Becoming a first-time mum can be overwhelming. You get fed so much information from everywhere. You feel as if you're a chicken at a petting farm and the kids have gone a little bit OTT on the chicken food. No matter what you do the "advice" just doesn't seem to stop. You don't know which advice is golden and which advice is pure bird poop.
So I thought I'd make it easy for you, I've collected all the BEST advice out there and typed it up into one blog post. In hope that you can feel more confident when going into motherhood. You can reasure everyone trying to feed you their top tips that you've heard 1085943 million times before, that "you've got this" because it's true. YOU HAVE GOT THIS.
LET'S JUMP STRAIGHT INTO IT THEM SHALL WE.
1. Muslins are a must. If you can relate to the first paragraph of this post then you've probably heard this already. It's true, these pieces of cloths can be used for so much. Mopping up sick, catching excess milk, a bib (for both your baby and you) a swaddle wrap, a sunshade, a baby hat. They can be a 'lifesaver' in what seems like the most stressful situations. Although they're a life saver, I'd say you only need around 10. Don't forget we live in 2019, you have a washing machine.
2. The perfect changing bag. When becoming a mum your priorities may change, they defiantly did for me. Finding something that is super stylish, and fits barely anything in just isn't going to cut the mustard anymore. Before I became a mum I would see other mothers struggle to get out of the car/house with their baby in their arms and a massive changing bag swinging on their side, with half the things falling out. I just knew that finding the perfect changing bag was a must. I brought a rucksack changing bag from Ebay for £15. It’s brilliant!
SAVE YOUR SANITY
3. Breast pads. Even if you don't breastfeed I'd still highly recommend having at least a few boxes of these. I had to start using breast pads even before Arthur was born, then once he was here and my milk came in I was using two breast pads per boob and changing them every hour. Now that might not be the same for you, but having a few boxes on hand to make sure you're not greeting your postman with two wet patches where your nipples should be.
4. A baby sling. It took me a while to get to grips with the Boba wrap. A couple of tries and watching a YouTube video over and over until... Vwala! The sling saved mine and many other mumma's sanity. It's not only comforting to your baby, it's also a great way to crack on with jobs around the house.
5. Many mums got in touch with me to say that a perfect prep machine is a life saver. I didn't bottle feed Arthur until he was 8 months but even then he was waking in the night and that transition from breast to bottle was an eye-opener. Getting up in the middle of the night going downstairs to faff around making a bottle was an adjustment that's for sure. I too can see why this a must have (more so if you choose to bottle feed).
6. White noise. The amount of mum's who I've connected with since having Arthur who has said that they too use a white noise machine to get their little one off to sleep. I personally can recommend Ewen the sheep. It's a friendly looking sheep that plays white noise and a heartbeat noise too... it is run on batteries and turns its self off after a while. I think the cheapest I've seen is around £30 from Amazon.
7. Breastfeeding friendly clothes. I think a Milky Tee top is defiantly a great gift to get a mum to be if you know that they are wanting to breastfeed. It will make the whole experience a lot more "normal". Everyone tells you how natural it is but despite it being "natural" it certainly does feel very strange to begin with getting your boobs out in costa. With the Milky Tee T-shirts, they have a discrete zip down either side, making the experience a lot more "public friendly".
IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD.
8. Ask for help. This is one thing that I personally struggle with. Being raised by practically just my mum, and my nan when my mum had to work. I find it really hard to ask for help as I just believe I should be able to do this on my own. INCORRECT! Just because you ask for help does not mean you are not an amazing dedicated mother. It's bloody tough! We all need a break and a breather sometimes, so take it when you can.
9. Your sanity. I would say this is probably my number one thing you need to have and keep as a new mum, but muslins kind of save your sanity at times. You may at times feel your pre-baby self drift, but don't allow it too. Don't feel guilty for wanting it to stay. Do whatever you need to do to save your sanity.
10. Trust your mum gut. This is so important. I totally believe in the "mum gut". I'm not talking about when you've eaten some of your babies’ pureed food and suddenly feel your belly turn. I'm talking about that feeling you get when you just know something isn't right. OR when you can't quite explain it but you know what your baby needs. You are Mum. You know best.