5 Things I Wish I Knew as a First Time Mumby Katie Daley
I know there are so many blogs and posts on this subject, I have read lots of them! Thing is, most of them are either about those unexpected postpartum niggles or I did not take them seriously enough. So ATTENTION to any first time mums, dads or even experienced parents who may have forgotten that blissfully delirious newborn stage.
1. You get caught up in all the excitement but you need to chill. You are not thinking about all the hard work that is to come, and, if it’s your first time, you really truly will not have any idea how hard it can be! I know how it feels when you are 8 months pregnant and everyone is telling you to relax and sleep while you can, but in between baby doing gymnastics inside and peeing every 2 mins that sounds impossible. It’s not. It will be when the baby is here!
2. Find out information on how to care for your new baby. Sounds silly I know. I didn’t do this at all, I brushed it off and thought I should go with the flow and it will all come naturally. It didn’t. As new parents, we were best friends with Google for the first month or so. Things that you think you will ‘just know’ but then you question yourself on everything, for example, how long can you keep a bottle once it is made? Seems basic but the guidance changes regularly! All of my research was on labour and postpartum recovery. Honestly, do your baby research, even if you’ve done it before!
3. Baby should only be in the car seat for a limited amount of time. I never knew this until I went to look at travel systems in a shop, and if I bought online, I still may not know. As new babies can’t hold their heads up and due to the position their airway is in while in the car seat, you should limit the time spent in there. If you are going on a long car journey make sure to take frequent stops to get baby out. Do your research.
4. Find a supportive group of new parents. During the pandemic, all of my support has been online, online antenatal classes and parent groups. Although baby groups are allowed to continue, in my local area they are still all online and I don’t fancy sitting in front of a laptop for almost an hour with a wiggly 3-month-old baby. The main thing that has helped me through is a wonderful group of mums online, I have found the perfect group, everyone is very supportive and all our babies were due in the same month, so we are mostly all around the same stage. There is no mum shaming, no mum police and no question is a silly question. Search around for a group that suits you!
5. It really is the most rewarding thing you can do. Becoming a parent, I still look at my baby every day and can’t believe he is mine. It may seem difficult at first, when they are newborn and the only emotion they show is crying, it can make you feel helpless and a slave to feeding and changing. Remember that doesn’t last forever and baby will soon start chatting and smiling and even when they are crying at 3 am for their midnight snack/change or just a cuddle, when they see you and a smile beams across their face, who can resist?
There are plenty more things I wish I knew before but I have got through and you can too! Ultimately there is no right and wrong only what’s right for you and your baby and research won’t make you a better parent than anyone else but I hope this helps you on your journey x