Nine months. That’s how long it takes for mamas to grow a baby. Nothing during those months prepares women for just how amazing it is to hold their little one for the first time. Nothing can completely prepare women for what kind of adventure raising that baby will be.
We have an idea of the long hours, the snuggles, the kisses, the drool—we know it’s an adjustment. Everyone in our lives is ready to give us the 4-1-1 about the experience. We get the house ready, the nursery ready—we even help our pets adjust to the pending change. That’s everything we think we need to do to be as ready as possible for the arrival of our baby.
Unfortunately, those preparations don’t necessarily cut it. It does nothing to prepare us for the things that inevitably are going to frustrate us. With the adjustment period, the sleep deprivation, and the complete newness of it all, we’re already mamas on edge. Some days, it really doesn’t take much to frustrate us. There will be moments—fleeting or not—where the dependency of our baby gets to us. There will be moments where we find out just how stressful and frustrating the things that our baby can’t do are.
15 The Midnight Snack
We are new moms. We know that having a baby is not going to be a walk in the park—no matter how rewarding. That being said, we also know it is going to be an exhausting experience. What we are not prepared for—no matter how many people tell us about it—is that midnight snack time.
We have finally got baby to sleep so we take the chance to do some housework before passing out in bed ourselves. Just as we do—bam! His eyes are open and he is giving us all those hungry cues.
We groan, wanting nothing more than to keep our eyes shut and sleep. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our hungry little munchkin could pop out of their crib and figure out their midnight snack all by themselves just so we can get some sleep?
According to Baby Sleep Site, newborns eat every two to three hours, with it extending to three to six hours when they are four months old. That is a lot of waking up in the middle of the night to feed. Generally, babies feed in the middle of the night until they are a year old. We have to nap while we can, or it will be a long year.
14 The Paci Pick Up Game
We know it by many names—the binky, the nuk, the paci, and more. It is the same story time and time again. We give our baby their binky and five minutes later that binky ends up on the floor—and so it begins. The infinite pick the paci up, wash it off, give it back, and watch it end up on the floor all over again. It is a circle—an endless annoying game we want to break the cycle of. We want our baby to be able to drop their little feet to the floor, grab their dropped binky, walk over to the sink, wash it off, and settle back down all by themselves. It would end the loop and we could finally rest easy when we hear the plop of our baby's binky hitting the floor.
Even worse, many of us do not follow exactly what we are supposed to do to sanitize the pacifier. According to Baby Center, every time that pacifier hits the floor, we should be washing it in hot water with soap. Imagine doing this every single time our baby decided to drop it on our floors. It is one thing if it is out in public, but in our own homes that is a bit much.
13 The Diaper Change
We smell it long before we have to do anything about it—the dreaded diaper change. It is stinky, sticky and unbelievably gross. It is also inevitable. Where there is a baby, there is going to be a need for a diaper change. Sure, we can pawn off some changes on our significant other or visitors just dying to spend time with our little one—but eventually, we're going to have to do something about the diapers.
There would be nothing more lovely than to watch our little one pitter patter his way over to the changing table and change his own diaper without our assistance. Such
a feat would be especially wonderful on the days where our baby is determined to give us as many dirtied diapers as possible—each one more nose-pinching worthy than the next.
American Pregnancy said that, on average, a baby needs to be changed every two to three hours. Babies wet themselves a lot and keeping them in a wet diaper can cause chafing and irritation. Keeping a baby in a soiled diaper is uncomfortable for them and smelly for you. The longer it sits, the worse off you are.
12 The Self-Soothing Baby
Sometimes, it is just plain hard having a baby. We know when our baby is hungry, sleepy, needing to be changed, and even just wants cuddles. We know things happen and that we occasionally end up with a fussy, screaming baby that does not want any of these. We are stuck trying to soothe out sweet little baby—for minutes or sometimes even hours. We sing, talk, and walk the house, read stories and more. It can be utterly draining and tiring. Oh, what we would not give for our baby to be able to self-soothe. It would be wonderful for our little one to understand its own needs! It would be the perfect way to give us mamas a well-needed—and silent—break.
Babies have no other way of communicating with us other than crying. According to The Bump, cries and screams could mean anything. Eventually, we learn how to read our babies, but it takes a fair amount of time to learn what these cries mean. For some of the issues, there is nothing we can do to instantly help them, meaning we will be trying to comfort them. We will give them pacifiers, bottles, and will rock them to try to get them to be peaceful.
11 The Disrupt In Communication
There is something incredibly painful about listening to our baby scream and not understand what it is that he or she wants. The hours we spend rocking our baby and talking endlessly through the tears—both theirs and ours—as we attempt to verbally figure out what is wrong with our precious baby.
