As brand new parents we all make pretty much exactly the same rookie mistakes!
There’s no warning us, and to be honest half of the stuff that happens in the first year you can’t really believe until it actually happens to you.
I’ve been guilty of every single one of these mistakes, and of beating myself up after having made them.
But the most important thing to remember about mistakes when it comes to your kids is not to beat yourself up about it. All of these mistakes will be forgotten about quicker than you can say “they grow up fast”, and your child will certainly not remember a thing!
These mistakes unite us as parents, because we are all muddling through in our own bumbling, exhausted way.
So here are 21 rookie mistakes all parents make, are any of them familiar?
1. Standing in the line of fire
You think standing a foot away from the bum area will protect you. You think your baby will not pee in the two seconds it takes to switch a nappy over. You would be wrong.
Babies can not only fire a stream of pee an impressive distance, but they can also fire their poop an incredible distance. Seriously. My baby once fired a stream of poop across the room and out of the door into the hallway.
Once you’ve forgotten to cover the bum area once, you will never do it again!
2. Buying way too many newborn clothes
The newborn clothes are impossible to resist. They are so tiny and cute.
The trouble is, chances are your baby will fit in newborn clothes for around four weeks maximum. That means the 50 outfits you bought might get worn once if you’re lucky.
You may like: What you really need to buy for a newborn
3. Giving baby a bump on the head
Whatever way we choose to parent our kids, at some point we will all make the mistake of whacking our baby’s head on the car door frame.
Some might forget how wide their baby is when being carried lengthways and whack their head on a door frame in the house.
However you do it, at some point you will bonk your baby’s head on something by accident.
They will cry. You will feel awful. You will all survive!
4. Nail-trimming mishaps
Trimming your baby’s nails is scarier than giving birth. Fact.
When my baby was a few weeks old I accidentally caught some of her skin when trimming her nails. She screamed and screamed. I’ve still not recovered.
5. Listening to all the advice
Advice pours our of absolutely everyone when you’ve had a baby.
You’ll come across it from relatives, friends and even strangers in the supermarket. Everyone has the ultimate tip that “works every time” when it comes to a whole range of baby-related troubles.
There’s also a LOT of advice to be found on the internet, especially in those colourful parenting forums.
There’s no avoiding it. But you can learn to trust your own instincts. Try to filter away the stuff you don’t need from the stuff that might actually be useful.
6. Assuming you will be supermama
We all go into parenthood with the very best of intentions. We want to do the very best for our kids. We love them after all!
But you will not be supermama, Or, if you do attempt to be the perfect mother you’ll find yourself burning out and feeling disappointed pretty fast.
You won’t be perfect, and that’s totally OK.
7. Getting stressed by comparison syndrome
Comparing yourself to anyone for anything is always going to end badly.
In baby groups you will hear endless tales of babies sleeping through the night and mamas managing to feed their babies only organic homemade gluten-free superfoods.
The trouble with comparison syndrome is it just makes you feel lacking when A) you don’t know if you are hearing the full truth and B) every child is totally different.
8. Assuming every cry is life or death
Babies have a way of making their requests for food, comfort and sleep sound like the end of the world is nigh.
As a new parent, you dive straight for the crying baby in a panic with your boob already half out ready for a feed and frantic eyes checking them over for injuries.
9. Panicking about feeding
Is your baby getting enough milk? Are you producing enough milk? Have you created a baby that only wants to snack all day instead of proper meals?
It’s an absolute minefield and because the baby cannot communicate about their health any way other than their cries and the amount of poo they produce, there’s no clear answers.
We all muddle through and figure it out in the end.
10. In fact, panicking about absolutely everything
It’s not just feeding! You’ll panic when the baby is only sleeping short spells and not getting enough “proper” sleep. You’ll panic when the baby does sleep for longer than usual. You’ll panic about whether the bath water is the right temperature.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t end after the first year! You just swap old worries for new ones.
11. Only allowing 10 minutes to leave the house
All seasoned mamas know you need to begin planning to leave the house the day before you actually need to leave the house.
That’s because the unexpected always happens. From puke, to an up-the-back poo, to sudden hunger, something will prevent you from leaving the house on time.
12. Assuming you should know the right answer
“A mother’s instinct” is one of the most misleading phrases out there. While you do know your baby better than anyone else, that doesn’t mean you become a mother and instantly know all of the right answers to everything related to baby care.
You won’t always know the correct answer right away, but you will muddle your way through and get there in the end.
13. Thinking “nothing has to change”
The worst piece of advice I ever received pre-baby was that “nothing has to change” after you have kids. What a load of nonsense.
Everything changes. Your attitude towards your career, your relationship and your social life. That’s not to say it changes for the worst, but things certainly never go back to the way they were after having a baby!
14. Both getting up with the baby
In order to survive the first year with a baby, you have to tag team at night.
It might be annoying to see your other half catching zzzzs while you’re up for hours, but find a way to share the load somehow.
15. Being totally unprepared
Everyone told you sleep would be impossible. You thought it was a joke. Maybe you thought it was partially true, but you never really realised what it would be like to be on a newborn’s schedule!
Nothing can prepare you for the relentlessness of sleep deprivation and feeds.
I had no clue that babies can feed for a few minutes, then nod off and then wake up 10 minutes later absolutely starving, then repeat the entire process again. It’s a baptism of fire for sure!
16. Believing in miracles
Everyone has a miracle solution to those first year baby issues. Sleep. Breastfeeding. Weaning.
It’s worth remembering that if anyone had the magical solution to all baby issues then they would be richer than Bill Gates.
Try all of the tips and the hacks, but remember that ultimately there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the baby challenges. The best thing you can do as a parent is to just keep doing what you’re doing every day and know that the tough phases do not last forever.
17. Freaking out over milestones
Your baby may not roll over on the exact month that your baby book informs you that they will. They may not walk on their first birthday.
We all just want our baby to be happy and healthy, so when a milestone is slow to come we freak out. Remember babies do everything at their own pace.
18. Dwelling on the bad moments
We all have terrible days in motherhood. They are the days where everything feels like it has gone wrong.
But it’s dwelling on those crummy days that’s the mistake, not all of the other stuff we perceive we have done wrong.
Some days you will feel like you cannot do anything right for your baby. You’ve got to just move on and remember tomorrow is another day.
So did any of these sound familiar? Let me know in the comments!