I asked parents what their new baby tips would be for anyone expecting or with a new baby.
“Try not to put too much pressure on yourself…don’t measure your abilities to other new mums (most of them try to make it sound easier than it is), lots of rest with your baby, get to know each other and don’t expect too much from yourself. Babies are hard work and that’s a fact, but they’re also little bundles of miracle.”
“Batch cook and stock up the freezer before baby arrives – this saved us from living on takeaways when I couldn’t make it to the shops. Also that you will cry for no reason for eight weeks after birth, hormones are just crazy, this is normal.”
“Don’t be afraid to tell people you don’t want to hand over your baby. So many people walk into a room and grab the baby! Tell them to back up and you’ll share the cuddles when you’re ready.”
“Sleep every time they do. The housework and chores can wait. You’ve just birthed a baby so rest up – nothing feels better than a rest in the early days.”
“If you can accept food from people, do that too. People love helping new mums, so before baby arrives ask friends and family if they could each make a freezer meal for you to just shove in the oven. Stock up before baby arrives and then you don’t need to worry about food.”
– new baby tips –
“Get a sign on the front door to say not to ring the bell or knock cos mum and baby are sleeping.”
“Forget everything you’ve read about what a baby should or shouldn’t do and when it should or shouldn’t sleep, or what you should or shouldn’t be doing as a Mum. Just try to go with it and accept that it’s going to be hard work.”
“Boundaries!!!! Have a think about them, chat about them with your partner and look at what way you would like to imbed them into the immediate weeks following birth (visitors etc). Perhaps a gentle message / email etc. Always worth having a think about before the arrival as the brain fog / sleep deprivation makes these things hard to discern and respond in the present
“Get rid of your watch and turn the clocks to face the wall- you’re in baby time it’s special and it works in a completely different way to any other time zone.”
“Get an insulated cup with a lid! Why didn’t I have one.. no more cold cuppas.”
“I wish I’d said no visitors straight away but didn’t want to let down excited family. I had people in my house the day after I came home from hospital when baby was one day old and then visiting all weekend and I was struggling to breastfeed.”
“Rest when you can…I had an emergency c-section yet I wanted to go out walk for hours 4 days later!”
Keep everyone away until you’re ready. We had masses of people descend with our first when it should have been just me and him. I think it damaged bonding time.
Don’t expect life to go back to what it was. It may be you have to have a grieving period for your old life, but that’s ok. You will cry a lot and silly things will set you off. I cried for 4 hours because I put his vest on back to front! This is OK. You’re not going mad, it’s hormones. Rest as much as possible. Your body needs to heal!”
“Accept as much help as possible. Concentrate on your immediate family (you, baby, any other children and partner). If you don’t want visitors, that’s fine – don’t feel obliged. Anyone who matters will understand, anyone who doesn’t understand shouldn’t matter (easier said than done). Talk to your partner / midwife / health visitor. Be as honest as you can (the professionals have undoubtedly heard it all before).”
It’s ok to say to visitors , ‘not yet!’ I found the sheer amount of people coming to see us a bit overwhelming. Oh and when your partner says, ‘have a break, go for a shower.’ A shower is not a break, it’s just basic hygiene! A break should be a break.”
“If you need help ask for it.”
“Batch cook and freeze as much as you can in the weeks beforehand (if you can, of course). You will need good food and you won’t have time or head space to prepare it.
“Give in to it – you can’t do anything except care for baby so don’t try. You are doing enough.”
“To dismiss the myth that all women apart from YOU knows exactly what they are doing! I thought I was the only one who felt lost & incapable.”
“You will survive. Your baby will survive. That is literally all you are trying to achieve. Nothing else matters, whatever health professionals, parents or friends tell you. Just survive.”
“People should buy Mum’s presents as well as babies ! A candle and a load of frozen ready meals . Don’t listen to everyone’s scare stories, sometimes say no to visitors!”
“Tell visitors they can come for a short time then disappear into a different room with the baby.”
“Ignore the housework and ask friends to deliver meals.”
“Please enjoy the cuddles and don’t feel you have to put them down to get stuff done.”
“Ask for help, people want to help!”
“It’s your baby do things your way.”
With a calm and knowledgeable approach, my aim is informed and confident parents. Please feel free to message me here with any queries.
Janine Smith | A specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting
Mother Cuppa Magazine
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