Baby’s first year seems like a never-ending sequence of important milestones: first smile, first time sitting up, first tooth, and the list goes on. But let’s not forget about all the other milestones a new mom goes through. Sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter, and occasionally a little disgusting, here are 8 new-mom moments not to be forgotten.

photo: Beth via flickr

1. Bumps and Boo-Boos
Maybe it’ll happen when you step away for one second and your previously non-mobile baby rolls off the bed. Maybe it’ll be when baby flails while you’re trimming those tiny nails and you cut precious skin instead. No matter how it happens, the first time your baby is hurt because of something you did (or didn’t do) is a major guilt-inducer. Sure, there will be tears—probably from both of you—but babies are resilient. They’ll probably recover from those minor injuries faster than you recover from your guilt.

2. Poop Happens
Babies poop…a lot! Poop in the bathtub. Explosive poop up baby’s back. Poop in the three seconds between when you take off the old diaper and get the new one on. The hot mess of the first poop incidence will surely be one to remember, but it won’t be the last. That’s why bleach, laundry detergent and hand sanitizer were invented.

photo: Donnie Ray Jones via flickr

3. Mom Bestie
It feels like it has been forever since you interacted with another adult outside of the house, so you decide to venture out. After loading up baby and all the baby stuff, you arrive at the Mommy and Me class with sweaty armpits and a fussy child. You meet another mom’s eyes from across the room and feel a pang of envy as her little one quietly snuggles on her chest. While you’re struggling to calm your little screamer, the other mom picks up the sock your baby kicked off. That’s when your notice her ponytail is messy and she has bags under her eyes, too. She coos at your baby, despite the noise, and smiles at you. And that’s the moment you’ll remember as when you met your new mom BFF.

4. Date Night
Remember when you could head out on a Friday night on a whim? Nah, new parents are too sleep-deprived to remember those days. Your first date night is a carefully crafted exercise in planning ahead. You leave precise instructions on how to feed baby and when naptime is and include an exhaustive list of emergency contact numbers. You spend the meal text-messaging your babysitter while trying not to doze off in your $50 steak. When you do talk, it’s all about your little one. But, hey, you’re out being adults…sort of.

photo: NICHD via flickr

5. Sleeping Through the Night
It’s a milestone worth celebrating, but it doesn’t necessarily happen as you imagined it. It’s more like this: You wake up feeling more refreshed than you have in months. Light peeks in from the windows and the house is silent. The clock reads 7:00 a.m. Baby slept through the night! You’re ecstatic, until you panic. You check the video monitor, trying to see any sign of movement. Was that a hand twitch? Is that little chest moving up and down? Is baby okay? Finally, you give in and creep into the nursery. Baby instantly wakes up. Quiet time is over, but at least you got a good night’s sleep.

6. Clean Escape
You’re feeling really proud of yourself because you squeezed in a morning shower. You brushed your hair and your teeth. You’re dressed and out for the day. Then you get a whiff of the distinct smell of stale milk or formula. You glance down at your shoulder and expect to discover spit-up, but nothing’s there. You search all over and finally find a dirty burp cloth in your pocket as the source of the smell. You’ve made your first clean escape! Now don’t spill coffee on yourself.

7. Working Sans Pump
You’ve dragged your breast pump, bottles, storage bags, and cleaning supplies to work every single day. Then the day finally comes where all you have to bring to work is your lunch and your actual work stuff. You feel a twinge in your breasts at the time when you normally lock yourself in the office your co-workers fondly nicknamed Dairy Queen. Your load is a little lighter, but your heart is a little heavier at reaching this milestone.

photo: Harsha K R via flickr

8. Becoming an Expert
Being a new mom is full of moments when you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. You can read all the books and articles and search out advice from all the moms you know, but when it comes down to it, personal experience is often the best teacher. There will come a day when your baby will fuss or cry in that familiar way and you’ll know exactly what to do. Congrats, Mama, you’ve become an expert on your own baby!

What new-mom milestones have you experienced? Share in a comment!

— Katie L. Carroll

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