Mummy says…Becoming a mum for the first time turns your life upside down and throws you into a world of explosive nappies, baby food and every other kind of mess you can imagine. I read countless books for new parents about every facet of parenthood and what to expect from the birthing experience, but nothing in reality ever quite matches up to anything you read…
Here is what I wish I knew as a first time mum – the things they don’t publish in books. I have had four babies and each time was completely different.
- You don’t learn a thing from labour stories. Each of mine was totally different. Whether you were told of a dream-like 1-hour labour scenario or nightmare tales, your labour will end up a whole different story entirely. You just have to take it as it comes, try to relax, and do what’s best for you. If you want to sit in the bath until the last moment, do it. If you demand a CD of dolphin noises be playing in the delivery room to soothe you, that’s what must happen. If you end up in a contorted yoga pose for the delivery because that’s what’s comfy, that’s fine! Expect the unexpected, because you just can’t plan for something you’ve never done before. I would ditch a birthing plan too.
- Cloth nappies are a thing and are becoming more and more popular. You might want to wait till after your baby has stopped producing the explosive, messier new-born poops, but these are an amazing solution for parents who are conscious of the environment, even with a grubby baby to clean up after. You can also get washable, reusable baby wipes, biodegradable feeding utensils and glass baby bottles.
- It’s okay to co-sleep. Your natural instinct is to co-sleep, so it’s super disheartening when everyone around you raises eyebrows and tells you it is unsafe. With this in mind, I have researched baby sleep safety and if it was possible to have him sleep as closely as possible. Co-sleeper cots are a perfect solution for parents in this situation – they allow you to sleep in a separate bed from your baby, while keeping them in direct reach. Baby has no contact with adult bedclothes which is one of the main safety worries often associated with co-sleeping. Check out cosleepercots.co.uk for all the information on this perfect sleeping solution.
- You CAN’T do everything the same as you used to. Before my babies came, I was resolute that I would still do everything I used to, only with a baby in tow! Pub lunches, evenings in with friends, days out shopping – these things are all doable with a third little person tagging along, right? Wrong. Well, you can still meet your family for lunch on a Sunday, just an hour late and with sick in your hair. Movie nights in with pals tend to be disrupted by frequent bouts of screaming. Same with shopping. I don’t think my little boy really likes waiting around in changing rooms for me yet! These thing’s will return to normality with time, but for now, prepare for everything to take three times as long as it used to!
- Babies grow quicker than anything else. As soon as he has grown into the cutest pair of baby shoes his aunt bought him for Christmas, he’s too big for them just a week later. Some days you wake them up in the morning and notice they actually look bigger than yesterday.
This has taught me three things:
1. Take photos at every opportunity (which is often because he does new cute things every day).
2. There is no point spending heaps on new baby clothes for him to wear them for about a month!
3.Treasure every stage your baby goes through – they don’t stay that way for long!
Have you anything to add for new mums?