are occurring.
For example, can you really call yourself a parent if you haven’t experienced a “poonami”? Not sure what we mean? This is an explosive diaper change of the #2 variety that will likely necessitate an entire outfit change, potentially a bath, possibly burning said outfit, and may require you to get in the shower too.
And, in particular if you have a baby boy, he will invariably pee in a giant arc at least a few times during diaper changes; possibly even on you.
While we really don’t wish this occasion on anyone, many a parent will live through the horror of the stomach flu in their households - when you have no choice but to clean up baby barf in between barfing yourself.
While it might be tough to imagine, when your babe is grown and self-sufficient you’ll look back on these moments with great fondness.
6 They Can’t Talk Back
It won’t be too long before your precious little bundle learns his/her actual first words. While it may not be THE very first word, the word “no” will likely be one if the firsts. Once your little fella learns to talk, he’ll exercise his power in a dictatorial fashion.
And we hate to say it, this will likely get worse as he grows older and earns a bit of an attitude.
So cherish those new baby days when this little person is perfect and unspoiled and doesn’t have the wherewithal to ever challenge mom or dad. We promise you that it will go by so fast.
While the early days are stressful because parents are sleep deprived and on a massive learning curve, the later years bring about other stressors that more experienced parents would trade for the newborn days anytime.
5 Watching A Partner As A Parent
Parenthood is an insane rollercoaster for so many reasons but one particularly great thing about it is the opportunity to see your partner as a parent. Fatherhood brings out a different side in men and, for first-time parents, it’s a side mom hasn’t seen before.
As long as he does it right of course, seeing a man as a father makes us moms love him more. The tiny human(s) we created are a part him, and we love seeing the ways they take after their dad. Moms are tired, irritable at times, and still trying to figure everything out, but this doesn’t diminish how much we enjoy seeing our partners with our baby.
His tenderness and goofiness with the kids is endearing and makes us proud. After all, without him, our family couldn’t have come to be. Cherish that newborn phase as you and your partner learn to be parents together.
4 They Melt Hearts
One coo, gurgle, or sleepy wheeze coming from your newborn bundle and any normal person is won over. Newborns can make the darkest day bright and melt the coldest of hearts. They are simply irresistible.
There is something about gazing down at a little person who is so pure and innocent that one can’t help but smile. Throw in an adorable newborn outfit or an adoring big brother or sister and the picture becomes all that much more irresistible.
Parents should relish in this time when the mere presence of a baby can make people stop in their tracks to steal a quick glance or comment on the beauty of your baby. You’ll be on to the next phase in the blink of an eye. Take comfort in knowing that you may have made someone’s day a little brighter.
3 Incredible Bonding Time
We all know the importance of establishing that mother-baby bond. Bonding refers to that intense feeling of attachment to, and love for, your newborn. It’s that feeling that makes us go to extreme lengths to protect our offspring and it’s important for many reasons including physical and emotional well-being.
Bonding begins in utero and picks right up once baby is born. The newborn phase is an especially important and wonderful time to establish a solid and lasting bond between mom and baby.
For some, bonding comes easier than it does for others. There is absolutely nothing wrong if it takes you several days or weeks to bond with your baby but regardless, the process can begin from the moment of birth. You have every excuse to hog your baby during the newborn phase. Bonding sets your infant up on the right path in life.
2 Mom Always Knows Where They Are
This may seem like an obvious statement but there will likely come a time as your child enters into the tween and teenage years when you are racked with worry because you don’t know where they are!
As much as the newborn phase is trying - thanks to the intense learning curve, sleepless nights and things like mommy brain - you will always know where your baby is. They aren’t capable of pushing boundaries and staying out late with their friends!
If you speak to any parent of teenage children, they will tell you they miss the baby phase. One reason being is that the stresses become different, and perhaps more intense. So enjoy the time when your newborn is completely under your care, watch and control. There will come a time when you will wish for it again.
1 A Brand New Mom
By this we mean, the new you as a mom. Hooray! Your identity is forever changed and you now have a little person who is your number one priority. You will absolutely rise to the occasion and join a sisterhood of women who play a big role in helping the world go around.
You’ll learn, grow, figure things out, gain confidence and impart your wisdom to others who come behind you. It’s a wonderful thing.
Of course, the new you may also involve a body that you don’t entirely recognize but you’ll take some time to work to get your body back or to fall in love with your new body. Regardless, your body has performed heroic measures by growing an entire human being and keeping said human alive. Celebrate that.
Your baby adores the new you. He wouldn’t have you any other way. You’re his world. This much we know is true. Cherish this time and don’t wish it away even for a second.