A Year of Motherhood- What I’d Do Differently In Baby’s First Year

It’s weird to type out that I’ve been a mom for a year now. It was probably the fastest, yet best year of my life! You know how they say hindsight is 20/20? There are several moments in my life where I’ve known that to be true.  Motherhood is definitely one of those! If I could go back in time there are a few things I think I would do differently during my baby’s first year.

Bottle Feedings

I shared CB’s birth story on the blog, and if you’ve read it or heard me tell it you know it was quite the surprise entrance and a complete whirlwind. And while the blog post ended off just a couple hours after her birth, things continued to be eventful. We were discharged from the hospital on Thanksgiving day 2016. And that was the longest night of my life. She wouldn’t sleep more than 20 minutes at a time. It was because she was hungry and my milk had not come in. The next morning my mom came to help and let us get some rest but CB was not having it! It was then that we realized she looked a little yellow. Long story short, we ended up at Vanderbilt Children’s so she could get light therapy for jaundice and I ended up supplementing with formula.

Thankfully the next day my milk came in, and we went home. Since Garrett was still home from his deployment I would pump and he would give her a bottle in the middle of the night so I could rest. However, trying to get her to latch at the next feeding would be so difficult that I finally said no more bottles.

Well, I became so afraid that giving her a bottle would make breastfeeding hard that it wasn’t until she was closer to two months old that my mom would attempt to give her one. As it turns out she never would take it.  We tried multiple times but she just never would drink from it.

Now in hindsight I wish I would’ve tried harder to get her to take a bottle because it would have given me a little more freedom to do things and be gone longer than a couple hours. While we’re currently still breastfeeding, she did eventually take a sippy cup with no problem. That’s how we got her to successful stay the night at my parent’s house recently.

My next baby though? Yeah, they’re getting a bottle!

What I would do differently in baby's first year.


I’ve written about this a couple times. Here’s how we ended up becoming co-sleepers and here is when we ended up just embracing it. Again hindsight tells me that when she went from sleeping through the night to waking up it was a sleep regression. I, being a new mom, thought she was hungry. I’d nurse her. And then she got used to that middle of the night feeding again. And she’d wake up out of habit to eat. If I could go back now I would have toughed it out and just put her back in her crib. Eventually the regression would have passed and she’d still probably be sleeping through the night in her crib.

Instead I had to go through breaking her of her night feeding when she was about 9 months old. And now we’re working on getting to sleep in her crib at 1 year. We’ve definitely made some improvements but still have a little ways to go.

Putting her on a Schedule

During the newborn days I nursed on demand because I knew it was good for your supply. I also wasn’t returning to a job so while all my other new mom friends were making sure their baby’s were on a schedule I was throwing caution to the wind, apparently. And while I still think that getting a newborn on a schedule isn’t exactly necessary, by the time they’re around 3 months old it is. We went way too long of her not taking consistent naps! She would dose off while nursing and then was ready to party again. I couldn’t handle the 10 minute cat naps, I needed her to take an actual nap. Eventually, baby wearing saved my sanity. And that lead us to transition her to taking naps in her crib, thankfully!

So while we did eventually got on a schedule, in hindsight I would have done it a lot sooner. I’ve read that baby’s like schedules and I knew that but ignored it. I just figured since we stayed at home most days it wasn’t necessary but now I know it most definitely is!

What I would do differently in baby's first year.

Worry Less

I actually gave a little laugh when I typed that! Every mom worries. It’s just a natural thing we do. I spent way too much time worrying during my baby’s first year. If I could go back I’d do a little less. And I’m trying to keep that in mind going forward! Each new season and stage brings about new fears, in the end though everything usually ends up being just fine. So, there’s no point in us worrying ourselves crazy!

After typing all that out it’s easy to feel like a bad mom (I know that’s not true but typing out what you feel you did wrong is kind of vulnerable). While I say I wish I could go back to change those things, maybe I really don’t. If it weren’t for the way things played out during her first year I wouldn’t have learned what I did! To be honest it’s just a miracle we made it to her first birthday in one piece with my husband being deployed the first 7 months of her life. I’ll definitely take what I learned and try better with the next baby but I’ll cherish the memories of learning with Cora Beth forever!

In hindsight what would you have done differently during your baby’s first year? Let me know in the comments!




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12 thoughts on “A Year of Motherhood- What I’d Do Differently In Baby’s First Year”

  1. I had problems when I started breastfeeding my first child too. I ended up having to pump in the hospital and bottle feeding him there because he wouln’t latch on. But the rest of my children caught on right away. First child experiences are tough.

  2. What a lovely record of her early life this will for CB. Think of the reassurance you will give her by so transparently sharing your struggles.

    Also, do not let anyone guilt-trip you about bottle/no bottle; it sounds like you already have a good grip on the “do-what-works” philosophy!

  3. My daughter is only 2 but the first year seems like ages ago! I didnt breastfeed long because my supply couldnt keep up so I was also supplementing with formula. I almost wish I would have just gone right to the formula because it was such a headache (especially when I went back working full time). But, hey, it all works out in the end.

  4. We are firm believers in a schedule, no co-sleeping, and bottles. Hah! We sound like horrible parents to some, but our thought is We were “us” before baby and while a baby does change some stuff, we weren’t going to let it change “us” to where everything revolved around the baby. I hope that makes sense and doesn’t come across the wrong way. As young as 3 days when we came home from the hospital with all 4 of our kiddos, we started that schedule. I did Babywise with all 4 and it was just wonderful! What works for some, doesn’t work for everyone. Sounds like you got a good grip on what works for you all. SO excited to get to know you better. I love the look of your blog.

    1. Thank you so much Meghan! And it doesn’t come across the wrong way at all. I think too many moms (myself included) get so lost in our new role as a mom that we forget who we were before our sweet babes came into the picture. And then we unfortunately reach a “breaking point” so to speak and just wish to “feel like ourselves again”. So I think it’s so awesome that you and your husband approached parenthood with that perspective of we’re still us!

  5. It’s amazing the things I have learned over the years now with having three. One of the strongest memories I have of those first new mom months was that I felt guilty to take time for myself, like to shower! After like three days I was mad at my husband for not offering to hold the baby while I showered. Looking back I laugh.. now, I would just be like here.. have fun.. be back in 30!

    1. Haha yes! If I don’t shower everyday I don’t feel human! But anytime I’m away from her (which is almost never) I feel so guilty! When in reality it’s just as good for them as it is for us to make sure we take care of ourselves!

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