I walked into Seed, they had these cute as heck newborn Christmas outfits and I started to cry. This was the first sign that my baby was turning one as this time last year, my newborn was wearing these outfits. You see, I knew his birthday was coming, but I didn’t realise it would be a bigger deal to me than I had originally thought.
The second sign was when all of Freddie’s pants in size 0 became peddle-pushers on him and I had to open the ‘1-2yo clothes’ tub I had from his older brothers.
Freddie turning One was a day full of tears, of love and remembering the first year we had together. Here are my thoughts on the first year of having a baby…
10 best things during the first year with a baby
- The very first moment you meet the little human that you created. For me, I had three different ‘first moments’ with my three boys, which I have detailed in my birth stories (HERE). Meeting Freddie was not exactly the emotional state I wished I was in, but that first day, with my baby, regardless of my emotions/anxiety it was still one of the most amazing days in my entire life and will be forever.
- Bringing your baby home from hospital. Although the hospital was one of my favourite parts of birth, coming home and settling in was so warming for me. Everything I had been setting up during the pregnancy for the arrival of my baby was all here and ready for him. My friend and I always joke that when you come home from hospital, you basically live on the couch, you set up your own little nook with a table to put your glass of water on, some sort of baby guide book close by, bibs, a nappy changing station to your left, YouFoodz empty containers to your right and the bassinet in front of you, you really don’t need to move, just make sure you have a bell to ding when you need someone to fetch you some more water.
- Seeing your baby smile for the first time is one pretty special time and you would be forgiven if you thought your baby smiled during the first two weeks, but what you later find out, that yes, it was a smile, but more of a sleep or fart smile. A true smile is when they light up because they recognise their mummy’s face.
- When your older children meet their baby brother or sister for the first time is definitely one of the most heart melting moments you will ever experience in your life. Look, even if the littlest child wants you to put the baby back in your tummy and leave it in the hospital, you know how special their bond will be one day, and these beautiful/funny/crazy memories and comments during their first meet, will be engrained in your mind when they are adults and moved out of home.
- The moments alone with your tiny little baby, whether it is sitting on that couch you have been slothing on for weeks, in your bed or on your feeding chair, holding them whilst they sleep is the most beautiful thing. You might be breastfeeding them and the rest of the house is asleep and although it’s your fourth time waking up, that skin to skin and the silence is absolute bliss.
- The milestones, hearing your baby laugh for the first time, seeing them start to move, roll, sit up or crawl is the first time you will be proud of them, with many more proud moments to follow over their journey into adulthood.
- I loved breastfeeding and although my intentions were to feed Freddie for closer to a year, I didn’t quite reach three months. I remember learning to feed my first son Aston in the hospital but not really getting the hang of it, despite the many different fingers of the midwives, prodding and squeezing and essentially hurting me to get him on, still a memory. Then with my second Will, we kind of just ‘got it’ and fed beautifully and then the same with Freddie, after hours of not being able to hold him after my caesarean and my anxiety, I finally had him on me, skin to skin and I felt so many things- loved, nervous, important, scared, special, tired, unsure, whole.
- How cute was your tiny baby? Their tiny little feet and toes and their hands, Freddie had big monkey hands and limbs for that matter but he was still small. Seeing them grow bigger and bigger and they go from skinned rats (as my step dad would say) to squishy little cuddly bears. My kids didn’t really have ‘rolls’ (I sure did, I was totally a sumo baby) but when you see a baby with chubby thighs! Ah! The cutest!
- Giggling and babbling babies will put a smile on anyone’s face, those cute little sounds are adorable, right up until the following year when they learn the word no. Enjoy the babble.
- Watching them sleep is absolute bliss. Freddie has never been a great sleeper so seeing him sleep is the most beautiful thing. I recently wrote a blog (HERE) post on how frustrating it can be for a parent when they just can’t seem to do anything to get their kids to sleep, but, what they do know, is when they finally close their eyes and drift off, your shoulders relax, your face warms and all you see is your precious little darlings face all smooshed up against you with a halo around his head.
10 not so cool things during the first year with a baby
- Even after having your third child, you say “I don’t know what to do” or “I forgot what to do”. This was me, three times over and re-learning how many sleeps they need, when to feed them, how long for, when to drop a feed, what to give them for solids, all that starts from scratch again and you are trying to figure it all out.
- One story we love retelling and laughing about in our house is the time Will projectile poo’d on Aston and Aston was so shocked with what had happened, he ran into the laundry and didn’t want to ever come out. Safe to say they both stayed away when I changed Freddie’s nappies during his first year. I never had a projectile spewer, but I hear they are pretty crappy too.
- The juggling of the three or any multiple children is not easy. I found that the jump from 1-2 is fine but 2-3 was a lot harder because as the bigger ones get bigger, yes, they can do things for themselves but they still need you to do more. Boys are always hungry, if they are all home with you, you are constantly feeding them and if you don’t, they won’t stop telling you they are hungry until you do, so essentially, the baby will have to wait until the big kids are taken care of. Then there is the bottom wiping, keeping them entertained, taking them to school, kinder or activates and of course all else that needs to be done at home. If I can give any advice, invest in a trampoline, they can go outside and have quality play while you attend to the baby or other things you have to do.
- Finding me time is pretty much impossible unless you call in or have help and also allow yourself to have the time. I sacrificed a lot in Freddie’s first year, including seeing or catching up with friends, getting to a physio to fix my pelvic floor, exercise and any other ‘me’ time things. Hey, its ok, but if you are one who loves your time to yourself, it can take some adjusting at first but eventually you will have things fall into place.
- No one, is 100% happy in their body after having a baby, yes, even super skinny women who don’t look like they just had a child still have feelings and as each of us are all so different, so are our bodies. It is a very emotional time in many ways and it is easy to get down on yourself. You are not alone and it is ok. It is ok to be sad, to be frustrated because you can’t wear your dress you saved for a special occasion after having your baby because you haven’t lost your weight yet. I wrote a blog post on this topic you can read (HERE) and essentially, you must remember, your health and the health of your baby is the most important, you grew a human, you brought a human into the world that is pretty special.
- Freddie has been a terrible sleeper and I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in forever. The lack of sleep is hard, I find I am grouchier and I take myself to bed as soon as he is asleep just to get a head start on some quality sleep, which in turn means I am missing out on quality tv shows! Have we had a Bachelor season this year yet????
- Food or milk refusal is so sucky, it’s up to you to keep these little people safe and alive, but if they don’t drink or eat, how are you supposed to do that??? Aren’t they hungry? Don’t they know how long it took to figure out what to puree, how to puree and how to keep their clothes from getting soiled? You will wake up starving in one hour, little child, if you don’t drink/eat this now!
- Boob battle, this might not apply to everyone but there was always a time when something funky was going on with my boobs. They were either hard as rocks, they had mastitis, they had thrush, I had no milk, I had not enough milk, I couldn’t keep up, I had cracked nipples, my milk was always quirting the person next to me, always something crazy going on.
- As the babies grow, two things happen, they get mobile and they start to fall a lot and their older siblings think they are bigger than they actually are and they start to get rough with them, all essentially ending in injuries and tears. Freddie has had his fair share of bumps, falls, pushes, finger jams and everything else and I am forever saving him. As he is my third, I know when it is serious and when it is a ‘nawww you’re ok baby’ situation, but it really, never gets easy seeing a little fella topple off a couch.
- They grow, and they don’t stop growing and there are two times you notice this. When they turn one and you look back at all the milestones they did in just one year and then when they start school and you blink and they go from grade prep to year two in a flash.