What I Learned During My Baby’s First Year

what I learned during my baby's first yearWhen you have a baby you focus on milestones throughout the first year. Your doctor, family, friends, and the Internet tell you what your baby should be learning at each phase of life. But what do we learn as mommas? Here are some things I learned during my baby’s first year.

  1. Nursing the second time around is so much easier. I have dealt with plugged ducts and a nasty infection from bite marks, but otherwise, it has been great. Latching was so much easier. Understanding what is going on is so much easier. I wish I could go back to nervous, first-time mom me and tell me to chill out about breastfeeding.
  2. Babies are all different with sleep. My son is not the greatest sleeper. He turned 1 this week, and I am still getting up two times at night to nurse. By my daughter’s first birthday, I had enjoyed many restful full nights of sleep. Levi has other plans, however. He naps so much better at home in his crib. Johanna loved to nap in her car seat or in the Boba carrier.
  3. Time is precious. Looking back on the past year, I could cry. I didn’t take advantage of the precious moments with my little boy like I should have. We moved twice during his first year, and many days were filled with tears of frustration, stress, and nerves of having two little ones alone with me. Instead of holding him close and rocking him, many times he had to cry in his crib so I could take care of his sister’s needs. I know I can’t change any of that, but I want to enjoy each moment with him now. I want to look back and remember the giggles and smiles.  It’s okay if laundry piles up or we don’t make it out of our pajamas. Babies don’t keep.
  4. Support from my spouse is a must-have. I am very blessed to be married to a helpful husband. He loves his children and takes pride in taking care of them and being involved in their lives. We moms need support. Whether it’s from your spouse, family, or friends, you need it, momma. We need breaks. It’s okay to take time away. We need our sanity so we can be better moms.
  5. Life without my kids would be so boring. I can’t imagine my life without Levi or Johanna. It’s so hard to remember what I did before them. I do know I was much more rested and fixed my hair more, but those things don’t matter. I can’t imagine a day without their snuggles and smiles.

While I know Levi learned a lot during his first year, I feel like he’s taught me more. He may have learned to crawl, sit up, pull up, and mash up food, but he has taught his momma how to be herself. He has taught me to embrace the extra 5 pounds and just relax. He has taught me to smile when he gets messy in his high chair and not stress over the floor underneath. Most of all, my baby has taught me how to love.

I love you, Levi. Happy 1st birthday from your Momma. Teach on, little man.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana who lives, writes, and loves her kiddos with all of her heart.

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