Onto the next Mama Stories Blogger Takeover post! Today’s post was written by one of my all-time favourite bloggers – Sophia of Tattooed Tealady blog. I couldn’t be more excited to have her takeover the reins of my blog for a day, after reading her blog for absolutely years now. I have loved reading Sophia’s journey into parenting through her blog and love the fact she still keeps a good mix of beauty and lifestyle posts too. She wanted to share with me 5 tips for the first week of being a new Mama…. so, onto her expert advice!
I am sure I am not alone when I say that leaving the hospital and going home as a family is one of the best feelings when you have a baby. Whether you are a first time mum or have a growing family, nothing feels better than getting home, where you feel safe and comfortable, able to settle into life with a new baby.
Once you’re home and settled and ready for that first night alone without the help of midwives and nurses, everything can feel a little daunting; with no handbook to tell you what to do and Google throwing up a million answers to simple questions, things can start to feel overwhelming. Here are 5 things I learnt in my first week as a new mama, and little tips and tricks we picked up along the way, that helped us settle into life as new parents.
Have a box of essentials in every room, you never know when you might need them.
I used to have a handy little storage box in every room which had everything I would need for changing, feeding or just entertaining myself. Nappies, wipes, nappy bags, nappy cream, nipple cream, washable bamboo breast pads, nursing oil, a book for me, any spare chargers, hand cream, lip balm, a couple of rattles, tissues, anything I might need to keep me going when I was set to stay in one place for a while. It makes life much easier having those must-have essentials on hand should I need them, rather than searching around the house or needing something I couldn’t reach mid-feed.
Water is your best friend, especially if you’re breastfeeding but even if bottle-feeding, it’s essential to stay hydrated.
This was one of my biggest downfalls during the first couple of weeks when my daughter was born; making sure she was fed and looked after, often forgetting to keep myself hydrated and fed too. It makes the biggest difference when you are hydrated and you should be aiming for at least 2.5litres a day and to make it even easier to stay topped up, you can grab a multi-pack of water bottles to keep by your bed.
Few things work as well as a cuddle with mama.
All babies cry and there are few things more heartbreaking to hear than a newborn baby crying, but you must remember they have gone through a huge change from being kept safe and snug inside their mama to out into this big, cold world. 9/10 times the only thing which would settle my daughter when she was a newborn, was lying on mama’s chest.
Whether it’s skin-to-skin contact in in bed or whilst relaxing on the sofa, or wearing a sling so you can get your day-to-day jobs done whilst keeping your little one close, just being near your heartbeat and feeling the warmth of your chest will help make the world of difference for your vulnerable little babe.
All of us feel lost in those early days and you are not the only one who wishes there was a giant guidebook to tell you what to do at every moment of the day.
Becoming a parent can be such a hard transition especially if this is your first. Sometimes you will find it hard, sometimes you will struggle and other times you simply won’t know what to do, but it’s OK, because that’s normal. Even the people who look like they have everything perfect have their moments and in those first few weeks, every single new parent will be like a lost little rabbit.
If you have a day where all your baby does is cry, feeding is becoming an exhausting and daunting task, everyone and their neighbour wants to come and visit and you’re on your third outfit of the day after yet another nappy explosion, don’t worry; this is normal and will soon get easier. Those first few weeks are almost like a target, something to power through before things start to settle and calm down, and in a few months’ time the struggles, tiredness and endless entertaining will all be forgotten about (well, almost). Don’t Google, call your local midwives team or Health Visitor if you need any advice at all (that really is what they’re there for!) and accept help from anyone who offers it.
Everyone says it, but you really should nap as much as possible when your little one is sleeping.
For me, it made the biggest difference, even if it was just a quick 10 minutes of shut-eye. Sometimes when I look back on those first few weeks (months, even), I feel like all I did was nap whenever I could, but if I hadn’t, I honestly don’t know how I would have survived. After 2 days in labour, an emergency caesarean and over 3 days of no sleep, I was hallucinating in those first few days back at home and sleep deprivation is easily one of the hardest things you will ever experience; ask any new parent and they’ll tell you the same! So, although it will soon become the most annoying piece of advice people will offer you, try and sneak in as much sleep as you can when baby is sleeping, because it all adds up and helps in the long run. If all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask all those friends and family members that are eager for newborn cuddles to come over for an hour whilst you grab a quick nap, I’m sure they won’t mind!
Becoming a parent can be nerve-wracking, worrying and oh so tiring, but ultimately this is the most exciting journey you will ever take in life. All the nappy explosions, sleepless nights and tears won’t compare to the unmeasurable love you feel for your baby, the way you beam with proud each time they learn something new or reach a milestone and the excitement you feel as they get older and are able to interact with you more, learning new things, playing together, reading stories and that oh so special moment when they say ‘mama’ for the first time.
Good luck mama, and believe me when I say; you’ve got this!
Huge thanks to Lyndsay for having me share a post with all of you today whilst she settles into life as a new mama. You can find me over on www.tattooedtealady.com where I write about beauty, lifestyle and parenting as a first-time mama myself, as well as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, all @TattooedTealady.