3 Things I Love About the First Year
First-time parenting is a scary thing. You leave the hospital thinking, gosh, they are trusting me with keeping this tiny creature alive?
Once you're home though, you get into the thick of things. Feeding, diaper changing, sleeping, trying to get something to eat, take a shower, pee in peace, get some shut eye. It can all go downhill, and quickly. You cling onto the last vestiges of your sanity, you try to contain your irritation at your partner, you just want to hold it together without crying at the end of the day.
That was me, the first two months of my firstborn's first year. Eventually, rhythms were set, routines were in place and smiles were more frequent than tears. There were other challenges in the next few months, as well as good times, but in the midst of it all, it was difficult to see through the fog. It was difficult to love the first year.
With my second child, I am now armed with experience, knowledge and a more relaxed mindset. I am more about making moments count, than counting down the moments. I have much love for the first year now, and these are the 3 things I love the most.
I'm extremely lucky that both my boys are snuggle bugs. My first used to sleep on my chest for hours on end. My second did the same until he outgrew that at four months. However, he loves to sit on my lap or put his head on my shoulder, just before bedtime. It's heavenly and temporary; therefore I embrace every minute of it.
Every developmental milestone
Instead of worrying about milestones, I'm celebrating them. I did not worry about when the baby would start rolling, sitting up, crawling, pulling up to standing, or walking. I know that he will come into each in his own time and he will get there eventually (as of 8 months, he is crawling and cruising).
As a first-time mother, I did my best to adhere to all the ‘rules' I read about baby weaning – what good starter foods I should feed my son, when, how, and so on. I exhausted myself making baby purees and other fancy concoctions, only to find that my child was picky. Eating was one of the most stressful times for both of us. With my second, I decided to relax, and let him lead the way. Sure, he eats baby porridge, and I do make him some baby-friendly food, but he also joins us at the table, and *self-feeds broccoli, bread, yogurt, and rice. He makes a mess, and I don't mind. He loves eating, and the whole experience is fun for both of us.
* Note: All meal times are strictly supervised, and my son graduated from purees, to slightly chunkier food, to proper food gradually. He is also monitored for any signs of allergy or stomach upset from the food he eats.
What do you love most about your baby's first year?
Photo via Sharlene Lee