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Share your advice for first time parents to help build their confidence with Nurofen for Children - £300 voucher prize draw! NOW CLOSED

(422 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Jan-16 14:26:01

Research by Nurofen for Children shows that, on average, it takes a first time mum an average of six months to feel confident as a parent(i). With that in mind, they'd like to know what words of wisdom you'd pass down to a first time mum to boost their confidence.

Here's what Nurofen for Children says, "Becoming a mum is a wonderful life changing experience, and a huge learning curve. Nurofen for Children understands seeking advice from other mums is an important part of feeling confident in the decisions you make for your new baby, so we’d love to know your best advice for other first-time mums".

Maybe you'd share something your own parents told you that helped when you were embarking on parenthood. Or something you wish you'd been told when you were a new parent. You might have a nugget of advice that you think would really make a difference, and we're eager to hear it.

Everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one mumsnetter will win a £300 Love2Shop voucher!

Thanks

MNHQ

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-Competition closes at midnight on Thursday 21st January 2016
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Nurofen for Children 3 months to 9 years Orange / Strawberry. Nurofen for Children Orange / Strawberry 3 months to 12 years (weighing over 5kg). Contains Ibuprofen. For relief of fever. Always read the label.

(i) Survey of 2,000 mums by One Poll, commissioned by Nurofen for Children (October 2013)

starlight36 Thu 07-Jan-16 16:39:12

Your initial instinct is usually right! Getting advice from Mums, MIL, friends and Mumsnet helped reassure me that I was making the right call and also reminded me that if I ever felt overwhelmed others had probably experienced it as well.

DoodleCat Thu 07-Jan-16 17:11:26

Don't be afraid to ask for advice but also don't be afraid to ignore that advice and go with your instincts. Do what you feel comfortable.

ThomasRichard Thu 07-Jan-16 17:14:30

You might have all sorts of ideas about what sort of mum you want to be and how life will be after having a baby and sometimes you might get there but most of the time good enough is good enough. As long as your baby is fed, clean, warm and cuddled, you're doing an amazing job. Your family's own identity and reality will develop on its own.

thisismypassword Thu 07-Jan-16 17:43:22

If your baby has a poonami, their vests have envelope shoulders so you can pull it down instead of getting poo all over their head.

I could write lots, really. But, the two most important thinga I wish I'd known when my daughter was born are:
1 - cold air on the bottom often makes them do a wee or poo. So, when changing them, open the nappy up, clean them off, & let them lay there for a moment. DH & I literally lost count of the number of times our DD wee'd or poo'd partway through a change, necessitating us to throw away the (often not fully opened) new nappy.
2 - The envelope-neck type of vests can be pulled down over the body to remove them, they don't have to come up over the head, spreading the nappy leakage up the back (and in the hair etc).

I think my life would have been a lot easier if I'd know that. We'd have used a lot less laundry powder.

Other than that, mostly go with your instinct. You know your baby.

ButWaitTheresMyrrh Thu 07-Jan-16 17:57:22

It's ok to feel scared, nervous and out of your depth and don't be afraid to speak to your Health Visitor and GP about your mental health.
Post natal depression and anxiety are common and do not mean you're a bad parent who doesn't love their child.

voyager50 Thu 07-Jan-16 18:04:48

Take one day at a time and deal with things if and when they happen rather than worrying that they might.

If you are exhausted sleep when the baby sleeps if you can, rather than trying to get things done - the housework can wait!

HappyHeart87 Thu 07-Jan-16 18:06:09

Your friends are probably storing tonnes of baby stuff in their lofts. Ask around before buying everything new - if you're happy to borrow or inherit some things then you'll probably be able to.

Sixgeese Thu 07-Jan-16 19:15:58

You don't need everything brand new and straight away, all babies are different and what might have been invaluable for your friends babies might be a waste of money for yours.

SellFridges Thu 07-Jan-16 19:47:47

You can go to the toilet without taking your baby. Especially before they can move around. Nobody will run in off the street and steal them.

Theimpossiblegirl Thu 07-Jan-16 19:53:54

No-one is a perfect parent. Facebook and Instagram only reflect the best bits. Try not to feel like you are doing a worse job than everyone else!

Two things - despite what midwives and health visitors might tell you, breastfeeding can be very painful for the first few weeks even if the baby's latch is fine and you're doing everything right. The pain does not, in this case, carry on forever as another super-helpful midwife told me.

