I've been thinking of what "advice" to give a pregnant friend of mine and to be honest I'm wondering if I should give her any advice at all as I've only had one baby and I don't want to influence her too much like I was. For example a friend of mine told me not to rock babies because they get addicted, I took this as bible and told my mum off for rocking A to sleep when she was a few days off. It's far from ideal to rock your baby to sleep for months but when they are a few days old, it's no big deal!
So here are some tips/experiences/advice/truths in my option that might or might not be helpful:
- Read all baby books with a big pinch of salt and don't stress if your baby does not seem to behave as it "should" at all.
- Breastfeeding books on the other hand are useful because it can really help to be aware of some facts around latching, growth spurts, tongue tie and milk supply for example.
- Get the name of one or 2 lactation consultants whilst pregnant in case you need one and don't wait to call one if feeding is not going well. If in doubt, get help ASAP! Feeding can be much harder than you could ever imagine.
- If you're struggling, be American and "reach out" to your family or other mums you know or even me! There is no shame in finding it hard, no shame in not loving your baby to start off with, no shame in hating the whole thing, no shame in feeling low, no shame in feeling you don't know what you're doing, no shame in crying every day, no shame in wondering why the hell you had a baby, no shame in needing help. Same goes for feeling like it's easy, lucky you! But maybe be careful about shouting about it to other new mums too loudly.
- Nothing lasts: they sleep then they don't, they have good days and bad days, it usually does get better but it can take a long time.
- I've mentioned it before: the buggy and fresh air are your friends.
- Even if you don't want to, you will compare your baby to others but remember baby ABC may be doing X before yours but then yours will do something else before the others and most "milestones" mean nothing. Einstein started talking aged 4...
- You might think you've died and gone to heaven after having a baby and want another one straight away and you might think : never again! Both are acceptable.
- The crying can be very hard to handle, it peaks at 3 months so hang in there! Somehow it's not as bad when you're outside.
- Trust your instincts not google.
- What works for one baby might not work for another, it's not a science but an art...
- The first time you do anything will be daunting but after a while you'll be taking your baby on a plane alone...
- You will laugh and smile at the tiniest of things, they bring you more joy than anything, and it really is all worth it!
If you remember one thing: "The days are long but the years are short"
This blog post was originally published on my blog here: https://myaalife.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/what-they-dont-tell-you-about-mothethood-part-1/