Updated: Apr 6, 2020
So everyone has been telling you “it will get easier” after the first 2-3 months and it finally has. Now what? Well firstly congratulations you now have an infant and you’ve made it through the newborn phase. Some of the signs that you’ve made it to the “easy” phase are that your baby sleeps for more than 4 hours at a time (a miracle, I know); that your baby can play by himself on the mat but can’t yet move off the mat; that your baby can hold his neck up on his own and isn’t so delicate in the sense that he no longer requires both hands at all times (hello warm dinners again, but also hello slurping them off of baby’s kākahu); and that your baby smiles at you and maybe even laughs.
This is probably when you start booking weekly playgroups, coffee dates, getting back to the gym, going for walks, and being able to have some time with your partner after pēpi goes to bed. Around 3-4 months is when our “easy” time began. All of a sudden I felt as though the days were empty and like we could be doing more. My son began to feed slightly less frequently, although still every 2-3 hours, despite my plunket nurse’s advice that this could be pushed to 4-5 hourly by this age.
The first "easy" phase is filled with so much joy and so many firsts like babys first swim/dipping of his toes in his moana, first talking sounds, and starting to sit up supported. His personality will be coming out more and more as he becomes more aware and shares smiles and eventually laughter with you. Motherhood starts to get exciting and you get a piece of yourself back. You get some me time here and there and bonding is so much easier and more meaningful when your baby develops his personality.
Your relationship with your partner is probably in need of some attention by this point in your parenting journey and by this stage you might even have time for... *drum roll* SEX (sorry mum). Your body has physically healed enough that you can walk normally and you’ve probably deflated enough that you don’t feel like you have to roll everywhere anymore. You might be feeling a little better about your body, enough to share it with your partner again. I’ll spare the details, but yes this will be a nerve wracking experience.
The ”easy phase” will have you feeling like you have all the energy in the world, your house will likely be cleaner, you‘ll be happier, and you might even consider going back to work. Whether you decide that return to work is right for you and your whānau or not your pēpi will still need you. This is the phase that might have you thinking "I could do this again". Your body and mind will trick you into thinking it wasn't that bad and you will forget about certain things like how extreme the initial sleep deprivation is and how your baby screamed for every bath in the first 6 weeks.
Don‘t worry, the ”easy” phase will still have bad days woven through. That won’t mean the phase is necessarily over. Even when the first good phase does end, probably due to teething beginning, parts of the ”easy” phase will remain and your baby’s personality will shine through. Remember all phases will come and go, smiles, growls, grunts, tears, tantrums and all. You got this māmā!