I did try to prepare for having a baby. But there are loads of things you just don't find out about until you actually get home from the hospital with your newborn.
1. Some babies just don't sleep.
Some of them do. You might be lucky. But that's what it is - luck. Some babies just don't sleep and there isn't anything you can do about it. Stop looking for reasons because it will drive you bonkers.
2. Breastfeeding seriously restricts your freedom.
While all your friends who are bottle-feeding are swanning around on weekends away, you won't be able to leave your baby for more than a few hours. Unless you can master expressing, which I found impossible.
3. Baby carriers are brilliant.
I didn't buy one until my baby was three months old. I should have done it sooner. She loves it and it's so much easier than lugging the pushchair around. It's a Baby Bjorn, and it was expensive but worth every penny.
4. Do your research before buying a pram/pushchair.
We turned up at Mothercare and bought one that we liked the look of. It was a Silver Cross 3D. It's fine - but it doesn't fit in the boot of my Ford Ka. Which is a bit of a problem.
5. Your friends who don't have children will seem very far away.
People told me this before but I didn't believe them. But it's true. You're obsessed with your baby. They're not. They're still going to work and going to bars and concerts and festivals. Try to stay in touch, though, because otherwise you'll get very isolated.
6. Nobody follows the guideline about not weaning until six months.
Everyone I know started feediing their babies solids after about five months or earlier. I tried holding out until about five and a half months, when she started actually grabbing food off my plate and eating it.
7. Sometimes co-sleeping is the only way you'll get any sleep.
I was terrified about co-sleeping but ended up doing it for quite a while because my daughter was such a terrible sleeper. I got a Brio bedside cot which was great. Although eventually you may want your bed back!
8. Some babies will only sleep on their fronts.
As soon as my daughter could roll over, that's what she wanted to do. The health visitor told me that if I saw her sleeping on her front, I HAD to turn her back over again. After much hand-wringing I decided to ignore her.
9. Health visitors are a bit mental.
All health visitors have different bees in their bonnet. They're all a bit odd and all give you different advice.
10. Get used to feeling guilty.
You will feel guilty about pretty much every choice you make about your child. Deal with it. A mother's place is in the wrong.
I know, I said 10 things. But here's another - it's all worth it!
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more