There has been a long build up and now your world has changed forever with the introduction of a special little bundle of joy. But let us reassure you that everybody has trouble from time to time. We have put a small list of tips together from parents who have been through the early stages and would like to pass on their knowledge.
Get some rest:
Any sort of good night’s sleep will go out of the window when your newborn arrives, so forget day and night, just rest when your baby rests and sleep when they sleep. You need to recharge too and a happy mummy means a happy baby!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help:
you will be inundated with friends and family who all want to help you out. If you’re ready, then get them over to make you food, clean the house and anything else you need. They wouldn’t offer if they didn’t want to help, and they will feel better knowing they have done something for you.
This will be really important if you have a partner who has been off on paternity leave and returning to work; getting people around you to support you, will make this transition a little easier.
Throw out the rulebook:
In your maternity days, there are probably lots of things you’ve decided you want to do and don’t want to do when your bundle of joy arrives. From feeding to dummies to routines, we all make decisions on how we want to do things. But the thing is, your world has been turned upside down and you will have lots of decisions to make that will help your experience a happier one for you and your baby. Some of those choices won’t be what you originally had planned, but that’s ok. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Don’t stress about routines:
So many guides that I read talked about routines from the start, but I’m going to challenge this. Yes, it’s a whirlwind and everything is very overwhelming, but don’t worry just yet about routines in the first 3 weeks.
Try to just enjoy the chaos. With my little girl, we started routines at 6 weeks and that worked just fine and gave me time to work things out myself first.
Don’t buy too much too soon:
We bought SO many things before my little girl was born- things that (I now realise) we really didn’t need. She was born over 9lb so all the baby grows I had didn’t fit. We invested in a breast pump, perfect prep machine, loads of newborn nappies and lots of other things, that for lots of various reasons we didn’t use.
So, my advice would be to buy things yes, but don’t go mad- we all live close to a big supermarket or an online delivery service, so before going nuts, why not wait to see what you really need when the baby arrives? It could also be an exciting first trip out for your new family.
There is no such thing as a stupid question:
There isn’t a guidebook for becoming a parent and people that say, “you just know” are being ridiculous. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask your midwife or health visitor, they are the experts and guaranteed to have heard it all before! It’s better you ask rather than bottle it up.
I also asked my friends and family a LOT of questions. They were sick of me after a few weeks of WhatsApp’s I’m sure, but they really helped!!
It’s tough times, but try to enjoy every minute:
Writing this as my two-year-old is sat on her table eating Play-Doh, I look back and I smile at the first few weeks. I’m not sure how we survived, but they are wonderful memories that I have.
Yes, it is all very hard, and nothing can quite prepare you for the craziness, but it is wonderful and it does go too quickly. And I promise you will look back and laugh at all the sick, poo and tears!