- Have a routine, for you! Having a routine is so important, it helps you through the days, especially the early ones where you are in that newborn fog and you can’t see wood for the trees. It’s near enough impossible to have a time scheduled routine, so just stick to a series of events you do in the same order every day. I.e Baby wakes up, feed baby, change nappy (babies have a tendency to poo mid feed!), shower, get dressed, have breakfast.
- Get dressed every day. Okay, in the very early days you aren’t going to want to do this, you’re body would have just gone through hell but when you start to feel a bit more normal this definitely helps! If I get dressed it instantly helps set me up for the day.
- Have regular nights off. It’s so important to have some you time. This tiny little human will consume you for every minute of every day and it’s easy to lose yourself and forget who you were before you had a baby. Go out with some friends, have a bath but leave your partner on baby duty. Just make sure you have time away from the baby.
- Accept help from people. Honestly, I really wish I had done this earlier. If someone offers to feed the baby for you- let them! If someone offers to look after the baby whilst you have a nap, do it! For so long I thought I should be the one doing everything, but it’s so difficult to keep carrying on when you are completely burnt out!
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. Just do it okay. Everyone told me to do this. Did I listen? Nope! Honestly, the stage where babies sleep all the time soon goes, and you might end up with a baby (like Aria) who only naps for 20 minutes twice a day, and also doesn’t sleep at night. Yes you want to soak every minute in with your newborn, but you also want to be able to function!
- Don’t be pressured by other people. Everyone and their dog will have advice for you. People will say “Oh in my day we did this”. Well thats great Barbara, but since you had kids things have changed. Remember, this is your baby so you decide what you want to do. Obviously, advice can be great, but don’t feel talked into anything you don’t want to do.
- Batch cook a load of meals before baby arrives. Now this isn’t something I did, as luckily for us we were living with my parents, so my mum was able to cook us some dinners. But honestly, if we had been living on our own we would have never eaten!
- Get out the house, and do it soon! We ventured out of the house when Aria was 4 days old, and were having a Sunday lunch with the family when she was 6 days old! You might think I’m mad but I’m so glad we did it. I wanted to know that when Ryan went back to work I would be able to cope going out on my own. So try and do it when you have someone around to help at first, that way you can muddle your way through learning to collapse the pram together for the first time (we ended up having to look on youtube on how to collapse ours whilst we were in Tesco car park, oh the shame!).
- Have plenty of baths. This one is more for the mums. After birthing a human your body is going to be in ruins. You are going to ache in places you didn’t even know existed, so having plenty of baths is key to ease the pain. If you’re breastfeeding
your partner can easily bring your baby into you to feed them in the bath!
- Don’t panic. Being a new parent is the scariest thing in the world. I was often in tears thinking I had hurt Aria because she was making a squeaking noise (apparently babies just do that), or worrying I hadn’t fed her enough milk (if you’re breastfeeding your ‘proper milk’ doesn’t come in for 2-3 days). Just stay calm, and if you are unsure of anything, you can always call the midwives of the health visitor!
*Bonus tip…Enjoy your new baby. Say no to people coming over if you aren’t ready/ don’t want them to. ! They grow far too quickly so make sure you soak in all of their wonderful newborn smells, noises and twitches.