The First Time Mum-To-Be Guide
Being a first time mother can be an exciting and nerve-racking time.
Here’s 11 useful tips and advice to help you through those first few months.
1. Be ready for your baby to disrupt your quiet neat home.
The beautiful nursery you have arranged neatly for your newborn will soon become a dumping ground for the clean washing you are too exhausted to put away and also the dirty ones you toss aside at 4am after your baby has wet through their clothes, don’t feel like you’ve failed when the once light filled, sweet smelling nursery you glided around when carrying your baby has now turned into a dark minefield when you are trying to creep away from your baby’s cot without waking them, that’s all part of the memories you will look back on nostalgically.
2. Useless baby products
Wipe warmers, nappy disposal systems, nappy stackers, top and tail bowls, manual breast pumps and swaddling blankets. A select few from a long list of baby products you DO NOT NEED. Each have their own useless factors, wipe warmers…you are not going to wait to wipe your babies bottom, it’s a bit cold without one but they’ll get over it in 30 seconds, nappy disposal systems…an expensive bin (if the stinky ones stink so bad, put them in the outside bin), nappy stackers…just open the packets and pull them from there or your nappy bag, top and tail bowl…you just need a bowl, do the top first and the bottom second, manual breast pumps…save your hand the wrenching pain after 2 minutes of use and get an electric one, swaddling blankets…no need, use a large blanket, it’s just added expense for the name, as with most of the above products.
3.Your baby isn’t a world genius, but is YOUR genius
Your baby may try to roll over, lift their head and even gargle a few words earlier than the baby books say, be prepared for them NOT to be the next Einstein. I am not trying to burst your bubble, but remember before you wanted kids and a babies mother would freak out from excitement when their baby ‘smiled’, but you couldn’t see it? Your a mum, your baby is your world and this is what we call Unconditional Love, your love and adoration of your baby will outshine all overs, so don’t be disappointed when they don’t share your enthusiasm.
4.Your baby is a master of deception
The moment all exhausted, sleep deprived mothers wait for…MY BABY SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!! Before you advertise it to family and friends, showing off to fellow mummy’s, be prepared for it being a fluke and even if they are the best sleepers, don’t pray for that to be it. There is still plenty to destroy your much needed sleep, teething, illness and the drunken idiot who walked past your house singing at 3am, to name just a few. It is an amazing feeling the first time they sleep through (if you get that luxury) but avoid giving up your chances to rest when they do during the day, because you never know when your going to have a bad night.
5.Babies make people disappear
When you announce your pregnancy people will rush in to congratulate you (and rightly so) there will be a long list of potential baby sitters, those desperate for the label ‘godparent’ and offering to spoil your baby rotten. When you’re pregnant make a list of these people and then when your baby is 6 months old cross off the people you haven’t heard from more than twice since your baby has been born, be prepared for 10% or less of your list to be remaining. Only the most important people who really love you and your baby will be there for their lives, try not to be disappointed when the others drop off the edge of the earth, you and your baby don’t need them.
6.Your baby can get on your nerves
Whether it’s the constant waking in the night after you’ve tried everything to get them off to sleep or that annoying sound they’ve learnt to make just to irritate you (others will say it’s not that bad, this will irritate you even more). Your sweet little baby, a miracle, that you longed to hold, will get on your nerves, does this make you a bad mother? No this makes you human! Will you feel eternal guilt for it? Yes, it’s called mummy-guilt, an instant worry added to our brain immediately after giving birth and No…it never goes away!
7.You might not capture the Kodak Moments
Your baby will do something so cute and adorable that will make you fall even deeper in love with them, you are so caught up in the moment you forget to capture it on camera, it doesn’t matter…they may not do it the exact way again but the fact you were so awe-inspired by your little one that you forget to interrupt the moment by picking up your camera, just makes you a wonderful mummy whose in love with their baby. All of the memories your parents tell you about when you were a baby don’t have a picture to go alongside the story but it hasn’t wiped the smile off their face when they’re telling it decades later, this will be you in the future.
8.Accept the help!!
This is your baby, you made them, you carried them for 9 months and safely delivered them into the world, you gave up your sleep, hygiene, appearance and sanity for them, this makes you a brilliant mother, so don’t feel like a failure when you need a break! You will either be one of the sensible mothers who realise early on it’s nice for the baby’s grandma to have time with them whilst giving you a much needed break to catch up on sleep or you will be one who waits until their at complete breaking point and ready to put your baby in a basket and hand them off to the next person walking by (OK maybe not that extreme but sleep deprivation and constant screaming can distort reality). You will miss them but it will do you both the world of good.
All babies are different, some say they are either walkers or talkers, either way if someone else’s baby takes a few steps before yours, or said their first word that little bit earlier, doesn’t make them a genius and your baby slow, it means they are different. When your friend passed their driving test before you, did this make them a better driver? No! Some mums will insist on battling with their genius baby that did a back flip at 3 weeks old, but I assure you their boasting is only hiding their own insecurities.
10.The house won’t be a mess…it will be a bomb site
Your baby can’t walk, talk or even lift their own head. But somehow your house will be trashed, not just one room…all of them! You will forget the colour of your carpets and even when your sweet baby is sleeping, please don’t take the little energy you have to clean, take a bath and read a book! Remember the important people we talked about in number 5? the ones that have been there and done that know the feeling of being swamped by housework with a newborn, take the advice from number 8, Accept The Help!
11. You’re doing a good job
You might have had plans to read to your baby all day and maximise their senses by using sensory equipment at every given chance, but if you don’t…you’re not a failure! There will be days you feel like you can’t lift yourself from the sofa when your baby has kept you up all night, so a day in front of the TV watching re-runs of ‘Friends’ will not damage your baby, sometimes you just need to ‘veg-out’, those newborn days go by in a blur and there will (believe it or not) be a day you’ll wish to have those days back! So try and enjoy it while you can, your babies will be giving you grandchildren before you know it!