When you find out your expecting it can be one of the most exciting times for most of us. Becoming new parents, knowing you are growing a little baby inside of you can be all so exciting. Thinking about the future, will you have a son? will you have a daughter? who will they look like? and so on. Pregnancy really is a magical time. But for new parents, welcoming a baby into the world can change a lot of things, especially in the first 12 months of parenting.
No one has the same experience of becoming a new parent. Some get the chance of doing it as couple and others have to do it alone. When I was pregnant with my first child I did it alone. But doing it alone or going through pregnancy as a couple doesn't make it any less exciting. You still have that little one growing inside of you, someone who isn't here yet, but you love so much.
The first 12 months of becoming new parents can be a big rollercoaster ride. Parenting is mixed of stress, tiredness, worries, happiness and much more. As a new parent you have probably been told about the sleepless nights but you don't usually get told the things that come in between. My youngest daughter suffered with bad colic from 2 weeks old and lasted for a good few weeks. It was exhausting. No one tells you the other things us parents have to deal with or things that baby's go through.
Infacol, Britain's number one colic remedy did a new parent research recently on new parents in the first 12 months. As said above, new parenting comes with mixed emotions. Infacol's researched showed that in the first 12 months parents described their first 12 months with different emotions.
Pride : 61%
Joy : 67%
Exhaustion : 61%
Fear : 32%
To me those numbers are not shocking. I thought they would have been a little higher but most are over 50%. As a new parent we are going to be very joyful as there are so many amazing and exciting milestones a baby goes through in the first 12 months such as their first smile, first tooth, first steps, first words and so much more. Even though there are many things to be joyful about, many parents can feel exhausted. A lot of babies don't sleep through the night. There are night time feeds that need to be done and some babies just don't like sleeping. This can make you very tired for the rest of the day. But exhaustion doesn't always mean a sleepless night. Babies are all different, some suffer with teething, colic and maybe they don't like being by themselves. When you have a baby who cries, moans and feel like they are stuck on to you all day it can make you feel extremely tired and exhausted at the end of the day.
In what other ways can a baby change your life? If you are in a relationship then a baby can change your whole relationship within the first 12 months. Before having a baby you were both able to do what you want when you want but when a baby arrives, new responsibilities come too. There are things you can't do and you will even miss the little things such as maybe going out for a meal or to the cinema unplanned. Of course, it is very healthy to make sure you have a break every so often and make sure you both have time together with no baby.
With a relationship a baby can put a lot of strain on top. With sleepless nights, exhaustion and maybe you both have different ways of parenting so you both can clash. With exhaustion and loss of sleep you are both moody and possibly will have a lot more arguments than before having baby. It is very normal to argue a bit more once you have a baby - so try not to worry.
In Infacol's research it showed that 32% of parents felt fear in the first 12 months. It's very normal to be more worried and fearful when you are a new parent. Being pregnant for 9 months and then all of a sudden you are giving birth to a brand new baby. A baby you have to take cake of, make sure they are happy and are responsible for. It can be a nervous time for most parents. You are wondering if you're doing things the right way or worrying if there's something wrong at times. If you ever feel worried, I'd advise you to call your Health Visitor for advice and help.
Also, having a baby can make an impact on you financially and mentally. With the cost of new clothes, nappies, wet wipes and everything else baby needs in the first 12 months can be very expensive and it doesn't get any cheaper as they grow older. Infacol did other research which showed the 1 in 5 mums felt out of control in the first 12 months. Raising a child can be very hard, its a whole new experience and no parent will have experienced the same thing because each child is different and we all parent differently. 1 in 6 parents found that in the first 12 months the pressure of parenting was shocking. That research isn't a huge shock either, parenting can be so hard and like I said above, a whole new experience for most.
How did you find the first 12 months of raising a baby?
* This is a collaborative post with Infacol