Smiling is Infectious! 1 of 12
Having a baby is quite possibly the most life-altering thing that can happen to you and your partner. One day, you're two happy people in love waiting for the arrival of your little bundle. Then the next day, your life is flipped upside down, and you're learning to live with lack of sleep, lack of free time, and a whole new set of responsibilities. The good thing is that little one fills you with more love than you ever thought possible. Babies can teach us a lot about ourselves and about life. Here are 10 things Ive learned from my own.
Smiling is Infectious! 2 of 12
1: Smiling is infectious
The first day Wolf stretched a little grin from ear to ear, my heart exploded. To this day, it still explodes every time he smiles, and I cant help but smile back. Even sweeter: I catch myself wearing a big goofy grin even when he's smiling at someone else!
What baby's smiling means — and how it affects you!
Smiling is Infectious! 3 of 12
2: It doesn't matter what others think
I panicked the first time Wolf started crying when we were in public. I was convinced that everyone was looking at us thinking, Oh geez, who brought the screamer? Then I remembered the things I learned about baby behavior in my parenting books and was able to calm him down. Talk about crisis averted! I soon came to realize, however, that this is life, and crying is the only way babies know how to communicate. Now when Wolf gets fussy in public, we still do our best to calm him as fast as possible, but I no longer worry about what others think.
Being a mom is hard enough — 10 places we could do without parenting advice
Smiling is Infectious! 4 of 12
3: There really is a difference between baby cries
While were on the subject of crying, I have to confess: When I was pregnant, I thought it would be impossible to discern between my babys cry when he was hungry, sleepy, or needed a new diaper. Now its pretty easy to tell what Wolf wants, and I could probably pin point his cry in a group of babies if I was blindfolded!
How to understand what baby's cries mean
Smiling is Infectious! 5 of 12
4: Multi-tasking is a superpower
Theres a special skill that comes with having a baby — super-multi-tasking. Sure, in my pre-baby days I could juggle multiple things at once, but with Wolf, I've learned that in order to get things done, you have to push the limits. Eating dinner and holding Wolf or breastfeeding and typing at the same time, the skys the limit!
Don't expect life to "slow down" once you have a baby
Smiling is Infectious! 6 of 12
5: It's okay to have a short attention span
Wolf's little mind is expanding more and more each day. In the morning I hand him a toy and within a few minutes he's ready for something new. Instead of getting frustrated, I embrace it and hand him another toy or change his environment. He's soaking in every blip of life right now and wants to explore as much as he can — something I need to remember to do every now and then as well.
Baby brain power: Ways to enhance cognitive skills and development
Smiling is Infectious! 7 of 12
6: Always be prepared
Explosive poops? They happen everywhere, including the middle of nowhere. Be prepared. Gone are the days of leaving the house on a whim. Now before you depart, you need to check for bottles, diapers, wipes, toys, burp cloths, and a change of clothes, etc., so that baby will have everything he needs while youre on the go.
Messy baby? Try these clean-up tips
Smiling is Infectious! 8 of 12
7: Make time for photos
Of course all new parents love to document their new babes, but Id dare to suggest you take it one step further and take hundreds at one time. Maybe Im obsessive, but Ive found it much easier to catch the best smile or the cutest expression when I take three photos, okay 10, at a time.
From the first breath to the first steps, how to take cute baby pictures
Smiling is Infectious! 9 of 12
8: Dedication means more than it used to
I've been breastfeeding Wolf since he was born, however not entirely exclusively due to low milk supply and insufficient glandular tissue. I've had many moments when I've wanted to give up my hard work and switch him entirely to the bottle, but Ive stuck it out. Im dedicated to providing Wolf with as much breastmilk as I can, even if it means more persistence on my part.
Moms on breastfeeding: 8 women share their stories
Smiling is Infectious! 10 of 12
9: There are many degrees of love
The love I have for Wolf is like no other feeling Ive ever felt before, and it hit me like a brick after he was born. I stared down at him smiling up at me and couldnt think about anything else. There are no words that can describe what this love feels like, but any parent thats been deep in the middle of explosive poopy diapers, 4am scream fests, projectile pee, and spit up probably understands.
Find out why your baby is soothed by what you do
Smiling is Infectious! 11 of 12
10: There is such thing as a mother's instinct...
And it kicks in immediately. Before Wolf, Id never held a baby before. Ever. I wasnt even sure Id know what to do or how to take care of a newborn before he came. But once he arrived, it amazed me how much of mothering came naturally to me. I never thought that I'd feel so different about myself after becoming a mom; I feel powerful, happy, full of love. Motherhood has changed the way I look at the world, for the better, of course.
Dear New Mom: One mom who's been there tells you not to worry
Smiling is Infectious! 12 of 12