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14 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First Baby

Most first-time moms are clueless when it comes to newborns. I know I was. I had never been solely responsible for another person's life and well-being before! One moment I was pregnant and then suddenly I found myself at home, just me and this tiny being, completely reliant on myself.

Ho-ly crap.

So today I'm sharing a compilation of things I wished I'd known before I had my first baby. Maybe this will help some other first-time moms out there!

1. Babies don't follow any rules. There are no guidelines that they adhere to, nor do they read the books that you spent hours poring over during pregnancy—no matter how often you wish they would. They will do what they want to, when they want to, regardless of your schedule or best-laid plans. You will learn to roll with the punches real quick.

2. Newborns cry in their sleep sometimes. It's okay. Newborns in general are actually just really noisy sleepers. When you hear the cry, pause for a minute or so before running in to check on them—you might be surprised when they simply go back to sleep on their own.

RELATED: What New Moms REALLY Need to Know About Life After Giving Birth

3. Accept help. All of it. If someone offers to clean your house or bring you food or watch your baby so you can nap, say yes! Never feel like you're putting someone out. Never feel like you have to do it all. It takes a village!

4. Follow your instincts. There will always be varying opinions on everything. You won't always know what you should do when a situation arises. You can ask your mom, sister, aunt, grandma, mother-in-law, best friend, and they will all tell you something different. Whatever decision you make for your baby, there will be someone who thinks you are insane for making that decision. Not everyone is going to think you are an amazing mother but that couldn't be further from the truth.

5. You and your husband are a team. This is not him helping you get through childbirth and helping you take care of your baby. This is you both getting through the birth of your child and taking care of your baby together. You are equals. Support one another and help each other out. It'll make the road much smoother.

6. Take advice with a grain of salt. Some of it will be absolutely ridiculous. Some of it will be invaluable. But only you can decide which to follow and which to take with a smile and immediately ignore.

If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, lie the baby down on his back and take a little break.

7. Love yourself. Postpartum depression is very real, extremely common and often undiagnosed. If you feel even mildly sad or overwhelmed, talk to your doctor. You are not alone, and it so important for you to take care of yourself so you can better take care of your baby. Along the same lines, don't feel guilty for having some "me time." Go on date nights with your husband, paint your nails, do your makeup. You'll be a better mom when you are happy and taking care of yourself, too.

8. It's okay to let your baby cry. As a first-time mom, you may have the tendency to hover and want to fix everything right away, including not letting your baby cry. If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, lie the baby down on his back and take a little break. It's good for your sanity. Plus, crying is healthy. For both of you.

9. Get creative. Onesies are designed to be able to be removed not only over the head, but the other way, over the legs as well. So in the case of a blow-out, just pull it down instead of up, and you save a lot of mess.

10. Cluster feeding is normal. It can be difficult and exhausting, especially if you're breastfeeding, but know that if your baby wants to eat every hour, it's perfectly normal. Just feed her when she's hungry. And know this too shall pass.

11. Babies are resilient. Yes, they seem extremely fragile, especially in the beginning. But know that you will not break your baby.

RELATED: Real Moms Share: My Favorite Baby Stage

12. Don't be too quiet. Yes, you want your baby to sleep, but what's more is that you want your baby to be able to sleep through noise. So make that noise, otherwise you will doom yourself to having to tiptoe during every nap.—which in the beginning is a lot. Make noise and Baby will be able to sleep through anything.

13. It's all okay. It's okay to feel overwhelmed. It's okay to hate your husband. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to let your baby cry for a few minutes to collect yourself. It's okay to cry hysterically yourself. It's okay if your house isn't clean. It's okay if you haven't showered in a few days or feel like nothing is under control. You've got this. You do.

14. Enjoy the special moments. This time is fleeting and you will find yourself missing it one day (as hard as that may seem to believe at the time.) Soak it all in. Try to enjoy it as much as you can. You won't enjoy every moment, but you will find there are more good ones than there are bad. Hold onto those sweet newborn cuddles. Breathe in their heavenly scent. Enjoy those cuddles, for they won't need them forever. These moments are oh-so-fleeting, and worth every single second.

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