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10 "New Mom" Things I'm Not Doing Anymore

Sniff. I miss those early days of having him strapped to me!

I think I’m finally starting to understand why such a fuss is made over a baby’s first year.  It is truly amazing how in just 365 days, these little guys go from wrinkly little aliens to walking, talking little people.  Of course there are many more changes and milestones beyond year one, but at the beginning each month can feel like an entire year of changes and developments all of its own.

Cullen has grown up so much in the past month or two.  Truly, an unrecognizable baby both in appearance and personality.  When I think back to those first few months with him, I realize that my parenting has also changed drastically.  Gone are (most of) those new mom anxieties and worries, and my confidence in my own parenting and ability to meet his needs is, thankfully, much higher.  Truthfully, I’ve also gotten much lazier.  We’ve settled into our groove, and I’ve stopped racing around boiling pacifiers and sanitizing everything in sight.  We’ve made it to seven months and we’re all still breathing – high fives all around!

Here are ten things I was doing as a brand new mom, that I’m not doing anymore…

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  • Rinsing pacifiers when they hit the ground. 1 of 10
    Rinsing pacifiers when they hit the ground.
    When Cullen was a newborn, I was practically boiling pacifiers every three hours. My germ paranoia was much higher, and I was convinced those little plastic bulbs were collecting every particle. Now it's rare that I actually remember to bring an extra, and when he throws it on the ground I do a quick wipe off or pop it on my own mouth to clean it, and pop it right back into his. I try to remember to boil them every few weeks now.
  • Changing diapers constantly. 2 of 10
    Changing diapers constantly.
    Part of this is his age, and part is me just relaxing about all this parenting stuff. At the beginning, I think we were changing his diaper at least every two hours, sometimes more. Looking back, that seems totally excessive. Now I feel bad that sometimes hours and hours will pass, and I'll realize that my poor guy has been sitting in the same diaper for a while. He usually gets 4-5 diapers a day now - a big step down from the 14 or 15 he was wearing in newborn days!
  • Changing clothes immediately. 3 of 10
    Changing clothes immediately.
    Maybe this makes me a bad mom, but I don't necessarily do the full outfit change anymore just because of a little pee or spit-up. Depending on the damage, I'll assess whether or not it warrants the full blown tantrum and scream-fest that is associated with changing clothes. I used to change his outfit for even the smallest little drip or dribble, and now it's sort of scary what I will let slide.
  • Leave him unattended. Ever. 4 of 10
    Leave him unattended.  Ever.
    Again, I know this is mostly because of his age and development. But it amazes me that I used to be able to plop Cullen in a pillow on the countertop and actually walk across the room (he was VERY young - just a few weeks!). Now I rarely even stand him on the counter even when I'm holding on. It's funny that in some sense, his development has helped me gain a lot of freedom in some areas (not holding his wobbly head anymore!), but his mobility has certainly limited freedom in others.
  • Constant babywearing. 5 of 10
    Constant babywearing.
    I am in love with babywearing. In fact, just searching for this photo I found myself getting all teary and nostalgic for the days when I would strap Cullen into the Ergo or Moby and go for long walks by the lake, or work around the house. I love that feeling of having him snuggled close to me. These days, he doesn't like riding facing backwards anymore, and I haven't mastered the art of the back-carry. I'm hoping there is more babywearing in our future, but for now it's pretty much on hold.
  • Building up a milk stash. 6 of 10
    Building up a milk stash.
    Since I'm at home all day and Cullen was never a huge fan of the bottle, I never had a huge stash to begin with. But I used to do a lot more pumping back at the beginning when I was more worried about milk supply and making sure we had extra on hand (just in case). Now I pump once a day - enough for the following day's bottle. There is no extra or excess supply, but I don't really feel like I need one either.
  • Hauling the carseat everywhere. 7 of 10
    Hauling the carseat everywhere.
    It doesn't feel like all that long ago when we used to just pop the carseat out and take Cullen along with us wherever we went - shopping, coffee shops, restaurants. He was usually pretty happy to just sit in there and sleep or chew on a toy. Now I rarely even take the seat out of the car. He wants to be part of the world (who can blame him?), so he always comes out of the seat now and is held by one of us depending on what we're doing. The days of going to restaurants with him sleeping in the seat are long gone!
  • Being together ALL of the time. 8 of 10
    Being together ALL of the time.
    As a breastfeeding mom - and to a baby who had no interest in bottles - I was pretty much tied to Cullen 24/7 for much of these first months. Recently, he has finally started taking the bottle from dad, which has made a huge difference in all of our happiness. When he was little, I also think I felt like I just needed to be near him all the time. Of course I still love to be with him, but I can also see now that he needs alone time without me, and we are both happier for it.
  • Let him suck on my finger for soothing. 9 of 10
    Let him suck on my finger for soothing.
    Many times at the beginning, we'd find ourselves either out without the pacifier or Cullen wouldn't take it, and the only thing that would soothe him was a (clean) finger to suck on. Then came teeth. OUCH. We only had to learn that lesson once, and while he still tries to suck on our hands all the time, I'm not falling fot that again!
  • Always carefully stocking the diaper bag. 10 of 10
    Always carefully stocking the diaper bag.
    I used to be so good about this. Always double checking that I had a clean outfit, plenty of diapers, extra pacifiers, etc. Now I tend to just leave the diaper bag in my car all the time, so whatever is in there is what I have to use. Recently, I've had two separate occasions where Cullen has had massive diaper leakage and there hasn't been a clean shirt or pants in sight. Is there anything more humbling than driving home with a naked baby when it's 50 degrees outside? I wish I still remembered to do this!

What about you?  How has your parenting changed with time?

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