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What's your #1 piece of advice for a mum to be...

30 replies

itswinetimealready · 15/04/2021 09:41

I'd love to hear all your snippets of wisdom; things you learned in the first few months, things a new mum should know that the books don't tell you, unexpected things that happened..

Any golden nuggets of advice to help ease a mum to be into motherhood!

OP posts:
PuppyMonkey · 15/04/2021 09:52

Doesn’t matter what books you read and what excellent advice people on here give you, you’ll never be prepared enough.Grin

That’s my advice.

savemefromsearches · 15/04/2021 09:53

What @PuppyMonkey said but also that, being wise to that fact, to not be so hard on yourself. There is no such thing a perfect mum, and it's okay to ask for help!

honkytonkheroe · 15/04/2021 09:55

Don’t be too precious. I read a very long post on people saying “when can I see the baby”. About how hormones are plummeting, mum’s have just given birth, they’re bleeding, has stretchmarks, acne, blurry vision, dry eyes etc etc”. I read it and wondered what the drama is about. When I had my children I was happy to see people and only close friends and family presumable would ask to see the baby. I clicked on the comments expecting people to say the same, but there were a lot of comments agreeing. Therefore, all I can say is, don’t be like that. Don’t act like pregnancy and child birth are an illness. People are in hospital being treated for cancer and receiving visitors so why would a perfectly healthy woman with a healthy baby not?

That aside, I would say, just remember that everything passes - feeding in the night, 5am wake ups etc. Whatever stage it was, I found that I invested lots of time into sorting out the problem, nothing really worked, and then over time, things just naturally changed. So I’d just say, not to worry too much. Don’t be worried that anything is setting you up for problems because everything can be put right. For example, if you give a dummy you can totally take this away at a later date when you want to but if it makes life easier at the time, then I’d so to go for it.

miltonj · 15/04/2021 09:58

Every baby is different and what works for one baby might not work for yours, so take on board advice but don't be disheartened if it doesn't work with yours! There's so much advice on sleep on here (well meaning) but it's meaningless because they're just saying what worked for them based on their babies disposition!

Also be prepared to be flexible and not stick to what you assumed you'd do. I.e lots of people swear blind they won't use dummies etc but later find that they're a lifesaver!

Accept help, and eat loads of donuts in the first few weeks Grin

shittingthreeeyedraven · 15/04/2021 10:04

Don’t be too put off by horror stories! Mums, esp on here, like to hyperbolise about the after birth part, leaking boobs, bleeding, stitched, can’t walk, sagging, crying and so on and so forth but actually it isn’t that bad!!

Pantsomime · 15/04/2021 10:06

Your baby picks up on anxiety, try to go with the flow and remind yourself that almost everyone means well ( even if it feels like they are trying to undermine you, which is probably your hormones and vulnerability). Don’t be afraid to ask for help - all mums know how you can feel like you’ve conquered the world one minute and magically made a person and can’t even remember how to get dressed the next never mind look after a baby. Trust your instincts if you feel you or your baby are unwell in some way and keep going back to GP if needed. Congratulations

Trixie78 · 15/04/2021 10:06

Lower your standards on what constitutes a 'clean' house now and you'll save yourself a lot of stress.

Pinkflipflop85 · 15/04/2021 10:10

Throw away the books.

If you want to spend all day in pjs/ trackies with no make up and a mess bun then do. If you want to get dressed in lovely clothes and do your hair and make up then that is also perfectly reasonable.

If breastfeeding...lots and lots of water is you friend.

Sobloodyexhausted · 15/04/2021 10:23

Do your baby proofing / put up gates before baby arrives (not like me who is baby proofing as we go and consequently constantly in a state of anxious panic with eyes in the back of my head! Blush).

Declutter as much stuff as you can - babies and toddlers accumulate a huge amount of stuff very rapidly. If you’ve got loads of junk in the house anyway, it can get overwhelming and depressing and makes keeping on top of things harder. Get rid of anything you didn’t wear in the 12 months prior to getting pregnant, streamline your make up / beauty products (you won’t have much time to do more than the basics in terms of grooming once the baby arrives anyway).

Learn how all the catches on prams / slings/ high chairs work before baby comes. Try to get equipment that you can operate or unfold one handed (we have a pushchair that needs two hands to fold up and it’s a bit of a nightmare tbh - it’s also very wide and I have trouble manoeuvring it in narrow aisles when shopping).

Invest in gadgets that can be used one handed to prep food/ do stuff round the house. Mobility and disability aid suppliers have lots of really cool stuff for this. It’s really liberating when you can do things one handed when holding your baby. I have a grabber for reaching things that have fallen in the floor/ an all in one brush and dustpan and a one handed chopper for vegetables etc. We use a sling a lot and now dd is older and I don’t need to support her head I can be hands free quite a lot but there are times she doesn’t want to go in to it and one handed gadgets are so useful then.

The only baby shoes / socks that have stay on my baby’s feet are these:

itswinetimealready · 15/04/2021 10:51

Thank you everyone for all your great bits of advice!! There is so much out there and so much information it's good to hear some positive and constructive-ness too!

OP posts:
Seriously79 · 15/04/2021 10:53

My best piece of advice, would be - don't listen to any advice.

Most of us just wing it on a daily basis, I have a 12 year old and almost 2 year old.

Trust your gut, and good luck x

steppemum · 15/04/2021 10:56

easier to say than do, but really, babies are not made of sugar, they are pretty robust.
All mums and babies make mistakes. We survive.
It really does not matter if you do X or Y. You will find evangelical mums who promote one thing or another. In real life, either is fine.

relax, don't be too precious, remember all things will pass.

