Any mom will tell you—even if you read all the baby books and take all the classes, the journey through new parenthood is an on-the-fly, messy, trial and error experience. And the best info doesn’t usually come through google—it comes from your mom friends. Which is why we asked ours—what do you wish you had known before leaving the hospital for the first time? (We could have written a book—but picked our ten favorite real-talk tips to start.) If you are a seasoned mama, let us know what you’d add! Know a brand new mama? Forwarding this list might help her get through the week.
1. It’s ok to call yourself a chill mom and also take pictures of your baby’s dirty diapers to run by your pediatrician at the 2-week appointment. (It’s her job hazard—you won’t be the first.)
2. Hold your baby as much as you want. It’s also ok to put baby down while you scarf a few bites of food so you don’t fall asleep standing. His new world is awesome and fun to look at.
3. A cranky baby isn’t like a bad performance review—fuss doesn’t mean you’re screwing up. (Or that baby will always be a stinker.) Their moods change by the minute.
4. Every rule you made in your head about pacifiers and bottles and how close the dog can get to baby’s face will be broken. It’ll all be fine.
5. You’ll want to scream every time someone tells you how fast the newborn phrase flies by because the days feel so. dang. long. You will later tell new mom friends how fast the newborn phrase flies by.
6. One day you’ll find a way to bounce and jiggle baby just so and think you’ve found the answer to crying. The next day it won’t work. ‘One step forward, two steps back’ has never applied more.
7. Your maternity pants will stick around longer than you expected, but mostly because the lack of zippers and buttons make it possible to go to the bathroom in four seconds flat.
8. You’ll ignore the advice to avoid Google and fall into a hole so deep you’re reading advice from a stranger written on a commentary board in 2001. Call your pediatrician, they expect it.
9. You really should take that little burrito out of the house—baby will never be this compact and down to snooze in a crowded restaurant while you sip on wine and feel like a success.
10. Your partner might be your greatest support, but your mom friends will be your lifeline and ticket to sanity.
They get it.