Your whole pregnancy and early days of motherhood are filled with tips and advice that other parents give you, most are really useful (e.g. buy lots of muslin squares) but not all are true (e.g. ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ isn’t helpful when your baby sleeps best while you’re walking him up a big hill or driving down the M4!)
Anyway this got me thinking about things I WASN’T told but wish I had been!
- Get fit – as soon as you find out you’re pregnant (ideally before, if you’re planning!) get as fit as you can – in the third trimester I had some real achy days where I ached from head to toe, and by then it was too late to do anything apart from pregnancy yoga – I should have done lots of swimming…. Being fit will also prepare you for labour which is the biggest workout of your life!
- Bump photos/Cinemama – I used an app called CineMama which joined all my bump photos into a little video – a nice little momento of your pregnancy journey 🙂 (I wish I had taken more/better photos – I was always in my PJ’s lol!)
- Join a community – ok so this is a tip I was given (but only by one person so it doesn’t count!) which was to join a Facebook group called ‘Due in May 2014’ which I did and it ended up being a great resource where you could ask stupid questions that you might not want to ask friends/family etc. And actually even more than, you could see questions that other members were asking that you hadn’t even thought of! By now it feels like a proper little community and I would recommend you find something similar whether it be Facebook, forums or *gasp* a real-life group!
- Everyone tells you to stock up on nappies and fill your freezer etc but I think you should also stock up on everything from loo roll, toothpaste, cat food to shower gel – your ‘nesting’ time is a perfect time to do this and fill up all your cupboards so that in the first few weeks you only need to worry about getting fresh food in – the more prep you can do in those last few weeks of pregnancy, the easier the first few weeks of parenthood will be!
- Leave tags on stuff/keep packaging – during that nesting period you will have the urge to make your nursery as beautiful as possible even though the little munchkin won’t be in there for another few months…. in doing so, I took some bedding, blankets out of its packaging but I’ve since realised we won’t need it as we were given so many so I could have taken them back. Ditto clothes – I would never exchange any gifts, but I could have exchanged stuff I’d bought that we wouldn’t end up needing….
- Get your screwdriver kit handy – for some reason, everything from our play gym to our sleep aid needs a screwdriver to change the batteries which reminds me…..
- Buy a range of batteries when you’re doing #4! AA, AAA, C, D… the list of battery types in baby equipment is endless!
- Get a copy of your yellow folder – when you’re pregnant, you get given a folder to take to every appointment. This becomes a record of your bump and scan measurements, and details of your labour…. when you’re signed off by the midwife about 10 days post-labour, she will take this folder with her and I so wish I had taken a copy before she had… so many memories!
- Breastfeeding is messy and smelly – you will get it all over your clothes and bedding! I was given all sorts of breastfeeding hints before baby arrived but nobody told me about the mess, or leakage… or random spraying! (Still well worth it mind!)
- The nights will be surreal – In those early few weeks I used to wake so often thinking that baby W was still on me, and said to my other half on a few occasions ‘can you take him off me?’ even though he was sound asleep in his basket! The sleepless nights are tough, but you’ll cope and get used to it!
- Poo comes out in the rain – despite having an expensive washing machine, the best thing I’ve found to get poo out of muslins and clothes is to leave them out in the rain- I think it’s the combination of UV light and volume of water that does it!
- Don’t buy too many shoes until baby has arrived – my shoe size has gone up one and when I mentioned this on Facebook and Twitter, turns out it’s quite common for your shoe size to go up or for your feet to get wider while/after you have a baby! (Wonder if it’s because you’ll be carrying a heavy load?!)
- Your beautiful baby might be spotty, have gammy eyes and have skin falling off – this is all normal during the first few weeks and will all clear up 🙂
Mums – have you got any tips/things that you learnt the hard way to add to this list?!