It’s a truly exciting time in your life having your first baby. There’s plenty of advice out there but if you want the real lowdown you have to ask the people who’ve been there, done that. Read on for things these parents wish they’d known before the arrival of their first child.
Unexpected is your new life motto:
No matter how hard you try there will be surprises. Tanya Burgess from Baby Hints and Tips said it best:
“Most importantly I have learnt nothing goes to plan. Not birth, not babies, not kids and not parenting. My advice is to be informed but realise that every child is different, so you need to be flexible. Find a community of like minded people and be kind to yourself.”
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Investigate clothing options:
Dressing your bub in something affordable and eco-friendly will leave you feeling less guilty when they grow out of it. Jo from Bamboo Lulu says:
“My first piece of advice is to check out the all the health and environmental benefits of organic clothing for babies. I wish I could have made that choice at the time for my daughter. That they are eco-friendly and more affordable than ever is a bonus. And secondly, don’t experience the joy of motherhood through a camera. You don’t need to document everything!”
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Set boundaries for yourself and others:
As a newish mum to a 16-month old, Catherine Ngo from Millennial Mum has four pieces of advice for any new mum-to-be:
“1) Make sure you're clear with everyone about visiting times before you have your baby. Because you'll find suddenly your Mum's friends second cousin wants to meet you and your baby.
2) Have a well stocked freezer full of lunch and dinner options (and ice-cream too with NO
3) Make sure you schedule in self-care, i.e. massages, get your hair done, read a book. It's important for your mental wellbeing, even if it’s just 30 mins.
4) Don't be obsessed with getting everything perfect. Social media can be depressing and create so much false expectations. Remember, most of them are styled shots and don't reflect reality. Just be mindful of this and occasionally switch off your phone.”
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Think about you too:
As soon as your baby arrives your selfish days are over. But allow yourself one more self-indulgence and ask yourself what type of parent you are going to be. Heather Lindsay from Blissed Out Mums has more;
“The thing I wish I knew before having my first child? I wish someone had told me to think about the type of parent I wanted to be. Not about the day-to-day stuff like feeding, sleeping, schooling etc... but instead what type of role model I want to be. I wish I could have thought in-depth about how I wanted to be remembered by my kids. What influence in their lives do I want to be? How will the type of mum that I am, help them to be better people.”
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Hopefully this advice has helped to calm your nerves and remind you this will be a learning curve no matter what you do. Now might be a good time to double check you have all the best nursery furniture and top-of-the-range baby equipment.