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5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before having my First Child

HomeServe the home assistance provider have a blog called ‘ketchup’ which is turning 1 this week.  An odd name for a blog I know but they called it this because it’s something that every household has.  It makes sense, who doesn’t have ketchup!  The blog is full of useful tips & tricks for your home, as well as gardening advice & family friendly activities.  To help them celebrate their blogs 1st birthday I thought I’d write and share a post about what I wish I had known before having my first child.  I am hoping some of you that are yet to have children or know others having them will find this useful, as a mother of three I can say don’t worry it will all work out in the end.


Ok so let me start with, this was a pretty long time ago now as my eldest is almost 8 years old so I am fairly experienced as a parent or at least with the parts I have covered so far, OMG I’m really dreading their teen years.

So what is it that I wish I had known during my first year as a parent?

I will try and limit this as we could be here all day, in fact I could probably write a book.

So here we have it:

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before having my First Child

Getting baby into a Sleep Routine can be Simply Fabulous IF you can Manage it.

During your first year as a parent it’s a given that you will be sleep deprived unless of course you have your own live in nanny doing the night shift which let’s face it most of us don’t.  Once you establish a sleep routine you can quickly learn how early you can get away with putting the mini one to sleep, sleep duration and also an approximate when and length of naps giving you the opportunity to have a nap, get some house work done etc.  I found I was pushing myself to do too much at first and was physically exhausted.  After I began to take naps in the day sometimes when baby did I must admit I did feel much better although still tired.


Children Develop at their Own Pace so DON’T compare them.

Whether it’s when they are finally sleeping through the night if they even get to that stage, when they start walking, talking, are potty trained etc. each child is unique and learns at different rates and will develop at different rates.  Eventually they all even out don’t they?  It’s not like you see children in reception having nappy changes so try not to get too concerned.  I found some mums to be very competitive with the “my child is doing this, isn’t yours older (when they know yours isn’t doing whatever it is yet).  But look at it from another perspective they are super excited about the milestone their little one has reached and it won’t be long until yours catches up and may even overtake in some areas.


Being excessively Tired Can Make you Feel Sad

It’s a shock to the system having a baby. The sleepless nights, the feeds every 1 to 1.5 hours (that was what happened to me at first, OMG nightmare) can really play a toll on your emotional state.  I’m the sort of person that is generally very happy, I am also very smiley and when I was working during my first pregnancy I was told by numerous people that I was the happiest pregnant person they had ever seen.  I may not have felt like everything was sunshine and rainbows but I generally didn’t show it.  Cue the baby.  Now I wasn’t what one might call depressed but I have always been quite a sensitive person so coupled with exhaustion the silliest things would trigger me off whether it was something in a cartoon or a kind gesture.  My goodness there were floods, fortunately this normally happened when I was alone so I didn’t have an audience.  Needless to say the news was no longer watched at ours, it simply wasn’t safe.  I found that as I got more sleep I wasn’t so bad although I must admit I am still pretty sensitive so wouldn’t fit well as a celebrity as the media and trolls can be so cruel sometimes.


OMG My memory is Non Existent

It’s embarrassing isn’t it when you forget some ones name but what if you have a conversation with someone and totally forget about having it?  It happened to me on numerous occasions which actually prompted me to go to the doctor (when I finally remembered to book) as by this stage I was concerned.  After a numerous questions and a quick check up the doctor said that I needn’t worry it was just …. exhaustion.  It was a relief that it was nothing serious yet also not something I was not able to do much about especially when not long after baby no2 made an appearance.   Hurray more sleepless nights lol.


Enjoy Every Moment

It’s shocking how quickly children grow up.  Within the blink of an eye they are onto solids, then walking around.  Where once you were wishing they would say their first words you get to the stage where you wish they would be quiet even just for a minute.   My youngest has just turned two and I must admit I do sometimes miss when he and his sisters were small enough for me to hold in my arms easily.  Soon enough my children will be off to University and I will miss them like crazy so I am making the most of the time I have with them whilst they are small.


For those with children what do you wish you had known before having them?

This Post Has 62 Comments

  1. I can imagine you learn so much when you have kids and it is a very hard, yet rewarding experience. x

  2. What a great post and all so true, I think the worst thing is the memory loss or baby brain as it is also known x

  3. As someone without children this is a great insight, of course there’s so many good points but it’s unimaginable hard work I can imagine, especially having your first as you’re learning.

  4. Poor you I am exhausted enough but you must have been wiped out, still you wouldnt’t have it any other way and it is good that you have learnt so much since being a parent xx

  5. I’m sure most parents can relate to this. I think the lack of sleep would be my biggest issue x

  6. I dont yet have kids but I hope to remember your loving tips and advice. And I think as you said its important to not compare your child to your neighbours as every child develops differently.

