If sharing is caring, then let me give you a summary of what you need to know in your first year as a Mum.
There’s no secret to being a parent. No special code, no wrong or right, no tutorials, and certainly no manuals. But, in my year of being a parent, I’ve learnt so much on my own, things I wish others had told me about.
Sure, just about everyone told me to ‘freeze food in batches’ before Boo’s arrival or to ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ . I’m not sure about you, but none of that was one bit useful, possible or achievable, and I ditched it along with the nipple shields in week one!
But here’s what I did learn, and that I’d like to share with you my friends today…
1. Babies are like dogs. Plain and simple. They need cuddles, warmth, love and food. They will eat just about anything on the floor and have a bloody sharp bite! Their claws ALWAYS need manicuring and their poop sadly never gets easier to clean. But hey, puppies are cute and so are babies – so the crazy love for them makes the hard times much more bearable.
2. I gave up very easily on toys that people recommended, that my baby just didn’t get. What I didn’t realise is that babies all develop at different stages and quite often, you need to come back to something. That’s as true of the Jumperoo as it is of new bottle teats. If something doesn’t hit it off at first, it doesn’t mean it wont at a later stage
3. Forget perfect parenting because it doesn’t exist. There’s some great books out there to ‘guide you’ and some brilliant websites like NHS Direct and Babycentre. However, there’s nothing that drives my blood pressure up more than flicking through a copy of Gina Ford’s Book. Any chapter that starts with ‘Get up every day at 6am and play with baby‘ belongs in one place, and that’s the bin!
4. A happy Mum = a happy baby. So if walking around a park every day at 3pm does that for you, then go for it! Likewise and certainly in my case, baby classes were not for me. All that ‘wheels on the bus’ and small talk with other people’s grotty children – no thanks. Do whatever makes you happy, take no guilt with you!
5. Breastfeeding works for some, while others (such as me) it doesn’t. As I said before, take no guilt with you, do whatever is right for you.We all know that breastfeeding has benefits, but lets not forget formula milk does too. And just because no-one ever seems to talk about this, I wrote this article a while ago to balance out the argument.
7. Buy everything that Baby Bjorn make. Carriers, bouncers, food utensils – the lot. They are a great investment and always well made. If only they did them for adults <sigh>, I’ve had such great use out of the bouncer and carrier, so glad I have them.
8. You will rely on your parents more than you expect, but need them less than you think. Because what you will realise is that they need to retrained in the art of looking after a baby again. So use them for what they do best – making home cooked meals and bringing them to you. Bliss!
9. You can have a baby and a life. Albeit, it’s a slightly different life to the one before, you might feel you’re on a tag, needing to come home at a reasonable hour, but you can have it all, just in a different kind of way….
10. You realise how much you miss sleep, and yes the exhaustion is REAL. But just because you’re a parent you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn every day. Granted, some parents do this daily and yes my baby tends to wake most days at 5-6am. But instead of resigning myself to that, I decided to try and teach him to go back to sleep. So I give Boo milk and a cuddle and put him back down. It works most of them time, but not all of the time. But a lie in once a week is golden to me!
11. Parenting is exhausting but amazing. Never again will you look at the world the same, but refreshingly, not will you want to!!
Why not check out our post on the top toys to keep idle hands occupied, here >>>