Becoming a mum, what you wish you'd known...(112 Posts)
I am currently pregnant with our much wanted first baby, and feel like I am entering the great unknown. I'm both excited and very unsure of what to expect! I know my life is about to change. Several people in RL have told me that the early months really took them by surprise which sounds a bit....ominous.
So, what would you lovely ladies go back and tell yourself when you were expecting your first? I'm looking for the good, the bad and the ugly, and any tips for surviving the bad/ugly are welcome
That it takes time, give yourself six months to settle in, later "babies bounce" they all fall off beds\sofas...no one ever falls off a floor
The only thing I'd go back and tell myself is that its okay
It's okay to be tired. It's okay to find it hard. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to spend the day in your pyjamas and it's okay to do the bare minimum you need to do to get through the day.
I was very young when I had DS and I felt an immense pressure to prove to everyone (and myself) that I could do everything. Once I realised that it's okay just to do what you need to do to get by, and stopped guilting myself, life suddenly became much easier.
That it's ok to not enjoy every moment of parenthood and that every parent feels the same way at some point.
Not to listen to the bloody doomsayers. The amount of people who take pleasure in telling you how bad this or that will be 🙄 Just smile, ignore and enjoy
That you can say no to induction and other treatments, you don't have to do what others say.
That babies can scream before they are all the way out.
That I would be sore after delivery. Like really sore, unable to sit up.
That snapping back is not as instantaneous as it sounds.
That my belly button would never go back in.
That no one buys you clothes in newborn size so get those yourself.
That newborn hiccups are THE CUTEST.
That no one gives a shit about dc2
That the first year or so can be lonely. I thought I was an onlooker onto a world other people got, but I just didn't.
That's probably not very common though.
After that time, life just got better and better though. And to get where I am now with three teens was worth every moment.
That it's fine to feel whatever you feel and to do whatever you want.
You might be happy just relaxing with your baby in your PJs for the first three months. Equally, you might be clawing the walls after a fortnight and join every baby group going.
You might be happy not going out without your baby for the first year. Equally, you might be desperate for a pint down the pub with your friends by the end of the first month.
It's all fine. Don't let people tell you to do anything that you don't feel very comfortable with, whether that's staying with your baby all the time or getting some space to yourself.
But do try and let your partner do as much with the baby as possible from day one, even though breastfeeding may make that difficult, and it's quite normal to think they are JUST DOING IT ALL WRONG
Oh and yes, you really don't have to like it all. It's not a failure to think, fuck me, I hate weaning.
That you will bleed for 6 weeks. That the baby's first poos will stick like glue to their delicate little bottoms and cotton wool and water will make no difference to it - apparently smearing baby's bottom with vaseline will help get it off (wish I'd known that - there were tears at that point) which brings me to the other point: you will cry. For no reason.
I had a mantra along the lines of the baby knows no different so didn't know that I was absolutely clueless and not actually having such a great time after all.
That some babies need to suck and soothers are not the work of the devil. Neither is formula.
That baby's poo's can be explosive.
A sane and contended or even just calm mother is better than sticking to "what the book said"
That babies are perfectly fine in plain babygro's for the first
year 6 months.
That the baby years are just a warm-up for the teen years.
But I wouldn't swap my bothersome babies/troublesome teens for the world! Good luck op
That the first year or so can be lonely. I thought I was an onlooker onto a world other people got, but I just didn't
I get that! I don't think it's that uncommon though - I've known friends to admit the same - not at the time though. It's why there is such a huge age gap between my two - I couldn't go back to that loneliness, but of course it was different with DC2 because I had to get out and do all of DC1's activities.
If anyone offers to clean your house, TAKE THEM UP ON IT. Likewise bringing you food.
Build yourself a breastfeeding nest on the sofa with snacks, drinks, phone and remote all in easy reach. You will live there for 2 months.
The floor is the safest place to put a baby. If anyone gets funny about your baby spending a lot of time on the floor, claim you are practicing jabadao, and it is for developmental movement play.
A bouncy chair on the floor is probably the only place the baby will stay asleep.
Maternity leave is not a time when you can get anything at all done, even normal day to day housework. Get your DP used to doing most of it in advance.
Buy a shit load of ready meals.
Get a subscription to Amazon Prime instead of any baby stuff you might need (like formula, bottles, etc if you plan to breastfeed), it works out cheaper in the long run, and means you don't panic about things.
Buy a tumble dryer.
Breastfeeding is the most constant thing ever. I'm yet to meet a BF newborn who feeds 'every 3 hours' or whatever the trotted out number is. They feed ALL THE TIME. And that is good and normal. It's not because you don't have enough milk, it's not something that will make a rod for your back etc. It is what newborns do. No one tells you (maybe because it would put people off?) and it was a huge shock to me when my DS fed for 4 hours nonstop his first night
and carried on in the same vein for 3/4 months
That it will be years before you are on your own again, in your own house, on your own sofa with a book.
That even when you get the solitude you may crave you may feel guilty about not being with your children, or miss them as though you've just lost a limb.
