I’ve wanted to put a post together with advice to new and expecting mums for a while now and finally asked for mums to send me their advice. I love the advice these mums have given and look forward to sharing it with you!
Cathy of Wishful Wonderings – The best advice I could give to a new mum is to trust your instincts. Babies do not come with a handbook and each one is individual, people mean well when they offer advice, but you are the one that knows your baby better than anyone else. Let your baby guide you and as time goes by you will instinctively know what he or she needs
Karen of Stopping at Two – Sometimes you just have to stop focusing on little details (I KNOW they don’t feel like little things at the time) and look at the big picture. Everyone is different. You as a mother are different to every other mother and all children are different. Don’t fall into the trap of obsessing over when they meet milestones, if they aren’t sleeping through the night or if they are refusing to eat certain foods. Don’t ever feel guilty about the decisions you make as a parent – only you can make an informed choice about what is best for you and you baby.
Shamaila of Instagram – My advise to new mums would, when other mums are telling you what to expect, don’t stress too much and get yourself worked up, as everyone’s journey is different and what someone tells you they couldn’t handle is probably something you find yourself handling really well. Also it is not selfish to take some time out for yourself and give yourself a break, even if it means a couple of hours at the salon to get your hair & nails done without your baby or going for a coffee with your friends.
Gianna of Blood Sugar Ecmo Magik – Ready for the cliché Avalanche? Here goes… Expect the unexpected. I sailed through a perfect pregnancy expecting to come home with a baby at the end of it and begin a new, exciting chapter in our lives and I was very wrong. We hit a lot of bumps in the road and didn’t anticipate any of it. Sure enough it was all super rare stuff but I certainly did go through my next pregnancy a little more cautiously. The next piece of advice I have is to trust your instincts as a new mum, it’s easy to go along with what people may tell you but at the end of the day it’s best to trust your maternal instincts 🙂 Finally, you’re doing a fab job. Sleep deprivation, suddenly having a teeny new bundle at the center of your world and never having done it before may make you question your capabilities, don’t underestimate the fabulous job you are doing!
Harps of Baby Brain Memoirs – The most useful and home hitting advice I’ve ever received since I’ve had Arjun. It’s probably applicable to a lot of things in life. I often find myself worrying about the past or attempting to plan for the future and I often forget to live in the present… This very moment… Now… Sometimes I wish I could just stop, sit, close my eyes, breathe and become aware of my surroundings instead of being so scatter brained with the millions of things I have going on!
Jenny of Mamazou – Best advice to new mums: Trust your instinct – you might be at the very start of your motherhood journey but if you have a gut feeling about something, listen to it. You know best — after all you’ve known your baby much longer than anyone else has!
Bex of Mummy Bex M – The best advice I can give to a new mum (or dad) is to trust your ‘gut’. Trust your instinct; your intuition; your feelings and listen to your body. If something isn’t working then don’t try to force it. If you’re exhausted – tell someone and ask for help. If you can’t face cleaning the house whilst the baby naps – then leave it for another day. Your emotional well-being and the happiness of your child is far more important than cleaning the dirty dishes or dusting the telly! Trust yourself.
Tamily of Instagram – My advice would be, don’t compare yourself to other new mums or other old mums for that matter! When you fall pregnant, it will begin. Before you know it, you will be comparing bump size, niggling aches, how many times you feel baby move & so on with other mums-to-be at yoga class or in the supermarket. Then as soon as baby is out, it’s all about the labour length & weight comparison. Oh yeah & how amazing (or not) your birthing partner was! It will not end there, trust me, it gets worse. The next phase of comparison is how well you are coping, how long baby is sleeping for, whether you are breast or bottle feeding, feeding on demand or timed slots, co-sleeping or ‘crying it out’, how your emotions are compared to your other new mum friends, whether you are considering baby-lead weening or not, enough tummy time, are they crawling, standing, talking, walking……..argh!! Stop it! My advice? You are enough. You are doing the right things for you, your baby & your family. Yes, please do seek advice, but do not compare yourselves to others around you. None of you are going through things at the same speed & you will all experience pregnancy, birth & motherhood slightly differently. As one who compared herself to how others were coping as a new mum causing deep postnatal depression, please know that behind closed doors, all new parents are fighting their own battles. They may not be the same as yours exactly, but they are still learning how to look after a small person who is learning how to be alive. If you think about it like that, it’s a huge thing you are going to be doing or are doing. You are enough. And you are doing a great job.
