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20 Things I Wish I'd Known About the First Year

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1. When the baby appears to be doing math in her head, she's pooping.

2. Mirrors are magical to babies. But new moms should avoid looking in mirrors at all cost.

3. People will tell you, "It goes by so fast!" Those people do not remember what the first year was really like.

4. The sound of a blasting hair dryer can halt a newborn's mystery crying. Dr. Harvey Karp (The Happiest Baby on the Block) really knows his stuff.

5. Appearing tired (unavoidable) is license for perfect strangers to tell you everything you never wanted to know about how they sleep trained.

6. The clothing you make fun of now -- Ugg boots, jeggings, Slankets -- will soon be known as wardrobe staples.

7. It's nearly impossible not to keep score. (He got three hours more sleep than I did!) But it is possible not to vocalize your score-keeping. In theory.

8. Keeping relatives and friends up to date with baby news, photos and videos is practically a full-time job. If only it paid in cash.

9. Breastfeeding is like Mardi Gras with no beads. The baby will thwart your best hooter hiding efforts, so just give up and say, hello neighborhood, these are my boobs.

10. Do not get a high chair with upholstery. The food goes in, but it never comes out. Unless you like that smell.

11. Pajamas with zippers are so much easier than snaps. Buttons are for masochists.

12. Choose a pediatrician who takes insurance or the first year will bankrupt you.

13. Even if your newborn is present, some idiot will notice your not-quite-flat-yet tummy and ask if you're pregnant. As if!

14. The cliché advice you get about making sure to schedule date nights to preserve your relationship? Heed it.

15. Traveling with a baby is challenging, but the armrest on the airplane is a better toy than any of the dozen you pack in your carry-on.

16. Much like America's TV viewing audience, babies don't always know what they want until you show it to them. Swaddling works. Persevere.

17. Carrying a baby in a Bjorn feels like being third trimester pregnant again.

18. Have dinner out before it's too late. In the beginning, that baby can sleep through fireworks. Soon enough, you'll be a slave to bedtimes and the only dinner out you're getting without paying a sitter is the 5 p.m. seating at CPK.

19. By the end of year one, your attitude towards germs, TV and sugar will have relaxed considerably.

20. The yucky phases (teething, gas, screaming in the car, hating the stroller) are generally short -lived. The yummy phases (snuggling, being cute, making you laugh) last all year and beyond.

amy wruble

Post originally appeared on Carriage Before Marriage.