Bringing a new baby home can be a daunting yet exciting experience for new parents.
There is so much advice out there and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be googling everything any chance you get.
Although I am not expert on parenting and I’m pretty sure I fail at most things on a daily basis, but I thought I’d include my top tips for new parents.
1: Sleep when baby sleeps
Some people may say this is the most useless advice they’ve ever received.
“What about the washing? And cleaning and cooking?” Leave it.
When I first brought Holly home, although I was incredibly lucky to have Rob home for 3 weeks, I didn’t do a single thing.
To be honest, we both kept chores, washing and cleaning to a minimum.
We enjoyed every moment of having our new baby home without worrying about anything else.
I slept at every chance I got, and I felt amazing for it.
So although it can be useless advice, do little bits at a time and take advantage of those naps your baby has in the day to have a nap yourself.
2. Take advantage of visitors
If you are getting worried about that ton of washing that needs doing, the pile of washing up which is starting to smell, ask a visitor to do it!
They’re coming round to have ‘cuddles’ with your new born baby, the least they could do is help you out.
As they see you slouched on the sofa wearing yesterdays pyjamas and grasping a cold cup of coffee.
Although I’m not saying treat them like volunteer maids, just a “Would you mind helping me with…?” does no harm.
3: It’s OK to feel overwhelmed
So when you’re new parents, you’re sleep deprived, cranky and feeling a tad emotional, it’s OK to feel overwhelmed by it all.
I cried non stop for the first two weeks having Holly, and it ranged from all sorts of things.
Lack of sleep, overwhelming sense of love or generally because I felt and looked like shit.
“Oh my god this is so hard” is something I said on a regular basis.
Don’t feel as if you’re failing just because you have these emotions.
Sooner or later the baby and you will be much more settled and you can begin feeling a lot better.
Especially when you realise how much sleep you can actually function on.
4: Don’t compare
It’s so hard not to compare your baby to someone else’s, especially when they start beginning to reach certain milestones.
Alfie was a very slow learner, he was sitting at 10 months, crawling at a year old and didn’t start walking until he was two.
There was so many other babies I knew that were so much more advanced.
I kept questioning whether something was wrong with him, or if there was something I was doing wrong.
In actual fact, all babies are different and they learn at different speeds, it does not determine how smart they’ll be when they grow up (I am definitely a great example of that).
5: Be aware of ‘parenting professionals’
Having a new baby means you will receive all sorts of criticism and “What I used to do..” moments.
Sometimes listening to other people tell you what they think is best will make you feel like you’re doing it all wrong.
Have trust in yourself and do not doubt yourself, you’re doing the best you can with your baby.
Mistakes are what we learn from and we do not need to be told about them by ‘parenting professionals’.
You’re doing amazing.