Mantras for Surviving the First 6 Months of My Baby’s Life

3 Aug

I’m starting this post with a disclaimer. Please do not interpret my comments as parenting ‘advice’. This is just my experience. Everyone parents differently and every baby is unique.  

We made it! We have survived for the first 6 months of our second little girl’s life. When I say ‘we’, I’m talking about me, my husband, our two year old daugther, and of course our gorgeous little bubba. It’s been a test, and a delight, for all of us. I think I went into motherhood for a second time assuming (wrongly) that it would all be a lot easier than the first. It wasn’t. Easier is not the right word. I still think the first six months of any baby’s life are challenging. But it’s been a happier experience, if that makes sense.

The first time, I relied a lot of books about routines and following rules to establish good habits. I know they work for some people, and that’s great. But they did my head in. My baby did not always behave according to ‘the book’. This time, I did things a little differently. Instead of trying (and usually failing) to control my baby’s routine, I decided to take charge of what I knew I could control – my own attitude and behaviour. For instance, both of my little girls have been serious catnappers. With my first daughter, I spent hours trying to re-settle her in the cot, as per ‘the book’s advice, rocking and patting till we were both beside ourselves with exhaustion. With baby number 2, I just tried to accept it. If she woke up, I might try re-settling for a minute or two, but if she was wide awake, I just got her up. It made us both happier.  

In relation to my attitude to it all, I found myself saying the statements below on a regular basis – not in a meditative kind of way – they were thoughts that kept popping into my head on a regular basis. They just made me feel better about my baby and how I was caring for her.  

1) You can’t spoil a little baby too much
2) Remember the smiles and try to forget the tears
3) I will get a full night’s sleep again – at some point
4) Life will get easier – I only have to look at my 2 year old to know that
5) Babies cry because they’re either tired, hungry, have a dirty nappy, need a cuddle, or are sick – when in doubt as to the precise cause of the crying, then treat her for all five options
6) Listen to advice but realise this – no-one knows my baby like I and my husband do
7) This first six months can only last six months – in the grand scheme of life – it’s a blip
8) Trust your instincts
9) Happy baby = happy mummy and vice versa. Therefore, pretty much anything that promotes happiness in either Mum or bub is a good thing.
10) A bad habit can be broken almost as quickly as it is formed


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