Twenty-five years ago when I was expecting my first baby, I had no clue what treasures and trials the next years would hold. I’d had little experience with babies and lived a thousand miles from my mom and older (experienced) sisters.
- I didn’t know that if my baby was on four-hour feedings, I didn’t need to wake him up to feed him at 2:00 am. Who knows how long he might have slept that first month if I hadn’t kept waking him up?
- I didn’t know that if he tried to suck on my arm after I nursed him, he was still hungry. It’s a wonder he didn’t suffer malnutrition.
- I didn’t know that a brace to correct club feet should be taken off periodically to avoid blisters. We both ended up crying over that one.
How do you distill 25 years of child-rearing wisdom into one 3×5” card? That was the task for each attendee at a relative’s baby shower today. Each of us was given a card and asked to write a tip or some encouragement for the soon-to-be new mom. Forget distilling 25 years; how do you choose one piece of advice from the thousands of things you learned? Such as:
- Babies cry. A lot.
- Huggies diapers work better than Pampers.
- Dress yourself last when going out with the baby.
- Always keep an extra outfit for the baby in the diaper bag. Always.
- And one for you, too, if it will fit.
I couldn’t decide. There were just too many choices. So this is what I wrote:
Love that baby every day, especially when he or she doesn’t deserve it.
I hope this new mom treasures each quiet, chaotic, slumbering, sleepless, colicky, grinning, freshly bathed and cuddly moment. They grow up way too soon.
What was the best—or worst–advice you received as a new mom?