A lot of my friends often ask me if there is any particular advice I would give them about being a new parent.
This is my list of top things that have worked for me or that I have learnt the hard way.
1. You can never have enough muslins
Babies dribble and vom and cry and have runny noses, you will need loads!
2. Put a sleeping baby down.
I love cuddling my babies but if you can, putting a baby down to nap will save you a world of difficulties in the future, it also gives you an opportunity to do things for you. I can't stress enough how important it is to look after yourself as well as your baby!
3. Keep their snuggles in their bed.
I learnt this from my sister (she's a parenting rock star), this again will make your life so much easier in a year or so when your toddler is tired and whining and quite frankly being a bit of an asshole they will want their snuggle, which in our house means they go to bed. Thank you Goodbye!
4. Always put them in the bigger nappy size bracket.
Nappies leak and it is really shit if your baby wakes in the night for no other reason than they are wet! Babies pee a lot, even if they have teeny little bum bums like my two (not my bum bum, that's massive). It is better to use the bigger nappy!
5. If all you want to do is have a shower, have it!
If you have fed your baby, they are clean, you have sung to them, you have rocked them, swaddled them and shushed at them and you are stressed and sweaty and really want a shower, HAVE IT! It is ok to leave your baby (safely of course, duh!) to get in the shower and take 5 minutes (or 10 if you are feeling really brave!) to wash the stank off you. You will feel better and your baby will be fine!
6. It is ok to not have the shower too.
Some days it just doesn't happen. Fuck it, tomorrow is a whole new day!
7. If you are breastfeeding you can still give yourself a night off!
I have exclusively breastfed both my babies and sometimes I fancy a night off. It's ok to have it. With my first I had guilt, with my second I have gin! Give them formula, give them breast milk, it doesn't really matter. There will be moments, even if only fleeting, that you consider sacking it all in. Sometimes giving yourself a little break can help you keep going.
8. The longer you leave it to leave your baby the harder it gets.
I found this out the hard way with my first, he was 5 1/2 months old before I left him for more than an hour and I struggled massively. He didn't, he didn't give 2 shits that I had left but I had huge anxiety about it. That was until my husband gave me a whole load of double G&T's telling me they were singles, after that I'm not sure I even knew I had a baby for the remainder for the evening!
9. Stop looking forward
With my first I was excited to see him do EVERYTHING! I was desperate for him to be able to hold his own head so I wouldn't be so afraid I would break him, I was desperate to see him smile and roll over and crawl and walk I feel like I didn't really realise how quickly they get big and grow up. The first time I constantly looked forward to the next milestone, the second I just want it all to slow down.
10. Take a minute to just sit, you and your baby..and your other half if you must!
Just enjoy it, it's lovely!
Oh and if you have a boy....Always make sure the willy is points down!!!!!!