7 surprises parents discover in baby’s first year

Startling things new parents wish someone had alerted them to before baby arrived…

7-surprised-parents-discover-in-baby's-first-year-1
No matter how extensively you’ve prepped for this life-changing event, or how ready you think you are to handle an infant, caring for a new baby always catches new parents off guard.

You will be thrown head-first into this unknown world where you will encounter many unexpected situations and emotions you just haven’t prepared for. Read on to discover some of the surprises you’re in for!

1. You might not fall in love with your baby immediately
We’re all too familiar with that labour ward scene in movies where a new mum bursts into tears of joy when the nurse passes her that little squirming bundle to cradle. While it’s true most parents will be thrilled to meet their tiny baby after gruelling hours of labour, don’t panic if you don’t feel this way! Everyone reacts differently, and it is perfectly normal not to feel excitement when you are exhausted, sweaty and sticky from hours of labour. Give it a few days hours (or days)...

2. How much you can love another person
You’ll also be surprised at how intensely you can love someone you have only just met. You are willing to give up everything just to see him happy and healthy, and how fiercely you want to protect him. You’ll realise just why it’s said that there’s nothing stronger than a parent’s love for their child.

3. You might not always feel happy
You might be psyched into believing that motherhood is a blissful experience, and that you should feel happy 24/7 with your child. But the reality is, it’s not easy having to suddenly make room in your life for that demanding little someone, so it is okay to feel down and stressed sometimes. It is extra hard when your little sprout starts crying and fussing. No matter how many parenting books you have read, it is natural to feel lost sometimes. We are all humans after all. But don’t worry, things will get better after a while, especially when you get used to having an extra person counting on you.

However, if you are still feeling down and depressed three weeks after delivery, make sure to check with your doctor that you are not suffering from postpartum depression.

It’s not easy having to suddenly make room in your life for that demanding little someone, so it is okay to feel down and stressed sometimes.

4. You’ll get nervous and fret over the simplest things
What if I’m not good enough to be a parent? What if my baby is too warm, or too cold? What if I can’t earn enough to support my family? Oh no, baby just sneezed. Has bubba got a lung infection? What if my baby grows up to be a brat?

When you start worrying about everything under the sun ― your parenting abilities, your baby’s health, your financial status, and even ridiculous things like what if your kid hates your favourite food, all this overthinking can drive you up the wall. It might not be easy, but try not to stress out over small little things. Take breaks during the day to calm down and relax, and make sure to take care of your own health, too.

7-surprised-parents-discover-in-baby's-first-year-2

​​​​​​​5. You’ll find yourself needing to depend on others more
If you are an independent person who doesn’t like relying on others, now’s a good time to lean on others for support. Being a mum is stressful, and asking your parents, family members or friends for help when needed can really give you some downtime to recharge your batteries. Plus, your parents would love seizing the opportunity to spend time with their precious grandchild, since this would let them bond with them. It’s a win-win!

Maintaining friendships or relationships of any sort requires effort, honesty, patience and compromise.

6. Your relationships will change
Your baby will take up majority of your attention and time, especially in the first few months. Thus you might not be able to go out for date nights with your spouse as often as you used to, or get the chance to meet friends for drinks and meals. At the same time, you will also meet new parents like you and start spending more time with them since you have common interests.

Maintaining friendships or relationships of any sort requires effort, honesty, patience and compromise. On top of having to nurse your little champ, you will need to put in some work to keep your spouse happy as well. But don’t worry, the people that truly matter in your life will understand, so you should be able to work something out.

7. You will also change
Your attention and priority will focus mainly little bubba now, which means you’ll have less time for yourself. So, you’ll find yourself adjusting your meal and sleep times to accommodate your baby, acquiring more patience, as well as learning how to multitask and finish chore while looking after your munchkin. You’ll find yourself zipping through your beauty routine, especially since you’ll take ages to get bubba ready to go out. You will be busy zooming around the house grabbing toys, food, extra clothes and everything else that your tot might need. On the bright side, make this count as your daily exercise to shed the baby weight!

All in all, raising a kid means encountering many surprises you won’t have anticipated or have not prepared for. But when you look at your little bundle and see him grin gummily at you, you know you would not trade this amazing feeling for anything in the world.

Photos: iStock

Like us on Facebook and check SmartParents regularly for the latest reads!

You’d love these reads, too…

10 tips to get junior to clean up after themselves

Track your baby’s milestones – Parenting challenges

13 unexpected breastfeeding surprises!