Wrapping your baby's arms so that they can't startle themselves awake on a regilar basis can get you a full hour or extra sleep per night! I was soooo happy when I found out how to do this. Made a huge difference!

asuwere Thu 07-Jan-16 20:21:30

Baby vests can be pulled down! I tell every friend/relative this when they have a baby, I never realised until I was on dc3 blush
Also, just remember there is no perfect parent, its OK to make mistakes and to ask for help, and its also OK to ignore some advice and go with your own gut feeling.

anonooo Thu 07-Jan-16 20:27:09

Enjoy it. Don't succumb to peer group pressure or media fads but just do the things that make you all feel happy. Spend lots of time together playing, cuddling and talk, talk, talk to your little one.

purplepandas Thu 07-Jan-16 20:39:29

Another one who says go with your gut instincts, we are all winging it. Also, ignore those who claim that other babies were sleeping through because they did X/Y. Every baby is different!

elpth Thu 07-Jan-16 20:41:07

I got given some excellent advice that I often pass on: All you need to achieve is "everybody fed, nobody dead". Anything more is a bonus.

RatOnnaStick Thu 07-Jan-16 20:51:12

Cold tea is miserable and almost impossible to avoid with newborns. Get a thermal mug.

Rodent01 Thu 07-Jan-16 20:56:40

"This too shall pass"

Almost everything is a phase and things change all the time. Not sleeping more than 4 hours. This will pass. Hating the bath. This will pass. Throwing food all over the house. This will pass. Just live for the day!

Dorsetmama Thu 07-Jan-16 22:04:07

Talk about your birth experience. Especially if there are negative feelings. It helps.

Breastfeeding is hard work. Be prepared for it, and do your research. Don't feel bad if you don't want to do it. If you do, make sure you get support and don't let anyone put you off, it is the best start you can offer your baby once outside of you, and it is the most beautiful, and glorious thing. It can also be a bit painful at first, and you will want to eat more! This will pass.

It doesn't matter if you cannot seem to get out of your pajamas for the first 2 months of having your baby, and it doesn't matter if your house looks like a bomb hit it. Nobody is judging you.
Sleep when your baby sleeps, (though perhaps not in Tesco) and unless its a lifestyle choice, (as in you plan on Co-sleeping) try not to be tempted to let baby sleep in your arms. You'll make a rod for your own back before you know it!

Health Visitors don't know everything. Neither does your Mum, your Grandma, your Mother-Of-Two friend, nor the old lady in the supermarket. Cherry pick your advice, whilst nodding and smiling appreciatively, and use it to aid your own research. We all do things differently. All babies respond differently.

Remember to take time for yourself when someone else is cuddling and cooing at your little one, it's surprising how much difference it makes to sit quietly for 5 minutes and do non Mum stuff. It's important to still be you and don't lose yourself.

Poonamis happen. You will throw away clothes. Your baby will poop all over expensive baby wear. Don't be shy of second hand clothing, particularly for the first year.

CopperPan Fri 08-Jan-16 00:21:32

A good friend told me when I was stressed out about DD's progress, "She'll be OK in the end, because she's got you". She's had more than her fair share of ups and downs but I've always thought back to that and known that things will work out because of what I do as a parent. You are the expert where your child is concerned.

WelliesTheyAreWonderful Fri 08-Jan-16 02:02:59

Don't believe other peoples' Facebook lives! When you've had no sleep, your baby seems to cry SO MUCH and you have baby puke on your top, your trousers, and you've just noticed it on your couch too it's so easy so believe that 'Dawn from Accounts' is doing this so much better than you. 'Look how peaceful her baby looks.' 'Oh my gosh, they went for a walk and got a family picture together.' Dawn is no doubt just as sleep deprived as you and right after that picture was taken her baby started wailing and puked up in her hair. You are doing great.

TheToys Fri 08-Jan-16 02:16:01

Every child is different. Whapt works for one will not necessarily work for others, so concentrate on your gut feeling and don't compare or judge.

MakeTeaNotWar Fri 08-Jan-16 06:49:21

Relax, look after yourself, don't worry about timetables & schedules & if it squeaks, stick a boob in it

Frolicacid Fri 08-Jan-16 08:03:10

I have a 4 month old, so am a very new parent. The best advice I've been given is not to listen to too much advice and trust your instincts.
Also join a mumsnet post natal group - it's brilliant to be able to chat to other women in the same situation when it's 4 am and you've not been to sleep yet.

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