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Helpful tips for the first weeks with a newborn

New mother looks at newborn baby

Nothing can quite prepare you for parenthood – but these tried and tested tips from Mumsnetters will help to make the early days with a baby that little bit easier

1. DO plan ahead to make life easier

Open road ahead

Have two changing bags and keep one in the car/by the door. It saves you packing up each and every time.”

2. DON'T get bogged down by the concept of time

Lots of clocks different times

“Whenever you get up in the middle of the night NEVER look at the time. In fact, make sure all the clocks are turned away from you. Then, psychologically, you won't realise that you have been up half the night and won't feel tired the next day.”

3. DO rest when you can

Fall into bed to sleep

“If you can, sleep in shifts with your partner. I would sleep 7pm-1am and then he would sleep through to 6 or 7am – that way we both got a solid block of sleep. If you're breast feeding, this also gives your other half a chance to feed the baby and bond using expressed milk.”

4. DON'T over-complicate things

Simple complicated road signs

“Do your food shop online.”

“If you're still in your pyjamas at 3pm, that's fine.”

5. DO be prepared for some down time

Woman in bed with coffee and books

Get everything you need within easy reach of the chair (or sofa) where you end up feeding the most. I had a six-pack of bottled water and a tin of biscuits next to the rocker in my baby's nursery – and a laptop set up with Netflix shows to binge.”

“Be prepared to do A LOT of sitting around and feeding for the first few weeks/months. Seriously, you won't believe how much. Enjoy the peace, quiet and rest.”

6. DON'T get cooped up

Sound of Music - dancing on hills - fredom

Get out of the house – no matter how long it takes and regardless of where you go. Everything is easier when you've had a change of scenery.”

“Five minutes in a hot shower every day can make you feel more human (even when you're so tired you can barely see straight).”

7. DO go with the flow

New mother breast feeding

“If you're breastfeeding, pay no attention to the 'feeds every three hours' bollocks. If your baby is crying and can't be easily soothed any other way, offer a boob. It made my life so much easier.”

“Expressed milk can be used to top up your baby in the early evening when you may be getting tired and supply may be getting low, or saved up if someone else needs to feed your baby at some point.”

8. DON'T waste your money

Throwing money away

“There's a huge amount you can buy for a newborn but you won't use half of it. Save yourself money by only buying the essentials and then see if you need/want anything else.”

9. DO what you can to plan ahead

Batch cooking meals in tupperware

I batch cooked pre-baby. It made a huge difference when my husband went back to work and we were too tired to cook.”

10. DON'T try to do everything yourself

Friends crowded round new baby

Never turn down the offer of help from friends and family to shop, cook or clean for you.”

11. DO learn how to say no

No, no, no signs

“Accept help from others but do not let anyone interfere – it is YOUR baby!”

Don't be afraid to say no to visitors. It can be very tiring having a stream of people visiting – especially when you are feeling sore and tired.”

12. And DON'T forget to appreciate the good stuff!

Mum holding newborn smiling

Enjoy cuddling and being with your baby – the time passes so quickly and you can never get those days back.”