9 New Mom Milestones
Every mom knows baby's milestones. But what about you? Your firsts are more than worthy of a round of applause. BabyZone has nine milestones new moms can look forward to!
(Approximate timeframe: 2 days to 3 years)
Once you’ve given birth there’s not too much left to feel modest about, but bathing alone is one of those special moments in a mom’s life—for years, you won’t be able to think about it without tearing up!
Shannon Holdenried of San Antonio, Texas, is a mom of three, but she can still recall the first time she took a solo shower—kind of—after the birth of her first child, Tres.
“I was afraid of leaving him alone, I would strap him into the baby bouncer and he would stare at me,” Holdenried remembers. “I freaked out and turned him around so he faced the bathroom door instead!”
First Time Shaving Your Legs Again
(Approximate timeframe: one day to three months)
While some moms we know can’t (and didn’t) go even 24 hours without personal grooming, others waited a little longer to bust out the razor.
“People shave their legs when they have newborns?” quips Jessica Martin, a mom to four in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Her daughter was born in late November, and she took full advantage of the cold weather to avoid this particular chore.
“One night I finally slid between the sheets after shaving my legs in a gloriously hot shower while the baby snoozed,” she says. “It was early February!”
First Full Night's Sleep
(Approximate timeframe: 6 weeks to 12 months)
Newborns are exquisite little creatures, and lucky for them, because the havoc they wreak on your sleep schedule will drive you to the brink. But take heart, moms. You’ll get a full eight hours of shut-eye sooner or later—sooner if you have a helping hand or two, like Carrie Penning Bush.
Bush, who lives in Champaign, Illinois, says her sister gave her the greatest gift of all—sleep!
“When Charly was about 3 weeks old my sister came to stay with us in Chicago, where were living at the time,” Bush says. “She told us she would sleep in the baby’s room and do the midnight feeding. I think I cried. At that time I couldn’t imagine anyone doing that for someone. It seemed like self-inflicted cruel and unusual punishment!”
First Hot Meal
(Approximate timeframe: first 24 hours to 3 days)
Having a baby is a big physical achievement, and one likely to give you a big appetite. Everyone loves to feed a new family, so you can be on the lookout for a hot meal or three delivered to you by generous friends and family members. But savor it—once your kid is mobile, you’ll dream about those casseroles like a long-lost lover.
Pam Smith just gave birth to her second son, Sam, but she still remembers her first hot meal after her oldest, C.J., was born.
“With my first, it was courtesy of a good friend who stocked our fridge with a few groceries and homemade meals while we were at the hospital,” says this Champaign, Illinois, mom. “We came home, put most of our stuff away, and heated up some of her chicken and noodles. We ate in front of the TV with the baby sleeping in his Moses basket. It was the best meal I’d had in a long time!”
First Night Out Without Baby
(Approximate timeframe: 1 week to 12 months)
Your baby is perfect and fascinating, so why on earth would you want to leave the house without her? Trust us—you’re going to need some adult interaction too. Leaving baby behind for some time with friends, family or your partner will make you a better mom.
Emily Paster is a mom of two who lives in Chicago, Illinois, and she remembers the first time she went out on the town for a special occasion after giving birth to her first child, daughter Zoe.
“Zoe was about 9 weeks old, and we left her with friends who had a baby just about a year older so we could go out for dinner,” she says. “It was my birthday!”
First Time Having Sex Again
(Approximate timeframe: 6 weeks to 6 months)
Clearly, as a new mom, you already understand the birds and the bees, but sex after Baby is a whole new animal. Parts of your body that were previously reserved for (ahem) “adult use” suddenly have all new functions. Just ask McGee Meredith of Austin, Texas.
“I had really been struggling with breastfeeding and had issues with over-supply and forceful letdown,” Meredith says. “I was worried that if my husband touched my breasts during sex, I’d spray milk everywhere. So when we had sex for the first time after our daughter was born, I wore a sports bra with huge nursing pads shoved inside and told him, ‘Touch my chest, and you’re a dead man.’ How’s that for sexy?”
First Day Back at Work
(Approximate timeframe: 6 weeks to 12 months)
One of the more heartbreaking, bittersweet moments in motherhood is the day you head back to work for the first time, leaving your precious baby behind.It can feel like you’re being torn in half, and throughout your day you may be prone to spontaneous weeping. But we promise, it does get better.
Catherine Holecko of Neenah, Wisconsin, says she was coping pretty well on her first day back to the office—until, that is, she couldn’t remember how to use her breast pump.
“I went back to work when my first baby was 4 months old,” she says. “Despite weeks of practicing with the breast pump I just could not get it to work on day one at the office. I definitely felt like crying when I was sitting on the floor of a borrowed office trying to express milk with my bare hands!”
First Day at Work—Without Crying
(Approximate timeframe: 1 to 30 days)
It’s also A-OK to be excited about going back to work. After all, you worked hard for your career and you love it—even if you love your baby more. The first day you find yourself back behind your desk with a smile on your face is a good day, indeed.
Just ask Lesley Kennedy, a mom of two girls. After 12 weeks of maternity leave, she says she looked forward to returning to a job she really loved.
“I certainly was nervous to leave my first-born behind and head back to work, but I will admit I was also excited,” she says. “The days leading up to that first day back were full of plenty of tears—mostly because my baby girl absolutely refused to take the bottle. It was beyond frustrating. But the final day of my leave, she drank from that bottle and I went back to work feeling slightly less guilty and dry-eyed. I figure I’d pretty much used up all the tears!”
First Weekend Away from Baby
(Approximate timeframe: 6 months to 3 years)
A weekend getaway without the kids? Really? Taking time out from parenthood does a body good. But what happens when you actually get to your destination and all you can think about is your baby?
Sandy Rohr, a Rochester, New York, mom of two tweens, recalls the first time she and her husband, Ed, left their baby behind.
“When our daughter, Elena, was about 9 or 10 months old, we went away for our anniversary to spend a couple nights in Lake Placid and then we planned to go on to spend one additional night in Vermont,” Rohr says. “At our hotel in Lake Placid we ran into a couple with a daughter the same age as Elena. That night we saw them in a restaurant in town. Then next morning they were seated next to us at breakfast and the little girl had the same exact shoes as our daughter. We were bombarded at every turn. We left and got on the ferry to Vermont, and as soon as we got off the ferry we looked at each other and both said we wanted to go home, and went home a day early! Who would have thought seeing cute little shoes could make us miss her so much!”
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