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10 Things I Learned in my First 3 Weeks as a Parent

By Katie |

I have been excited to become a parent for as long as I can remember. And the 41 weeks of pregnancy just heightened that excitement.

I’ll admit that despite my anticipation, I pretty much did nothing to prepare for parenthood. I mean, I read a few websites and had multiple apps on my phone for pregnancy information, but none of them really prepared me for parenting because it turns out, my baby does not read books or apps either.

But I simply did not expect to learn so much in such a short period of time. Parenting has been a bit of sink or swim situation. We don’t have all the right answers (and I am starting to suspect that there isn’t really a right answer to most situations), but we’re doing the best we can every day. And so far, we’re hanging in there.

I know some of these are kind of obvious, but these are the 10 things I learned about in my first 3 weeks as a parent.

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Things I've Learned as a New Mom

Erythema Toxicum

The day we came home from the hospital I noticed that my baby had red raised spots (like the one on his chest in this picture) that would come and go on and I FREAKED out. Thankfully at our pediatrician appointment the next day we learned it was something called Erythema Toxicum, or E. Tox and it's not serious and should go away on it's own. At 3 weeks old, he only gets a spot or two every few days instead of the many he had at first. No one warned me about this one.

What were the first things you learned when you became a parent?

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About Katie



Katie is a former teacher, part-time PT, wife, and first-time mother to the baby with the best ears on the Internet. You can find more of her grammatically questionable writing at her blog, Overflowing Brain. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned in my First 3 Weeks as a Parent

  1. Stefanie says:

    It’s not just the 0-3 months clothes that are wrong. You can never depend on sizes to be the same between brands. My son was fitting ok in 3 month clothes when he was 4-5 months and so I held off on putting him in some 6 month gear. Then one day I thought I’d see how he fit into some of it and it was too small.

  2. Katie says:

    Your baby is adorable! Reminds me of mine, he’s only 5 months old right now but has changed so much! My “learning” during the first three weeks is that you can survive anything..and that’s pretty empowering!

  3. TiffanyRom {SITSGirls} says:

    SO, so cute.

    Can’t wait to snuggle him.


  4. Sarah says:

    I love it. There are SO many things you don’t expect being a first time mom. I didn’t know what sleep deprived was before I had kids. I thought “sleep deprived” was getting less than 8 hours of sleep. HAH. I didn’t know that baby girls could pee all over you like baby boys can. I didn’t know that my little tiny baby could projectile vomit. I didn’t know that I’d be passing strawberry-sized blood clots. (Now that’s a visual I’m sure you all wanted to think about.) Haha. ;)

  5. Rosie says:

    I learned not all babies poop every day. My first son pooped with EVERY feeding. Boy #2 poops like every 5 days!!! He’s almost 4 weeks old and I swear he’s only had 6 poops! Crazy! Oh, and the 0-3 size clothes are huge on my 8 pounder too!

  6. Kirsten says:

    Sad that this post had such a negative tone. Sounded like it was written by an over tired mom at 3 am after a HARD day. I’ve been there too, I’m not trying to sugar coat it- but I think each of these lessons could have been written in a far less negative way.

  7. katie says:

    Kirsten, I’m sorry you feel that way. I can assure you that it was written in the middle of the day after a pretty decent amount of sleep. I tend to be a pretty sarcastic person, so that was more the tone I meant. But if you can find a way to write about tearing your urethra without sounding kind of negative, please let me know, because for the life of me, I can’t do that one. :)

  8. Jennifer R says:

    I don’t know what reason you were told not to breastfeed him, but have you already consulted with a real, certified lactation consultant and not just a nurse who took a test? There are good ones and bad ones, and ones who have educated themselves above all the requirements and have years of experience — those are the ones to seek. Make sure they know about tongue ties, especially the posterior ones, as those are harder to spot and can cause all kinds of problems.
    Hope your tears heal fast.

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