When someone says to make the most of it now, it mostly boils down to enjoying the feeling of not being responsible for another human being all the time, so try not to resent the implication that you should be off clubbing while heavily pregnant because you will never do anything again. You will, it will just feel different for quite a few years.
That Boots own brand castor oil and zinc creme is better than Sudocreme imo.
That some kids could have their bottoms wiped with sandpaper and be fine, and that others will develop bleeding nappy rash at the first swipe of a wetwipe, or be insanely sensitive to any reasonably priced brand.
That you will love DC2 just as much as DC1
That in all likelihood you will have to work off the babyweight so don't eat for two now.
Go in with no set ideas - be open to formula or breastfeeding, co-sleeping or putting the baby in its own room after a few months, purées or BLW... Your baby might not have the same plans as you do.
Also! Normal breastfeeding 'feeding all the time' is very different to tongue tie 'feeding all the time' which is a whole other level of craziness. So if it's crazy constant then check out tongue tie! Trust your instincts.
That you don't have to know it all at once: you grow with the baby, so to speak. For the first few weeks
months you can concentrate on getting to grips with keeping them fed and clean and that will be enough.
After the first few weeks (which are intense for everybody) how much you feel you can't do anything non-babyish will depend entirely on you. Some people struggle to get out of the house or find they just don't want to, others load baby and nappies onto their back and go on mountain hikes. Some find they never want to be parted from their dc at all, others (with an equally close bond) find they thrive on the occasional night out or even work trip abroad. Find out what is best for you, and if other people seem as if they might be judgey- don't feed them too much information.
I am a first time mum to a now three week old - so pregnancy and having a new born is the here and now for us.
Maternity leave, you will get a few days of intense nesting and then a perfectly reasonable amount of time doing nothing but naps, walks, tv box sets....
Use moisturiser! My skin got dry both at random intervals whilst pregnant and after baby arrived. (Also, drink pints and pints of water/dilute juice whilst breastfeeding if you do.)
Sleeping at the very end of pregnancy was worse for me than sleeping with a newborn (back ache and hourly pee trips vs feeding every two hours)
Ditto what PP said about having everything in arms reach whilst breastfeeding.
We didn't start breastfeeding until two weeks old and now he is a champ. The first few days aren't the be all and end all, use the midwives and breast feeding advisors!
Also TV box sets - good for late night or all day cluster feeds.
Take a tiny baby outfit to the hospital - our "8 pounder" turned out to be 6lbs 2oz.
You will cry. In pregnancy songs and adverts used to set me off. Now I'm a mama I spent the first three days a mixture of eurphoria and happy tears, then the baby blues came. It felt (and still very much feels) surreal to be so emotional.
Make sure you have someone you can be brutally honest and yourself with. I have put on a positive and happy exterior with everyone but my DP and mum. Those two I can cry and wail and go to when I need a cuddle.
A colicky baby will make you feel like crying. If you have a car, go for a drive - it saved us!
Obviously, these are just a few of the things we have learnt together, no doubt there will be thousands more before my baby gets to 3 months. 😄
I've never heard anyone say "my parents are amazing they keep a very clean house" so try not to worry to much about housework.
Babies don't fall asleep on their own when they're tired, you have to get them to sleep (for 90% of babies anyway). See this chart for how long they should be awake for before you start getting them back to sleep www.mybabysleepguide.com/2013/02/average-sleep-charts-by-age.html
Sleep = more sleep and overtired is the worst thing ever for a baby IME.
Sleepless nights are as follows. They're supposed to be at their worst for 6 weeks.
Baby feeds from 7pm-1am then eventually falls asleep
You fall asleep by 2am or so, you're so overtired that you can' t sleep
Baby wakes up at 2.45 for a feed. You feed, then change their nappy, then feed again, then change their nappy again, then feed again until hopefully they fall asleep whilst feeding, without pooing.
You then hold the sleeping baby for 20 minutes and put back down to sleep.
They wake up when you put them down anyway, or within 10 minutes because of wind.
Repeat all the above. Baby finally asleep again at 5am. You fall asleep by 6am. Baby wakes up for a feed, poo, feed, poo, feed, poo. Wind.
Time to get up for the day.
Oh, if you're going to BF, make a breastfeeding basket! Basket with a big bottle of water, snacks, Muslins, kindle, remotes, maybe a portable phone charger... Can't remember what else you need when BFing... But I spent 4 months breastfeeding and NEVER had everything I needed in one place close by, there was always something scattered out of reach. I kept meaning to find a basket and do this ^^ but before I found a suitable basket we'd stopped BFing. Going to get one together during my next pregnancy!
(So I haven't ever actually put that into practise, it might be shit in reality 😂)
(My point being of course, you keep everything in there then can move the whole basket one-handed to wherever you are going to be feeding, instead of having handfuls of stuff/multiple trips before settling down).
That all the lush thick locks you have now will fall out and
make you feel like you're going bald be very disconcerting.
That your feet might change size permanently - my beautiful shoes! :cry:
Not such a profound tip as some of the others, but if using a baby changing room when out and about, don't open the nappy bin to put your dirty one in until you are ready to leave the room! Those things stink!
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