A few things to prepare you for Motherhood.
Nappies. There are so many brands out there, where do you start. The answer is trial and error. Personally I used pampers,I never had a problem with them and it has the wetness indicator which is an added bonus. I will say make sure you stock up, you will go through an awful lot of nappies. It’s crazy!
Leaving home with a new born. If you have your changing bag prepared it’s helpful if you have to leave in a rush. Ipacked nappies, cream and wipes. A couple of vests and baby grows. And a snack bar for me as it seems a quick bite is all you manage at first.
The Attack of the Poo! The baby vests are great they are designed so that you can pull them down over their shoulders and down their waste. So you don’t end up with poo all over their head. After that your on your own. It’s your decision. I would bin the vest if it looks un saveable and wipe for your life. Or just stick them in the bath and give them a gentle wash.
Bathing Baby. My husband was told to leave it a week, so the cord is completely dry and nearly falling off. And to let it fall off naturally, I found I needed 2 pairs of hands until I was confident and got into my own routine. I laid everything out that I needed. I found this routine worked for me. Get the babies bath ready and place the bath mat down with a towel laid over it. Have all your bath wash and creams ready. And a vest and baby grow. The towels that have the hoods are great.
Putting Baby to bed. At first we put her in a vest and baby grow with a blanket that had holes in and placed it over her and tucked up into her Moses basket. With another blanket over the top. I wasn’t comfortable with swaddling as I worried about restricting her but a lot of people do. So again it really is your choice. When your baby sleeps get some shut eye. Rest is the best medicine for you. The house chores can wait. Sleep deprivation sucks. You’ll soon find what routine works for you as I don’t know anyone who had the same routine. We had a summer infant elephant. It was great at settling her. Just keep an eye on the temperature in their room it should be between 16 and 20 degrees.
Using Formula. I didn’t have the pleasure of breast feeding. I used formula,Cow and gate. The advice nowadays is to not boil the water and mix the formula later. You should ready make your milk and discard it after 24hours once it has been made if unopened and within 2 hours if opened. so I use to make them all up in the morning and evening and followed the advice above. I had a bottle bag to take out during the day. If you are exhausted and struggling you can actually buy the little bottles already made from Tesco and other stores. We used the cow and gate ones they came in handy especially because I couldn’t get about the house easily in the first few months.
Buggies. I found the buggies that you can buy when the car seat fits on top when they are new born are fantastic. You place them in the car and it’s so easy if they are sleeping. Take them out and place them on the buggy frame. We had the silver cross buggy it came with the pram and went into a pushchair later on. It has a matching car seat which we used until she was able to sit.
Stretch marks. I found coco butter worked for me they have a specific stretch mark one. And bio oil. Morning and night.
Bathing when coming home from the hospital. Ouch yes it hurts. My sister told me that lavender oil works, a few drops in your bath. Don’t have the water to hot it hurts so much. I tried this and it did soothe the area. I used it for a week or so. If you had stitches tight underwear is a no go. And remember to have some breast pads at the ready because even if you choose not to breast feed you drip all day. lovely I know. Buy a comfy bra because your breasts hurt.
Stressing over babies cries. In the first few days you will come to know your babies cues you’ll learn to recognise if your baby is hungry or if they have a wet or soiled nappy. Or if they just want a cuddle. My daughter is two and if we are out shopping and she goes off with hubby, if she cries I can tell it’s her straight away. I can’t explain it but you’ll know. If you don’t please don’t worry. It is stressful at the beginning so nobody expects you to know everything I certainly didn’t. I looked to my husband like he should know all. Bless him. Sometimes I felt like I wanted to cry so I got a cuddle myself.
Emotional stress- The Bad days. If you have that support network take advantage of it. You need to be healthy and refreshed to face the day. It’s not easy or practical but you need a break. If there’s anything I’ve learnt it’s this. If you are at the point of crying and falling asleep. Take a walk around the block with the baby in their pram. A bit of fresh air. If your partners home take a trip to Costa for a coffee or take a little walk yourself. I know it’s easier said than done but it will help.
You are doing a great job.