Aria2015 · 15/04/2021 10:59

In the first few weeks, don't attempt to get into any routine, just follow your baby's lead and get to know your baby and learn their cues and cries because it really helps when you do start trying to put a routine in place (which I recommend around 12 weeks). Books will tell you to put your baby to sleep at x time or feed them every x hours but your baby is your best guide, if you recognise their tiredness cues then that helps getting them to nap far better than following an instruction in a book. Same with feeding.

Tambourina · 15/04/2021 11:19

My advice is to treat all advice with a pinch of salt.

Some mum's have an easy birth, others a difficult one.

Some have babies who easily latch on for feeding and it all goes swimmingly. Others won't breastfeed, then reject bottles, vomit a lot etc.

Some babies are smiley and sleep well, others crotchety and restless.

So whatever advice other mums give you will be based on their own experience and may not apply to you.

I spent too long trying to follow advice that was well-meaning, but wasn't actually helpful because of my situation.

Enjoy your little one! Easter Smile

Strawberries4days · 15/04/2021 11:27

Don't compare your baby to others and don't panic if your baby hasn't met a milestone by a certain age such as rolling over.

Baby won't have a routine until they're like 3 months old or older.

Don't try to do everything in the house straight after coming home from hospital. Every chore can wait until you feel better or if you can't wait, see if someone can do it for you if possible.

Congratulations OP 💐💐

CoalCraft · 15/04/2021 11:28

I have two bits of advice I guess;

  1. Don't over-plan, either for the birth or for when the baby is home. Instead, try to be content to go with the flow and follow where your body/baby leads. All aspects of having and raising a baby are unpredictable and you will only add to your stress if you are also trying to adhere to s carefully drawn up plan.

  2. Forgive yourself. Things will go wrong. There'll be times when you realise that you could have been doing something a better way, or that ahh, if you'd just fed a bit later she might have slept through the night, and so and so forth. Don't beat yourself up. Just learn from it and move on.
AlexaStop · 15/04/2021 11:31

Trust your instincts. It's amazing how primal we can still be when it comes to our babies

OnTheSeaShore · 15/04/2021 11:34


I have two bits of advice I guess;

1) Don't over-plan, either for the birth or for when the baby is home. Instead, try to be content to go with the flow and follow where your body/baby leads. All aspects of having and raising a baby are unpredictable and you will only add to your stress if you are also trying to adhere to s carefully drawn up plan.

2) Forgive yourself. Things will go wrong. There'll be times when you realise that you could have been doing something a better way, or that ahh, if you'd just fed a bit later she might have slept through the night, and so and so forth. Don't beat yourself up. Just learn from it and move on.

Absolutely this, with bells on and a fanfare.

You and your baby somehow "evolve" together and things will happen when they happen. The unhappiest Mums in my circle were the ones who tried to unrealistically shoehorn their babies into a timetable.
waterlego · 15/04/2021 11:37

One thing I wish I had been able to do (more applicable probably for the toddler/pre-school years rather than babyhood) is keeping a sense of humour. I found toddler-wrangling very draining and I remember just being a bit stressed and cross a lot of the time. Looking back, I think those years would have been easier and more pleasant if I could have chilled out a bit and laughed more.

CosyAcorn · 15/04/2021 11:44

If you are planning to breastfeed (and no judgement if not) get some nipple shields.

They can help your baby latch on if they are struggling and/or give your nipples a bit of protection if they are feeling sore.

There's lots of advice out there that says you should never feel sore when breastfeeding 'if you are doing it properly ' but to be honest even when you follow all the nipple to nose advice, sometimes baby is tired, stubborn or just learning and it can take awhile for you both to get into the swing of it.

After three days of struggling in hospital with special breastfeeding consultants a friend asked if we had tried nipple shields. DH went and got me some and everything became so much easier.

I used them at the start of breastfeeding and then slipped them off mid-feed. It made such a huge difference and after a few weeks I didn't need them any more and breastfed for a year.

Now I recommend them to any mum who is wanting to breastfeed. You might not need them, but it's just a thing that no one talks about until you've already been stressed out for days trying to feed your baby.

Sidge · 15/04/2021 11:44

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Accept help and support. It’s not a sign of failure.

Relax. No one actually gives a shit if your baby’s outfit isn’t matching, or if you have the best pram or all the gadgets. They really really don’t.

Enjoy your baby. Yes it’s tiring and relentless and the early months are pretty much all work with little positive feedback but it gets better as you see this little person you made grow into their own little person, developing a personality and traits.

Justmuddlingalong · 15/04/2021 11:46

If you have a DP, share caring for your new baby. It's easy to fall into the trap of doing everything, because of the novelty. That can cause resentment towards your DP and is easier avoided if you both pull your weight.

Cowgran · 15/04/2021 11:54

Trust yourself and listen to yourself. Everyone will have advice and opinions. But you are the one spending 24/7 with your baby and you will become the expert on them. Sure listen to suggestions, but always back yourself.

olderthanyouthink · 15/04/2021 12:02

Babies are an evolutionary throwback, they are basically wild animal and no make what reason says they will not understand being separated from you, you are safe so they will try and stay attached to you. Doesn't matter that there's no wolves prowling your hose to snatch them out of the £500 cot. You instincts and everything about them is designed to keep them alive.

Also you're not supposed to be doing it alone, we evolved to live in close groups where you'd have other mums around to help. It hard doing it alone!

Grettle · 15/04/2021 12:09

Community nurse said something to me when I was feeling like a rubbish new mum that has always stayed with me.

‘Your his/her mum, their only mum, which means you’re perfect for them’

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