Top Ten Things No One Told Me About Having A Newborn

October 25, 2011

When you’re pregnant, everyone is bursting at the seams with advice; how to eat, how to sleep, how to exercise, how to tell the sex of the baby, how to avoid looking like a beached whale. And it doesn’t stop once the baby arrives. People love to offer their two cents, which I appreciate, except I feel like there were some some major things missing.

What I heard: Babies are hard, babies are messy, babies are cute, babies are tiring.

What I didn’t hear: You will lose all your hair and accidentally pee your pants.

I feel like that’s pretty important, no?

Here’s a list of the top ten things I wish I’d been told. Happy Tuesday.

1) Point the peep down. For some reason no one tells you that when you’re changing a boy’s diaper, you have to point that sucker down or else get soaked. Maybe it was general knowledge, but I had no idea what to do with a tiny baby peep.

2) Don’t buy newborn clothes because everyone else will buy them for you. Waylon has piles and piles of clothes he never wore. Piles. Actually, maybe I should change it to don’t buy anything. This is a baby, not a space alien. It doesn’t need half the crap you think it does. Major necessities include plenty of spit rags, a comfortable chair to nurse, and a swaddling blanket.

3) Breastfeeding is a commitment. Learn how to do it lying down. When Waylon was born I was determined to keep him in his room all night long. The problem with this is that at 3am, sitting in a rocker for a half hour is brutal. The best way I can explain it is this: Let’s say you are required to get up four times a night to hold a watermelon. You can either a) sit in a chair and hold the watermelon or b) lay beside the watermelon and keep sleeping. The choice is obvious.

4) You will lose your hair and it is totally gross. I literally pull out handfuls of hair every day. It’s all over the sink, the floor, the couch, our baby. Lately I’ve taken to keeping a lint roller beside the bed so I can sleep without ending up with a mouthful of hair. I don’t know how I’m not bald. 

5) You will lose your mind. You lose all sorts of things post baby; your keys, your phone, your wallet, your general mental capacities. Why? Because you are very busy not losing your baby. So tell your husband to relax when you forget to buy floss for the third week in a row. Maybe also mention that not flossing for a few days won’t kill you (Austin).

6) Pooping is terrible. It’s no secret that labor and delivery hurts, but where was the pamphlet on how much worse it is to waddle around for weeks afterwards with a sore front and rear? I know I’ve talked a lot (too much?) about post-baby pooping, but it’s no joke. It is worse than pushing out a 7 lb. infant, especially if you’re in constipation station and have fissures or hemorrhoids.

7) Just say no. Babies are chick magnets. Everyone wants to visit the baby, hold the baby, talk to the baby, kiss the baby. The problem is that you are a sleep deprived, hormonal mess who just had the most painful poo ever. Give yourself a break. Don’t play host unless you are up to it. Don’t feel bad about cancelling at the last second. Don’t feel bad about asking people to leave. Don’t feel bad about crying in front of your husband’s cousin’s wife who just wanted to drop off a casserole.

8) You might want to start lifting weights because that car-seat is heavy. Admittedly, I lack basic arm strength. But seriously car-seat makers? Why does that thing have to weigh so much? You are breaking my back.

9) Sleep When The Baby Sleeps is total crock, especially if you were planning to ever do laundry, dishes, or feed and bathe yourself again. The time when your baby is napping is precious. Sacred. Sleeping through it is impossible if you want to get anything accomplished. My advice? Put the whole family on the same bedtime.

10) You will always be late. I am a prompt person. I don’t like being late and I don’t like when other people are late. This all went out the window when Baby Baer arrived. Not only am I late to everything, I’m really late and probably forgot my wallet.

It all comes with the territory, I just wish I’d known.

***

Similar on Motley Mama: Top Ten Best & Worst Things About Being Pregnant

34 thoughts on “Top Ten Things No One Told Me About Having A Newborn

  1. karen

    i wish i could have nursed while laying down. why was i cursed with no boobies? WHY?! I mean, I was nipples on a stick. How there was milk in there, I’ll never know. Sigh. I hear they make these little covers for boy parts. maybe i heard that from you…don’t remember. :)

    Reply
  2. Zoe

    I’ve pulled hair out of my babies’ butt holes. And green beans. Num num!
    I had to be told to point the peep down, too. Sorry. Shoulda warned ya.

