My City Woman's blog on what to expect when you are starting a family

Having your first baby – 10 Things To Expect

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestone in any woman’s lifetime. It is a special moment especially if it’s your first child. You expect fun, laughter and happiness ever after. You visualise the smiling face of a small baby, and all things cute and nice.

I do not deny any of the above. Except for the fact that having a baby is a full time job and responsibility. A responsibility that becomes greater than the household, husband, job and not to even dare mention yourself. I detail here the practical things to expect when having your first child:

1.Feeding the baby –

First and foremost, from the moment the child is brought into this world, feeding the baby becomes a chore. You would have paediatric feeding specialist, your gynaec and the nurses fussing over it and asking a zillion questions –  is the feed enough, how many times are you feeding the baby? Is the baby latching on to you properly? The correct posture to feed your baby; Are you experiencing any pains and the consequent ways of alleviating them… Indeed, feeding the little soul who would just take in a spoonful of feed every time from you becomes the world!

2.Sleepless nights –

A new born can sleep up to 18 hours in a day. But they have to be fed at regular intervals. Besides, for the initial first two months their sleep cycle is not settled. This means that they do not know that night is meant for sleeping and day is meant for playing. You may most  likely find yourself with a baby who keeps snoozing during the day and is playful at night. He is also asking for you to keep him company! You may already be exhausted from feeding him during the day. Expect no break from the schedule at night.  New mothers often see their days turn into nights and vice versa.

3. A truckload of baby clothes –

A newborn or an infant need loads of clothes. If you are using cloth diapers during the day, the pile of clothes is going to multiply even more. They spill and puke and dirty their bibs, their shirts and tees all the time. There needs to be a dedicated help only to keep changing their clothes!

4.Crying baby –

This is one of the most intriguing question for a new mother – “why is my baby crying?” They may cry when they are hungry. If you have just fed them, they may not be hungry. Then maybe they want to be taken out. Out, but still crying. Okay, so you sing to them or show them a toy. Maybe still crying! Maybe he is colic. For handing colic child, another article needs to be written! Indeed, soothing a crying baby is a huge task in itself.

5.Expectation from husband –

Husbands find themselves in a sticky situation. They need to be supportive of their wives who are still recovering from childbirth; at the same time, take care of the little one. They may not even know how to hold the just-born for a start. I am sure the fatherly instincts take over eventually, but for a woman, it is the time they need their husbands the most.

6.Post-partum depression –

A new mother often finds herself turn into a bundle of nerves. She is over emotional for no reason, irritable and sad. Most mothers go through this phase for the initial first two weeks post delivery and sometimes even longer. For more on this, read here.

7.Truck load of advice –

Be prepared to get truck load of advice pouring in from everyone around you. From your in-laws, from nannies, your mom, your neighbours, from the lady next to you in the queue in the supermarket –  everyone would be trying to teach you something on how to raise the newborn. You would learn to trust your instincts and take those “unsolicited advice” in your stride eventually. Initially though, its may freak you out.

8.It takes a village to raise a child! –

No sooner have you had a baby, you would need help from nannies, your mom, mom in law, husband and so on. Your single days are long gone and you would find yourself surrounded by people, at least for the first few weeks.

9.No me-time anymore –

The small child really keeps everyone busy. This is extremely demanding on mothers – you may not be able to just break for coffee or go out shopping or call a friend over. The baby’s schedule would have to be considered all the time in case you want to plan something for yourself.

10.No intimate time any more –

You may find yourself talking to your husband on how many times the baby has pooped during the day, how the baby spilled the food that day during lunch time and so on. You would have to drag your mind off the small one and with great effort try to bring back romance back into your life.

This is not an exhaustive list. I am sure there is more to it. Let us know in the comments if you feel I am still missing something here!

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