First time pregnant, if you could give me one piece of advice?!?(109 Posts)
I'm 27 weeks pregnant with my first baby and wondered if you could give me one piece of advice on labour/ babies/ new borns etc what would it be??
I really struggled in the beginning! But I had a baby with colic and reflux so he was not a comfortable boy and he wanted to suck on me most of the day for comfort - which was exhausting and painful!
Now I am pregnant again I feel I have learned a lot of tips from the first baby that will help me with the second - and hopefully help you with your first!!!!
1. Always sleep when the baby does (it really was a shock to be up so much in the night and I was exhausted)! But I was so tempted to 'carry on as normal' with my social life, big mistake! This time I will hunker down with a completely empty diary until I get more sleep at night.
2. I didn't want to use a dummy but after a month resorted to it, as baby needed to suck on something all day! But i would say that we got rid of the dummy at 6 months old because he was crying with it in his mouth (wasn't giving him comfort anymore). So I wouldn't be afraid to use one short term
3. My boobs were so sore that I cried when breastfeeding, so kept asking midwives and health visitors to check my latch was ok. They all said it was, but since then I have been told by a breastfeeding specialist that it shouldn't make you cry, if it hurts that much then the latch isn't quite right and so the best advice is to see an actual breastfeeding specialist rather than a midwife or health visitor who hasn't been specifically trained in that area.
4. Remember that NOTHING lasts forever, even though it can feel like the baby will always cry at night (it won't!) and that you will always be mopping up sick and poop (you won't!). Sometimes it's only when you look back you realise that the stage has finally passed and you haven't had your life stuck in the same routine forever!
5. At the 6 week check, my health visitor suggested we try a night routine. I had never heard of suck a thing with a tiny baby so was really sceptical, but tried it anyway.
We began to give him a bath at 7pm, then a cuddly dim-lit feed in his bedroom, followed by laying down in the cot. I didn't understand how it worked but it was amazingly different - he settled and slept much longer than if we had him asleep downstairs (as we did during the day). I will DEFINITELY do this again with the second and highly recommend it as a turning point for your sanity!
6. In the night I sometimes fed every 2 hours during a growth spurt, and religiously changed nappies every feed. Now I would do it every other feed at night (so more like 4 hourly) unless of course it is pooey or the baby's skin looks pink, as it woke him up too much unnecessarily.
7. I really regretted being too tired to pursue free portrait photo and little hand prints etc, because when they're much bigger (and sleeping better - so you don't feel so tired out yourself), it felt a bit too late and we just didn't get round to it. But we took LOADS of photos and would recommend you do too - they change so quickly and you don't always see it until you look back over the photos
Ps - in labour, I found one of the best ways to get through the contractions was to count really slowly each deep breath in and out. After about number 12, the contraction had gone. It was a really good way to get through each contraction because every time I got to breath number 11 I knew after one more breath the pain would be suddenly switched off again. Contractions are so funny like that! Suddenly on and then suddenly gone again after 12 seconds (for me).
Ban visitors for at least two weeks after the birth.
Don't try and live up to other's expectations of motherhood, we are all winging it.
If you are unsure of how to approach something, just aim to make the world a good place for your baby.
Do what works for you, your Baby and your family.
Also, unless you particularly want to, don't worry about establishing routines, I found it easier to follow the Baby's lead, and they established their own patterns, I just tweaked them here and there.
Anyone who says 'sleep when the baby sleeps' has never had a baby who will only sleep on you, for 20 minutes at a time.
Babies feed for what seems like an endless amount of time in the early weeks.
Some babies don't like to be put down at all during the early
Colic isn't just wind. It's a catch-all term for unexplained crying in a newborn, the causes of which might include baby having wind.
If you're unsure of something, ask MN.
When people say it flies by, it really does, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time.
Trust your instincts, you know best.
You'll get loads of advice, but in your heart you'll know what's right for you and your little one
Keep active as much as you can during PG - not strenuous but lots of walking etc (don't get lazy using lifts, keep to the stairs). It really does help to be able to keep moving into the latter days of the pg, and get moving afterwards too.
Relax - both about the whole process (it does help babs come out easier) and afterwards (once babs is fed and clothed, that's the important thing). And sleep as much as you can in those first few days when you're tired from the exercise of birth and others are happy to help. Do NOT start making cups of tea for all (either DH or the visitors should do that) or dinners etc.
Ooooh this is such a lovely thread. I'm currently 18 weeks with my first and have found so many golden nuggets here. I've bookmarked it so I can refer to it again. Thank you
Best piece of advice I was given was only to listen to the advice you want to hear!
My piece of advice from experience (all whacking great 6 months of it ) is to go with the flow, as others have said. Good luck
If in doubt, attach boob A to baby B and have a cup of tea while you're at it!
Really appreciating all your comments, It's amazing to hear good stories and helpful tips!!
Big thank you everyone!!
1) Don't go buying everything you think you'll need. Get the basics to get by and then buy what you actually need.
2) Always seek advice if you feel like there is something wrong
3) Be prepared for things to not be textbook (e.g. my DS will not sleep on his back - apologies to the official guidelines)
4) Painful as it is, labour is a magical experience. Try not to fret about it - its natural and there is an end to it with a beautiful gift to boot.
5) Everyone will tell you the best way to do everything and they will all think they're right. Nod politely, use the advice you find useful and archive the rest in the back of your brain somewhere. Your baby - your rules.
