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A Guide To Having A New Baby

A new baby? What could be better?! Whether you brought them into the world, fostered them, or welcomed them into your hearts and home through the miracle of adoption, a new baby is one of the most life-changing things anyone could ever experience.

At City Moms Blog Network, we want to celebrate this milestone with you.  We want to celebrate the good, the bad, and the flat out UGLY with you (because we all know that it can get ugly sometimes!).  Thank you to our sister sites for contributing these pieces on new motherhood; we hope that the posts help you feel uplifted, celebrated, and most importantly, LESS ALONE.

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed For Your Newborn

There are just so many cool things out there for babies. We did our research to figure out what we really needed and what would be some more “fun” items. (I’m looking at you wipe warmer!)  While all the items we received are great, there are a few things I didn’t realize we would need until our baby arrived.

Dear New Mama:  A Letter of Encouragement from My Future Self

When you look in the mirror after a sleepless night, with a full day facing you- see beyond the dark circles and foggy mind. See beyond the task of the day. Know that you are compassionate. You are a leader. You get what needs to get done, done. You are brave. You are wise. You are you, and that is what makes you the best mom for your young child.

The Joy of Being Surprised with My Baby’s Gender

When my baby was born, the very first thing I heard was my husband announcing, “Oh my gosh! It’s a boy!” My heart just about burst. It was the best moment of my life. It was also probably one of the most romantic moments of my relationship. Hearing that we had a baby boy from my husband, instead of an ultrasound tech who I had just met, made it that much more special.

I Loved the Baby More

So in the meantime I will try to soak up every snuggle, and pour every ounce of love I am able into them. During this last month, I will try to slow down and take my time with them. Fill their tanks with enough extra care and attention to get us through those difficult first months of baby. When she arrives I will try to lean on my village for my boys’ sake, arranging dates for them with grandparents, friends, and family. I will remind my guilty heart that, in time, it will all even out. And I will try to open up my cocoon enough to let them in as well, because they, too, will be falling in love.

The Best Baby Gifts (We Never Asked For!)

I created a baby registry of carefully selected, must-have baby items. Our list was minimal compared to most, and we were fortunate to receive (or buy ourselves) everything. That being said, for both of our babies, we also received a lot of non-registry gifts. Most were clothes and blankets (seriously, so many!), some were returned/exchanged/donated, and a handful made this list of the best baby gifts we never asked for!

Things I’d Tell My Postpartum Self

I remember struggling with everything and often failing to leave the house while on maternity leave. I recall feeling like a bad friend who didn’t respond to messages and texts. I hated the way I looked and felt. My house was a mess and I was a bigger mess. The only thing that kept me going was my sweet little babe.

It Takes a Village

At one point, I remarked to my husband that women in Uganda made raising a newborn look so easy. It took me awhile to pinpoint exactly why, and finally I realized, that it looks easy, because so many Ugandan women have their village to rely upon.

The Hardest Parts About Being a New Mom

He’s eating again? Didn’t you just change him? Is he sleeping through the night yet?  He isn’t crawling? Why don’t you give him some rice cereal in his bottles?  Geesh, people, just give a compliment and talk about the weather!!!!

Feeling Lonely in Mesh Underwear

I vividly remember the first months of motherhood being so lonely for me. My son was born in late December, my husband wasn’t able to take any time off work, and I had no idea what I was doing as a new mother. To complicate matters, I also had this package of hospital issued mesh underwear and phone book-size pads that I was supposed to be using.

A New Mom’s Guide to Blowouts (And We’re NOT Talkin’ Hair!)

If there’s one thing I know since becoming a mother, it’s that in three short months I have become a blowout expert. Unfortunately, I am not talking about hair. That particular skill I have yet to master. You see, my adorable son is not a normal pooper. Every bowel movement is an extravagant and dramatic event.

Baby’s First Year:  A User’s Guide

Parenting is not 50-50. This lesson stung for a long time. I thought that once the baby was out of me and in the real world, my husband and I would share the responsibility right down the middle. The truth is, at least in the first year, that moms do more.

Overwhelmed & Anxious:  My First Weeks of Motherhood

I wasn’t prepared for how much pain I was in or the emotional roller coaster I found myself riding. My husband rocked our son, changed every diaper, stayed by his side for every poke and procedure, handed him to me to breastfeed and took him from me when we were done. But me? I laid in that bed with lots of tears and an overwhelming sense that my life was very different and it didn’t feel like a good change.

Toss the Books and Trust Yourself:  Anxiety in New Moms

Every author of newborn parenting books thinks they have ‘discovered’ the right way to raise a newborn. Their method is the best and nothing else will do. The truth is that every baby is different. Those first few months are just about surviving for both you and your newborn. No book is going to tell you the most important (and most basic) advice: trust your instincts, call your mom, and ask for help.

Why Do the Snuggles End So Quickly?

Why is it that the 40 weeks of carrying said little human, all the while preparing for them and anxious to meet them, seems to DRAG on? I thought I would be pregnant forever. But from the moment I heard his first cry, time sped up.

Colic: Your Path to Enlightenment

I knew that colic was not my fault. But here’s the rub: It doesn’t matter what you know, intellectually, to be true. All the scholarly research in the world can’t make the crying stop and while your newborn is seething in torment, you are bound by a hundred thousand years of evolution to feel responsible for it.

First Time Mom (Again!):  10 Things I Googled

I’ve done the newborn thing three times already! She would be a piece of cake. Right? Wrong. You see, there are almost 12 years between my oldest and youngest, and almost a seven-year gap between my two youngest. I was in for a rude awakening.

Dear New Mama: A Letter of Encouragement from My Future Self 

When you look in the mirror after a sleepless night, with a full day facing you- see beyond the dark circles and foggy mind. See beyond the task of the day. Know that you are compassionate. You are a leader. You get what needs to get done, done. You are brave. You are wise. You are you, and that is what makes you the best mom for your young child.

Never the Same: A Letter to My Sister Before the Birth of Her First Baby

And now in a few short days comes the next step. This baby of yours that has been long-awaited, given a silly nickname and prayed for daily will make his entrance. Your life is about to change, in so many ways. You are about to change even more.

The Postpartum Message You NEED to Hear

Motherhood can have many blissful, joyful, meaningful moments. Being a mommy can also have plenty of stressful, worrisome, intense moments. If you feel yourself being weighed down by the darker scenarios, it’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you. It is hard to have your life flipped upside down, to see less of your friends and less of yourself. Not to mention that you are sleep deprived and super hormonal. Who wouldn’t be overwhelmed?

Newborn Notes:  What REALLY Happens When You Bring Baby Home

Even though my oldest boys are seven and five, it feels like a lifetime ago that they were tiny little infant babies. I vaguely recall the struggles of their first few months, but with the foggy clarity that one might remember a childhood vacation or a dream from six months ago. Over the last four weeks though, we have all been jolted back to the reality of life with a newborn.

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