Ok so I’ve had a baby, and kept the little guy alive and happy for 14 months now (yay us). But there are a few tips that were given to me before having Arch, and a few that I wish were given to me..so I thought I’d share the wisdom to new mum’s to be out there.
Ok so let’s start with the obvious. The essentials; a car seat ( as they won’t let you leave the hospital if you don’t have one), a moses basket, hospital bag and baby essentials (clothing nappies etc) obviously get all these waaayyy before your due date…because babies ae unpredictable and come whenever.
Is your baby’s nursery all ready? Ideally this is rather important, as you won’t be able to find the time to decorate once the baby is here, but if you haven’t got around to doing it yet, don’t worry too much as your tiny human will be in with you for the first 6 months anyway. Giving your better half plenty of time to give the nursery a lick of paint…or clear it depending on the state of the room. It’s easy to get sorted if you haven’t already done so. Clear out your spare room and get rid of all the junk. Specialist firms will collect hard rubbish from your home at times to suit you. Then all you need to do is get a cot, wardrobe and maybe a rocking or nursing chair to make it homely. Best advice ever right here. Regarding wardrobes, you will find that nursery sets costs a hell of a lot more than just buying the cot separately and sourcing the other items else where. With nursery wardrobes they tend to be rather on the small side, so why not think long-term and buy a full-sized wardrobe, something adaptable like Ikea ones, that will last as your baby grows? That’s what we did in the end and it saved us £150. We got a large white wardrobe which has draws built-in and a rack too..and it’s perfect. When Arch gets older we can take some of the draws out to give him more space for hanging up clothes…perfectly adaptable with age.
What’s your chosen method of feeding? I wanted to breastfeed but sadly wasn’t able too, read all about it here. What we had to do was quickly go out and buy all the needed equipment (which included a breast pump) just when Arch was a couple of days old. Thank god for instant formula (which comes with teats) which were given to us by the midwives so that we could last the first couple of days. But it was something we weren’t prepared for because the idea of not being able to breastfeed didn’t occur to me. So maybe get a box of instant milk in as a backup..then if you have trouble, you have some time to get in all the extras you will need. If you are planning on bottle feeding, do you have all the equipment? You should make sure that you have plenty of formula milk so you don’t have to worry about running out anytime soon. Also these instant bottles are great for nighttime feeds for the first couple of weeks, saves you having to venture downstairs every 3 hours as they can be given at room temp. You can also get a machine that pump out formula milk at the exact right temp and do other fancy things..kind of like a coffee machine for babies of course..these might be a good investment if your planning on bottle feeding.
Ok let’s talk clothes, without a doubt you already have a bunch of clothes, if not from excited purchases, from your recent baby showers? But I’m going to break it down for you. Your going to be tired, your baby is tiny and not overly a fan of being stripped naked and put into a variety of outfits. Putting a shirt on a 3 day old baby isn’t easy…though he did look cute. (see below) So more often than not your baby will spend the first month at least pretty much wearing vests and baby grows. They are warm, you will have tons and you will become a pro at getting them on, t-shirts and tiny dresses can be fiddly…and every one is lacking sleep. Don’t worry though because if you’re anything like me and Richard your be rocking the pj look for the majority of the first couple of weeks too. Now best advice bit here, right now grab your purse, and go get some gro bags. These little things are genius. A friend told me about them, and they are by far the best invention EVER! they are like little sleeping bags, which come up under the arm. Especially as we enter the colder months, it just puts you at ease that your baby is warm enough, but without the fear that their blanket might end up on their face..They come in different togg counts and sizes and you can see from the picture above, I have used them for Arch the whole time. They are perfect and keep your baby snuggly and safe. Go go get one now..also while your out…pick up Ewan the Sheep too…thank me later.
Last but not least, you. Are you ready? I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t relaxed, my labour wasn’t brilliant and I was completely naive about what I was about to put my body through. But I did it, and now I’m sharing my experience. If you haven’t read my labour story here it is…it will explain a lot. Everyone’s labour story is different, I have friends who had a very spiritual and relaxed experience and both said they could give birth again like a week later (crazy I know). I also have friends who had to have intervention, and some whose labour was so so.. but they all ended the same. They all ended up with a tiny baby and a overwhelming love for this tiny human. When it comes down to it, you’re not going to wish you brought another magazine or better snacks in your hospital bag. Honestly…if your induced, there’s a chance labour will start very quickly (if your like me) and believe me I didn’t want any food, and I couldn’t even comprehend my surroundings let alone want to know what the Kardashians were up to in that weeks magazine. Same, if you go naturally, by the time you make your way to the hospital things will probably be quite established..so you might be in the zone and not have the need for food or reading. But who knows maybe you have tons of hours to kill and a magazine is the perfect thing. This si the jist, every labour is different so this is just based on mine and friends accounts.
Things I would recommend for your hospital bag? music, I wish we had some music that might have helped relax me. A couple of changes of clothes, especially if you might need to stay longer, you could even leave these in the car. Comfy massive knickers. Like the biggest you can find, and add jumbo pads to that list too, I’m not going to beat around the bush. There’s nothing sexy about giving birth. Your be thankful for big knickers. I’d say bring your own pillow too, because hospitals are so sterile it’s nice to have something from home. A few things for the baby. Outfit, blanket, bottles, nappies etc, also car seat don’t forget that.
Take some shower stuff. Your going to want to have a shower at some point, and it might be the last one you take for a couple of days. Leave the baby with your other half, he’s in the best place, surrounded by baby nurses and doctors, and take the time to shower. I remember my first shower after having Arch and just standing their coming to terms that I was a mummy now, which overwhelmed me rather quickly especially as my epidural wore off and I was very aware of the after pain. Which brings me to my next and final point. Have some pain-killers, and nipple cream at home ready. No matter how you have your baby. Your going to probably need some pain killers to take the edge off. I had a 2nd degree tear and an episiotomy and I needed painkillers for the first few days. Same with if you have a c-section, they might suggest you take some pain killers..just have some just incase in your cupboard at home, because your probably going to want some relief. I’d also recommend these…
Remember to enjoy the first few days. They are crazy hectic, but they are also super special. Take lots of pictures..oh yeah crap camera obviously should be in your hospital bag..good luck mummies!