The most difficult time when raising a child undoubtedly comes in the first month that they are brought from the hospital. This is when the baby is most dependant on the mom, requiring everything from being fed, changed, all the way to getting held for long moments of time for extra reassurance. It’s certainly a full-time job taking care of a newborn and takes all of the new parents' energy and attention.
Especially if it’s your first baby, you might have some regrets that you wish you could do over when it comes to the first month at home with the baby.
These moms all shared the things they wish they could do differently with their newborn. From taking more time to address their needs, being more forgiving towards themselves, or knowing when to ask for help, these moms reflect back and share what they want other moms to know about raising a newborn.
If anything is for sure, it’s that raising a month-old baby is no easy task. Whether or not you feel well prepared to bring your newborn home, you can expect that it will be full of challenges and surprises. No matter what, don’t be too hard on yourself or stew on the things you regret or wish you could change. You’re doing the best you can, which means you’re being the best mother you can be!
20 That's What Family Is For
Bryn* says that she regrets how she handled her relationship with her mother after giving birth. It sounds like she wishes she’d used it as more of an opportunity to work on their relationship.
“My mom and I have always had a strained relationship. So I think she thought me having a baby would bring us closer together. But I just used it as an excuse to push her more away.
When my younger sister had her baby, it made me realize how much I did want my mom involved in the first few months. I have a lot of regret about how I handled things.”
19 Beauty Comes At A Price
Isabelle* regrets spending so much time and energy on her looks after giving birth, rather than spending that time on her newborn.
“I’ve always struggled with perfectionism over my looks. But it got to a whole new level after we had our daughter. Suddenly I didn’t have the time to put into my normal beauty routine.
I felt ugly and unaccomplished when my hair wasn’t done, no makeup on, and wearing sweats. My obsession got in the way of me enjoying the little moments with my baby. It made me hate the newborn times instead of loving them like other moms.”
18 Oh, The Things You Can Google
Mara* says she often would get freaked out over Googling things, rather than consulting an actual health professional when she thought her baby might be sick.
“I spent too much time Googling things! I was worried over the smallest things- if the baby’s nose looked red, if her poop was a weird color, or even if her breathing sounded weird while she slept. I made myself feel crazier trying to ‘diagnose’ things online.
In the end, nothing I freaked out about turned out to be an issue. And, if I was so worried, I should just go straight to the Doc’s rather than Wikipedia.”
17 What’s In A Name?
Nora* admits she regrets how much stress and pressure she put on herself to pick out the perfect baby name… instead of just getting to know her new bundle of joy!
“The worst thing I did was stress so much about a name! In my state, we have 30 days to name the baby. My husband was confident the name would come to us after getting to know our baby. But I didn’t believe him. Whenever he napped, I was reading baby books to get ideas, instead of catching up on sleep.
I’m pretty sure it made me more worried over everything and second guess the names we liked in the first place.”
16 The Only Child Syndrome
Darcy* says she wishes she had given more attention to her eldest child when she had her second, so there would have been an easier transition for him becoming a big brother.
“I didn’t spend enough time with my firstborn when I had my second child. My 10-year old had a really hard time adjusting to being a big sibling after a decade of being an only child.
I should have made more of an effort to spend one-on-one time with him, rather than expecting him to instantly get used to the new baby.
It made for a lot of difficulties in the future.”
15 Money Makes The World Go Round
Ashley* says that she regrets not properly planning out her family’s finances before welcoming their baby… because it sounds like they spent a lot more than they planned to with their newest addition!
“The biggest regret I have is not planning out our expenses right.
We didn’t properly calculate how much money we’d be spending per month with a new baby, including all the things you need for a newborn (crib, clothes, toys etc.).
We ended up in debt the first year after having a baby. We did things a lot differently with no. 2.”
14 This Is No Home Reno Show
Felicity* says she and her husband regret trying to move into a new house at the same time they brought home their new baby.
“My husband and I fell in love with our dream house while I was still pregnant with our first. With the way everything worked out with the realtors, we would be moving into the house the same month the baby was due. Because we wanted the place so badly, we went ahead and did it.
I’ve never regretted something so much. The month we moved and delivered the baby was the most hectic yet, and not how I wanted to bond with my newborn. Plus I was no help in the move because I was recovering from my C-section.
Don’t move with a new baby!”
13 Sweat Until You Drop
Sarah* says that she had to learn the hard way that losing the baby weight in an unhealthy way will never have good consequences.
“I regret wanting to lose the baby weight so badly. I ended up making myself sick by putting myself on a crazy workout regime and diet. I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time, but I was miserable. It affected my marriage and my ability to enjoy having a new baby.
It took me until my doctor pointed out the health consequences of what I was doing to realize what a mistake I was making. Just lose the weight healthily, even if it takes time.”
12 When The Bar Is Set Too High
Danya* says her biggest regret when having a newborn was putting too many unrealistic expectations on herself.
“I regret having such high expectations for myself. I thought I’d be able to clean the whole house, take care of the baby, and make a home cooked meal plus do everything I wanted to on my maternity leave- read my list of books, start going to the gym regularly, eat a balanced diet.
With a newborn, I had no time for any of those things (except taking care of the baby). I spent too much time being angry at myself rather than accepting my time limits.”
11 You've Got To Speak Up
Claire* acknowledges that she should have been more vocal to her husband about needing help with their newborn.
