52 Things I Learned In 52 Weeks Of Parenting

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Seth Olenick

1. Nobody knows how to pronounce aden + anais.

2. Or Stokke.

3. Just trust me, buy a Keekaroo.

4. Most newborns look like tiny eggplants. Luckily, you won’t realize this until after they’ve grown out of the phase.

5. You will always love your newborn, but most of the time, you probably won’t like her.

6. 99% of the reason you dislike your newborn is due to feeding, whether it’s from your boob or the bottle. I PROMISE, eventually, she will get the hang out it.

7. But it’s still OK to hate breastfeeding. Like, a lot.

8. Chalk this up to evolution forcing you to forget the early days, but it’s freaky how quickly you forget how to hold a newborn once your baby can hold her own head up.

9. Treasure being able to hold your baby with just one arm. By the time they grow out of the newborn phase, they’re too big and too wiggly to ever let you cradle them like that again.

10. Newborns really do sleep through everything. So, for the love of god, take them out to eat as much as possible. Soon, even running out for a cup of coffee with your baby will require Navy Seal precision.

11. And speaking of being precise, sometimes your to do list will have “brush teeth” on it and you still won’t make that happen until after noon.

12. Once your baby learns how to put food in her own mouth, the only phrase you will ever say is “Don’t eat that.”

13. Sticky, banana-coated baby fingers are cleaned much better by your mouth than a napkin.

14. You will begin to eat more food off the floor than your pets.

15. It’s impossible to feed your baby without also opening your own mouth every time she takes a bite.

16. Also, some baby food is actually delicious. Banana-berry blends, I’m looking at you.

17. I feel very accomplished when I pour the exact amount of water into the formula bottle on the first try.

18. Waterboarding? True torture is listening to your baby’s music table for the ninth time in a day.

19. However, the Rock ‘n Play may be the human race’s greatest achievement.

20. Picking boogers out of a baby’s nose is immeasurably satisfying.

21. That being said, cherish the first time you use a snot sucker, because it will NEVER be that easy again.

22. I have spent way too much time debating the merits of Swaddlers versus Cruisers diapers.

23. Also, three poop blow-outs in a row means it’s time to size up in diapers.

24. And speaking of poop, did you know whole beans can pass through a baby’s digestive system entirely intact? See also: corn, blueberries...

25. Also, formula poop is worse than breast milk poop by a factor of 100.

26. AND there are certain outfits that your baby will explosive poop in EVERY TIME.

27. So, please, please, never leave home without a spare outfit.

28. Many cat toys double as baby toys. And vice versa.

29. Baby clapping is probably the solution to world peace.

30. The day your baby learns to push her own arm through her sleeve is one of great rejoicing.

31. There is no reason to ever buy something full-price at Gap. Wait four days and it will magically be 50% off.

32. Umbrella strollers are useless unless you can push and collapse them with one hand.

33. Baby fingernails grow at 100 times the rate of adult ones.

34. They are also 100 times sharper.

35. Speaking of fingernails, mine are now permanently shellacked in poop, puke or both, and I don’t even care.

36. You may think the worst thing that happens to your hair postpartum is when it all falls out, but it’s actually the tiny baby hairs that grow in after.

37. It’s amazing how quickly you build up a tolerance for spit up. She puked on the sheets? Eh, just let it dry before you go to sleep.

38. Choose zippers over snaps EVERY TIME for sleepers.

39. You can justify buying expensive baby clothes by reminding yourself that the same dress in an adult size would be way more expensive.

40. That being said, even the world’s fanciest baby socks will not stay on baby feet.

41. Don’t buy infant shoes. I have yet to find a pair that actually fits.

42. My own wardrobe has grown considerably as well. I now have sweatpants that never leave the house, sweatpants for going outside when I won’t see anyone I know, and fancy sweatpants for when I will.

43. I hope there is a special circle in hell for people who don’t hold the door open for mothers with strollers. Especially the ones who stand there and WAIT for you to navigate through the double doors.

44. However, I surprise myself constantly with my Olympic-level stroller maneuvering (Wind door followed by a pull door? NO PROBLEM.)

45. Take a music class with your baby if you’re in New York. Your instructor is most likely a struggling Broadway actor and you can say you knew her when.

46. No baby sleeps 12 hours at night and has great naps without some form of sleep training.

47. They are generally ugly and take up way too much room, but get your baby a bouncer as soon as she’s mobile. Otherwise, be committed to never peeing alone.

48. I may not be proficient at many hairstyles, but I do not mess when it comes to whale spouts.

49. Long-haired babies are adorable. The boogers that get stuck in said hair are not.

50. I hope that one day I experience the type of joy my daughter had when she faced out in her carrier for the first time.

51. A wise mom told me that whatever stage YOUR baby is in is truly the best stage (except that the stage where they can sit up but not crawl. That’s actually the best).

52. There is no better description of the first year of motherhood than the longest, shortest year.

For more on motherhood, check out Juliet’s blog at www.julietsmarried.com

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