Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Well, hello there! If you don't read my other blog, you probably don't know that I've decided to take a little blog break to hang out with my most awesome baby, but I wanted to pop in here for a minute to share a little *wisdom*.

I've been a mom for exactly 2 months and 24 days, and I can honestly say it feels like I've learned so much more in this short amount of time than I had in all of my 31 years of life. But for those of you who've yet to have your babies, I'm going to share with you the most valuable lesson I've come across so far: You don't know your baby. Not even a little bit.

Let me explain...

When I was pregnant, I made a list of all the baby things I was going to need. I didn't want my life to feel like it was being overrun by by baby gear, so I made sure to keep the list short and sweet. I stuck to the necessities: clothing, carseat, stroller, etc.. Being an avid runner, Joe was set on getting a great jogging stroller, and we did. I knew this was not an "everyday" stroller, but the thought of being a two-stroller household seemed so incredibly ridiculous to me. At the time, it made perfect sense to use the B.O.B. for for exercise purposes and longer walks, and use a baby carrier for all other purposes. I wanted the absolute BEST products on the market when it came to our baby so I registered for a couple carriers, and was fortunate enough to receive them both. I did my homework; I did all the research, read all the reviews, looked up consumer reports... made sure I was doing everything it took to ensure that what we were getting for her was no less than AMAZING. However, never in a million years would it have occurred to me that "no less than amazing" in my book, could fall into the "crap I can't stand" category in her book. It's as if I had no idea that I was bringing a whole different person into this world with ideas and feelings separate from my own.

So here I was, with all the perfect baby gear when lo and behold, I slowly came to the realization that she hates it... ALL OF IT. We got a solid couple months out of our car seat before she started balling her eyes out every time we went to strap her in. She doesn't like to be held for long periods of time, which means that all the time I was going to spend toting her around in a baby carrier was pretty much a pipe dream. After even more research, we finally found and ordered a car seat that is more suited to her needs. And to top it all off, since she is still too small for our current stroller, I knew we would HAVE to become a two-stroller household if I ever wanted to get her out of this apartment. At the baby store this afternoon, she screamed her head off the second I'd place her in any of the strollers. Except for one... the ugliest, clunkiest one in the whole store. The one that in no way, shape or form I would have even thought of buying before she was born because it didn't fit it with my whole master plan. It didn't fit in with the person I supposed her to be. That's when it dawned on me... Yes, I am her mom, but by no means does that mean that I'll always have the answers, or does it give me the right to assume that I know what's right for her. A lot of that stuff, a lot of who she is, was predetermined long before she was even born. And believe it or not, my little almost-3 month old is telling me what's best.

*Lucia in a hat. She HATES hats. Had I known, or even considered that before she was born, I probably wouldn't have invested in a drawer full's worth.


  1. Thank you for sharing, Very valuable lesson.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I really love your blogging. My daughter Eva is 12 weeks old and I agree the most valuable learning so far is all that these little people can teach us, about us and them.

    We are planning Eva's baptism at the moment and I came across this reading. I thought I'd share it here, it's from The Prophet and it seemed apt:

    And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children." And he said: "Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable."

  3. wow, this is best advice on "stuff", even better than "don't buy too much stuff." i'm expecting in january in the throes of a new england winter, in my too-small apartment. we're going to have the baby sleep in our room, but even if we wanted otherwise there wouldn't be much of a choice. (except maybe the kitchen) so the "not too much stuff" advice really resonates with me. so would you recommend starting with the barest of bare essentials, and add on once this new little person is around to give his/her opinion? (like with the ugly, clunky stroller?) and what are you supposed to do with the few amazing, top-of-the-line, designer perfect things you've already bought? there should be a site where new mothers can swap their unused baby gear, called "my baby hates this super adorable stuff."

  4. Hi Celia! Congrats on your gorgeous girl! I haven't commented before, but this post his so close to home, I wanted to impart my new wisdom now that my son is 6 1/2 months old... THEY CHANGE! Things they hated, they one day stop hating, and their favorite things become their enemies at the turn of a dime!

