My little man turned one year old last month! An entire year has gone by with lots of adventures. When I look back on the year I feel pretty proud for getting through it. There were some tough times but I think with the help of my husband (who is amazing), my family (my side and my hubby’s side – both incredible), and my friends (thank you fellow mommies) it was overall successful.
I have changed how I think about the newborn period in some ways. Don’t get me wrong – I still think a lot of what I learned in my pediatric training was helpful – but there were some real life stuff that I learned that can only be taught by experience. The first months were hard for me. I’ve made it no secret that my transition into motherhood was a little rocky. Breastfeeding was painful and intense at first. Being up at all hours of the night for the first months also took a toll. I had some dark times in those first months that I hope have made me a better pediatrician (and mom of course!). I can better relate to the physical and emotional struggles now and I have really made it a goal of mine to always discuss these hard times with my parents at their visits. Sometimes I think we focus so much on the babies that we forget about the parents! So moms and dads, if you are feeling lousy, you are not alone! Please make sure to call on your support group (family, friends, or your doctor) to help in whatever way you need. Moms and dads need just as much help in this as the kids! It takes a village to raise a child after all.
Once the first few months flew by we dealt with sleep troubles. My happy little boy just did not want to sleep through the night! I read (what felt like) every book on sleep to try to find a way to encourage our little Leo to sleep better. No cry, graduated cry it out, full on cry it out…it was hard! I hated hearing him cry! Just before his 10 month birthday though, after a weekend away, we came back and BOOM! He slept through the night! I’m not sure how this happened – baby sleep mystifies me to be honest! Maybe it was our sleep routine/habits finally working? Maybe he just was old enough to not need me in the night anymore? I don’t think that I’ll ever know. Even so, I learned a lot and have firsthand experience now that I can share with you all. Every child, family, and household is different but at least we can discuss options for sleep and work together to keep getting “zzz’s!”
After Leo started sleeping through the night, things got really fun at our house. My husband and I were re-energized (amazing what 6 to7 hours of straight sleep will do) and ready to absorb all of Leo’s new developments. He was an early walker (at 10 months) so we have had to move quickly with our child proofing and safe new toys. He just wants to be a big kid! At this point, Leo is 13 months old and a walking machine! He points at things, knows what a horse says and dances. It is so fun! Don’t get me wrong, I am exhausted at the end of the day…but what a great way to get so tuckered out. Now I just have to figure out how people do it with multiple kids!
I give all of you parents out there a virtual high five. Keep up the good work – it is hard work, but, the best work, too. Together we’ll keep figuring out how to keep our kids healthy and safe. I’d love to hear from any of you about your kid’s accomplishments and trials. Feel free to respond to this blog or we can always chat at the next visit.
Thanks as always for reading. Happy parenting to you all!