This was published on iVillage a week or so ago and I’ve finally got round to publishing it here too! If you prefer you can read it on iVillage.
1. Don’t buy the most expensive pram in the world, chances are you’ll be downsizing it to a lightweight stroller the first chance you’ll get (you will ignore this tip, you will buy the fanciest pram, and you will get sick of carting it around and get a stroller the first minute you can, but don’t say I didn’t tell you!).
2. Run, don’t walk and buy Up The Duff by Kaz Cooke if you’re still pregnant and Baby Love by Robin Barker if you’re not. Baby Love is the bible of babies and will help you with every rash, late night breastfeeding freak out, and even first meals.
3. Take black undies with you to hospital. They match delightfully with the surfboard sized pads you’ll be sporting.
4. You get afterbirth cramps. No-one told me this. And I think I forgot each time anyway. They hurt.
5. Giving your baby their first bath is scary, but swoosh them around gently in the water and they love it after their “help, I’m naked!” panic attack. This grew to be my favourite time each day with my babies.
6. They grow really fast, in what will seem like a month you’ll have a roly poly six month old, and seemingly a year later they’ll be 12. Savour every second while they’re tiny!
7. Sometimes babies don’t poo for several days. When it finally comes, it can arrive with the force of Vesuvius, spilling forth from every opening of the nappy, often travelling all the way up their back to their neck. It is statistically proven that these events are most likely to happen when they’re in the car, in their best outfit, and on the way to a glamorous event.
8. Due to number 7, wherever you go it is best to take at least one change of clothes and a plastic bag.
9. The sense of responsibility can be overwhelming in the beginning. Thinking this may have just been me I have asked around and have had resounding feedback that having full responsibility for keeping a little being alive is a little freaky!
10. You will meet some people whose babies seem to sleep through within 5 minutes of birth. I always found it best to pretend that they were lying. Or that it meant my baby was more alert and therefore smarter. Or anything that made me feel better about this.
11. New babies sleep a lot. More than you’ll think. There’s not much coochy coo time in the early days.
12. You will get advice from everyone. They will all give you different advice. It is very confusing. 4 nurses in 24 hours giving you completely different tips about how to breastfeed can do your head in. Take the advice that makes the most sense to you and disregard the rest.
13. After the first couple of weeks where you will be lavishly spoiled with flowers and fancily wrapped pink or blue gifts, you’ll be at home with a baby. For lots of hours. It can get a little lonely.
14. Habits are easily made, not so easily broken (though this applies to all ages really!)
Oh and to remember, for down the track….
15. They will make you laugh, lots.
16. They grow up and become you.
17. You will have unbroken nights of sleep again.
18. You can’t take them back 🙂