Have I bored you yet...? Good luck x
Get organised well before the baby arrives, because you will be tired afterwards and not being able to find things will seem like the last straw!
i) if any DIY jobs need doing, do them now, as you will be at home A LOT for the first few weeks and really notice any issues
ii) set up a couple of changing stations with everything you need in an old shoebox or basket e.g. nappies, wipes, changes of baby clothes, nappy sacks. You don't want to be trying to find that stuff at 3 in the morning. Once you find brands of nappies & wipes you like, mail order in bulk and have delivered.
iii) get the basics for bottle feeding just in case -- you can always give them away, and having the stuff in the house is a lot better than an emergency dash to the nearest 24 hour Tesco!
iv) if people have given you baby clothes for various ages separate out everything not for newborn/0-3 months and stash the rest somewhere -- also, don't take labels off and wash newborn clothes in case your baby is big and doesn't need them -- then you can return them
v) fill the freezer with food (but don't overdo it like we did necessitating a freezer defrost around week 4 when the doors got wedged...)
vi) invest in a couple of nightlights or those windup torches -- night feeds involve a lot of crashing round the house in the small hours and light helps avoid falling over furniture and waking other family members!
vii) get outside for a walk every day if you possibly can, especially if you've hardly slept -- it helps the baby tell night from day I think and makes you feel better
Also, if you're breastfeeding (or if like me you're always starving) lay in snacks that don't need refrigerating for the bedroom -- cereal bars, nuts, chocolate biscuits, those mini pots of fruit with a fork in the top -- also useful for labour and if you have to spend a few days in hospital. The NCT do a really useful cycling drinking bottle thing that clips to a bed rail -- much better than the NHS jug of water that they normally place just out of reach...
DH's advice is "it gets easier".
Mine is "the nhs and medical professionals are there to help. It is better to call nhs 24 than to put it off because you are worried about looking silly."
The two best pieces of advice I stole from another thread:
1) The days are long but the years are short
2) Make their world a happy place
I had a baby who slept for only 20-30 mins at a time but you can still get a pre-sleep doze which is better than nothing so I would still stand by that advice - as someone who HAS experienced such a baby!!!!
- Look after your back. You want to be able to get down on the floor to play with your toddler, not be in agony sitting on a sofa because you were careless when they were a baby. Your joints and ligaments will still be very vulnerable as the effects of relaxin decrease slowly so practise safe manual handling and lifting when you're carting carseats, pushchairs and your lovely baby around.
- Don't buy a pram/pushchair until the baby is about 3 months old and you can test it out with the baby in it. Get a stretchy sling instead for the newborn stage. Honestly, it will save you sooo much money in the long-run because you will have a much better idea of what you want and how you will use it.
You might also want to know: Pregnancy doesn't just 'end' once the baby and placenta are out. You don't suddenly spring back into the same person you were before; there are hormones all over the place, your organs need to move into their settled positions, your joints are still loose from your body pumping so much relaxin into them (see above) etc. You will also be cream crackered from labour and looking after a teeny tiny, utterly dependent little person so you need to be gentle and kind to yourself. Other lovely things you might experience once your baby is here include:
- lochia (massive period) for up to six weeks;
- pain leaning over, sitting down and twisting your torso if you've had an episiotomy or tear (put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your maternity pad; it helps);
- stinging when you wee if you've had a tear or graze (wee in the shower using the shower head to dilute the urine);
- really bad, stinky wind;
- losing control over your pelvic floor for a week or so (do your pelvic floor exercises now and carry on doing them!);
- anal fissures so it feels like you have spiky poo;
- mood swings;
- spotty skin;
- seemingly insatiable thirst;
- massive sugar cravings;
- (if you're breastfeeding) milk squirting out in all directions whenever your breasts are exposed to fresh air ;
- sudden major dislike of your DH/P; and
- (around the 3-month mark) clumps of hair coming out in the shower and on your hairbrush.
I wish someone had told me that those things might happen 1) so I didn't push myself so hard after DC1 was born, 2) so that I didn't feel so much like a stinky, incontinent, piggy, moody trainwreck who wanted a divorce immediately, and 3) so that I knew it was fairly normal and would eventually end.
Cuddle them, snuggle them, curl up with them, gaze adoringly at them. Indulge yourself. Leave everything else, it doesn't matter.
Also, but it might depend on the person, get out of the house every day. I had one day when it was snowy where I didn't, and my mood plummeted. Go to the supermarket and relish the adoring coos.
Its not my advice as such - but now I am pg with DC2 this has really struck a chord with me - dont know where it's from -
I hope my baby looks back on today
and remembers a parent who had time to play
Theres years ahead for cleaning and cooking
but babies grow up while your not looking
So settle down cobwebs and dust go to sleep
Im cuddling my baby and babies dont keep
Tell the HV to shove their advice. When I had DD1 they interfered with every single part of her first 6 months, they made me miserable because she was small (she still is) so when I had DD2 I told them to butt out and it was fine !!
Buy a natural sponge for gorgeous baths, some Neals Yard Baby Barrier (miracle cream!) for help with pretty much everything, turn the computer off and live right there in the moment as much as you can.
Buttons on a baby outfit are the work of the devil. Poppers and zips are your best friend.
Remember too that those vests etc. which have envelope necks are designed to be pulled DOWN rather than over the head. Essential for the inevitable poonami!
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