Because as glorious and rammed full of love those early days are, they’re undeniably hard too.
1. Bookmark blog posts from other new mums who a) make you chuckle, b) make you do a therapeutic cry and c) make you realise that you’re absolutely not alone in this. Some of the words that brought a little relief to me via a virtual hug were Morgan’s ‘Thoughts On Early Motherhood’, Rosie’s ‘Life With A Newborn’ and Jen’s post on breastfeeding.
2. Fill the house with all your favourite food, and then when you think you’ve got enough, BUY MORE. Frozen food you can whack in the oven or microwave is the best (we lived off of COOK’s macaroni cheese and mushroom risotto for the first few weeks), and then make sure you have plenty of snacks. I kept leftover Christmas chocolate and a bunch of bananas next to my bed (along with a litre bottle of water) to help make the night feeds a little less gruesome.
3. Plan ahead with things that will help with newborn ailments (like colds and nappy rash) before they happen so you’re not left crying into a muslin at 3am because your baby is screaming and you can’t get to Tesco. Lols. Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment is a fantastic shout because not only is it free from toxic ingredients and fragrances (hurrah!) but it creates a barrier that protects super delicate baby bum skin from the causes of nappy rash. After all prevention is better than cure! It also has pro-vitamin B5 which aids natural recovery of skin whilst also keeping it super soft and moisturised.
4. Find other women who are in the same boat as you and never EVER let them go. Everyone knows plenty of people who have had a baby before – but nothing beats finding other mums who are at that exact same stage as you. Meet them at NCT classes, find them on Instagram, re-connect with random acquaintances from 2012 via Facebook messenger. Find people who you can compare nappies and feeds and sleep with, people that will force you out the house for coffee and people who – bottom line – just totally get it.
5. Make your home feel like a super cosy little sanctuary that you’ll enjoy spending time in because you’ll likely be housebound more than you’re used to. This is absolutely your go-ahead to buy as many posh candles, fluffy blankets and cushions as your heart desires and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
6. Delete any apps that have a habit of making you compare yourself to other people. I sacked off Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin’ for the first month (I used Facebook messenger to desperately harass other new mums) and lived in a wonderful little bubble like it was the olden times or something. Highly recommend.
7. Record or download loads of rubbish (read: incredible) TV that you can zone in and out – none of this hooha where you so much as blink at the wrong time and you’ve completely missed the storyline. My faves are/were Say Yes To The Dress (it’s on pretty much all through the night on TLC), Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Teen Mom (OG, 2 and UK).
8. DO NOT PUT AWAY YOUR MATERNITY CLOTHES. I threw my jeans to the back of the cupboard and then had to scramble about on my knees trying to find them a week later when lol good one, still didn’t fit in my pre-baby ones. I survived the first few weeks in maternity leggings (especially great after a c-section), stretchy dungarees, shirts, slouchy t-shirts and just as slouchy jumpers.
9. Don’t forget to think about you. Say yes to the help (regardless of whether that’s someone else doing your clothes washing or someone allowing you an hour out the house for a coffee and a manicure), stock up on things like paracetamol and nipple cream so that you’re not in pain and remember that it does get easier. This is the hardest part and you’ll look back in a week, a month and a year and realise how far you’ve come, and just how much of a bloomin’ bad ass you are. YOU GOT THIS GAL.
This post is sponsored by Bepanthen but all views, thoughts and tips very much my own!
Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment protects against the causes of nappy rash, and cares for babies’ soft and sensitive bottoms through the day and night. Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment is gentle enough to use at every nappy change and is available at all leading supermarkets, chemists and independent pharmacies. RRP £3.99 for 30g, £5.99 for 50g and £7.99 for 100g.