The 18 unspoken lessons every parent learns in the first year of their child's life.

Philips Avent
Thanks to our brand partner, Philips Avent

So, you had a baby. Well done. Nothing will be the same again.

Sick of hearing that? Yes, well, the truth has a nasty habit of sticking around.

But the truth of that phrase is that life will change in millions of tiny ways, some terrifying, some wonderful and all profound. You will learn an enormous amount. About yourself, about babies, and about how to keep a small person alive while watching The Bachelor on your phone. See, profound.

If that sounds like you, Mamamia has a new podcast.

It’s called Year One, and it’s about the very first year of a child’s life.

It’s presented by me, Holly Wainwright, who has lived through Year One twice and now has a little distance to relive it, and Christie Hayes, who has two kids under three and is so nuts she got pregnant when her first baby was only six weeks old…

We have also called in a team of experts (thank God) to tell us how we should really be doing things. A midwife, a children’s doc, a sleep whisperer, a solids chef, a psyche, a physio… Basically everyone we wish we had on speed dial during our own Year Ones.

Year One hosts Christie Hayes and Holly Wainwright.

We think you're going to love it, and not just because it inspired this list. The list we like to call:

Lessons from Year One

  1. You know nothing. 
  2. You know nothing. 
  3. You know NOTHING. It doesn't matter how many books you read while you were stroking your bump and getting your significant other to rub your feet for nine months straight, once that baby comes home with you, you are starting from zero. And so are they. The words 'steep learning curve' were invented specifically to describe the first six weeks of parenthood. It's like that ramp thing in Ninja Warrior. Except, you know, harder.

Listen to Holly Wainwright and Christie Hayes talk to a woman who's seen more than 10,000 mothers take 10,000 babies home on the brand new podcast, Year One.

4.You feel everything. All the time.


Emotional barely covers it. You've never loved your partner so much. They've never irritated you more. You've never been so exhausted. You've never been so bored. You've never felt safer, more loved. You've never felt more vulnerable and alone. The way that baby's finger curls make you cry. The way that baby giggles makes you cry. The way the radio and TV keep telling you how dangerous the world is makes you scared. The fact that this sleepless night is going to roll into a sleepless day and then another sleepless night makes you despair. Let's just say it: There's a lot going on.

5. You become suddenly extremely interested in poo.

When and how often and what colour it is. What's bound to happen when it disappears for a few days (they call it a 'number 3'). How much time you seem to spend cleaning it up. You're like David Attenborough, sifting through stools for clues. And what's worse, you're always talking about it.

6. You never understood this obsession with sleep. Until you did.

'Why is everyone so obsessed with getting their babies to sleep?' This is the kind of question the 'old you' would ask themselves when your mum friends would whinge about sleep deprivation. 'Don't they want to spend time with their children?' If you ever met the 'old you', you might just punch her in the face.

7. There are no babies as cute as your baby.

Not even one. Not even Prince George, or Sonny Foster Blake. Nup. Not even.

8. You can't win.


If you breastfeed, you'll be asked not to do it in public. If you bottle-feed, you'll be asked why you're not breastfeeding in public. This confusing state of affairs is just to prepare you for the onslaught of conflicting parental judgement that's coming your way for the next 20 years. Get used to it.

9. Love seems like too small a word...

For what you feel when you're holding your baby close and they are not crying.

10. You can do almost anything one-handed.

And you have to, because suddenly, baby's refusing to be put down.  You're also constantly swaying, as if you're on a reeling ship. And often, just saying, 'Sssssssssh' a lot. Yes, you're a lot of fun at parties.

11. Coffee takes on an almost religious significance.

You will get out of the house, even if it took you four hours and three costume changes to do it, just because you need forage for coffee. You will find it an unreasonable expectation to be asked to go anywhere that is not near a coffee shop.

12. The first food you make for your child will be orange.

After the white and ruunny porridge stuff, the mush you steam and blend for your precious bundle will be sweet potato, pumpkin or carrot. Everything will be orange for some time.

13. Routines are for messing up.

Preferably with a holiday, but more often with an illness. The rule is that as soon as the kid is in that routine you've been trying for months, something will happen, and it will all be undone. Don't get disheartened, we're here to build resilience.


14. You have done all the things you said you'd never do.

Let baby taste chocolate. Give baby iPhone to keep baby quiet in a shop. Feed baby packet food. Found yourself semi-naked in the closet at work, pumping breastmilk and praying no-one comes looking for safety pins. No? That one just me?

15. In The Night Garden is actually genius. And you get it. You can actually use the noun "PlinkyPlonk" in a sentence.

16. There will be days when you think you're losing it.

Some days, you probably are. Who knew that looking after a teeny-tiny person could be so very time-consuming and stressful? Well, pretty much everyone knew. And they told you, when you were pregnant. But you weren't ready to hear it.

17. Your baby is gorgeous and you are doing a great job.

Yes, that's right. You are.

18. You know nothing.

See above.

What did you learn in the first year of parenting? 

You can listen to the full episode of Year One, made possible with support from Phillips Avent, here: 

This podcast is made possible by Philips Avent.