Once you have a baby, everybody gives you the same advice: “Remember these days, they’ll fly by.” “Take lots of pictures—they’ll grow up in the blink of an eye.”
And so on and so forth.
On one hand, it’s kind of annoying. Do you mean to tell me that I’m not already enjoying every minute with my baby? What makes you think I’d take a single day for granted? On the other hand, now that I have a toddler who, at 23 months, seems enormous and mature and just so grown up next to my baby girl … I recognize the value in that advice.
It’s not to say that you aren’t savoring your time with your baby, only that it’s easy to get caught up in other things. It’s easy to miss a moment here or there, or to not give your baby your undivided attention all the time.
Although, let’s be practical. You can’t give your baby undivided attention all the time. You’d go nuts. But, I find it is important to be a little more conscientious of your baby’s time—especially when it comes to nursing.
Chloe is exclusively breastfed, which is nice for her and easy for me, but very time-consuming. Let’s just say I do a lot of sitting. It’s easy to get bored during all that sitting. While I do look at her and talk to her and enjoy having her close, I can’t focus exclusively on her for the entire 30 minutes it takes her to feed—especially since she does it as many as 10 times a day.
My solution is to find a balance. When I’m getting her set up to eat, I keep things quiet and talk to her and focus solely on her. Once she’s chowing down on milk, I’ll open a book, turn on the TV, or play on my phone. If I have the TV on though, I keep the sound low or use the closed-caption feature. If I’m playing on my phone, I turn off all beeps and blips so they don’t distract her. My biggest rule is to not talk on the phone while I’m nursing her, unless it’s a quick exchange of plans with my husband. I feel like it’s disrespectful of her quiet space if I’m gabbing away, pretty much in her face.
This means I don’t have a lot of time to talk to friends and I average more than a week to return calls. But to me, it’s worth it. Following those guidelines makes it a lot easier for me to consciously slow down the activities of my busy-busy life to focus on her, exclusively. I hope that means I won’t ever look back at these days and feel like I missed something. I guess time will tell.