It is the singularly most awful experience when we do not know how to mitigate. What we wouldn't give for our tiny little baby to look at us and say, “Mommy, I am hungry” or “Mommy, change me”. Sure, we know that one day they will be able to do just that—and then we will be wishing to go back in time! Right now—just every now and then—a break would be nice. It would solve so many of our problems and make our days a complete breeze.
Decoding cries become an important part of parenting.
According to The Bump, there are times when we should just let our child cry whereas there are other times that we should really try to comfort them. As long as we can eventually determine the reason for the tears, we can generally take action, whether we change them or let them cry.
10 The Toy Desire
We love our little baby. We want nothing more than to assure that he or she has the very best in life—including buying all the toys we can to keep them entertained. We pick out the colorful ones, the dangly ones, and the noise making ones. We get the big ones and the little ones—pretty much all the toys we can find. The whole problem is—which one does he want? We are reduced to dangling and shaking each toy in front of him as we wait for some kind of reaction. Life would be so much easier if our baby would simply be able to give us an immediate yes or no response. With a list, we could never go wrong! The guessing would be over, and we would instantly be able to entertain our baby.
According to Parents, babies under a year old will want bright colored toys more than they will want pastel colors. They like things that make noise or that they can focus their eyes on, such as a mirror. Limiting the toys that we give our babies can help determine which toy they want. These will generally go straight into their mouths, so anything that can soothe teething may be what they want.
9 The Bath Time Break
Some babies love bath time and other babies hate it. Bubbles in the air, water on the ground, a baby who cannot hold still—it is like one epic battle every time baby needs a bath. That does not even include the towel drying wrestling match, the attempt to get lotion and clothes on them before they get cold, and the dreaded cleanup.
It is a fiasco and—more often than not—by the end of it, we are completely drained and ready for our own bubble bath alone to recover.
How fantastic would it be if our little babe could take care of his bath time all by himself? Maybe we could offer a bit of supervision as we sit back and let him do it all. It would surely be rewarding.
However, we all know that baby baths are a very involved process. First, according to Parents, we have to choose how we are going to bathe the baby, whether it is in a plastic tub or a seat. Then there is a matter of getting a comfortable temperature and soap that made the baby feel good. Parents recommends making bath time as short as possible for babies that do not seem to like water.
8 The Bottle Making Babe
There is nothing like the chaos of a baby waiting for us to make a bottle for him. Warm the water, mix the formula—or defrost frozen breastmilk and warm it up—finish putting together the bottle, and dart across the house to pick up the baby before the meltdown gets worse. It's utterly stressful.
As our baby nestles into us to drink, we are left trying to calm our heart as it races with the anxiety all the demanding screams caused us. Such a sweet moment of our day should not cause moms so much stress. One day the little baby will be able to prepare its own drink—today is not that day. Unfortunately, today is now, and we are all the baby has. It would be such a fantastic way, however, for us to not have to deal with the stress of the instant baby hunger cry.
After we deal with this hunger cry and get the bottle prepared, we still are not done. Parents reports that there are a few recommended ways that we hold the baby while we feed them. Of course, babies cannot instantly sit up on their own, so we have to support their little heads as they drink. This is, of course, once we figure out how they prefer to sit.
7 The Sleep Setter
There is nothing more angelic than the sweet face of a sleeping baby. It is the minutes—possibly hours—leading up to that sleeping baby that tell another story. Some babies do not want to sleep. When we are stuck fighting with our fussy baby, it can be one of the harder points of the day. We rock, sing and nurse until our precious baby falls asleep into—what we think is—a deep sleep.
When they do, we happily set them in their bassinet—only to have them wake back up. There we are again, stuck in the cycle of putting to sleep and trying to put down.
It becomes a battle we really wish we did not have to fight.
What we would not give for our little one to go in his crib and put himself to sleep without the back and forth.
Baby Center knows that getting a baby to go back to sleep can be a daunting task. They recommend that we help set the baby’s circadian rhythm by using light to simulate day and night. They also recommend that we do not wait until the baby is asleep to put them to bed, but we should put them to bed while they are just getting sleepy.
6 The Playtime Pause
As new moms, we love our sweet little baby—more than we ever thought we could love anything. That being said, we still need a break. Those first few weeks we are always on—we are always actively involved. We are constantly taking care of our little one and constantly making sure our little one is entertained.
What we would not give to be able to put our baby down on his play mat or in his bouncy chair and have him entertain himself for a few hours without us. We could sit back on the couch and put our feet up as our baby played a few games—or maybe even get in a decent shower. The idea of a self-entertaining baby is exactly what we would need to recover just a little bit faster and to keep our sanity.
