When you are pregnant with your first baby, the range of advice and guidance available to you is vast and can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of books about topics from feeding to weaning to sleeping, and everything in between. Plus thousands of posts on social media, discussing the good, the bad and the ugly.
Every baby is different, even within the same family and there is no one-size-fits-all approach that will tell you exactly what to do. However, there are some easy tips to follow to help make your life less stressful when your bundle of joy has arrived.
Preparation is key
An element of preparation whilst you are pregnant is beneficial, without having to get caught up in manuals and how-to guides. Make sure you understand the basics for when you first bring your baby home, such as how to change a nappy and giving your baby a bath. There will be specific instructions for situations such as if the baby’s umbilical cord is still attached or they need a special feeding regime. Ensure that you are clear on these, perhaps write them down to refer to when you’re really sleep deprived!
We would all love it if our newborns acted in the perfect way that we see on TV and in films. Sleeping through the night, never crying and smiling at the drop of a hat. However, setting expectations on how your baby will act can lead to a lot of heartache if it doesn’t happen (which, invariably, it won’t). Take a few days to understand your baby and their natural routine, so that you can adapt accordingly.
Listen to yourself
Plenty of friends and family will give you their key words of wisdom, especially those of older generations. However, they do not have the one-on-one knowledge of your baby that you do. Trust your gut instincts about what is right for your baby, even if it goes against what you are being advised by others.
It’s also really important to listen to your body and mind, and know when you need a rest or some self-care. It doesn’t make you a bad mum if you want to have a break from your baby, especially in the first few exhausting weeks.