So many of you are probably wondering how you’re going to cope with the sleepless nights, the feeds (if you’re breastfeeding), how can you shower if your baby wants the boob 24/7? Well I’m here to tell you how I survived the new-born days, the cluster feeding and how I managed to get my mop of hair washed.
I’ll be honest the first few weeks were so tough. Being told what I should and shouldn’t be doing, when to do this and that. It was stressful, I didn’t have a clue. So many conflicting suggestions were being thrown at me. But what I can tell you is to follow your own instincts. You know your baby more than anyone. Do what makes you comfortable, you have every right to tell friends & family ’no I’m not going to do that with my baby’.
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Here are my 5 Top Tips that’s helped me survive the new-born days! (Which I miss so much now my son is 8 months old.)
1. STOP checking the clock
I can honestly say as soon as I stop checking the clock every time Emerson woke up during the night, it seemed a lot easier. I got so obsessed over the times he would wake up, how long he’d slept and how long he fed for. I’d type it all up on my phone in the notes, even being on my phone during the night made it difficult for me going back to sleep. Now if I was completely shattered, I’d go on my phone and read a book, so I didn’t fall asleep feeding him. I am only recommending this if you don’t need to time feeds for medical reasons. I knew he was getting enough as he was gaining weight and had plenty wet nappies a day. Honestly a game changer for me!
2. Get out the house
Okay so this is one of the big ones, especially for those of us that suffer with anxiety & agoraphobia. You need to go out, I’m not saying go and spend the day out. Just a walk, start off small and work your way up. The fresh air is so good for you all, the exercise, the endorphins that are released into your body will be so good for you. I had to get out the house because I knew if I didn’t my agoraphobia would get bad again and I’d stay inside for a long time. It also just gives you that breather as well from your home, which sounds ridiculous but for me it was what I needed. If you are on your own still get out, go or a morning walk pop some headphones in listen to music or a book. It’s your time if your baby falls asleep. My son loved and still loves falling asleep in his pram. Get to know your triggers, if you know them you can work on them, so they don’t affect you as much. I learned mine through graded exposure. If you want me to do a blog post dedicated to my therapy let me know!
3. Sleep when baby sleeps
Okay okay, I am aware we all get told this literally as soon as everyone finds out you’re pregnant. But you NEED to do this, even if it’s just a tiny 20-minute nap. I promise you that 20 minutes of rest will do you the biggest favour. Recharge your batteries! I found it hard in the beginning, but I quickly learned that if I didn’t nap with him, I’d fall asleep standing up. Don’t worry about the dirty dishes, or the laundry in the machine. I promise you it does not matter! Unless you’re on your last pair of knickers then girl get your partner or anyone to do some laundry. I also read all about the 4th Trimester which clarified so much for me, especially as a lot of the older generation would say “in my day we didn’t do that,” or “who told you that? I’ve never heard that before”. I know they were coming from a good place but so much more research has been done since ‘your day’. There are reasons for everything, why your baby is crying, why they want to be held, why they aren’t sleeping through the night yet. Which is totally NORMAL! Society needs to stop telling parents their baby should be sleeping through the night. Do you sleep through the night without stirring? Without having a drink, or going to the bathroom? To change position to get comfortable. Emerson loved body contact which all babies do after being in the womb for 9 months. But to help us both I found a cheaper version of the Sleepyhead. It’s called the Purflo and I can tell you we all loved it! He would sleep in between us in his little pod, he hated his bedside crib, so I just stopped using it after two nights of waking up every 30-60 minutes. He didn’t like it so why would I make him? The purflo isn’t recommended for unsupervised sleep so I cannot recommend it to you for that, although we did. I also used it in the day whilst someone was there during our naps so if he did roll into the side, they could move him back, but he never did. Every baby is different, and it is whatever you are comfortable doing.
4. Snacks, hydration and more snacks
This is my favourite tip, mainly because I love a good snack! If you are breastfeeding, I highly suggest getting a little basket or some sort of storage where you can have all your snacks for feeding times. It helps so much then you don’t have to rush around just as your baby is getting hungry. Have it all prepped and ready to go! I always made sure to have my Lansinoh nipple cream at the ready, with their breast pads when my reusable ones were in the wash. This nipple cream was by far my favourite I recommend it to anyone that asks me about breastfeeding, I took it everywhere with me. Keys ✅ phone ✅ nipple cream ✅. Couple of bottles of water also! Keeping hydrated is so important not only for you but your baby too. So, make sure you’re drinking enough water each day. If I could have gotten a mini fridge for our bedroom, then I would have because that would have been perfect. Here are some of my favourites that I had at the ready!
Lastly my favourite tip out of them all…
5. Do not care about ALL the opinions.
Okay I’m going to be super real with those of you that are excitedly expecting the arrival of your sweet baby. The amount of opinions, good and bad, that you’ll get from literally anyone, strangers in the elevator included, will drive you crazy. At least it did for me, I get that we’re new parents, but we will figure it out. We know what we’re comfortable with, and no I’m not going to give my son a chicken bone to chew on at 5 months old Nan! (Love you, I promise I’ve gotten over that!) My point is just don’t care; you want to share a bed with your little? Do it. You want your baby to wear a massive bow? Do it. You want your baby to drink formula? Do it! You don’t want strangers touching your baby? Tell them no!
Never feel pressure to parent your baby a different way, it’s so much easier and stress free. If you only want advice when you ask for it just let your friends and family know that. If I done everything my friends and family told me to do, I wouldn’t be the mum I want to be. If you are keeping your baby happy and healthy, you’ll be okay I promise.
That is, it. There are so many more that I’d love to talk about.
It’s not really a tip but baby wearing is actually amazing! Snuggling your baby, but hands free so you can get a few things done around the house. I love the baby wrap I used; I still have it encase we have any more children.
The Infantino 4 in 1 carrier is the one we’ve been using since Emerson was around 3-4 months I think as he was getting too heavy for me in the wrap. What are some of your top tips? What helped you survive those first few weeks of being a new parent?
What are some of your top tips? What helped you survive those first few weeks of being a new parent?