You’ve survived the first few weeks of motherhood!
Things aren’t easy yet (far from it!) but, hopefully, you’re finding some semblance of a groove by now. Feeling weepy is normal at this point, but if you’re crying more often than not, or having thoughts that scare you, it’s definitely time to talk to your doctor about the possibility of PPD (you can even mention it at your baby’s one month check up). If you are indeed suffering, the sooner you deal with it, the better. Don’t you deserve to experience your new baby without a horrible cloud of depression? Obviously.
• Babies love to be touched, and no matter what your mother-in-law might say, you aren’t going to spoil your month-old infant by holding her “too much.” If holding your baby is the only way she’ll stop crying? Hold your freaking baby! Better yet, wear your baby in a sling or carrier of some sort, so you can actually get shit done around the house and your baby can feel close to you. Win/win all the way around.
• But, remember: You won’t harm your baby if you let her cry in the crib or carseat while you take a shower. She’s not going to suffer abandonment issues for life because your hair is standing up on its own and desperately needs to be washed. Really. Go take a shower. Please.
• If you’re breastfeeding, hopefully it isn’t quite as hard as it was at first. If you’re miserable and counting down the minutes until it’s over, remember: Your child will not be emotionally, intellectually or physically stunted if you switch to formula. (Your wallet, however, might be, so be sure to sign up for coupons with the formula companies or use the store brands which have the exact same ingredients for half the price.) Formula isn’t evil… not even close.
• Hello, sleep deprivation! Babies this age normally sleep for 16 out of 24 hours (YAY!), but having to eat every 2-3 hours, it’s in such short increments that you won’t be getting a good night’s sleep for quite some time. Get used to one-handed eating, and say goodbye to the days of enjoying a hot meal, at least for a while.
Scary Mommy Tip: Back away from the computer! There’s nothing that will drive you crazier than perusing Pinterest boards filled with handcrafted onsies and perfectly-staged baby photo shoots. That said, if you love those month to month baby pictures, (and who doesn’t?) you can never go back to month one. Keep it simple: Spell out the month in alphabet blocks, write the number on a onsie, or have your baby hold a number of some sort. You’ll love looking back on a year’s worth of pictures, and though it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it now, month 12 will be here before you know it.