“I’m so lucky to have a supportive husband. But my problem is that I don’t know when to ask or accept help.
So, when we had a newborn, I was stressed to my limit and feeling in over my head. But whenever he asked me if I needed a hand, I told him I had things under control. Well, it wasn’t so obvious when I called him at work panicking because I couldn’t get our newborn son to sleep.
Moms can’t be afraid to tell people when they’re not handling everything.”
10 All Under One Roof
It sounds like Reagan* wishes she and her partner had moved in beforethe baby was born, not afterward.
“My boyfriend and I were living separately when we got pregnant. The whole pregnancy, he insisted that we should move in together, primarily for when the baby is newborn. But I said it would complicate things.
Actually, trying to figure out the schedule of two adults who don’t live together wen a newborn is involved is more complicated. Living under one roof would have made things so, so, so much easier.
Plus, having the conversation of when we should move in got tougher when we had a baby to consider.”
9 Always Give Things A Second Try
Layla* admits that she wishes she gave breastfeeding another try before completely switching to formula. But, at least when she had her second baby, she was able to have a second try at it.
“I was really discouraged to breastfeed because my baby wouldn’t latch. The nurses helped me do it in the hospital. But when I got home I couldn’t figure it out. It made me so upset I switched him to formula within a month.
When I realized how easy breastfeeding can be with my second, I immediately wished I hadn’t given up so easily.”
8 Cut It Out With The Comparisons
Hayden* warns other moms from spending too much time comparing themselves to others when we’re all in the same boat!
“Don’t ever compare yourself to other moms! All my friends had kids when I had my first, so I couldn’t help but compare myself to other moms. Everything seemed like it came so easy for all of them, which made me feel like I was doing something wrong or it should come more easy or natural for me.
I spent a lot of time beating myself up before realizing that every mom is struggling through the same BS.”
7 The Best Medicine Is Friendship
Gwen* emphasizes the importance of maintaining some sort of social life, even after giving birth.
“I regret telling myself I couldn’t have a social life. Before giving birth, I got it in my head that it would be wrong to go out when I had a baby. I wouldn’t even meet friends for coffee (even if the baby could come) because I thought it wasn’t the motherly thing do to.
It wasn’t until I forced myself to skip my childhood friend’s wedding that I realized moms can have a social life without compromising their kids… the only thing it’ll compromise is their sanity if they DON’T have one!”
6 Just Call Me A Workaholic
Kenya* thought she could balance working part time while taking care of a newborn- boy was she sorely wrong!
“I’m a freelance videographer and thought it would be no problem to continue to work after giving birth.
I knew I’d have to cut down my workload, but I thought I could get things done when the baby naps or when my partner is home from work. The first week with a newborn, though, was a huge shock. I barely had time to eat and shower let alone work.
And when I did have free time, I wanted to spend it sleeping or just watching TV. Moms really do need maternity leave for a reason!”
5 Enjoy The Little Moments
Katie* says that she never addressed her anxiety after giving birth, which caused her to have a difficult experience with her newborn. Yikes!
“I was really stressed when I was a new mother. I thought I was doing everything wrong, had horrible anxiety, and never knew when to ask for help when the baby was acting up.
In the end, not addressing my anxiousness meant I couldn’t enjoy the little moments. I was so relieved when the baby got to be over a year that I didn’t realize until afterward how amazing having a newborn is.”
4 Always Make Time For ‘Me’
Jane* says her biggest regret when having a newborn was that she didn’t schedule in any time for herself, which had a bigger impact than she thought it would.
“I didn’t learn the importance of ‘me time’ until my kids were much older than newborn.
I used to make myself miserable by doing nothing that I wanted to do – not even staying up to watch my favorite show or doing a face mask. I thought everything had to be for the kids, and I was doing something wrong if I wasn’t doing something for my family with my spare time.
I found out in counseling how much good setting apart just a little time for yourself can do.”
3 Nothing To Feel Guilty About
Cecilia* says she regrets allowing herself to feel guilty after she’d given birth, even though she had no reason to feel so. A trip to the doctor sounds like it did her a world of good.
“I allowed myself to feel a lot of mom guilt in the first month. Even if I was spending 2 minutes away from the baby to shower or eat something, I felt guilty. I couldn’t’ hear the baby cry without bursting into tears.
It took me a long time to discuss it with my doctor (too long), but turns out I was going through mild post-partum, and it could have gotten worse if I didn’t address it when I did.”
2 The Mom Vs. The Mess
Raquel* admits that she spent too much energy worrying about the state of her house after giving birth, rather than spending time with her baby.
“I have OCD and part of my obsession is keeping the house clean. I seriously get agitated when something like a coaster is out of place.
The biggest challenge of having a newborn was not being able to keep the house how I wanted it. I had huge breakdowns about the house not being clean. My husband even hired a maid, but then I had problems with how she was doing things.
In the end, I realize the problem was my control issues, not the fact that the house was a bit messier than usual.”
1 It Takes A Village To Raise A Kid
Lauren* admits she wishes her husband would have taken maternity leave, too, when she gave birth to their third child.
“My husband asked me a few times while I was pregnant if he wanted me to take maternity leave, too (we already had a 3 and 5-year old at that point). We didn’t need the extra income, but I thought I could handle everything on my own.
Oh, boy did I come to regret it when we took baby no. 3 home. Having three young kids was a bigger challenge than I imagined. It would have been so great to have him home to help the entire time.”
*Names have been changed.