10 things no-one tells you about having a baby

Everything will seem dangerous

From the dodgy looking man across the street to the worst accidents your imagination can dream up having a newborn makes the world seem a little bit more scary {my latest stress was her breathing in exhaust fumes as we walked along a busy road}. 

Being totally responsible for a little life can also seem totally overwhelming at times, especially when you don’t know why they’re unhappy. I get completely paranoid about everything – is she eating enough? sleeping too much? Filling too many nappies? I guess I just have to learn that you can’t protect your baby from everything and trust that God has it under control.

You’ll do things you said you wouldn’t

As a parent you can’t stay smug for long. When planning pregnancy and child birth you might have had lots of ideas about how you’ll bring up your children but very soon you’ll learn that rules change and you need to learn to adapt, grow and change…and that’s okay; especially at 2am when your baby will.not.stop.crying.

You’ll also put yourself in stressful situations you never thought you would. I used to look at mothers in town pushing round screaming infants thinking ‘why would you ever go shopping with a baby?!’ but I totally did the same thing last Thursday. 

You’ll only get a couple of hours sleep at a time                                                             

Lots of people told us to get as much sleep as we could before the baby arrived but I never realised that at best I would only ever be getting three hours sleep at a time {and most of the time it would be more like one and a half hours} between feeds.
Warning: it’ll make you want to shout ‘YOU DON’T KNOW THE MEANING OF TIRED!’ at random students you overhear complaining about their late night in shops. 

You won’t get to savour every day activities

The moment you get in the shower, sit down for a meal or to watch a film the baby will start crying. Those little things that you took for granted before pregnancy will suddenly turn into a race against time before your ticking time bomb {okay…baby} goes off.

Your body will change forever

I don’t know what I expected post-pregnancy but it was still a shock when my body didn’t go back to ‘normal’ and my shape completely changed. I’m slowly accepting that that is okay but I wish I’d appreciated my pre-pregnancy body more.  
On the plus side after six months of swelling your feet will seem positively slim.

Going out turns into a mammoth organisation

I’m still not sure how someone so small can wreak so much havoc and triple the time that it takes me to get out of the house. I’m slowly working out how to fit Ivy into our schedule but extra-long feeds, poop explosions and trying to pack a changing bag one handed means that I still rarely get out of the house at the exact time planned.

You’ll also find yourself having to plan your outings much more carefully. Where are the lifts? How will you get the buggy down those stairs? Where can you feed? No more quick trips to the store!

Time alone will seem precious

As a parent and wife it can sometimes seem like the demands on your time and energy never end. You’ll long for the days when you can curl up in bed with a good book so make the most of it while you can…some days you won’t even have time to go the toilet in peace.

You’ll rock the baby even when you’re not holding it

The other day I realised I was staring into space rocking a packet of biscuits. It quickly becomes natural to constantly be on the move to try and sooth your baby…even when she’s not with you. It must be burning through some baby weight though right?!

It’ll come naturally

Even if you’ve never held a baby or changed a nappy it’s really not all that hard. Looking after your own baby is nothing like looking after someone else’s – a lot of it just comes naturally and you soon learn that they’re more robust than they look.

Your heart will ache

At the risk of sounding like a bad mother  I didn’t get the whole ‘rush of motherly love’ as soon as I set eyes on Ivy. I loved her of course but I was pretty shocked after the birth and my emotions were all over the place.
But it does come and now I know what people mean when they talk about the strength of a mother’s love. It’s a deep, hurts your heart kind of love that makes you want to protect your baby at all costs and makes all the sacrifices worthwhile.

What other advice do you wish you had been told before you had a baby?

The Life Of Faith


  1. Oh, what a fabulous post! I think you covered everything. I've been reading all your posts and 'meeting' Ivy with everyone else here. I think she's just adorable, and your mothering skills and honesty have just impressed me to no end. I love your honesty and love that pours out onto the page.
    For me, falling in love with my son took time. It wasn't instant like the books say it will be. The best advice is to read all those parenting books with a huge grain of salt. Every kid is different, even kids in the same family.
    Keep up the good work!!!

  2. Aww... this is a great list!

    As for packing the diaper bag and getting out on time... if you restock it when you come home there is less to do on your way out the next time. :)

  3. it is a good list - and the reason no one tells you? because they know that nothing can prepare you for just how much this little life will change you and the life that you live - you just wouldn't have believed them if they had!
    Laura's point about the change bag is great - I always refilled ours - mainly because i was paranoid about being out without... because I was in a rush, I also always had a pack of wipes and spare nappy in the car - just in case!!!
    Take care
    love su

  4. haha these are all so true!!! Not sure what I woud add because these are all so great! maybe that people will give you all kinds of advice and 50% of the strangers you meet will try to tell you you are doing something wrong. Just take it in stride and know that you are doing fine ;)

  5. I really love how concise you seem to be able to sum up your first weeks as a mother, and how honest you are being, Rachel.

  6. These are all true, and remind me a lot of those early days! I would add to the end too that "this too shall pass" - your baby won't need to be fed every three hours or rocked all the time for long, and the newborn snuggles will go away along with everything else - to be replaced with lots of other fun and not-so-fun stuff, but still... Soak it up. :-)

  7. I'm 29 weeks right now and I was still under the impression your body goes back to somewhat normal after having a baby!! Now I know what to look forward to! Thanks for linking up for Mommy Moments!

  8. I so know what you are talking about on this one!! I find myself "rocking" random things as well- like my dinner plate...hilarious!!

  9. Love this post! I posted something similar when Judah was about 6 weeks old... especially about how your heart just seems to grow bigger and love more and long to protect them from everything bad. I was the same way, the love seemed to grow from deep within rather than being a sudden rush at the beginning. At first I just stared at him in shock, like, "did I really just have a baby?!" As much as I loved him from the moment we found out we were pregnant, it didn't really hit me that he was MINE at first.

    My baby boy is 8 and a half months old now, and it does get easier to get out of the house etc... but it still takes twice as long! Sometimes I forget how long it takes and we end up being late, ah well.