My sister is expecting her first baby anytime now and it got me thinking about those early days as a new mum and what lies ahead for her. Just thought I would explode a few common misconceptions – from my experience anyway..
1. Babies do sleep lots and lots but it doesn’t feel like it. We had all sorts of plans of going out for lunches and watching films and basically having a bit of a jolly when Gary was on paternity. BUT…. yes broken sleep isn’t quite the same as the full 8 hours.
2. Breastfeeding is natural (and the very best for baby and for you) but in those early days, it doesn’t necessarily feel natural. Stick with it, it gets easier and you will be proud of yourself when you see your tiny bundle grow big, strong and healthy on your milk alone.
3, The baby books don’t hold all the answers! I read quite a lot of baby books (Baby Secrets, Baby Whisperer, Contented Baby, No cry sleep solution etc), for some strange reason AFTER the baby was here. Anyway, I was looking for the holy grail, the answers to all my prayers. I took something from them all and made up my own way. To be honest it doesn’t matter massively in the grand scheme of things as babies all seem to find a similar routine eventually anyway.
4. You don’t always have an instant rush of love for your newborn. I definitely fell in love with my firstborn gradually. A difficult birth, sleep deprivation, after pains etc all don’t help with that first meeting but you get there.
5. The key thing is to remember you are the child’s mother. Your natural instinct will tell you what to do so listen to it and believe in it, no matter what other people, books etc tell you. I think some books can make you doubt your own gut feeling, so take them with a pinch of salt.
6. In those early days of my firstborn’s arrival, in fact anything up till he was over a year I thought people who had more than one child were completely crazy. Why go through this again? But you do and you enjoy it a zillion times more and lots of people just keep going and going because we just can’t resist a newborn!
I may add to this as I think of a few more but just had to get this off my chest..