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5 Things I Would Do Differently If I Had Babies Again

Babies are miracles. Period. To a first time mom, babies can also be a mystery. When my three girls were babies I was over-protective, over-researched and over-whelmed at times with what I was supposed to do. Having gotten them all out of that stage and still doing well, I often wonder what I would have done differently. How would I have lessened the burden on myself while still giving them the start in life they deserved? I can say for sure that I would change some things. Like my hesitation in not following every.single.rule to perfection. Or admitting to friends that having three daughters in three years really took more of a toll than I was willing to admit. As people around me and on my Facebook page ask for advice for their babies, I like to look back and think, ‘what would I change?’ For all of the parents out there with babies, here are 5 Things I Would Do Differently If I Had Babies Again from a mom with an 8, 9 and 10 year old!

I would have trusted my instincts more

Women have been having and raising babies forever. That does not, however, mean that we are going to make the right decisions every single time right off the bat! We do, however, have our instincts and I wish I had trusted mine more. I remember being in the hospital with 2 day old Katie and feeling her sweat in the swaddle the nurses had her in. She was wiggling as if uncomfortable and didn’t want to settle to sleep. I took he out of the swaddle and laid her, diaper, teeny onsie, and socks on, on my bare skin chest and she settled right down and went to sleep. The nurse came in, saw this, scolded me quickly and wrapped Katie back up. To which she began to sweat and wiggle again. But I left her that way because the nurse said so. My mommy instinct said she was too hot and was more comfortable on my chest but who was I to go against the nurse?

5 Things I Would Do Differently If I Had Babies Again like listen to my instincts

To this day Katie sleeps with a sheet which she kicks off in the night. She is just a hot natured person and  can not sleep if she is too hot. While I totally understand and respect that new babies need to be kept as warm as possible, and while my other two almost never wiggled in the swaddle, Katie needed a little air. I think that she would have slept better as an infant if I had followed my own instinct.

I would understand that feeding is about bonding and not about shame

I breastfed all three of my babies. But I rarely supplemented with baby formula when I needed to. 10 years ago it was terribly frowned upon if you formula fed. I never understood why but I also hid the fact that I did sometimes so I would not have to face the criticism. While breast is best, there was only so much time I could be tied to a pumping machine making bottles for the times I was at work or in public.

5 Things I Would Do Differently If I Had Babies Again like formula when you need it

In hindsight, I wish I had been more concerned about bonding with my baby than making sure I was breastfeeding every single time she ate. I wish I had used formula more so that feeding time could be shared as well. There are quality formulas out there that would have eased my worry and allowed my daughters to help feed the baby, thus leading to more sibling bonding and even allowing their dad to feed them more. Instead I nursed constantly and pumped when I had a break. I hid in other rooms to feed if people were over and apologized profusely if my baby was fussy because I had to get to a private place to nurse.

5 Things I Would Do Differently If I Had Babies Again like letting them bond

Feeding time is about providing nutrition and brands like Well Beginnings at Walgreens off that nutrition at a fraction of the cost of other brands. You get more for less and can even save time by signing up for automatic reorder at Exclusively breastfeeding is wonderful but it is also hard on mom. Especially with other little ones in the house. I wish I had focused more on providing nutrition with supplementing without the guilt!

No one ever needs a wipe warmer

You just don’t need it. At all. Like. Ever. I had one and it was a pain, made the wipes too warm and ended up being a hassle. My daughters never flinched at room temperature wipes and I never thought the cold was making them uncomfortable. They are meant to clean and refresh and their little bums probably appreciated a little coolness while living in diapers.

It’s OK to be overwhelmed and to ask for help

5 Things I Would Do Differently If I Had Babies Again like feeding them like i want

I had three kids in diapers, an ex-husband who was never home and a 40 year old house falling down around me. I never knew why we didn’t have any money, could not understand why I could not keep the house clean while being home all day and was generally exhausted. I bet you that every mom in the world feels the exact same way no matter how many kids she has. I wish I had know that is was OK to be overwhelmed. It was OK to ask for help. To admit I could not handle it all. Instead I just kept it all inside and it eventually eroded who I was. It took years for me to recover from the stress of babies in the house. My advice is to ask and take help when it is offered. No one thinks you have to do it alone so you should not think that either!

And the last of the 5 Things I Would Do Differently If I Had Babies Again?

Pay more attention to me

5 Things I Would Do Differently If I Had Babies Again like take care of me

Seems selfish, doesn’t it? But I let myself get totally consumed with babies and following the rules and doing it right that I forgot I needed attention too. I was so engulfed in raising these babies perfectly that I gave up sleep, exercising, showering every day, eating well and getting pampered in any way to do it. I gained weight, started to noticeably age and found it hard to make myself feel confident no matter how much make-up I put on. I wish I had taken the help that was offered and gone out with my friends, gotten my nails done, gone for a run. Anything that put me first for just a little while each day. All I would have had to do was to hand my ex or mom or friend bottles with Well Beginnings formula and I would have still provided for my child while I also took important time for me!

5 Things I Would Do Differently If I Had Babies Again like Well Beginnings at Walgreens

If you have been through the baby phase, what advice would you give a new mom? I would love to add to this list!