Some of the things people never tell you/ you didn’t know about being a parent for the first time…
You will sleep again– Even though right now you feel like a zombie, and that a full night’s sleep is a distant memory, it won’t last forever. By the age of four months many babies spend twice as long asleep at night and that time increases as they age. The only way is up!
It’s normal to be obsessed with poo– A baby’s poo can be a great indictor of their health, and so it’s absolutely normal to obsess over the colour, smell, and regularity.
It’s ok to have a messy house– You’re putting all of your time in to looking after your bundle of joy. The ironing can wait.
Every Baby is different– Try not to compare yours and your friends kids. Children develop at different stages, so try not to worry if your little one isn’t sitting up as fast as others, they may be first to talk or crawl instead.
It’s ok to struggle– Raising a baby is hard work, so there’s no shame in admitting you’re finding things hard. Talk to your loved ones and health visitor for support.
Maternity leave unfortunately isn’t a years holiday– No matter how jealous your friends are that you’re having a ‘break’ you know you’re working hard and doing the best for your baba.
Babies can’t regulate their temperature– It’s important to make sure your little one doesn’t get too hot or cold, and the ideal temperature for their nursery would be 18 degrees, though a range between 16 and 20 is fine. So it’s worth investing in a room thermometer so you can keep an eye.
Sterilise bottles– This may sound obvious, but make sure you always sterilise your little ones bottles, dummies and teets. Their immune systems aren’t yet built up so they can pick up infections if not.
Your nipples can become sore and cracked when breastfeeding– This usually happens when baby isn’t latching on correctly. If your nipples are sore or bleeding, make sure you speak to your health visitor for advice. You can also buy creams to help too.
You know your baby best– All babies are different and what works best for one person’s child may not necessarily work for yours.
Keep nappy sacks out of the reach of babies and toddlers– Pulling them out of the packet may look fun to your baby but they can pose a serious suffocation risk.
You may not shower everyday or wash your hair very often– And that’s ok! It can be hard to find time for yourself, and right now looking your best isn’t your first priority. So if everyday is a pyjama day, don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
Your health visitor is there to help– Use her well!
Your body is beautiful– It can be hard to accept your changed body, but think about how incredible it is for creating and carrying a beautiful new human being. YOU ARE AMAZING!
It’s ok to rather want sleep over sex– Raising a human is tiring so it’s completely normal to prefer sleep.
Babies don’t need pillows– The safest way for your baby to sleep is in a cot with no loose material or pillows.
Getting out of the house can help– Feeling couped up? Taking yourself for a walk or getting out with your little one in the fresh air can help clear your head and make you both sleep better.
Stock up on breast pads– Once you’re breast feeding, leaking milk from your boobs is common, so stocking up and taking them with you when your out is a good thing to do if you’re worried about leaking in public.
It’s normal to feel depressed and anxious– Almost half of mothers experience ‘baby blues’ and one in 10 mothers suffer from postnatal depression after having their babies. Try to talk to your loved ones and health visitor who can help you and offer you the services you need if you feel down.
You don’t need to stay silent when your baby is asleep– It’s good for your little one to be comfortable sleeping with house noise which will make things easier for you too.
A baby’s bath should be 37-38 degrees– Use a thermometer to make sure your little ones bath isn’t too hot or cold.
It’s your choice how you feed your baby– Whether breast or bottle, whichever you choose is best for you and your baby, so don’t feel bad.
It’s important to make other mummy friends– Being a mum is incredible, but sometimes it can be hard to meet up with your childless friends. So making like minded mummy friends is super important. being a first time parent can be lonely, so having someone to talk to, meet up with, and relate to will definitely help.
You can change health visitors– If you don’t get on with yours or haven’t connected you can absolutely change.
It’s ok to use hand me downs– Babies and toddlers grow super fast and grow out of their clothes rapidly, so there’s no shame in using hand me downs rather than dressing them in brand new outfits. It will save you money too! Plus, who’s really going to know?
Time goes fast– Your baby grows up so quickly, so enjoy them while you can.
It’s normal to find your partner the most annoying human– Especially when they’re sleeping soundly through another feed.
Keep baby out of direct sunlight ’til 6 months old– As mentioned before, they can’t regulate their temperatures and they can become sunburned very easily.
Babies bottom teeth come through first– Bottom teeth usually can be seen appearing first and their top teeth usually follow.
Baby groups can feel intimidating– But it’s ok because all other mum’s feel the same way, and it’s a great way for your little one to learn to socialise and for you to make friends.
You will make mistakes– Nobody is perfect and being a parent is a massive learning curve. You’re not always going to get it right. Just remember you’re doing your best and you learn as you go!
You are doing an amazing job!– You may have doubts, but trust us, raising a baby is hard and you are doing a great job. Be proud of yourself!