There was 9 months of being pregnant, and I’ve now reached the stage of being a mum for 9 months so I thought it would be a good time to look back at what I have learned along the way. What things did I wish I knew beforehand? No one really tells you any of this stuff – there is no handbook with all the answers (unfortunately), and Google will just confuse you completely with different opinions. I’m going to let you know some of the things I have picked up along the way. It’s the biggest journey you will ever go on so hopefully these tips will help whether you are a new mum or about to have a baby.
It really does get easier
When people tell you it gets easier, you will literally want to punch them. FACT.
The newborn stage is intense. I wasn’t fully prepared for this – I don’t think any of us actually are. When I was pregnant people used to joke and say to get as much sleep in as you can before the baby arrives. I wish I had listened to this, although when you are heavily pregnant, sleeping becomes really difficult and just turning over is a struggle so I’m not sure when I would have put in a sleep marathon anyway realistically. Just know you are going to feel tired for a quite a long time!
As the months pass though, things do start to get easier. You get into a routine, you’re not as terrified of making a mistake, your baby starts to sleep through the night, you get used to the broken sleep pattern and what the different baby cries mean. But as things get easier, you move onto other new challenges to deal with so it really is all a constant learning curve.
Embrace the changes
I’m one of those people who doesn’t like change but since having a baby I’ve had to completely adjust my mindset on this. Just as you get settled doing things a certain way, your baby will progress and it will change into something different and it throws you off a bit. You never grow and develop as much in your life as you do when you’re a child and they have a lot going on, so I’ve learned that you need to be really open minded with this and literally just go with the flow of what your baby is doing.
Another change that I’ve had to deal with is with my own life. The freedom of just popping to the shops quickly for something, or going out with friends or going shopping is not as easy. It’s a big life adjustment when you realise that this little person is going to be attached to your hip for quite a long time and that is always going to have to come first now. I knew this was going to be the case but it didn’t actually hit me properly until he was born. It was quite hard to take in and deal with for quite a long time. As I said…I’m not the best with dealing with change! You do learn to accept this new way of life though.
Buy all of the essential items
A friend of mine recommended a machine for bottle feeding and it really has been a game changer. It was worth every penny and I’m so pleased we bought it. I will link it below as well as a few other essential items that I would definitely recommend.
Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine (if you are bottle feeding)
Tommee Tippee Electric steriliser (again for bottle feeding)
Snuz cloud – this has been amazing. It plays white noise and soothing music which helps your baby drift off to sleep.
Nuby teething dummies – these are so good – you can put them in the fridge to make them nice and cool on your babies gums when they want to chew everything in sight!
Nuby nibbler – this is great for when you start weaning. It helps your baby to learn how to chew as well as introduces them to new tastes, without the risk of choking.
Anti roll changing mat – we have this one HERE from Mumma Shack.
A baby organiser caddy like this one HERE is also really useful. You can stock it up with all of the essentials you will need for day or night from nappies, wipes, nappy bags, muslin cloths, creams etc and you will be able to carry it around the house easily.
When I was pregnant we bought mainly a selection of newborn, 0-3month, 3-6 month clothes. What I hadn’t appreciated was how quickly babies grow! A top tip I will give is to buy long sleeve bodies in a variety of ages/sizes because in the Summer months its so difficult to get hold of long sleeve clothes. In England we still get really cold days during the Summer but the shops only seem to have Summer related clothes only during that time.
Getting into a routine
Getting your baby into a routine takes time but its something that babies really need and it makes a massive difference. I found it’s helped me so much and I like having a structure to my day. Without a plan for the day it can feel a bit overwhelming sometimes. We don’t do everything at the exact same time every single day – that would be impossible but we now have a routine in place which we keep to as much as possible and it really works well for us.
- 7 – 7.30am Oscar wakes up
- 7.30am first bottle of the day
- 8.30am breakfast
- 10.30 goes down for his nap which could be a around an hour, or an hour and a half long
- 11.30 ish Oscar wakes up
- 12pm – Lunch
- 1pm – afternoon bottle
- 2pm/2.30 – afternoon nap which is usually a bit longer than the morning one
- 4pm ish Oscar wakes up
- 5pm Dinner
- 6pm bath and wind down time
- 7pm last bottle of the day and off to bed
We moved Oscar into his own bedroom from 5 months old and started with weaning from 6 months. Every baby is different though and the NHS website will have all of the guidelines on roughly when babies should be doing certain things. You will naturally know what’s right for your own baby though and you should trust your own instincts.
Don’t compare your baby to others
It’s only natural to worry if you are doing things properly and if your baby is progressing, doing everything they should be at the right time. Just remember that every baby is different. Some learn to crawl really early, some never learn to crawl and just shuffle about until they can walk. Just like with social media channels such as Instagram, you will see other peoples babies doing things at their own pace and you shouldn’t ever compare your baby to theirs. Babies will do everything when it is the right time for them.
If you enjoyed reading this, check out some of my other pregnancy related posts –