the first year

Moms Reveal What They Would’ve Done Differently

It doesn’t matter how many parenting books you’ve devoured or how many birth videos you’ve dared to stomach: nothing can prepare you for motherhood until the moment you’re holding that sweet, squawking, hungry babe in your arms.

That’s the terrifying, beautiful thing about motherhood: you figure it out as you go.

Here real-life moms reveal what they would’ve done differently. Hopefully their insights help ease your transition into motherhood.

“I would’ve stay in bed for three days and rested and let people do things for me! People want to help, let them! You’ll never get those first few days back again, where you don’t have to do anything for anyone else and people bring you drinks and snacks.” – Chantel

“I wish I had spent less time and money worrying about and buying things that I thought I needed (things people told me I should get based on their experience). i.e bottle sterilizer (a pot of boiling water works the same), breastfeeding pillow (I pumped and used bottles), pack ‘n play (my babies always slept in cribs). These items were expensive and not necessary to buy ahead of time. I would encourage people to wait and see what they need after spending time with baby/babies instead of buying and not being able to return them. You can always order something from Amazon; they delivere fast!” – Sara

“I would have stopped resisting co-sleeping. Every night I felt guilty about it, up to about six months. But my son just wanted to hang out with us, and it was winter, and cold. He’s never been a ‘great sleeper,’ but overall he is healthy and happy and a joy. If, for the first six months, I would have just said to myself, ‘ok, let’s all go to bed together,’ I would have saved myself a lot of stress. But it’s a controversial thing, so I don’t know how I would have done this. There’s so much out there to make you feel badly about even considering co-sleeping.” – Denise

I would have read The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block when I was pregnant instead of while trying to care for a baby.” – Sue

“I would have stressed less about napping. They will sleep when they are tired. I spent so much time trying to put my son to sleep, it was exhausting. I would spend 40 minutes trying to get him to sleep and then he would sleep for 20 minutes. Hardly worth the angst.” – Gudrin

“I did the prenatal classes and I read a lot and it all made breastfeeding sound so natural and easy. I had the mindset that breastfeeding for the first time would be easy. I quickly learned that I was wrong and it was something both myself and my baby needed to learn to do together, and there are hurdles that you may have to overcome. It takes time to learn, and there can be things like low milk supply, clogged ducts, not knowing how much baby eats and never taking a bottle that are all possible outcomes.” – Carrie

“I put a lot of pressure on myself to do things by the book rather than trusting my maternal intuition. What works for one child doesn’t work for every child.” -Julianna

“I would have made more easy, one-handed foods, like mini freezer burritos and samosas. I was ravenous in the early weeks of momhood and I ate my stash in two weeks!” -Alison

Image(s): iStock

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