The days are long but the years are short.
It’s such a cliche but it’s so true.
The sleepless nights with a newborn, fussy days with a teething baby and moving quickly from one milestone to the next make the first few weeks and months a challenge even for seasoned moms.
But when the dust settles on the baby days, it’s the sweet first smiles, the fresh baby smell after a bath, the amazingly soft baby skin and the feeling of your baby’s breath against your chest that will endure.
We can’t enjoy every moment, but as moms, we can work to embrace the phase by remembering these three tips because it will be gone before we know it.
#1 You are enough
When my oldest daughter was born, she came out crying and screaming. As she was whisked to the warmer, my husband bent down and whispered in her ear, “It’s ok baby, daddy’s here” and she instantly calmed down as peace waved over her. Parents have an innate ability to meet our child’s needs.
Babies don’t need much, despite what all of the big-box baby stores will tell you.
Sure they need diapers, a few onesies and something to eat, but that’s about it.
Anytime you wonder if you’re doing enough, know that you are.
You are perfectly and wonderfully made to be your child’s mother.
Your voice, your warm embrace, your tender kisses and your gentle spirit are laying the foundation for your child to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually.
#2 Let them be little
It’s so easy to get caught up in looking ahead as your baby is growing so fast. I can’t wait until he rolls over. I wonder when she’ll sit up. It will be so much easier when he can walk.
Milestone charts and your pediatrician will let you know an average timeline for those milestones, but babies will do all of those things in their own time.
Before your baby can roll over, enjoy laying down next to him and just look into his eyes while you have a captive audience.
When your baby starts laughing, find her tickle spot and tickle it often to hear those silly baby giggles.
When your baby begins to sit up, hold her on your hip and take her for a spin on the dance floor.
Baby’s are learning and changing all the time and one phase will be gone just as soon as it appeared.
#3 Be here now
Motherhood can be overwhelming. Whether it is household chores, work outside the home, family responsibilities or just everyday life, there always seems to be something competing for our attention.
Babies learn and grow best by observing the sights and sounds of the world around them, but they benefit greatly from having a parent’s one-on-one attention too.
Spend a few minutes each day of intentional play by singing songs, reading a board book, reciting a nursery rhyme or saying a prayer with your baby.
With each of my babies, I have dedicated 5-10 minutes before bed as a time where all of my attention is on them. We read, sing and play and then I nurse my baby to sleep without any distractions like my iPhone.
Five minutes might not seem like much, but that small amount of time adds up to be a great investment in being present and holding space with your baby.
It’s time to notice the dimples in their cheeks or the wrinkles on their toes or the sound of a happy sigh when all is right in the world.
During the baby phase, the good and the beautiful greatly outlast the tough times.
My first baby turned six last week and although she was a high needs baby, what I remember the most about her babyhood was the way she always had a little milk spill from her lips as she fell asleep while nursing, how her eyes would light up every time we sang “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad,” and how she would sleep so soundly cradled in the crook of my arm.
It’s the little things and the sweet nothings that stand the test of time. Don’t blink or you’ll miss them.
This post was written by Meghann Dibrell.
She is a writer, blogger and proud lefty who enjoys living the simple life of a homeschool family on 6.5 acres in South Texas with three children, a dog, a cat and a soon-to-be-added flock of chickens.
She has spent the last three years decluttering and downsizing and now helps others find true joy by making the most of doing less.
Find more from Meghann at Practically Hippie.