For soon-to-be first time parents, a lot of things change when a woman first becomes pregnant. As a woman’s body begins to change, her partner’s might also because of “sympathetic pregnancy.” As a woman experiences more mood swings, her partner may also be an on emotional rollercoaster as a reaction. As a pregnant woman may take more naps, her partner may also wish to take more naps because there is a lot to do to prepare for a baby.
While the partner in the relationship by no means experiences the pregnancy, let alone the birthing process, it is something that a couple will experience together. Experiences like this bring couples closer together.
However, as soon as the baby is born, the couple faces some major changes. They will be completely unaware of some of the giant changes. Perhaps they have heard of some of these changes from a friend or family member with children, but will naively think, “Oh, that will never happen to us.”
Well, sorry to disappoint, but as a couple grows their little family, there will always be changes—especially in a new baby’s first year of life. A new baby will affect his parents' relationship, their schedule, their eating habits, their bathing habits and so on. Here’s a list of 15 things most expecting parents may not realize will change, when they bring a new baby home.
14 There Goes Date Night
A real date night will become a thing of the past as soon as new parents bring home their cute, little roommate. There are a few reasons a baby will prevent date night.
First, new parents usually do not trust or want to leave their new addition alone with a stranger—at least for a while.
Another reason is that a newborn baby demands a lot of attention and does not really allow her parents to have alone time. So, new parents will have to find clever ways to have date nights at home, preferably when the baby is finally asleep and in between feedings. That may mean simple dates like watching Netflix together, playing a board game or baking cookies—maybe even all three. Either way, it is important that couples keep time for themselves, together and as individuals, after their bundle of joy has officially moved in.
13 Perfect Time For Cold Leftovers
Along with no romantic date night, having a newborn may come with no romantic dinners or dinner at all for that matter. By the end of the day, both parents are likely to be exhausted and feeling a little burnt out. So, this may mean no homecooked dinner, but rather, fast food dinner or something quick—like quesadillas or cold leftovers from a few nights ago. None of those options are very nutritious, but a parent has to do what a parent has to do. A new baby, especially in those first few weeks, can also make it difficult to get groceries or even remember to get them. Hello, online grocery shopping!
Furthermore, whichever parent is designated to stay home with the baby may even forget to eat other meals, like breakfast and lunch. This happens for many reasons including sleep deprivation, exhaustion or simply being preoccupied with the baby’s needs. And no parent wants to experience the horrendous screams when a baby is hungrier than a hippo.
12 Sleepless Nights
For night owls, it is not time to adapt to becoming a morning person. Parents of newborn babies, waking up at the crack of dawn (and every half an hour from sundown to sun up) will be the new normal. By the time night comes around, parents will likely just want to relax and get ready for bed. Sure, being forced to become a morning person may mean that parents’ mornings are groggy and frazzled, but that's what coffee is for!
Just because a baby is brought into this world and has created his own day and night schedule, does not mean it's an easy task for parents to change their sleep schedules. Parents will be up at all hours of the night but have to remain awake during the day. The world still turns, and there are places to be and things to do in a certain time frame. Regardless whether it is now 7 am, and mom has been awake for hours, it will be tough to go back to sleep knowing how much needs to get done. Perhaps this is the best time to eat breakfast.
11 Love, Shmove
This is not to scare new parents that there will no longer be love in the household. However, hormones are readjusting, (especially when breastfeeding is involved) and there may be days where the mother will hate her partner simply because she is extra hormonal and crazy. She may find that anything her partner says or does will set her off. She may also find herself despising her partner because they do not have to nurse. Hormones can make people do and say crazy things.
Both parents need to be aware that can be a possibility. Furthermore, new parents may be very sleep deprived, they may choose sleep over spending time together or won't want to be touched. The fact is, they have a little human clinging to them all day and all night. Give them space and patience, and remember to do support each other.
10 From Miss Popularity To Flying Solo
Not to say that new parents will lose their friends, but having a baby can definitely change certain friendships. One might find it harder to relate to that single friend from high school if that person is in a relationship and has a new baby. In addition to parents having a hard enough time finding a babysitter, they may also have issues scheduling plans with their friends.
Baby-less friends often do not understand why parents would rather stay home with their newborn than to find a babysitter. The burden of constantly asking relatives to watch a newborn is a tough challenge, especially when their favorite word is "no." However, this may be a great time to find other parents to befriend, for both you and your wee one.
9 Please Pass The Earplugs!
A hou=me will never be silent ever again, once a baby is brought home. That is not to say that babies are always loud—most newborns are pretty quiet a lot of the time because they sleep so much. But, honestly, new parents’ ears must become hypersensitive when they bring their baby home.
If it ever feels too quiet, they may check to see if the baby is still breathing multiple times a day. When they are not going to the room to check if the baby is still breathing, they are watching and listening to the baby monitor. When the baby is not sleeping, it is likely they are crying, gulping down food or making other adorable baby sounds. Either way, a home will never be truly silent ever again.
8 Oh, The Baby Cried!
Before becoming parents, we might have felt like we were ready to take on the world. But of course, a new baby changes things. New parents are constantly worrying if their baby is still safe, warm and has a full tummy. At night, any noise becomes a kidnapper in the house. Any time the baby cries, an irrational fear of thinking something is severely wrong enters a new parent’s mind.
