There’s so much advice out there how do you know what to listen to? There’s so much to feel guilty about, isn’t there? What you really want to know is what will help your baby grow strong and healthy while keeping your sanity. You want to know how to make things easier so you have the energy to enjoy time with your baby.
I asked the wonderful Family Day Tried and Tested Facebook community for what they really wish they had been told. Real advice and no guilt trips.
So here are some practical and sanity saving tips to see you through…
*Lower your expectations. You won’t be able to do everything and it does not matter. So long as baby and or children are fed and clean, you have managed to go to the toilet all is good in the world. All those chores, cleaning, sorting, tidying jobs can wait. You and your little ones come first, enjoy every minute.
*Don’t waste money on proper ‘outfits’ for the first 3 months or so – life is so much easier (and comfortable) in babygros.
And you’ll miss them when they’re too big to wear them.
*Don’t compare your new little one to any other new little ones as it will drive you crazy!!! All babies are different.
**If it smells like poo then it most probably is…
*Go for a walk whenever you can – fresh air works wonders with newborns and gentle exercise is good for all of us.
* Sometimes babies just want to cry. If you’ve tried everything, and it hasn’t worked, then just be there for them while they cry. Best advice I ever got.
*Make the days count don’t count the days . Don’t wish your baby to sit up faster, to crawl sooner, or to walk before others. Time will fly when you have a baby so slow everything down make every day count and encourage but don’t push.
*Thank everyone for the advice, no matter how ‘helpful’ it is, then throw out the rule book and do it YOUR way. As long as your baby is warm, fed, clean and cuddled that’s all that is necessary.
*Make a sign for your front door ‘mum & baby resting, please call back another time’. And make sure you use it.
*Put a squirt of baby shampoo on the sponge before you run the bath – it saves trying to do it with one slippery hand!
*Don’t worry if you occasionally use the TV as a distraction for your baby! Lots of people criticise this, but it would give me 5 mins to have a shower, go to the loo, or grab a quick bite to eat! My first literally cried all the time, and her favourite programme would keep her quiet for a few minutes, and it at least meant I didn’t smell lol!
*Always trust your own judgement, even if you’re a first time mum. Your gut instinct will always be the right one.
*Always always remember a spare change of clothes for you in the changing bag for those vomit/ nappy explosion moments when you get covered.
*When packing the changing bag always put a new nappy inside of a nappy bag saves so much time when your changing them.
*Don’t bulk buy nappies/wipes before baby is born as there may be allergies/intolerances. We found our son was allergic to one brand and only certain nappies worked for him.
*But once you find a suitable brand remember…You can never ever ever have too many baby wipes.
*Get people cook you meals so all you have to do is pop them in the microwave. It makes life so much easier and less stressful. And if they can make things you can eat one handed while you breast feed then even better!
*Buy a slow cooker! You can throw anything in and you’ll end up with a hot tasty meal, which as we all know is so important to both mom and dad.
**Breast feeding doesn’t always work out – it’s not your fault. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it. The only important thing is that your baby gets fed. If they are formula fed, breast fed or a mixture of both it doesn’t matter. It is whatever works for you and your family that matters.
*For the very very new mum, who perhaps still has a few stitches or sore spots in the lady garden, lean forward and touch the floor when peeing, it all ‘runs’ away from any sore points.
*Find a good insulated mug so you will always have hot, spill free brews when feeding/cuddling.
*When making up a baby’s milk bottle put half cold (previously boiled and left to cool water) and half hot water to make the perfect temperature milk. Hot and cold ratio depending on temperature. I was told this by a midwife when my little one was ill in hospital. Beat advice ever! And I always made up the perfect temperature milk.
*It’s a phase! The good bits are a phase, the bad bits are a phase. It’ll pass. Try and enjoy it at the time whatever.
*Ask for help if you need it, and take it when it’s offered! It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. All parents are winging it.
Is there anything else you would add to the list? Do add a comment so we can work together to help new parents with the best practical advice.