Top Tips | “I wish I’d known that”

For today’s post we reached out to our friends who have had children and also parents we follow on Instagram. We asked them to share their TOP TIPS with us. Tips that they’ve learnt since having a baby – that they wished they’d know. We’re very grateful to them for contributing to this post and think it makes for a very interesting read. 

“I guess that they grow up fast, so don’t worry too much if things are difficult – ie they’re not sleeping, or not eating greens, things move on fast. Before you know it they’re teens and sleeping all day and eating EVERYTHING in double quantities”. – Sophie, Mum to 3 boys aged 16, 14 & 11, Freelance writer who works for 14fiftyseven.

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Always have snacks in your bag! For mummy ( who forgets breakfast) and baby” – Kelly, Mum to Dorothea, who is 18 months old. ivf.ninja on instagram here.

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“I wish I knew that the neurotypical life doesn’t happen for every parent as frequently as we’d expect, but that the special needs life is also filled with joy and love and happiness as much as it is with grief and hardship” – from Elly Mum to Mikaere – who has Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH) read more about their cause here.

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If you feel rubbish in all your clothes because your body has changed so much don’t be afraid to get yourself down to H&M and buy some nice clothes. Buttons = breastfeeding friendly!”

“One thing I wish I’d known- everyone scares you about all the sleepless nights your going to have. Don’t listen to the horror stories because actually waking up to Dot has never been a chore only a pleasure. To conquer exhaustion you can sleep longer in the morning because of this wonderful thing called Maternity Leave”! Hetta, Norland Nanny & Mum to Dot, aged 3 months.

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My top tip for all new mums is that whilst spending hours Googling for a golden nugget of information that will help everything make sense (whether it’s sleep/ breastfeeding/ mental health… Or everything!) is tempting it can lead to overwhelm and anxiety. Find a few sources of information you trust. Try and find mum friends with a similar parenting style as you. Know that information is great when it’s informing your instinct but trust that you know your baby.

On a more practical level, if a poo stain won’t come out of a baby grow once you’ve washed it – put it outside in the sun to dry – it will disappear like magic!!)” – Sophie, Mum to Eliza, aged 22 months from Mamabubaabump, find her here.

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“Have everything you need for the night on the bedside table, such as wipes, nappies, drink, a snack, muslin and a spare babygrow. You never know what’s going to happen in the night and it’s so much easier it all being there ready than trying to find things in drawers in the dark. Also always buy infacol before having a baby or when it’s a newborn, colic can come on so quickly and it really helps having it in the cupboard ready.

In terms of being a Nanny then becoming a mum – a bit of advice would be don’t be afraid to ask for help! I thought I would be totally confident with everything after having Elliott and some aspects I was but others like breastfeeding are a total minefield and I had to ask for help. You definitely second guess yourself a lot more too, I was so confident with everything I said at work but now I always second guess myself with him. Vicky, Norland Nanny & Mum to Elliot, 4 months old. 

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Newborn – 6 weeks:

  • If baby grows are getting soiled every day, go up a nappy size. Bingo – no more escaped poo!
  • Rotate the baby’s sleeping position in cot by 180 degrees every 24 hours to discourage misshapen heads.
  • Tummy time can be initially spent lying on you, propped up on cushions to create a friendly angle for baby.
  • Mini changing bags (e.g. skip hop’s) are genius

6 months+/ Toddler

  • 2 books which I preach about, but aren’t too well known –
  1. Baby Talk – how a UK speech therapist recommends parents talk to babies to encourage speech and concentration. It works!
  2. How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen. The audio book is brilliant. Non-stop tools and examples. The only weird bit is that they don’t advocate time out/shout spots. Admittedly, since using the tools, we rarely feel the need to use the ‘shout spot’…
  • Lastly, something the lovely nannies at the toddler groups guided me on (I’ve not seen it written anywhere) with toddler behaviour try to only react to positive behaviour with positive attention. (Most children will crave all attention, even negative, so will play up accordingly.) – Lucy, mum of Amelie aged 3 Devonshirebright on instagram here.

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“Since becoming a Mum I have learnt to appreciate all the other mothers out there- I have more empathy towards close friends and family.

Before I would occasionally think- why are you worrying about this it’s not a problem!?

Now I am starting to realise that the worrying isn’t a choice- the mums I know didn’t want to worry about hunger and happiness… but it’s part of being a mother”. Hannah, Mum to Libby aged 5 months.

What are your top tips for new parents? We hope you’ve found this post useful – also don’t be afraid to ask – we’re all in this together! 

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