Being a mom is quite daunting for the first few months. It's like you land on a new job which you are not qualified for and you have no experience in it, and to make it worse, you have a needy boss who expects you to perform and bring in results from day one. It's no wonder that we end up being slaves to google and babycenter becomes our new bible. In between, you make a hell lot of mistakes and of course you learn a lot too. Looking back at the first year of being a parent, I think there were many silly things over which I lost quite many nights of sleep, namely-
1. Baby sleep
Before having my son, I was a sleep freak. There was nothing I loved more than sleeping and that's why I think I got a pretty bad sleeper as my son. (Murphy's law you see) I was desperate to get sleep and it's actually ironic that when my baby slept, instead of sleeping, I used to google about how to get baby to sleep through night.
I now realise it's futility. Baby sleeps when they want to sleep and you will never stumble upon any miracle on Google that could help your baby sleep through night.
If it's on the floor, it has to go into his mouth. I was so freaked about it and the bacteria, virus and germs that would attack my precious son. Would he end up sick with infections, diarrhoea? And what if he doesn't give up this disgusting habit!!!
But so far, no harm has come out of it and there might be a chance that his immunity is better because of it. And of course he is now old enough to know what's ok to mouth and what's not.
3. Having solids
Though I started introducing solids to my son right from 6 month on, he wasn't quite interested and stuck on to breastmilk till he was around 8 month old. In these two months, I was quite worried. Would my son get enough nutrition? Would he gain weight? Would he end up being a breastmilk baby forever? Gosh. Silly me. Not only is he healthy, he now breastfeeds only to sleep and, touchwood, eats well too.
4. Sucking thumb
This was the worst. Just like every other baby, as soon as he discovered his hands, it ended up being dank in his mouth. I had the illogical fear that the would keep sucking the thumb even when he goes to kindergarten? I put mittens in his hands, which he would adeptly pull out start sucking his hands and mouth the mitten too. Of course once he got bored, he gave it up without my coercing.
5. Grunting and growling
I used to sleep with my son alone in a room while my husband used another room so that at least one person would be functional in the morning. So at two weeks when he started grunting and growling, I was freaking out. Is he possessed? Though our paediatrician assured that it is common, I still googled like a maniac searching for a solution. Well, it did not take more than 2 weeks for him to give up the habit on his own.
You know how the vaccination book contains a milestone, weight and height chart. I was addicted to it for the initial 6 months of my baby's life.
He smiled at 2 weeks. Oh he is a fast picker.
He cooed at 3 weeks. He is on time.
Oh my god! He has not rolled by 4 months. Does he have a developmental delay? Any trouble with the motor skills?
You might be judging that I am a psycho. If you are not, I certainly am.
7. Breastfeeding alarm
Though in the initial days, my son himself was my breastfeeding reminder that religiously rang every hour, after a while, when the frequency of his feeding dropped, I started putting a 2 hour alarm for feeding him. In fact I think on a few occasions I tried force feeding him too. Finally, my brother ( an experienced dad with two kids) shouted, " YOUR BABY IS NOT AN IDIOT! HE WILL CRY IF HE IS HUNGRY GODDAMNIT!!!"
I needed that to come to good sense.
8. Potty training
That should have been the last thing in my mind. I never had an intention to potty train my son till he was at least 9 months. But a few mothers around me told how they started elimination communication training from birth and their kids were out of diapers by their first birthday. And that it's difficult to potty train them once they grow up.
You see, I was a first time mom, I was naive enough to think that they were true and I had done a great sin by not starting potty training from birth.
9. Holding too much
Everyone told me that my son would be spoilt and become a brat if I held him too much or if I attended to his cried too quickly. Everyone said I should not heed to his tantrums and should instil discipline from the beginning itself. Well, I now realise I didn't have to worry about it because they will turn out a brat anyway.
On hindsight, I was a pretty freaked out, over-concerned, uptight mom. I think most first time moms are that way. After all, you only want the best for your child, but you are not sure what is the best.