Amy of Amy Being Mum – Be kind to yourself. Don’t expect too much of yourself. Treat yourself as you would a friend who has just had a baby. Allow yourself days at home in your pjs enjoying your new bundle. Nap often. Enjoy this time, Your will look back on it as the most special time of your life. When your tired and anxious and your partner doesn’t seem to “get it”, give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s new for them too. Talk to each other. Its a huge learning curve, don’t expect to know everything from day one. Be proud of your little creation!
Jade of Raising The Rings – The best bit of advice I could give to new mums is that motherhood is not a competition. Nobody is handing out awards if your baby reaches a milestone before another baby or vice versa. There is no science to being a good parent, it’s truly an art form and it’s about embracing what’s right for you and your baby. Don’t get hung up on feeling like you’re not as good as someone else because, believe me, they’ll be struggling with something. No parent is perfect and good parents come in many forms just do your best and as long as you’re doing that, that’s enough.
Gemma of Coffee, Kids & Ice Cream – Ronan Keating wasn’t wrong when he sang, Life is a Roller coaster, and the same can be said for parenting. As a new parent your life will have more ups and downs than a kangaroo on a pogo stick and this is to be expected. One day you’ll think you have this whole motherhood gig down pat, the next you’ll barely be able to get off the sofa let alone in a shower and out the front door. Everyone is the same. That perfect mum you spotted in the supermarket? She’s the same. The spotless mum in the baby sensory class? She’s the same. It’s highly likely that you’re just viewing them on the good days and they too will be covered in baby vomit tomorrow. My biggest piece of advice? Just be kind to yourself. Yes, today might be a shocker but always remember tomorrow’s a new day.
Diyana of Wollywrites – What’s your best advice to new mums? In one word: Worry. Everyone will tell you not to worry, stress, panic or freak out when sometimes that’s exactly what you want or more importantly, need to do. My controversial advice for new mums would be that you should worry, panic and go through all the emotions because that’s how you develop parenting instincts and learn to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
People will tell you not to worry when your baby cries and don’t pick them up so as not to “spoil” them – but newborns don’t have a concept of being spoilt or demanding. They are communicating a need when they cry, and it breaks my heart to see new parents letting their babies cry just because they think it’s the right thing to do. Pick them up, cuddle them and soothe them as many times as they need it. It’s ok, it’s good for them and it’s good for you!
I ended up trying to control and manage how I felt and behaved, so that people wouldn’t think that I was being “over the top” or a “drama mama”, when in fact you have every right to react and feel the way you want to. Especially when something is happening to your baby and you have no idea what to do- the best thing is always to err on the side of caution. Like when our little one was only a few days old and he had eyelashes stuck inside his eye (these will either come out by themselves or use a little warm water that has been boiled and cotton wool to ease them out), and when he kept making rasping breathing sounds at night (apparently very normal for newborns to have irregular breathing patterns), or when he was 9 months old and he fell off our bed (take them to the hospital and have them checked and monitored), or when he had bumps on his eyeball (it was just hay fever but I thought he was going to go blind!) – for all these incidents (and more) we rushed to the hospital to see the doctor. We even had a little gadget attached to his nappy that would vibrate and ring if he were to stop breathing in the night. People laughed at us and thought that we were being unreasonably paranoid, however, we would much rather have that than anything bad happen to our baby.
I believe that worrying and being hyper vigilant can save lives. We know a family whose 1 year old sadly died from choking on a fruit pip and another whose perfect baby suffered extreme burns from a flask of boiling water left on the counter. Maybe these ‘freak accidents’ could be avoided if you equip yourselves with first-aid training and how to handle a choking baby or just by remaining ultra cautious and seeing the world from a baby’s eyes. Is that knife within reach? Are the blind cords hanging too low? There was a time where our baby’s arm swelled up due to a mosquito bite and I didn’t want to panic, until I thought that it could be a spider bite or he could be having an allergic reaction. Also when they fall or bump their head, never take it lightly. I have seen parents posting up questions on Facebook and describing to people their child’s symptoms after a fall, and it’s beyond me that they can spend time on Facebook instead of spending that time seeing a doctor. So to all new parents out there, please worry because your baby deserves it.