If you could give a new mum one piece of advice for the first week with a newborn, what would it be? I've listed 10...
1. Don't plan anything! It's surprising how fast the week goes... most of the time feeding and changing nappies but also just staring at his/her cute little face and trying to figure where the extra prestud on the onesie fastens to.
2. To allow yourself to rest! I for the first few days even, felt guilty! guilty that my husband was off work, probably bored, and we weren't using his holidays for days out. Just remember, the more you rest the faster you heal!
3. Sleep! We tried to limit visitors those first few days but in the end, people just turned up and I remember day 4 having to excuse myself and go to bed. It's harder said than done to get your head down when baby does but treat yourself to a lie in! feed him, change him and take the next nap with him. We are against TVs in the bedroom but have put a huge one in for now and head to bed at 8ish to settle with a film (or love island) knowing we can nod off whenever.
4. Take ALL the photos! Even in a week we can see a huge difference in Emlyn. I'm glad I booked him in for a newborn photography session ... Rob wasn't very keen on his son being dressed like a lamb but we also had photos of the 3 of us, something I will cherish forever and the embarrassing ones we can threaten to show his mates with when he's a naughty teenager.
5. Stock up on muslin cloths! when people told me "you can never have enough muslin cloths" they weren't fibbing. Emlyn is breastfed which means he is supposed to be less sicky than a bottle fed baby and I still get through loads!
6. If you are breastfeeding, don't hesitate to get help ... don't put up with the god awful pain of trying to teach yourself. I was quite lucky that the night I stayed in hospital, I was the only person on my ward. One of the midwifes came and sat with me one night and showed me how to breastfeed. A few days later ... OMG it hurt, cracked and bleeding and feeling like a failure but again, my midwife spent time giving me tips and advice and now me and baby are smashing it!
7. Stick to onesies! Trousers look cute but they are a nightmare! Especially when they are wriggly.
8. Noise! They like it! First night home Emlyn didn't sleep AT ALL, when I brought it up with the midwife she simply said "it's too quiet" ... things Emlyn can sleep through: hairdryer, music (especially smooth FM - his choice not mine), the shush app, any of the noises olly the owl makes and even the noisy builders building houses and roads opposite us.
9. Look after yourself! It's amazing what difference an hour of sleep can make, or a bath, or just washing your armpits with some nice smelling shower gel.
10. Last but not least, be prepared for how much your heart will swell. Nobody can put into words how much you will love your little one! How insane it is to know you both created him and now he's here! Real! And not just the love for him but for your other half, I got out the shower to this today (see pic beloe) and had to hide whilst I sobbed happy tears. Robs such a good dad, he didn't want me to take this picture but I said I wouldn't post it ...my blog doesn't count because he won't read it so will never know :)
11. OK one more, this is one I'm still working on... to worry less! I'm such a control freak! I have this phobia of something going wrong! Possibly also made worse because this is our rainbow baby after a miscarriage last year. Some words of advice from my mum in a text late last night:
"Loz relax! He's going to get ill, he's going to have accidents! You can't wrap him in cotton wool, if you do he's not going to be a healthy kid! Let him make mud pies, live and laugh, bump his head, climb that tree, do stupid shit! That's what childhood is about, it never stopped you lot! You had a seat in A&E but so proud of you all"
And she's right! I broke 11 bones (thanks to sport ... not my mother's errors... apart from the time I road down the stairs on my bike) but I had the best childhood... fearless, full of fun and adventure.
If you are parent, what advice do you have?