Caspian is turning three months tomorrow which has made me think about how quickly time has flown by from him arriving as the best birthday present imaginable to now being this bright-eyed boy discovering the world around him… this morning it was his toes! It has been an amazing time so far, but of course it has also been hard. So I thought I would put together my top 10 tips to surviving these first few months. Things we’ve done and used, that has made life a little easier but also things I wish I had allowed myself to do or possibly done more of.
1. In the beginning don’t whisper when the baby is asleep. It seems natural to lower your voice and keep your TV or radio turned off, but instead get them use to noise. That way they’ll sleep through anything. We were given this advice by the hearing specialist at the hospital the day after Caspian was born, and it is something I have been really grateful for.
2. Look after yourself. It sounds obvious but you can easily forget to eat right and rest up when your baby enters your life. The whole thing about how you should sleep when baby is sleeping is definitely easier said than done. It made me laugh when I read a comment from another mum saying “And should I cook when baby is cooking, and clean when baby is cleaning?!”. My nesting instinct was still very much in full swing even after Caspian had been born which means I’ve found it hard to sit still and relax. Also, your hormones are all over the place, so be kind to yourself. And yes, lots of chocolate is allowed.
3. Buy an inflatable floating collar for the bath (if you have a bath). They are only £3-4 online. With Caspian being a big boy this is a total life saver for my back during bath time. It can look slightly uncomfortable for the baby, but it is not and he absolutely loves his and the freedom it gives him in the water.
4. If you are planning on breastfeeding then think about your wardrobe. I had invested in some nice maternity pieces, but hadn’t given a second thought to the fact that a lot of my regular tops are high-necked which makes breastfeeding (especially out in public) a little complicated. I now have a handful of tops that have easy access. They do not need to be nursing tops, scandibrand H&M do some nice ones at reasonable prices.
5. Invest in a video monitor. We got a bundle with a breathing sensor mat and the video monitor and both have helped me to get peace of mind. Some might find it adds to their stress level, but for me it means I can relax and sleep knowing the alarm will go off if God forbids he should stop breathing (and it is LOUD! as we have discovered a couple of times, when in my sleepy state I have forgotten to turn it off after lifting him out to feed in the middle of the night. But at least we know it works… was not too popular with Daddy Long Legs or the cat, that normally resides at the foot of our bed). As I write this I’m watching my little man sleeping peacefully in the bedroom next door.
6. Allow your partner to bond with the baby. Let him make his own mistakes and learn from them. I swore that I would not be one of these controlling mums that can’t let their partner change a nappy without either micromanaging or taking over completely. Hmm, this is one of those I think I might need to work on. Daddy Long Legs has been great, it is new for both of us. And you are both allowed to panic when yellow poo is sprayed everywhere! Poo-nami, yep, we’ve been there. Remember to laugh!
7. If you are lucky enough to breastfeed then don’t start introducing a bottle too late… yes, late! Of course, it is good to make sure your milk supply is properly established, but don’t make the mistake of waiting too long to express like I did. “But we will make him take that bottle!“, she wrote as she stared at the untouched two oz still sitting in the bottle on the table next to her.
8. Go for a massage, or get your hair done, or go for a manicure. Remember you are still allowed to be you even though you are now someone’s mum. I have realised that I feel much better if I apply a bit of make up or put on some nice clothes (even if they only remain without milk stains, pee or dribble for a couple of minutes…sometime only seconds).
9. Go for walks. Get out the house. I was lucky that I felt well enough for us to take Caspian out less than a week after the birth. I can understand it can seem overwhelming and intimidating, but don’t let it build up. Even if it is just putting the baby in the pram and walking down your street. You’ll soon realise that fresh air helps clear that groggy baby brain.
10. Have fun and enjoy the love! It is easy to feel guilty that you are not doing enough, that the laundry has piled up (I’m sure you’ll be given so many outfits for the baby that even if you didn’t do the laundry for a month, your baby would still have clothes to wear). And at the end of the day time flies, and spending as much time with your child as possible is the most important thing.
What would be your top tip to getting through the first few months of motherhood? I would love it if you added to the list in the comment field below.
I’ve linked up with the gorgeous mummy and blogger extraordinaire that is Honestmum for: