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Dear diary: a glimpse into life with a newborn

By April 11, 2017June 13th, 2022Fourth Trimester4 min read
Ubuntu Baba Baby Carriers | South Africa

While doing some late night admin and cleaning up my computer, I found a file with some notes in it from when my son was really small. I don’t even remember writing half of the stuff in there, but this one was a pretty good reminder of what my life was like with a newborn baby in the house, as well as why I decided to design my own baby carrier. It gave me a little giggle to think back to those days, and if you have a little one right now, I’m sure you can relate!


I’ve always been in control of my life. My day was scheduled, I’d eat right, drink 2 litres of water, exercise, walk, catch up with friends, stay in touch with my family, put on some mascara, cuddle my cat, water my plants, blog, do some client work, pin some photographs of my future kitchen, and read my favourite book in the evening, maybe relax in the bath, and give myself a pedi.

When baby arrives, it’s a total shock to the system. All of a sudden you miss out on all of the above. You have this vision that you’ll “get stuff done when the baby sleeps”. But unless you’re one of the very lucky ones, the baby doesn’t sleep unless he/she is literally ‘on you’… and if you’re not a mom yet, ask any mom what I’m talking about!

Ubuntu Baba Baby Carriers | South Africa

This is so peaceful, I don’t need to wee at all and my eyes are sparkly and bright underneath these shades…

This means that once baby falls asleep, you are either stuck on the couch, or in bed, and don’t even think about making yourself a healthy salad. Your bladder somehow finds a way to do a full 360 after pregnancy, and you’ll be amazed how peeing twice a day becomes your new thing. I found myself lying in bed, with baby on top of me, dying for a wee, exhausted and starving, yet the only thing I could do for fear of waking baby, was to reply to messages from well meaning friends saying “aaah yes, he is precious, we are all doing great, here’s a cute pic of us right now.”

Until… I found the stretchy wrap. It took me about a full week of frustration and tripping before I worked out how to use the damn thing, and even then I still had my days where I had tied it to tight or too loose before putting Leo in and I would land up in tears. I wish there were a simpler way! (I actually wrote this, with no idea back then that I would be making and selling baby carriers one day!)

Why it’s funny now, but not so funny then.

I won’t go on to share the rest of my ramblings with you, especially because I know there are pregnant mama’s reading this and I don’t want to scare you too much, haha, but I’m so glad I can smile about those days now. Not that I remember them very clearly, but I do remember being in the thick of it all and thinking that THIS was it. My life was doomed. I would never leave the house again. I was a crappy Mom by anyone’s standards and my baby must hate me because why is he crying soooooo much!

Now? Now he is 2 and a half. He drives me crazy and makes me laugh and he’s my little friend. Yes he still needs me, a lot, but everyday I see him growing up a little more, getting a little taller, reaching up onto higher surfaces and not needing me as much as he did yesterday. That’s happy and sad a the same time. A weird feeling!

So if you’re in the thick of it all right now, just know that we’ve been there, we feel you, we see you, we high five you. You’re doing great (even if you’re crying for 6 hours of the day, that’s totally fine, I promise!).

Love your little person, love them hard, but don’t forget to love yourself too.


Shannon McLaughlin

Shannon is the Founder of Ubuntu Baba baby carriers. She is passionate about helping new parents adjust to 'life with baby' through the art of babywearing and talking about the reality of motherhood in the 21st century.


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