If you’re expecting or have recently had a baby, I thought a few tips from fellow Mumblers would be useful. Incase you weren’t aware, there are Mumbler sites all across the UK, with 15 in Yorkshire! That is a lot of mums working behind the scenes, with lots of children between us from babes to teens – so we think we are well placed to offer a few words of wisdom as you enter this whole new world of being a mum.
We all experience different pregnancies and deliveries, but we are pretty sure that many of the ups and downs becoming parents will be the same.
So, huge congratulations – this is what you need to know…
Try to remember why you fell in love with each other! Now that this little baby is born, your lives will be pulled in completely different directions for a period of time. You will have regular competitions about whose life is harder, who has had less sleep, who does more with the baby. Your marriage may very well hang together by a thread at some points, but cling on to that thread- it’s worth it in the end and it will get easier!
Limit your visitors in early days. The world can wait to see your baby. Those first few hours, days and weeks getting to know your baby are so precious. Be selfish, be rude and tell visitors to come back later!
Don’t worry about the clock. Eat when you’re hungry, feed the baby when they are hungry, grab a snooze whenever you can. Don’t worry about the time- do what feels right for you and your baby.
You’re going to be crazy tired! There’s nothing in the world to prepare you for how exhausting new babies are, especially when your little cutie who sleeps all day becomes a party animal at night! But it doesn’t last forever, and gets way easier with time.
You can’t “spoil” a baby. Cuddle them, coo at them and don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise!
Don’t be shocked at how much others will share about their own experiences. Many early conversations with other parents will revolve around bodily functions. You will be utterly amazed by how normal poo, wee and sick conversations become, that is not even to touch on leaky boobs, bruised lady-bits, perineums, tears and rips…. the list is both long and depressing!
Dry shampoo will be your best friend. Buy it by the truckload. For most mums, this one is a game changer. Check out our list of the best dry shampoos here! Think I used them all!
Be kind to yourself. No one knows what they are doing in those first few weeks, everyone falls apart a little bit sometimes, everyone will have a moment when they think that they’ve reached their limit and have a good cry. It’s okay, it’s completely normal and I promise, it will get easier. This is when you need your girl-gang around you. Call on your mum, your sister-in-law, and your old friends and make new “mummy-friends” through NCT courses or similar. I relied upon my local ‘booby group’ as we affectionately called it! I went to some kind of playgroup or did an activity most days and we loved it. Sometimes this girl-gang can’t make it easier for you, but just knowing that they’re there or that they have been having sleepless nights too, will make you feel better. If you’re not sure where to go, take a look at the weekly classes and groups listings in Doncaster here.
Invest in a sling. Little babies love to sleep, especially cuddled up to mum and dad. This is one thing I wish I had done more of! Pop them into a sling and they’ll be warm and cosy while you have your hands back.
Look after YOU: The whole world’s going to be cooing over your baby, but don’t forget that you matter too. Let people help if they offer, remember to drink, buy in easy-to-eat snacks (cereal bars and cut up fruit are perfect to munch with one hand while holding a baby) and do whatever makes you feel human again: a shower, bubbly bath, a nap while Daddy holds the fort, or binge-watching Netflix.
Trust your gut. You’ll get the hang of looking after your baby in no time, and there will be no end of people and resources to help. But remember that no one knows your baby like you. Don’t be afraid to follow your instincts and trust in what they’re telling you.
Soak it all in. Those perfect little bundles grow more perfect every day, but they really do change quickly. Take pictures, take videos and enjoy them while they are young. You’ll wake up one day 10 years from now, wondering about secondary schools and wonder where those years have gone. The first few weeks are so hard, but they don’t last for ever. It’s just a phase and it will get easier.
You will not even be able to imagine how much you will love that little scrap of a human being! It might hit you like a thunderbolt as soon as they are born, or it might creep over you in the days, weeks and months as you get to know each other but either way, it will take your breath away, it will floor you and it is both terrifying and wonderful. What’s more, if you go on to have a second or third child you don’t share your love- it grows!
It’s OK to not be OK. If you need help or support, there are weekly support groups in Doncaster helping those affected by pre and/ or postnatal mental illnesses and their families. Light Peer Support are there for tea and talk. It helps!
I hope this was helpful. For more tips, advice and chat with fellow Doncaster Mums, Dad’s, Grandparents and Carers in a supportive and friendly environment, join us in the Doncaster Mumbler Chat Group.