February has been all about what happens in the time after you give birth, and we’ve celebrated the highs and lows of the first few months as a new mum
What do you really need for your baby? As soon as you start shopping you’ll realise there are thousands of things you can buy; the list can seem endless. But what’s worth splashing out on, and what’s a waste of money? Here TalkMum Rachel, who blogs over at The Little Pip, shares her newborn essentials, along with some items that you shouldn’t bother buying;
1//Aden & Anais swaddles 2// Lansinoh nipple cream and breast pads 3// H&M breastfeeding bras (I also recommend Jojomamanbebe) 4// Dreamgenii pillow 5//phone & baby tracker app 6// Weleda Calendula Lotion 7// Baby Bjorn sling 8// Grobag Room Thermometer 9// Bobble water bottle 10// Fisher Price bouncer Read more
It can be very easy to become overwhelmed when you first become a parent, with so many new things happening all at once (especially when feeding and changing the baby can sometimes take up a whole day!). Here TalkMum Fozia, who blogs over at Muslim Mummy, talks about how it’s OK to ask for – and accept – help, especially from your family:
No matter how prepared you think you are, with washed and folded clothes, cot all set up, nursery decorated, nothing fully prepares you for the arrival of your baby. Your life literally changes, but obviously for the better!
It is great being fully prepared, but what will actually be the most useful in this new chapter of life, is accepting help from others if it is available.
No it doesn’t make you a failure, it doesn’t mean you can’t cope. You will end up being grateful for the help you get. Trust me.
Think about it, for 9 months you have carried another life inside you. You may have had a difficult 9 months, then you are physically exhausted by giving birth. You may not even get a chance to rest to allow your body to recover before the sleepless nights start. So if you are lucky enough to have help, I say grab it with open arms.
I have my parents living close by. They wanted me to go stay with them after the baby was born because I had a third degree tear and they wanted to help. I drew the line at going to stay with them as I wanted my own space.
However, I am genuinely grateful for their help. I had to do nothing except feed and change the baby. They took my eldest to school, fed her after school and brought her home. They even brought me and my husband cooked meals so I did not have to cook. My mum would even wash any dishes that my hubby may have left before he went to work. I was able to sleep when baby slept and this I think kept me sane. I further believe that the rest helped my tear heal quickly.
With my first child I was living with my parents. At that time I felt like they thought I could not cope and that is why they were ‘taking over’. Now I now that it was simply because they already knew how exhausting the first few weeks can be, so this time round I was grateful for all the help I could get.
If you do not have family around to help then it is still important to rest as much as you possibly can. Freeze some meals before the due date so you don’t have to cook, don’t stress if the house is in a bit of a state the first week, and if you don’t want visitors the first few days then just say. If they are parents then they will understand.
When I attended ante-natal class for the first time, I remember the course leader saying “pregnant women are always so focused on the birth – when that usually only takes about a day. It’s what happens after baby arrives that’s more important!”
But I didn’t pay much attention to her as I was too busy concentrating on the birth.
Once my daughter was here, I realised just what she meant. All that energy I had spent worrying about the delivery just disappeared. I should have been worrying about how on earth I was going to look after this tiny creature I’d brought into the world.
But it wasn’t misspent energy. The time I had spent anticipating the delivery, eating the right foods, practising yoga and meditation helped me prepare for a total shift in pace of life as a new mum.
I wouldn’t say I was serene all the time, but being able to draw on the breathing and relaxation skills I learned in pregnancy yoga certainly helped me when dealing with a crying baby in the middle of the night.
All new mums learn for themselves how to cope with the enormous change of becoming a parent. But three words of advice helped me get through that time:
Jane is a working mum with a girl of six and a boy of three.
With Easter round the corner, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk about all things spring-like – such as newborn babies! Newborns bring their own unique rewards and challenges – so what do you need to know about the first few weeks of your new baby’s life? And how will it affect your life? Cath shares her experience of coping with a new baby and tells us what she’s learnt.
As the first of our friends to have a baby we had no experience whatsoever with babies. Before we had our eldest son I had never changed a nappy or even held a tiny baby. I had read plenty of baby books and had the theory all worked out – I just needed to put it into practise!
William was born in the early hours of Friday morning and due to a few complications I had to stay in hospital until the Sunday evening. I was desperate to get home but it was also quite a scary prospect knowing we would be on our own with our new son.
In hospital there was a team of nurses who would come and help whenever I needed it,but once I was home there was only the two of us. My husband was sent to get the car whilst the nurse carried our new baby to the hospital entrance. They fastened him into the car, wished us well and we were on our own!
I say we were on our own, but that isn’t quite true; the midwife called each day for the first few days to make sure we were both OK. She also checked my stitches, weighed our son and did all the normal checks that midwives do. More importantly however, she made sure we were coping – coming every day for about 5 days and then every other day until William was about 10 days old.
The first few weeks as a novice mum just flew by. My husband had two weeks paternity leave which went really fast and then I was on my own. I had stocked the freezer up with lots of homemade soup and stews before William was born and I was so glad I had. You need to keep your own strength up when you are looking after a new baby, especially if you are breast feeding and the meals I had prepared earlier were such a help. I could quickly reheat soup for my lunch and at tea time all I needed to do was to turn the oven on, pop in some jacket potatoes and reheat the stew and we had a quick but delicious tea. Mum was really good and would pop round to make sure we were OK, doing whatever needed doing without needing to be asked.
Tips for coping with a new baby