I can’t believe that my littlest one will already be six months old in just a week or two. For some reason, the first months with baby seem to have just flown by. The newborn stage went by in a flash. Much quicker than with our firstborn.
Perhaps it’s down to the fact that this will most likely be my last baby (a realization with which I’m s-l-o-w-l-y and somewhat painfully coming to terms!). In any case, this time, rather than focusing so many of my thoughts on all of the exciting milestones to come, I’m clinging to the wonderful and unique experience of just being with a little baby in the here and now.
Of course we all know that it’s equal parts amazing and exhausting. The sleepless nights, aches and pains, endless diaper changes, juggling of responsibilities and constant all-encompassing worry about whether we’re doing it “right”, don’t exactly leave much room for quiet contemplation about how incredible it is.
In fact, when you Google anything about newborns, one of the most popular search results is “when does life with a newborn get easier“. There are a gazillion articles about how to cope and adjust to your new life. And with good reason. Trying to negotiate the first months with baby is more often than not messy and chaotic (and that’s me putting it nicely!).
But at the same time, there are those magical moments that make it all oh so worthwhile. And I know that I’ll miss them terribly when they’re gone.
So apologies in advance for the overly soppy and sentimental nature of today’s post, but that’s pretty much how I am these days 🙂
Here are a few of the things that I’m enjoying most about spending time with my baby girl right now, before I turn around and in the blink of an eye find that she’s suddenly all grown up.
#1 The way that your little baby looks at you
Anyone that’s been on the receiving end of a loving baby look will know exactly what I’m talking about… and any of you soon-to-be parents are in for such a treat! It’s the wide-eyed, adoring gaze that tells you that your baby loves you. It’s so pure and uncomplicated. It has the power to make you feel that all is good in the world. And of course it’s impossible not to smile back.
I’ve been secretly trying to capture it on camera (without distracting her!) so that I’ll always have a reminder of that look. I may need to refer back to it during her teenage years when I’ll probably be getting eye-rolls instead!
The way that a little baby’s face can just light up when he or she looks at you has to be one of the most amazing things ever.
#2 Being forced to slow down
I’m naturally a busy person. I honestly find it quite difficult to just sit and relax at times. There’s often a lurking feeling that there’s something else I should be doing. I get jittery when the laundry is piling up or I’ve let the vacuuming go.
In one of my recent posts about making the transition from one to two children, I mentioned how difficult it was to achieve much with a newborn that only ever wanted to be in my arms. But that’s really a blessing in disguise, isn’t it?
Now, when I’m finished feeding my baby, I really try to resist the urge to set her down so that I can tend to the housework or any of the hundreds of other items on my to-do list that can honestly just wait. I don’t always succeed, but I’m definitely getting better.
It’s actually quite nice to have a reason to slow down for once. To just sit and cuddle. Or to tickle little feet. To blow raspberries. To sing a silly song and soak up one of the aforementioned adoring looks.
#3 The teeny tiny clothes
We all love buying baby clothes, don’t we?! It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent or not. Or whose child they’re for. There’s something irresistible about clothes in miniature.
The cute little onesies with sweet prints or clever slogans. The frilly dresses. A pair of socks no larger than your big toe. Shoes that they’ll never actually walk in, but are nonetheless adorable.
I recently packed up my daughter’s newborn stuff and it was tough. I’ve been trying to adopt a more minimalist approach when it comes to our household belongings lately (you can read my post on that here) so the plan was to keep a couple of outfits for nostalgia and bag up the rest for charity.
But despite my best intentions, I’ve been struggling to let go of those little clothes. Hands up – I may have shed a few tears.
#4 All the firsts
While there’s so much joy in beholding the major developmental milestones like walking and talking, for me, some of the best “firsts” happen earlier on. The first time your baby grips your finger. Or the first proper, big gummy smile. How about that first precious giggle? The first time meeting family members or friends. And the first bath.
The list goes on and on, but I should probably leave it there before I start crying again.
I can easily recall a time pre-kids, that I didn’t really get why parents would obsess over all of the seemingly trivial things that their babies did. Oh, how things change. Not only do I now obsess over all of the same things, but I’m probably guilty of boring anyone who might listen with the details. Sorry, not sorry 😉
#5 The forging of a bond that will last a lifetime
This is the most magical part of all in my opinion. It’s during these early few months with baby that we start to get to know one another a little bit better each day, and fall in love along the way.
And it’s quite amazing to think that this early bonding period will impact her future emotional well-being, all the way through to adulthood. It’s a huge privilege and responsibility.
But right now, I’m mainly just enjoying the time I get to spend with this little person and reveling in the very beginnings of the unique relationship that exists and grows between a parent and child.
Many people love to use the quote about the days being long and the years being short. The sentiment feels spot on to me (although sometimes the days seem so ridiculously long that the baby experience feels anything but magical!).
It won’t be long before the baby days are behind us, and we’re on to the toddler phase (which is full of its own delights!) but this time will always have a special place in my heart.
What do you or did you enjoy most about your own little babies? Did you love this time? Or loathe it?! I’d love to hear your experiences!