04/10/2016 08:56 BST | Updated 04/10/2017 06:12 BST

What I Wish I'd Known

We've just celebrated baby M's first birthday with a very chaotic soft play party. I don't know how it happened. Not the chaotic birthday party, obviously I know how that happened, but how can my baby girl be one? I'm feeling quite reflective about it (those who work with me know I always need time to reflect... not one to make a big decision without some serious pondering), I've been looking back on the photos of baby M as a newborn and thinking about what I know now compared to then. So this post is my top ten of what I'd tell my pregnant self, if I could. I know loads of people would say 'make the most of every moment' but it's not that sort of list. I'm a more practical person! I also know everyone will have a different list, this is just mine. What would be on yours?!

1. Breast milk.... not just for drinking

Breast milk cures baby sticky eye in a matter of hours. True story! I went to some information sessions but wish I'd read more about breastfeeding in advance, particularly expressing and establishing a solid supply. I'd like to have considered donation but as it is, I didn't remember to alternate well enough and as a consequence have a low milk supply in what I now refer to as my 'wonky' boob! I also wonder what other magical properties it has, that I've missed out on!

2. WD40 your doors

Seriously I never knew how much creaky stuff I had in my house until I'd gotten an overtired sleep resistant baby to sleep! And now, one year in, I can't believe how creaky the floorboards are on the way out of the nursery!

3. Wet, morning nappies leak

Seriously, change that nappy first thing or pay the price!! 'cause guaranteed if you leave it five minutes, the mother of all poo-splosions will arrive and the nappy will have no absorbancy left to handle it!

4. And on the subject of poo..... always get three wipes out

The occasions you need less are rare and it's a real problem holding legs in the air and trying to extract wipes from the packet to deal with a poo-splosion!

5. Take a thick baby blanket to the hospital

Seriously though, it wasn't on any of the lists and wow did I feel judged by the (youngest ever) midwife who held up my (beautiful but thin) Peter rabbit blanket with a look of disdain and said 'is this what you're wrapping her in?'

6. Your baby needs to sleep every two hours

Why does nobody tell you that? Why?! It took me until baby M was seven weeks to realise that she was in an arse because she was tired and I wasn't helping her to nap regularly. Once I got her to nap bi-hourly, she was a delight. I've changed the naps to suit her age but always forced her to sleep in the day and she's hardly cried in the day since. {The night is still an entirely different story...!!!}

7. You're never gonna use those sleepsuits that only have poppers underneath. I bought them but the ones with the front fastenings always came out the drawer!

8. Baby snot sucking is a thing...

.... and a really good one, however vile! When baby M had her first heavy cold at Christmas I would have done anything to help her breathe more easily... and I did. I purchased a nose freida and I sucked.... Thank god there's a filter is all I have to say on the matter.

9. Read about cosleeping.

See point 10. Most mummies I've met have co-slept at some point. I wish I'd read up about it so I could have done it safely and confidently from the start. I chose to co-sleep 'officially' from four weeks and once I'd decided, I got a lot of good advice from health visitors, but in the beginning they make it sound like you're breaking the law to even consider it!!

10. Most babies don't sleep through easily... chances are yours might not

In my head my baby was going to be a good sleeper. SHE IS NOT. I don't think anything I could say to my pregnant self could prepare me for the level of knackeredness I am experiencing, but I'd still have a go at telling a pregnant me! Along with... don't read any of the books about baby sleep. ..They won't help you!

So there it is.... my top ten of 'I wish I'd known that'. Like I said we'll all have different lists .... what would be on yours?!

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