Scholastic recommends that we start entertaining our babies with educational methods. We should be exposing our children to letters, numbers, colors, and shapes before they can even speak. This will help them learn as they get older, but makes it a lot more work for new, tired parents. These keep our baby interacting with us while starting to develop their brains.
5 The Nail Cutting Adventure
Sweet little baby fingers are topped by seemingly endless baby talons. They are always sharp when we least expect them to be, ripping into our skin as they gaze at us with loving eyes. They are adorable, but it is like a tiny form of torture—and cutting their nails is not any kind of a better experience. The squirming, kicking, loud protesting—it is like cutting nails has become one big game for our little baby.
Before we know it, we end up missing a nail and catch the skin, leading to an ensuing crying fit. We feel bad, they feel bad—it is just a frustrating experience all around.
It would be nice if the baby could handle this task on their own, so we could avoid this whole ordeal altogether. Better yet—why not nails that do not start growing until later on or at least not into tiny talons?
To trim our baby’s nails, Fit Pregnancy recommends using baby scissors to cut nails, as they have more control over those. Filing is also a great way to make nails shorter and less sharp. A lot of parents will try to do this while the baby is sleeping in order to avoid squirming and crying.
4 The Get Around
There is nothing more precious than when our little baby learns there is more to the world around them. They want to explore—to discover every aspect of it that they can and absorb it. The problem is getting them around safely to actually see it all. We walk around the house, store, and park—making pit stops for our little baby to see something new.
We do this every single day as our baby gets bigger and bigger. They really start to get heavy, making them harder to carry. As their world becomes wider, it would be awesome if they could move around from the very start. We would not be left guessing what they want to see, and it would give our poor mama arms a well-deserved break.
Now, mamas are carrying their children in different ways. Mama Natural recommends babywearing as an alternative way of carrying the baby around. This allows the baby to be close to us while putting a little less strain on mom. This may be done with a sling or a carrier that mom wears on the front of her body. It does not feel natural, but it is a method.
3 The Spit Up Clean Up
Bibs and burp cloths are a mom’s best friend as we attempt to burp our little baby after a good nursing session or warm bottle. We pat and pat until we get a nice big burb out of them. Unfortunately, that burp is often accompanied by the dreaded spit up. From the color to the smell, it’s an icky experience we can happily do without.
Spit up is just another inevitable aspect of having a baby. We are stuck with it even if we do not want to be. We have to clean it up not just off of our baby but off ourselves as well.
It would be a fantastic wonder if our little baby could aim that spit up in a place that is not all over us and then do all the clean up for us.
Baby Center tells us that spit up is generally the result of our baby swallowing too much air while they eat. They may also be gassy, which can cause everything to projectile out of them. While this generally stops as a baby gets closer to a year old, it is never not gross.
2 The Homemade Food Endeavor
The adventure of introducing food to our baby is a wonderful one. We want to do right by our little baby. After all, we do want them to actually like food. Instead of buying purees, we dedicate to making our own. We buy all the necessary fruits and veggies, set aside a few hours to do it all, and make all the purees we need by ourselves. It is time-consuming and leaves us with dozens of dishes to wash.
About halfway through, we decide we don't know why we wanted to do all the work for a few jars of purees anyway! What we would not give for our little one to be able to put together the food that he wants—or even for the food to magically show up in front of us. It would be sheer motherhood perfection.
Wholesome Baby Foods reports that babies generally start eating these purees around four months old. There is a lot of trial and error that goes into figuring out our baby’s palette. Generally, these young babies start out with apple combinations, but if the baby does not like apple, we are going to have to dump our mixes.
1 The Kitchen Brigade
The kitchen is the heart of the home. Everything happens there—it brings us together at meal times and more. It’s also the biggest clutter of the house. Bottle parts, milk bags, formula containers, baby bowls, spoons, bibs, baby toys, and even spare baby clothes that get tossed aside. It is so easy for it to become a mess.
We love our little baby, but the mess that he brings with him is a whirlwind of which we struggle to maintain.
What we would not give for him to be able to clean up everything that gets left around—to wipe down the counters and clean up the dishes that get left out. A baby who can pull his own weight in the mess he helps to create is no different than what is expected of the others in the house, right?
Parenting has a list of the top ten baby feeding products that parents could need. These range from bowls that suction to a flat surface, to soft plastic bibs that keep the mess down. With so many recommended products, we are going to have to clear more space in our kitchen just to store them. Then, of course, when we use them we have to clean them!
References: Baby Sleep Site, Baby Center, American Pregnancy, The Bump, Parents, Parents, Understood, Parents, Baby Center, Scholastic, Fit Pregnancy, Mama Natural, Baby Center, Wholesome Baby Food, Parenting