There is so much I have learnt in my first few weeks with our newborn – every day is a learning experience! Here are just a few of those things…
#1 My husband is amazing. I have never felt so cared for and looked after as in the last few weeks. I found it hard to accept help, e.g. being brought cushions, snacks, drinks etc. but, as he often reminds me, I did work very hard to bring our son into the world so it’s the least he can do!
#2 Those first few weeks aren’t actually exhausting because you have a newborn but because you have more visitors in your house than ever before!
#3 I am surrounded by the most incredibly generous friends. Being brought meals, snacks, toiletries and gifts makes you feel incredibly loved. If you want to spoil friends who have a newborn then take them homemade cookies, sticky chicken, slipper socks or Bio-Oil!
#4 It helps to accept that you are a now a cow or milk machine if you will. But also to remember (when your baby still wants feeding and won’t go back to sleep!) that never again will you spend so much time close to your baby and it is a wonderfully special time.
#5 Lanisoh cream is THE BEST invention ever. Have it in all the places you sit to feed.
#6 The midwives will tell you that if you’re feeding correctly it doesn’t hurt. This is definitely not true. Never before have your nipples been sucked on all day long. They will hurt!
#7 Netflix/Amazon Prime was made for night feeds. You may actually be a little disappointed when your baby gets more efficient at feeding and you get less episodes in each night!
#8 You will also be absolutely thrilled when another mum friend has replied to a text/whatsapp message in the early hours of the morning!
#9 Getting your boobs out in public is now the norm.
#10 People will come and look at the baby whilst he’s feeding. Never, at any other time in your life, would you be willing to show these people your boobs – why, do they suddenly think it’s fine to look at them?!
#11 People will also ask to hold the baby whilst you’re feeding him… “erm, he’s kinda busy right now…”
#12 In fact, people will ask to hold your baby constantly. You will feel guilty saying no to people but remember it’s your baby! They won’t be the ones having to deal with an overstimulated, grizzly baby when you get home.
#13 The advice will continue. Now, people’s favourite time to give you advice is whilst your baby is crying.
#14 This includes strangers who will tell you how to stop your baby crying using phrases like, “excuse me, I think your baby is hungry” (even though you’ve literally just fed him). It will take all your remaining energy not to swear at these strangers!
#15 You will change your mind about all sorts, like dummies and formula. My baby would suck on me all day long if he could – a dummy makes him really happy, so now, they make me happy!
#16 If, on your first evening home alone with the baby, you end up really unwell, it will be awful. BUT, you will cope. Even if you have to resort to breastfeeding sat on the toilet all evening!! (That night was horrific!)
#17 You will look at your tiny baby and then at the massive 0-3 month clothes and wonder how he’ll ever fit into them. Two weeks later, he does.
#18 Babies do the most explosive poos. Seriously, who could ever have imagined so much could come out of something so small?! No matter how well you’ve put a nappy on, the poo will manage to escape the nappy and even reach their neck or toes before you make it to change them. Babies particularly like to do this when you’re away from home with limited changing resources!
#19 Just like when you were pregnant and people touched your belly without asking, they’ll now touch your baby.
#20 Never before has how much sleep you’re getting been of such great interest to everyone.
#21 Babies are serious creatures. You will figure out what your baby enjoys simply by exploring what doesn’t make him cry!
#22 When your baby puts on a lot of weight and the health visitor is impressed and says, ‘and that’s just on breastmilk?!’ you will feel incredibly proud of yourself.
#23 A baby can go from totally calm to ravenously hungry in seconds. Trying to get a ravenously hungry babe to feed is like trying to latch on a furious, wriggly puppy (minus the teeth – thank goodness!)
#24 Your baby’s first smile will warm your heart like nothing ever before.
#25 No matter what advice you get given,or what stories others share about their own experiences, your baby is unique, and you as his Mummy (and/or Daddy) are the best equipped to love him and figure out what he needs. Stuff what other people say (unless you’re actually asking them for advice) and just enjoy learning to be a parent and getting to know your precious newborn.