Some new parents refuse to leave their home with the new baby for fear of the outside world, especially germs. Of course, babysitters can never be trusted. Mothers are especially prone to having constant worries about the well-being of their child. But, as long as the baby is fed, each diaper has been changed, and he is loved and cared for by his parents, there really is not that much to worry about.
7 Peek-A-Boo And Macaroni Salad. WHAT?!
There are times when parents will say or do something that makes absolutely no sense, simply because of sleep deprivation and hormone imbalance. A mom may start crying for absolutely no reason when her partner brings home groceries—hormones. A husband starts talking about something that happened six weeks ago and finishes his sentence with what he ate for lunch, and that's why the world revolves around the sun—sleep deprivation.
A mom snaps at her partner for taking a nap when they are supposed to be taking care of the baby—probably hormones, sleep deprivation and envy. And then, there are other things parents start doing that might make no sense to their former selves. These things could include stuff like baby talk, changing a diaper in under ten seconds, going to bed at six o’clock, wearing the same pair of clothes for four days in a row and so on.
6 Time For A Calendar That Will Never Be Looked At
Getting the hang of things, in those first few months, can be very difficult for first-time parents. First of all, parenting is likely not as hard or stressful as they were expecting, which may be shocking to some. Second, they did not think they would be so exhausted all the time. They were wrong. Third, learning to take care of a brand new baby is a very steep learning curve, because what works for them today may not work for them tomorrow.
Babies’ schedules are not consistent in the first few months. And, even if you think you are getting somewhere with a routine, your baby will likely give you a gummy smile and change that routine around! But honestly, the more kids a family has, the harder it is to maintain a constant schedule—especially as the kids get older and busier. One can never account for the unknown, so perhaps a lack of routine with a new baby is just minor preparation for the chaos that will come later.
5 Take All My Money
Let us get one thing straight, babies are expensive. As soon as parents find out that they are pregnant, they should start stashing money away like squirrels. As it is, a hospital birth in the United States can range between $27,000-50,000, and that is assuming no complications occur - beyond a cesarean section.
Once the baby comes home, he will need diapers, a crib, a car seat, clothing and any other fancy things besides the basics. For instance, a box of diapers is typically around $20-40 and a newborn will go through roughly 8 diapers per day. That adds up very quickly. Furthermore, having a baby is a longtime monetary commitment (hopefully an investment someday). The older they get, the more expensive they will become, so start saving now—but also try not to stress too much.
4 Keep Calm And Wash Off That... What Is that?
When a baby enters the world, it will take up a lot of mom (and dad's) time. Between diapers, feedings, playing, bathing, and finding the pacifier that fell through the crib slots, the list goes on and on. Regardless of all this additional work, moms and dads still need to eat, shower, get dressed, work from home and somehow find time to sleep.
On the list of priorities, a shower often falls to the bottom of the list for new and exhausted moms. If they are nursing, their boobs are constantly leaking, smelly and sticky. If they have just recently given birth, postpartum bleeding may still be something that is occurring. The baby will spit up, possibly poop or pee on her. For new moms, there really is no staying clean—so why bother with the shower if you have nowhere to be?
3 Stick To Your Corner
When a baby moves in, none of their stuff remains in their nurseries. A woman's body no longer belongs to her, the glass-windowed shower now has suction cupped toys, and let's not start with the kitchen...Their home will soon have to be completely baby-proofed because once the baby is mobile and crawling, everything parents thought would be out of reach, is not.
A slick sports car will soon be traded in for a minivan, an extra vacation will be traded in for a college fund and sports on tv will be traded in for Sesame Street. A once classily designed living room will soon be covered with baby toys. An office will be turned into a nursery. Parents may feel like they're living in a corner that their baby chose for them until a car seat and diaper bag takes that last remaining corner. Having a baby is a huge sacrifice, but it is worth it.
2 A Little Spit Up To Set The Mood
First of all, couples should avoid sex in the first six weeks of a baby being home simply because it's doctor’s orders. If a woman delivered via C-section or had other complications, the wait may have to be even longer, regardless how intense the mood is. When new parents are finally allowed to have sex again, they may want it to be great so badly, but generally, it takes a little bit to get back in the swing of a normal sex life as some areas may still be sensitive.
For a woman who just gave birth, it could be more painful than it was before. Add stress, mood swings, the constant threat of a new baby interrupting, possible dryness down there and exhaustion—all of these things may make it more difficult to get intimate again. For many new parents, sex just is not on the top of their list of priorities. Above all, remember that a little human is constantly attached to mom, whether breastfeeding, rocking or just wanting to be held, a woman is being touched non-stop. Give her some patience and space, and the right mood will come your way.
1 To Be Honest: Everything
Though these all seem to be negative changes for new parents, in the end, having a baby is a really great thing. As soon as a baby arrives, a strong couple will fall in love with every look and every single little finger and toe. They will long to take care of the baby, love her and protect her. Plus, it can help a strong couple become even stronger. Couples work together in their own way to take care of a baby. It may look like both parents are working to build a better future, one parent working and one staying home or some other sort of mixture. But, no matter what, couples must remember who they were as a pair before they became a trio, and take some time to nurture their relationship. Because when a baby comes everything will change.