I have a friend who just gave birth to seriously one of the most perfect babies ever. Squee! Friends with babies are the best thing ever because you get to hold squishy balls of love and joy, and then give them back and go home and sleep.
I also have a few friends who are on the road to fostering-to-adopt, and during a heart-to-heart with one of them, I realized that parents waiting to adopt their first child are just like parents waiting for the birth of their first child in one particular way – they all freak out.
This is where I point and laugh.
Kidding. Sort of.
I’ve been around the block a few times with this parenting thing. I’m sitting from that place where I know better about some things, and I know absolutely nothing about the rest. But one thing I do know: there are so many, many things we freak out over that we don’t need to. So, in honor of my friends and parents-to-be, I give you:
The List of Things Not To Worry About
- Bottle v. breast. Some experts may want to smack me right now, and I know several crunchy granola moms that are probably strangling me through the screen, but do you know what breastfeeding and/or formula are for? Feeding your baby. And do you know what they both do? Feed your baby. I breastfed all three of my girls, and I totally agree that if possible, it has benefits formula simply cannot offer. But. I have personally encountered far too many new moms, crying themselves to sleep because breastfeeding just isn’t working. Sweetie, you’re feeding your baby. YOU WIN. No matter how you do it, you’re taking care of your child, and that’s your job. They know you’re holding them and meeting their needs. That makes you their favorite.
- Which brand of diaper? Universal answer to this question: The one that holds the poop in. Super fancy brand with cartoon characters and lace trim? Rock on. I opted for the buy-in-bulk brand because we may or may not have gone through so many that Punkin’s very first nickname was Sergeant Poopy Pants. Just saying. Some people swear by Pampers. I hated them. I adored the Target brand. Others hated them. Find a pair that mostly holds the poop in, and you’re good. Disclaimer: No diaper always holds the poop in. I kind of see it as a milestone in parenting when you first have to cut a onesie off because it’s so full of poop. We had to do that with each of ours to avoid poop getting in their eyes/ears/every other orifice. So new parents: Try them out. See what you like. Always bring scissors and an extra onesie. You’re welcome.
- Waking them up to feed them. There are absolutely situations where a baby’s weight is at a critical point and feeding them is basically all you think about. However, all three of my girls were healthy weights at birth. My skinny minnie Goo topped the charts at 8 lb 2 oz. She’s lucky I delivered her, since I told my children in utero that 8 lb was my limit. Anyway. The doctors all told me to wake them up every 2-3 hours to feed them. I did this exactly ZERO times. Punkin slept through the night from birth. (Don’t hate me, because I now have a kid with cancer, and I would totally rather have been extra tired and avoided this.) She slept 7-8 hours straight through the night from day one, and was consistently in the 95th percentile for height. I don’t think she was malnourished. And I wasn’t a zombie. Win win.
This is only the beginning. I mean that in every way possible – this is only the beginning of your parenting journey. It’s only the beginning of finding 482 million things to worry about. And it’s literally the beginning of this post. Part 2 comes soon. Try to contain yourself.