Lesson learned

Everyone says that being a parent is the hardest job you’ll ever have, but no one can really explain what that means. Sure, you know sleep will be a rare commodity and there will be times when you just don’t know what to do, but I’ve found there is no way to really prepare yourself for those first few weeks of parenthood.

I was overwhelmed by how different everything was-I knew my life would change, but for awhile it seemed as though every single aspect of my life was completely opposite to how it was before my son arrived. Now that he’s closing in on 3 months old, bits and pieces of my pre-mother life have returned, but they’re just not as important anymore. Nothing can compete with a big, squinty, toothless grin from my baby boy.

Another thing I’ve learned during my brief time as a mother is that nothing ever happens the way you planned. I thought I would go into labor at home a few days before my due date-I ended up being induced a week and half past my end-of-May due date. I thought my son would spend most of his early days sleeping in his bassinet-although he slept a lot, he didn’t want to sleep in his bassinet for more than 30 minutes for the first couple of weeks. I told my husband not to waste money on sleep positioners, only to find that our baby would only sleep on his own when swaddled and surrounded on all sides. Of course, there have been pleasant surprises, too. We were greeted with our first smile weeks before the baby development books say to expect it. Although naps are still hit or miss, he was kind enough to start sleeping five to six hours a night just before I went back to work. And best of all, except for the rare occasion, he’s really a happy baby.

Before I went on maternity leave, myself and the other editors decided to give Chicago Baby a bit of a facelift. To help you quickly get to the articles that apply to your life right now, we’re organizing everything by stage: pregnancy, 0-3 months, 3-6 months and 6-12 months.

In each section you’ll find helpful advice, tips and information to help you get through everything from picking a name for your baby to interviewing child care providers. Flip to the back of the magazine and you’ll find resources listing support groups, classes, organizations and more. I hope all these changes make Chicago Baby an even better resource for your family.

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