Being a new parent means every day brings you new and special memories. As parents we wait patiently for a whole variety of milestones and your experiences will be individual to you and your baby, but there are some moments that we universally wait for… we asked our mum friends what they most looked forward to when they had their first baby…
The first smile
Is there anything in the world that makes your heart feel warmer than the first time your baby looks up at you and shares their first proper ‘social smile’ (as in not the trapped wind kind!)? When their smiles go from reflexive to a conscious gesture…that is something truly special that you’ll likely want to remember forever. While you should make sure you capture as much as you can on video to pour over when they are older, make sure you also make time to step away from the phone and really drink in those moments in person too.
Using their own cup/bottle
After moths of breastfeeding and bottle feeding your baby, the first time they are able to hold onto the bottle or cup for themselves and take a drink will come as a very proud moment - and emotional as you get the first glimpses of the independent person they will one day become. Just be sure expect a few spills here and there along the way and let them enjoy this new found freedom!
Sleeping past dawn
Ahhhh a good night’s sleep, a rare and wonderful thing to new parents. There really is nothing quite like waking up at 3am to a screaming baby who needs feeding. If you have a newborn, it’s probably going to be a fair while before you get another full night's sleep again. And when it finally comes, you might find you’re waking up anyway what with your body clock being so used to disruptions by this point. Even when they do start to sleep through the night (which in itself is defined differently by every mum I talk to) they often are on their own clock, so dont be surprised if 5:30am wake ups become the norm for a while. All we can promise is this. One day, they will sleep through and you’ll have to drag them out of bed. One day…
Your first night out
Now we know that the last thing on your mind when you get home from the hospital with your little one, is when your next maiden voyage will be, but it’ll certainly come round before you might think. When it does, remember it is completely normal to have some mixed emotions. You’ll likely find your excitement is met with an equal amount of nerves and worry about leaving your little one but as long as you have someone you really trust babysitting, just know you’ll be absolutely fine and just try to enjoy your adventure. A top tip is to go out somewhere not too far from home to really put your mind at rest that if you need to get back urgently, you can do.
Your first Mother’s & Father’s Days
Whilst it’s true that for the first few Mothers & Father’s Days, your little one will not be aware it is still a really special milestone and one that you should enjoy revelling in! It's also a brilliant excuse to show yourself, or your partner, a little bit of appreciation and have some fun with it too.
Your first proper private shower
Being a new parent leaves very little time where you are not disrupted or having to prioritise other tasks above your own general care, and whilst we highly encourage taking time for yourself for the sake of your mental well being, we appreciate that is not always an easy thing to accomplish. But sooner or later you will be able to eat that meal without being disrupted and having to let it go cold, and you’ll be able to have that hot shower without having to step out still covered in suds because someone woke up and is now crying for a feed.
Those first steps
There are so many milestones you will wait for with baited breath as a parent, but none will be quite the same as when your little one stands up on their own two feet and starts taking those first wobbly few steps all by themselves. Your baby might start this as early as 9 months but for others you may wait as long as 2 years! While it is exciting to see them on the move, the hard work really starts now so try not to be impatient if your little one is a little slower than their peers to get going. And make sure you have baby-proofed those low kitchen cupboards before they are running circles around you and are pulling everything out of them!
Their first birthday
Some might say that celebrating a first birthday isn’t worth it for an event that they won't remember and whilst that’s a valid reason, it also marks your first year as a parent, your first year as a family and that is definitely cause for celebration. Whether you go all out and have a big celebration, enjoy a few cakes at home or make a special day trip to mark it, that first birthday is definitely as much about you celebrating the toughest 12 months and you deserve to mark the occasion!