  7. I can definitely relate to these things. You’re definitely right about kids developing at different paces!

  8. I agree with most of these, especially children developing at their own pace.

  9. What a lovely read, yes there are many things I’d wish I’d known too.

  10. I haven’t had children yet but this was such a good read x

  11. What a lovely post – I don’t have any children but I’m sure so many other parents can relate to this x

  12. Totally agree with not having enough sleep can make you feel sad! Everything is much better with rest. My mummy is fairly good with capturing moments thankfully xx

  13. Lovely post! I don’t have kids, and therefore I will try to keep these tips in mind for when I do. Your kids are gorgeous 🙂

  14. What a lovely post. I don’t have children nor am I in a position to right now, but a very handy post xx

  15. Oh I couldn’t agree that it goes so fast! Toby is 4 next week and I’m struggling to believe it! H x

  16. What a sweet post – love the cute pictures of your gang!

  17. These are perfectly timed for me, as my first baby is due in 14 days 🙂

  18. Omg great points!!! I definitely agree with the memory point!!! hahaha My memory is atrocious now, why is that!!? Also love that 99 problems bib, we had the exact same one!!!

  19. You have such a cute boy, I love the bib ‘I got 99 problems but a bib ain’t one’! lol!

  20. I don’t have my own children and I don’t think I ever will but I’m definitely going to share this with my friend.

  21. Aw this brought back some lovely memories for me! The exhaustion is something everyone should be warned about haha. Making the most of everything is so important.
    My daughter is a teenager now so everything I thought I once knew has been turned upside down.

  22. I love this post, it’s so important to try and enjoy every moment as they grow up so fast. You advice about not comparing your children to others is spot on, as it can bring so many worries into your life. x

  23. Such a lovely post and I if you knew those things before having your first baby would it have put you off? I doubt it x

  24. Great tips. We are thinking of having children too and anything to make life easier, I am game.

  25. I definitely agree with not comparing children – even within one family they can develop so completely differently!

  26. Lovely post, the pics are lovely, so cute!

    1. Thanks Samantha, I love this little man he’s a star.

  27. This post is so true, especially the enjoy every single, precious moment. It just goes with a blink of the eye.

    1. It’s crazy isn’t it how fast they grow up.

  28. These are some great point for people like me who haven’t had kids yet 🙂

    1. I will say although it’s exhausting I love them loads 😉

  29. Love reading this
    The trials and tribulations of parenthood
    All worth it though

  30. I’m totally with you as far as getting the sleep routine sorted out…it’s hard though when both parents work shifts on nights and days and the little’uns get put to bed by one parent and wake up to another 🙁

  31. Totally bookmarked this for when I start a family …hopefully next year. Thanks for posting this it is really helpful.

    1. Good luck Annie I am glad you found this useful.

  32. Great post and very interesting read with fab photos, thanks.

    1. Glad you liked it Margaret 😉

  33. I would have to agree with you on the not getting any sleep, it can really wear you down!

    1. It really is a struggle to get through the day if you haven’t slept for a while.

  34. I’ve heard so many of my friends with kids comment on how quickly the time goes – definitely true!

    1. It’s such a shame it literally goes like a flash. I’m not sure how Squishy became 2 so quickly.

  35. My twin sister is expecting her first in dec and im going to be at the birth and i cant wait!

  36. It’s insane how quickly the early years pass, then the the real work begins.

    1. I know it does get a lot harder but they are worth it 😉

  37. Yes on the sleep thing! I am horrible with a lack of sleep!!

    1. It’s awful isn’t it. Makes everything seem so much harder.

  38. As someone considering starting a family this us very useful. I’m fretting so much it’s actually putting me off, but you are stressing the positive points to which does help.

    1. You will never know how you will take to being a parent until you are and it’s amazing how much satisfaction you can get from having children 😉

  39. I’ve always tried to remind myself that time passes so quickly & to treasure the moment, much easier now I’m that bit older to take that advice & I’m treasuring every second with my grandchildren even more

  40. I made some huge mistakes with my first child, kid cereals, sleep routines etc. I made sure to correct those mistakes with my second child!

  41. Such a true and honest article .

  42. It sure gets harder as they get older . My teenagers are a nightmare . Very true and honest article.

    1. Oh no, I am dreading the teenage years.

  43. Great site – wish this had existed when I had my baby as felt alone.

  44. I am so scared about mine been teenagers.

  45. A beautiful and compassionate article, thank you for writing it.

  46. This was a fab read !! wish I had this before I had my children … oh and p.s. the teenage years are everything and more that you imagine !!

  47. Our comment “love every minute” made me stop and think, you’re so right!

  48. Sleep deprivationform the baby years, to, teenage tantrums!! Hard work, but so, worth it in the end! I wouldn’t swop it for anything on earth!! Your little man is very cute!! My tip is to try to cherish every milestone, as, before you know it he’ll be all grown up!!

  49. Very cute pictures. It is scary how fast life goes and how quick they grow up. Treasure every moment

  50. I love the photos they are so very cute

    1. Thanks 😉

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