Having a baby is the most wonderful, stressful, exhausting and mind blowing thing ever to happen in your life. I am one of those people who genuinely loves being a mummy and everything that comes with mummy territory (soft play and everything) but how I am now with D is completely different to how I was when I had K. The whole “second baby, second nature” quote really rings true and I wish I could almost rewind back to when I had K and give myself the advice that I know now. Second time round you are a lot more flexible, a lot more relaxed and you do what you want to do.
Here is the advice I wish I had given myself two years ago…
- Pay absolutely no attention to Google or Netmums. I don’t think it mattered what K did as a baby, whether it be spitting up after her milk (obviously reflux or a milk allergy!- cheers Google) or how old they should be when they hit a certain milestone. I looked for reassurance in one of the above websites on the internet. I’ve come to realise that actually, Google nor Netmums doesn’t hold the answer you are looking for. Usually the answer lies within your instinct. They don’t look too well? they probably aren’t -take them to a dr. They haven’t sat up yet? They will in their own time. It really is hard as a first time mum not to search the internet for answers to everything as these little humans don’t come with an instruction manual but if your unsure of something use your instinct or ask a professional.
- Savour every tiny little second of that newborn stage as it really really goes in the blink of an eye. Something that I didn’t quite realise with K. I was forever wishing her life away in one respect or another. “oh I can’t wait for her to sit up” “oh I can’t wait for her to walk” “oh it will be amazing when she talks”. Little did I know, all those stages come super duper fast and before I knew it, my little newborn is a stomping two and a half year old. Please – cherish it whilst you can. Let them lie on your chest just that little bit longer.
- The night feeds suck…really suck – but you wont be doing them forever. As hard as it is to imagine, this little milk machine WILL stop wanting feeds during the night at some point. Get through it by whatever means possible (a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit helps *ahem*)
- Sleep when they sleep. This is the biggest piece of advice I give to new mums now because when they are asleep we feel that’s our chance to catch up with TV/housework/whatever….NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SLEEP!!! I never took that advice 1st time round but I would kill for it now. Having your second baby means you can never sleep when they sleep because you have a toddler to look after and some times it’s painstakingly exhausting. I sometimes long to go back to the one baby days so I can sleep when they sleep! – Please, let the cobwebs lie and get some rest.
- You’re doing OK. You are a kick ass woman that has grown a tiny human being in your womb for 9 months then got them out again (by whatever means possible). They’ve tipped your world upside down, left you sleep deprived, probably a stone or two heavier, made your nipples bleed and they’ve made you question your sanity. But at the end of the day when the night draws in, you are both here to tell the tale, your baby is safe and happy and they are loved. YOU ARE AWSOME. High five yourself.
What advice would you give to yourself as a first time mum? I’d love to hear from you!