    Reply
  3. Amanda Culen

    #4: SO that’s what going on!!?? I’ve noticed the same thing, but never made the connection it’s from having a baby. You think I would know by now, almost everything different going on is a result of my baby. Even my moles have changed! Which the dermatologist says, “Happens after you have a baby”.

    I just googled postpartum hair loss to find out why. If you’re curious….

    Many new moms are surprised to find themselves shedding more hair than usual in the first few months after giving birth, but it’s perfectly normal. And there’s no need to panic: You won’t go bald. In fact, your hair should be back to normal by your baby’s first birthday.

    Here’s what’s going on. Normally, about 85 to 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing and the other 5 to 15 percent is in a resting stage. After the resting period, this hair falls out — often while you’re brushing or shampooing it — and is replaced by new growth. An average woman sheds about 100 hairs a day.

    During pregnancy, increased levels of estrogen prolong the growing stage. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so you have thicker, more luxuriant tresses.

    After you give birth, your estrogen levels take a tumble and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage. Soon you’ll have more hair coming out in the shower or on the brush. This unusual shedding will taper off and your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness about six to 12 months after you give birth.

    Reply
  4. Amy

    These are all so true!! I knew about the hair loss, but never thought about when it grows back in! Now 15 mo. later I have this “frame” of 2″ long hair around the temple area of my hair line. They stick out funny & get frizzy when it rains. My hairdresser actually asked me “what happened here?” She thought I had a child at home who got to me with the scissors! :( She gave me some shorter layers to allow things to *hopefully* even things out. The top of my list would be that breastfeeding IS HARD (esp. in the beginning!!). Friends/family warned me about everything under the sun related to pregnancy, induction, labor, c-sections…(interestingly, I experienced all of those with one baby!), but nobody prepared me for how physically difficult & painful it is when you first start!

    Reply
  5. Fay

    It wasn’t until my kids were grown that I started to actually enjoy things like the grocery store again. Kids are so distracting. I could never remember soap. Once my husband washed with dish washing detergent!

    Reply
  6. Katie B.

    I’m still losing all my hair. But I think at 18 months postpartum it can’t be my excuse anymore, so I’ll blame the weight loss. But, yea. Most of these are accurate in my book too. Except the point the peen down thing…since, well, I have a girl.

    Reply
  7. Bec

    1. Oh so true, Kate. So true.
    3. Agreed! Especially in the early weeks when baby wakes up so often.

    Something I didn’t know? That my jaw would shift and slightly change shape. I used to wear a mouthgaurd at night (so attractive!), but after I got pregnant and had Sam…it didn’t fit anymore!

    Reply
  8. margo

    so very very true! And it never occurred to me that my baby wouldn’t really love me for a while, that it would be a one-way relationship and my baby was just in it for survival. I felt so different when my aunt mentioned that (my daughter was at least a few months old). I have so much more fun now that I have a real give-and-take relationship with my kids.

    Reply
  9. Erin

    I acquired a lot of extra hair during my pregnancies.

    But then it NEVER FELL OUT. ? !

    So now I’m just a tired woman with three times the normal amount of hair.

    I look awesome.

    Reply
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  13. Shantel

    Even after all of your warnings about post labor poo, and 4 hours to push out my 8 lb 4 oz. baby girl. nothing can prepare you for how awful that first poo truly is, thanks for the warning though – I appreciate it!

    Reply
  14. Erin

    I really wish someone would have warned me about hair loss. I thought I was going crazy until I read about a celebrity complaining about her own hair loss. I cried for a very long time.

    Reply
  15. Kay

    I recently turned twenty and on my birthday I found out I’m pregnant. All of these things sound terrifying…… but thanks for the advanced notice ladies!

    Reply

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