Make sure your babies car seat is installed properly
Most baby outlets will do this free of charge. Your baby’s safety is paramount, god forbid there was an accident and the seat is not installed properly your baby will not be fully protected. I recommend a car seat with a fitted base, it’s so much easier than belting up a car seat with the seat belt every journey. Practice inserting and removing also. I got stuck in The Square car-park seven-days post partum unable to remove Frankie’s car seat from his pram.
Get a demo baby
Practice changing, feeding and winding a friend/family member’s baby where possible, especially for the dads.
Check your pram fits
Double check you pram fits comfortably in your boot. My biggest regret on Kayla, my first buggy was a disaster and left me shopping for a new one at twelve-weeks-old.
Stock up the freezer
Stock up on frozen dinners and collect local takeaway menus. The first week after delivery your baby you will not have the energy to cooking.
You cannot spoil a baby
Don’t let anyone tell you you’re holding your baby too much. The first few weeks are so important for mummy, daddy and baby bonding. There’s NO such thing as spoiling a baby. Skin to skin contact is one of the best ways for bonding, dad should try it too. I also hate the saying ‘never wake a sleeping baby’. I woke Frankie every four hours for the first three weeks, it’s recommended by midwives, babies blood sugars can drop and it makes it harder from them to wake up.
Take up on all offers of help. Don’t be too proud, if people offer to clean, making bottle etc. let them. You will regret it once they have left. Four years ago when I struggled with Kayla, I didn’t ask for help. I’ve no problem asking anyone for help now. Four hands are so much better, than two.
Follow your instincts
Don’t be afraid to ring your Public Health Nurse or your Maternity Hospital with any concerns. I rang the Coombe three times in the first four-weeks. Babies are not discharged until they are six-weeks-old.
Sleep when baby sleeps
When baby naps, mummy should nap too – were possible. I slept until 12pm every day in the first two-weeks. Night shifts can be exhausting as-well as all the unexpected visitors that arrive. Take advantage when you can to have a little nap with baby. They won’t sleep all day for long.
Take shifts at night time. The first few weeks are so tiring, your sleep is so important your body has been through a lot and still changing, hormones are racing. Shifting feeds at night between mam and dad will help you recuperate.
Don’t forget about the siblings
Organize some fun things to do for other siblings, they may feel left out with the new arrival, they are no longer centre of attention. Let them go for sleepovers with friends and family too, it will give you a break.
Concentrate on getting to know your baby, if anyone has anything to say about the dishes piling up or the laundry basket being full, hand them the hoover.
It’s okay to cry
It’s completely normal to feel hormonal and overwhelmed in the first few weeks after giving birth. You may feel like you are falling apart with exhaustion looking after a new baby whilst recovering from delivery, this is normal, you will soon feel yourself again once you get into a routine that suits you and your family. I cried at anything and everything, I still do and he’s six-months-old.
Take lots of photos
Take as many photos as you can, they grow up way too quick.
They aren’t babies forever, enjoy them while they are small.