When I found out I was pregnant, that exciting feeling of soon having a lovely little baby was overshadowed by crippling fear and lots of self-doubts. I’m sure they were all the normal worries of new parents. I mean, having a baby is probably the biggest life event you will have. It changes every aspect of your life, your routine and you cannot do anything without thinking about the baby!
There is so much to learn, from the point of becoming pregnant there are new things you find out about all the time. Weird things like how the baby wees inside you and then drinks it and then wees again. And amazing things, like how they know your voice, your smell and the beat of your heart.
Then you have to learn how to take care of a baby which seems so complicated. You hear about that ‘mothers instinct’ and think it’s a myth. You struggle to dress yourself each day and worry how you’ll dress a baby, too. There’s feeding, nappies and naps, then before you know it, you have to start thinking about weaning.
It’s so common to be worried about having a baby – but most of those worries are often forgotten when your baby is here. You are capable of learning so much and believe it or not, looking after a baby is actually easy. It’s trying to do anything else that is the hard part!
Here are some of the worries I would have and what actually happened.
Worries of New Parents
I won’t know what to do
I was so worried that I wouldn’t know how to look after a baby. Before having Leo, I had never changed a nappy in my life. I’ve always been nervous about holding babies as they seem so fragile!
But after about 24 hours after Leo was born, I started feeling like I was the only person who could look after Leo. Like I knew what he wanted and could give him what he needed. It was such a big change from feeling like I was totally clueless!
For me, after the shock of the labour and once we got home, I started to feel very much like he was mine and I knew what was best for him.
I won’t love the baby
I’m not the most maternal person in the world so honestly, I am shocked at how much I like Leo. I like him A LOT.
When I was pregnant, I didn’t feel love. That worried me a bit. But I did feel an intense feeling of wanting to protect what was inside me. There was also a lot of fear and excitement.
I think it’s hard to imagine loving your baby when you’ve not met them yet, but you love the idea of them and can’t wait to meet them. I remember near the end of the pregnancy, I felt like I missed him. I would get frustrated because he was so close to me, the closest he would ever be. Yet he felt so far away from me.
I didn’t have to worry though, as I explained in my birth story, I had a moment when I fell in love with him the day after he was born.
You might fall in love with your baby from the moment you find out you’re pregnant, it might happen the moment your baby is on your chest or it might happen a while after birth. Sometimes it happens in a simple moment and your heart fills up so quickly that your eyes start leaking and your throat swells. Other times the love grows slowly, like a beautiful flower.
What if my boobs won’t produce milk
I started collecting colostrum after I was 37 weeks pregnant and that’s when I started to get worried that I wouldn’t have a lot of milk. Though I know that how much you collect is not an indication of your future milk supply, it still got into my head.
Also, it was so strange to me that my boobs would produce milk. I’ve known my boobs for a long time and they’ve never really done anything other than sit there and look pretty.
But I didn’t have to worry, three days after Leo was born, I realised the hard way that I needed more nursing bras.
My milk had come in and would not stop! I remember every time I showered, they would just leak and leak.
Thankfully this doesn’t happen anymore, but I’ve had no issues with my milk supply. Low milk supply is actually very rare. Sadly, a lot of women mistake cluster feeding as low supply when cluster feeding and fussing/crying at the boob is normal and how babies order more milk for the next day.
Read more about my breastfeeding story here.
I won’t get any sleep
I was worried about this because I struggled to sleep most of my pregnancy. I had morning sickness, acid reflux, pain in my legs and hips, Leo kicked me all night – so I worried about how I was going to labour while exhausted and then how I was going to survive with a newborn while exhausted.
Honestly, there isn’t much sleep for new mothers. But you survive it. And you find things that work for you so you can steal a few hours here and there.
Also, a babies sleep pattern can change so quickly. They can have a good night, a good few nights even – so just remember it’s not forever.
You may feel tired during labour but you cannot do anything about it. When you are in labour, your body will push this baby out weather you are tired or not. You have no choice but to just do it.
