The Mama Diaries: Life With a Newborn
A few weeks back I asked on Instagram what people would like to read on Wanderluce. Lots said motherhood in general, lots more said more blogging tips and the lovely Sarah Starrs asked for some insight into the early days with a newborn. Sarah's pregnant right now (due any day now!) so no doubt is thinking about those days coming up seriously soon and wondering how she'll cope and what the holy crap will actually happen! Maybe not actually, she's a pretty level headed badass.....I think that might just have been what I was thinking.
Anaïs is almost eight weeks old, which feels worlds away from when she was kicking around in my belly. But in other ways it feels like yesterday we were sat in hospital, shell shocked and sleep deprived after labouring for two days, staring at our wide eyed bundle of baby.
There's so much I want to write about motherhood for this series, but it feels really appropriate to write about what it's like for me right now, before the memories all fade away and the clichés become true.
Because here's your first lesson: time flies. Every day, your baby will completely change and you won't even realise how much until you look back at pictures you dreamily took a few days prior.
You'll receive oh so much advice, and be warned you won't follow it, and be warned further still of what will happen if (when) you don't follow it. Listen to it all, and follow the advice that makes sense to you. My mother in law told me this ages ago, and it's the best advice I received.
It's true though, that you'll be in love with your baby. But if you aren't -- don't worry, everyone's different and everything will be okay.
I've already told you breastfeeding can be tough, and even more so in the early days when you're getting used to it all. Here's what I've learned: don't try to follow a routine, don't worry if your baby only feeds for a few minutes each time (mine does, and she's constantly put weight on so it's no drama).
If there are two of you and you're enjoying paternal leave then it'll be the MOST FUN EVER. Get out of the house if you can (we went to the pub on day three) and don't stress about nursing clothes -- they are truly gross, and no more discreet than a shirt or blouse....or v neck.
I did stacks of batch cooking beforehand, but realistically I couldn't even remember what was in the freezer let alone defrost it and cook it. Eat takeaway, or go to a restaurant with your baby and enjoy it. They almost certainly won't cry and even if they do....shove a boob or a bottle in their mouth and they'll hush quickly :)
Nothing will fit them! Seriously. Anaïs is still wearing '0-1 month' H&M outfits but can't squeeze into some Mothercare bits for her age. Don't fret. And sleepsuits are life.
Swaddling is weird, and you might not use it.....try though. Apparently it's a winner. Even when you think your baby 'hates it', apparently this isn't a thing. Or do what I did and ignore that advice and leave them be - my girl sleeps just fine without it.
People will say this to you: "SLEEP WHEN YOUR BABY SLEEPS" a lot. This might annoy you, so smile through gritted teeth and agree. Then try to complete Netflix while your baby naps. Resting is a good as sleeping, and Netflix feeds the soul.
Although breastfeeding burns a shitload of calories.....don't expect to lose loads of weight and become America's Next Top Model because, ahem, that *might* not happen. And anyway: nine months on, nine off.....
Don't fret about 'stuff'. Like pregnancy, people will try and tell you to buy shit you don't need. Sterilising bottles? Errrrrm, Miltons in water. Or BOIL SOME WATER. That simple. Heating bottles up to the 'perfect temperature' machine? ARE YOU A RETARD? Boil the kettle, sit the bottle in boiling water for 10 mins and test it. If it feels hot for you, it's probably too hot......
Nappy bins are super grim and unnecessary. I use a cheapo little bin with a liner and take it out daily. It doesn't smell, and does the job of a bin so I'm not sure what Tommee Tippee claims to be add to the mix.
You will need to EAT feckloads. Whether you are breastfeeding or not, you'll be shattered and in love with your baby and overwhelmed with the excitement of it all - so eat. Broccoli if you want, but also a Twirl.
I think that's all, shout if you want more pearls of wisdom but ideally don't. You got this mama.