The Best Advice I Received for Baby’s First Year

How to Survive Baby's First Year

The Secret to Surviving Your First Year as a MomThe minute you announce your pregnancy, you will inevitably be bombarded with “helpful” tips, suggestions, and advice on how to manage life with an infant.

It will all be well-intentioned, but it won’t all be useful.

There is, however, one piece of advice I received that genuinely made my situation as a brand spankin’ new mom much easier.

I don’t remember who gave me this wisdom, or if I read it in a book or a magazine. It’s hard to remember details like that in a sleep-deprived fog.

What I do remember is that this simple phrase got me through countless troubles and worries throughout my son’s first year of life.

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The absolute best piece of advice I received for baby’s first year? It was this:

Everything is a phase.  Tweet this!

Simple, right? But also incredibly powerful and applicable to almost every situation we faced.

Some examples:

  • The breastfeeding issues we faced due to an overactive letdown? Seemed like the end of the world and resulted in floods of tears. Turned out to be a three-week phase.
  • The sleep regression we faced around baby’s five month birthday? The one that made us feel more like zombies than we ever did in the first few weeks? Over in two weeks.
  • That super fussy period, during which my little boy allowed few people other than me to hold him, and even then it had to be while bouncing on an exercise ball? It wasn’t long before he totally grew out of it.
  • Those first few months as a new working mom, and the flurry of anger and exhaustion and relief that came with it? We got through that too.

No matter what issue we faced during those first twelve months, it was a million times more manageable when we realized it was only a matter of time before that issue was over and done with (and we were on to the next one!).

Everything is a phase. This too shall pass.

Of course, the wisdom in this advice applies to the good stuff as much as the challenges.

Napping on my chest? Now he’s much more comfortable snoozing in his crib. That adorable monkey-crawl move? We’re lucky we got it on video because he’s way past that now.

For me, the key to that precious but demanding first year is simply to remember that everything is a phase. Just when you’re at your wit’s end, the struggle will be over. But at the same time, you’ll blink and that sweet baby will be a toddler (hopefully equally sweet!).

What’s the best or worst advice you received for baby’s first year?

What was one phase your little one went through that seemed terrible at the time but, looking back, turned out to be no big deal? 

27 responses to “The Best Advice I Received for Baby’s First Year”

  1. Along the same lines, the phrase that gets me through frustrating times is, “He probably will/wont do X by the time he goes to college.” As in, “He will probably be able to eat with a spoon before he goes to college.” It’s a good (and funny) reminder that kids do things on their own time, and, except in cases where there’s a real problem, it will all work itself out in the end.

  2. Tweeted! And bonus – found you on twitter.
    It’s funny when I think back to kid viruses and I thought they’d never get better. And it was maybe five days. Being in it, though, ugh.
    It’s so true. The good and the bad – all a phase. Always onto better and badder things.

    • Childhood sicknesses are the perfect example! You’re so right that when you’re in the middle of one, it feels like the world is ending, even though in reality it’ll be over soon.

  3. This great advice! Sometimes I forget that things come in phases and get so frustrated. The best advice I got was to savor every moment because it goes by so fast. I’ve done this as much as I can and I am so thankful that I do, because the good things do change so fast. We get as much as we can on video.

  4. So funny! I wrote a post about this last year. Almost all of the advice you receive is total crap, but that is one absolute gem! YES, everything, good and bad, is a phase. Before you know it, your child is on to the next thing that absolutely drives you crazy or absolutely delights you! Just when you think it can’t get better or worse, things change again. Love this, Katie!

  5. The best advice given was to walk away for a few moments if the situation was too intense.

    A fussy baby in crib may be safer there than with a physically and emotionally exhausted parent.

    I’ve learned that our daughter is very good at calming herself down in her crib and respecting that we all need a rest (most times).

    • Agreed, Wendy! There were several instances during Luke’s first year when I just needed to put him in a safe place and step away for a minute. At first I felt like a bad parent for needing to do that. Now I know that that is the sign of a GOOD parent.

  6. I heard that advice too and now that I’m a second time mom, know it to be true. However as a first time mom, I didn’t believe anybody when they said that lol! It seemed to never ending, or I wondered if my kid was the exception and would never sleep through the night. Now of course I tell others the same advice haha but for me, only in having gone through it did it finally sink in.

  7. Never let your child sleep in bed with you… yeah, that one went right out the window! Thanks, I needed this reminder. I’m in a quite difficult stage right now with the two year old!

  8. So incredibly true! While it doesn’t always seem that way at the time, everything is a phase. Once you get through one, another one starts. Some are good and some are taxing, but everything usually works itself out. All new parents need to know this!

  9. That’s awesome advice! In retrospect many of the things that had me pulling out my hair at my wit’s end only lasted a few weeks tops! I think another good piece advice is to trust your instincts and don’t over-think everything!

    • Ohhhh that’s a good one, especially with the Internet and the vast amount of information available to us with a single visit to Google. No matter how many books and blogs you read, in the end you need to trust yourself as a mama!

  10. I am not a mom yet but my best friend has a 7 month old baby. I will be sure to share this with her! I also tweeted out your link. Great (and helpful) post!

  11. Everything is a phase. By the time the third kid showed up, I’d say, “thanks for the advice” and move on. For me the terrible twos were actual the terrible threes. They were not fun, but this too shall pass.

  12. tweeted! My oldest son went through a long phase of stuttering when he was three – a common thing for smart kids bcz their brains are going too fast for their tongues. We got through it by singing his sentences. But my heart broke for him every time he looked at me tearfully while trying to get his words out.

    It lasted about 6 months, but was clearly a long phase that he outgrew, just like all the others.

    And to Chelsea’s comment – the perspective that your child won’t do that when they’re in college – is a delightfully humorous way to objectify an emotional moment and create a little breathing room.

  13. This is a really nice post. I think it will be comforting to a lot of moms. My boys are only four, but I feel like I’ve already forgotten so much about all of their little phases. Thank goodness for our phones with cameras, right? Potty training was kind of tough for us, and now even the boys laugh about it. Out with potty training, in with potty humor I guess! 🙂

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