I don’t know how to dress a baby
I read so much about how to dress a baby! I was worried that people would laugh at me as I wouldn’t know how to dress him. I was so confused with all the different layers and constantly worried he would be too hot or cold. But dressing a baby is pretty easy!
I just went for the vest and baby grow approach. Baby clothes are a pain. I’m still not a fan of them now because changing a nappy is so much harder when you have buttons instead of poppers or trousers to take on or off.
I won’t be able to get anything done
The first few weeks of having a baby is so hard and I was right with this concern – I couldn’t get anything else done. Leo needed to be on me at all times or he cried. It was difficult to even shower as he would cry until he was back on me.
I found this really stressful, but it’s not forever. And it does get easier. Leo is almost 10 months old now and I can get much more things done now. Though it’s not the same as before having a baby, I’m at least able to put him on the floor so he can play with his toys for a bit or my partner can entertain him.
I think you just have to give yourself to your baby for those first few weeks and realise that everything else needs to wait. When I got my head around that, it was much easier!
Thankfuly my partner took care of everything else and even cut my food up into bite size pieces so I could eat with one hand.
What were the common worries of other parents?
I asked the fine people of Twitter to share what they were worried about. Here’s what they said.
Giulia from Tid Bits of Care
Not waking up for him for sure! I also worry about dropping him. Which is so unlikely but for a while, every time I was picking him up my mind would go there.
Ami from Ami-Rose
I worried about how my dog (Milo) would react to Arthur but they’re best of friends now. I also worried that I wouldn’t know what to dress him in for bed so he wouldn’t be too hot or too cold, but you just know
Neehsa from Reinventing Neesha
Holidaying with a baby would be impossible but actually, it was the easiest thing ever and he even slept better abroad!
Sarah from SarahLou writes
The one thing I was truly worried about was just if I was good enough to be a mum and be responsible for this tiny new human. Once he was born I knew I had nothing to worry and things all fell into place.
Claire from Claire Mac
Whether I’d actually be any good at being a parent. Turns out it’s probably the thing I’m best at!
How to actually hold a baby! and dress them in teeny tiny babygrows without breaking the baby.
Katie from Dating Bitch
Honestly, I was worried about not waking up in the middle of the night for him (I’m a deep sleeper) so I actually set an alarm the first night. Didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t need to worry about that
Thomas from The Doubting Thomas
Definitely lack of sleep, but in all honesty, you just find a way to adapt to it. It’s also helped me to become a much better sleeper in general cos I appreciated it so much more!
Lou from Lou Farrell
Sleepless nights was something I was dreading, but it turns out your body and mind seem to adapt, and you can get by with very little at first. It surprised me, but I never worried about it after my son was born.
Jodie from Jodetopia
Sleeping when the baby slept. We were SO worried that for the first 2 weeks, my partner and I took it in turns to do 6-hour shifts, so one of us was always watching the baby. Turns out, it’s actually perfectly okay to sleep when the baby sleeps. Also, the cord! I was sure it was going to be difficult to keep clean and safe and it was going to be this big stressful ordeal when in reality it’s the complete opposite and then one day you just find it loose in the babygrow and it’s all over.
Soffy from A Little Cup of Us
Whether I’d be able to be a good mum and take care of her. This overshadowed my first year, constantly doubting myself and not being able to relax and enjoy. I really wish I could go back and tell that new mum she honestly had nothing to worry about
M from Book Me Some Time
I was really worried about the Bath and not dressing them correctly so they would be too cold or too hot. For the Bath, someone showed me how to hold him/her correctly and for the clothes, I was told to trust myself. If I’m cold/hot then my baby is as well; dress your baby the way you dress.
The complete change in circumstances. I was going from working full time for years to all of a sudden alone at home with a baby, not knowing what to do. It’s scary. A huge adjustment for me. But it all worked well & I loved my time with her.
I was worried about my adult child struggling with resilience, emotional wellbeing or a sense of self-worth. I read a lot on attachment parenting which led to how we chose to parent
Codie from CodieKinz
I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to go on adventures anymore but now even with two, we just strap them to us and have as much fun – if not more so – than we ever did pre-babies
What things did you worry about before having your baby?
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