4 Things That May Not Go As Planned With Your Newborn
Pregnancy and planning go hand in hand. By the time we’re ready to meet baby, we have a pretty clear image in our mind of how things will go. We have purchased all the products we could possibly need and we all feel certain we know EXACTLY how we’re going to care for our baby.
We’ve read all the books and articles. Followed the “mommy chats” on Facebook religiously. We have established an unshakable idea of what is best for our child before we even meet them. If you’ve already welcomed your baby, you know exactly where I’m about to go. If you’re pregnant, this might be a rude awakening…
Odds are, you’re mostly wrong.
Let me explain. It’s not that you can’t make your own choices. You absolutely can and should do what’s best for your baby and no one knows better than you. But there are somethings that you quite simply may not get to control. Babies are people. They’re all unique and they all come hardwired with some of their own ideas about what’s best for them. Perhaps you envisioned yourself taking strolls around the park happily with baby in an organic bamboo wrap. But if your baby decides they hate baby carriers - good luck.
While people will remind you constantly through your pregnancy that your birth plan may not work out, no one tells you that your "parenting plan" can also be flipped upside down. It’s okay to be a little open minded about our plans. It’s okay to realize our original plans won’t work and switch things up. I can’t possibly prepare you for how things will go when your baby arrives but I will tell you 4 major things that you should be prepared to be a bit flexible about.
1. Sleeping Arrangements
This is definitely number one because not only does it often not go as you expected, but it can be a tough pill to swallow when it doesn’t. Everyone is different but the average parent these days is setting up a nursery with a crib and purchasing a bassinet for beside their bed. In theory, your baby will sleep in their bassinet in your room for a while before moving on to the crib.
That was definitely my plan (I actually intended for my son to sleep in a bassinet for the first few months, then his crib in my room until 1 year.) So when I was blessed with a beautiful baby who screamed like crazy if he was expected to sleep anywhere but my chest - it was a bit of a shocker.
I had to quickly change my plan and truthfully, I was scared. I was battling with what is safe and recommended and what my son would tolerate. Sleep is one area you quickly find yourself in survival mode with as well. That’s why it’s important to be a bit open minded and talk with your partner about what options you’re open to if your ideal plan doesn’t pan out.
You don’t want to end up doing something dangerous, like falling asleep holding baby. What ended up working for us was a safety-tested co-sleeper that kept our baby close to me without putting him in danger. He never did like the bassinet but eventually moved on to his crib with little trouble.
2. Baby Gear
As I mentioned before, baby-wearing is all the rage these days and I was all about it. I got a couple different types of carriers to try and it never occurred to me that I would have any trouble. In the first couple months of my son’s life, I used my wrap all the time and he usually slept happily in it. But before he was even 3 months old, he decided he didn’t like being worn much anymore (and he got really heavy, really quickly)
Because I had been so set on baby-wearing, I didn’t have a stroller that worked for a newborn. So I was left scrambling to get one to make outings more bearable for everyone. In hindsight, I would’ve preferred time to carefully shop and pick the best option, instead of whatever we could afford and get quickly.
Diapers and diapers, right? Sadly, nope. Something we did before our son was born was had a diaper party and diaper raffle. We were super well stocked when he arrived and thankfully had different brands to try along the way.
Not all diapers are created equal. Your baby may be more prone to leaks, rashes, or not get a proper fit with certain brands. Along the way, we’ve changed up our diaper brand a few times based on what worked best for our son at each stage. So if you’re going to stock ahead, hold onto receipts and make sure to get a few kinds.
Like diapers, not all soaps are the same. Your baby may be more sensitive to certain kinds of soap. Thanks to my baby shower, I was able to try a ton of different kinds of soap, too. Now I’ve found the one that is best for my baby’s skin, smells great, and isn’t loaded with harsh chemicals.
Try getting “travel” or sample sizes of several brands and testing things out to find your match before commiting to the jumbo value pack of any one brand.
Parenthood is filled with surprises but hopefully this article will help you avoid 4 of the biggest ones in the early days. Remember, you are the best parent for your child. You will make the best plans and choices for them but that doesn’t mean we don’t all fumble around a little from time to time while we work things out. You’ve got this!