So you have waited 9 very very long agonising months for this and you are finally able to hold your baby in your arms that you have desperately
longed for, the love you now have for this little creature is over whelming. Then before you know it you are back at the ward where doctors are doing their routine checks and you are being discharged to go home. Suddenly it dawns on you; you now have a baby to look after! There is no guide from the midwives on what to do next it is now up to you!
So recently having my third baby, I look back and think about how scared I was the first time around especially when I look first times mums I know who feel absolutely clueless! I remember my husband being at work and Caden (my eldest) just cried non-stop and I really did not know what to in order to get him to stop! I’d end up giving him more milk which would result in him projectile vomiting everywhere – hence making him more upset! I remember feeling like I couldn’t cope and at the end of my tether. But now having my third I feel so much more relaxed and actually find it really easy, so I find myself asking is she just a good baby or I have learnt a lot from my last two babies on what I should and should not be doing? I’d think to think I have. So I thought I post some tips for first time mothers on my experiences and hopefully I can help others make this first time mother experience a little more bearable.
- In my experience I have found that rocking your baby is NOT a good idea. Once you start your baby will always expect you to do it and then you will be there forever doing it each time which will no doubt leave you feeling extremely exhausted.
- Look out for baby signing. Babies might not be able to talk but they do let you know what they want by showing you. For example if a baby is putting their hands up to their mouth and tapping it. This usually means they are hungry. Or if they start grunting it usually means they have some trapped wind somewhere. There are usually local baby signing classes in your local community. Sites such as TinyTalk can show your nearest baby sign language classes or failing that could can just google it and google maps will show your nearest class. It’s not for everyone but I think it is useful plus it is a way to meet other new mums in your area.
- Breastfeeding is ultimately better for babies than bottle feeding not only are their more nutrients but I found it gave them far less wind than bottle feeding. However that being said a lot of mums find it quite difficult to breastfeed myself included. I felt physically drained and exhausted breastfeeding but tried to do it for as long as I could. If you are bottle feeding baby I found doing it in chunks better, so stopping halfway through and making sure I get those burps up before carrying on. Sometimes you do have to persist and even with Summer I am there for 40 minutes some evenings trying to get that all important burp up! If you find your babies is particularly bad at getting at burping I found grape water and infacol very good to use. You can get these at your local supermarket and they work wonders.
- I always think the temperature of your baby’s milk is important. It kind of reminds me of the story “goldilocks and the three bears”. It can’t be too hot or too cold it needs to be just right, room temperature to be exact. If it is too cold they may find it harder to bring up wind and if it is too warm they might vomit. If you find your baby wants a rest in between feeds and the milk is getter too cold just pop it back in the hot water to warm it up a bit more or start again with a fresh bottle, you will be thankful you did later!
- Newborn babies love to feel like they are back in the womb. If you are trying to settle your baby try putting them on your chest so they can listen to your heartbeat, this can make them feel more relaxed. I remember taking Caden out in the car in the middle of the night to try to get him to sleep especially if he was teething however I did find that as soon as I stopped he just woke up and started crying again! Cuddling them close to be and on my chest I find work much better especially if you sit up a bit as it also helps them bring up wind.
- Last thing is to try not to get to upset to stressed when your baby is crying and whatever you are doing is not working. Remember this is all new to you and every first time mother feels the same you are not a bad mother if feel like you just want to walk away you have just had enough. If you feel like you are at wits end just put the baby down in their cot and take a 5 minute breather, then come back to try again.
So welcome to the world of parenting it is not an easy job, actually far from it and I’d like to tell you it gets easier but it unfortunately it doesn’t however it is definitely worth it especially when you see your baby smile for the first time or when you child tells you they love you and wraps their arms around you .Personally I think anyone who does not have children is mad, it is the best feeling in the world being a mother and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I hope you found this guide useful I know it is only a snippet and there is so much to discuss, if you have any further questions and would like to ask me something please get in touch and please add your comments and thoughts below.