    Owen screamed his head off in the car seat until he turned 5 months, and then he magically stopped hating it. Now he's content to sit and play, and even fall asleep in it! Same goes for the Ergo (started liking it around 3mos) & the swing (likes it when the babysitter puts him in it, but god forbid I should try that.)

    And his favorite bouncy chair that he spent hours in as a 1-5 month old is now off limits. So, my advice is, don't toss anything just yet.

    But yes, I too ended up with two strollers and three carriers before I figured out that if I was persistent, eventually he'd get used to stuff.

    And one final thing about the carriers, specifically the ergo if you have one - As soon as he was big enough to not need the infant insert, he seemed much more comfortable in it. I started by putting him in it for a few minutes each day and walking around the house. And then I gradually increased how much time he stayed in there; one day walking just to the corner, the next day walking around the block, etc, until he got so used to it, i was able to start hiking with him in it. The ergo is my sanity at this point, and much easier than dragging out a stroller, so I would keep trying it!

    Good luck! Enjoy this time with Lucia. They grow up SO incredibly fast!

  5. @cara xoxox

    @c&e wow. that is so beautifully put. brought tears to my eyes... thank you for sharing.

    @diana peggy's right. they DO grow to love things. for example, the first month of her life, L couldn't tolerate her swing for even in a minute. NOW, she can't seem to get enough of it, and she takes all of her daytime naps in it. that being said, looking back, i would have done things differently. i would have bought/registered for the barest of essentials and waited until she was actually born to try these products out. for example, the ergo. my best friend has one and has used one since day one with the infant insert for her daughter without any complaints. since that's what i *saw*, i figured my baby would do the same. NOT THE CASE. i stopped a lady who was using one today and asked her when she started using it with her baby. she said her baby didn't like it until about 6 1/2 months. i'm HOPING that lucia comes around.
    she seems to like the baby bjorn... which of course, is the carrier i chose not to get. luckily, we have a friend who's letting us borrow it because she's currently not using it. i think borrowing, if you can, is GENIUS. it gives your baby a chance to really figure the product out. if he/she seems to enjoy it, THEN go buy one.

    this would be my new pre-baby list:

    clothes, lots of them. you will be amazed at how much laundry these little ones accumulate.

    burp cloths, also lots.

    swaddling blankets, don't get any of the *gimmicky* ones just yet. we did and ended up with a baby that WILL NOT SLEEP if she is in a full swaddle. so now, we use blankets to swaddle her with her arms out.

    are you co-sleeping? if you are, hold off on the crib. maybe you can try a bassinet. we also share a room with lucia. we mostly co-sleep and have JUST started using the crib... as in starting this past monday. the crib could have waited. you will want a place to put her though, when you're in other rooms of your apartment with her. that's why bassinets and moses baskets are good. we just got a boppy infant lounger and used that on the couch, and made sure to not leave her side for safety reasons.

    you WILL NEED a car seat from day one. here's the problem we had. we got an infant car seat not knowing we were going to have such a large baby. we've learned that although they have weight limits, baby's really outgrow them by height. so, lucia isn't too heavy for hers, but she is too tall... which explains why she was so uncomfortable. so, we got a Britax and it's solved ALL of our car seat problems. another thing we didn't know is that most of the larger car seats are also designed to hold infants. had we been better informed, we would have just bought one from the beginning and saved ourselves some money on the infant car seat. that being said, the convenience of an infant car seat is that you can typically attach them to strollers, or bring them inside, therefore never waking baby. since ours was screaming, not sleeping, that perk didn't exactly work in our favor.

    and that's ALL i would get. good luck!

  6. Love this post. Ok, I love all your posts, but this one especially. We've just announced we're pregant (nearly 13 weeks now) so i'll be following for more genius snippets of advice.

    And boy oh boy. She may not like the hat, but it looks darn cute xx

  7. I totally remember slowly realizing that my baby Georgia (now 1) hated almost all of the cool crap I bought her. She could not stand to be in the Ergo (now likes it), hated being in the cool bassinet part of our used Bugaboo, refused the cool paci, etc. etc.

    You do somehow get lost in imagining who they are before they get here, don't you? I guess its only natural, but they show us real quick who they are (or are not).

    Great post!