there was me thinking i was going to post about baby a few times a week, or every time i took a few nice photos… HA! first thing i have learnt, looking after a baby really is all consuming, i’m lucky if i can eat lunch and get dressed, let alone keep my online presence healthy. it really is about surviving for the first few months. keeping baby fed, clean, warm and happy is the daily challenge. and as soon as you accomplish all those things, it’s time to re do them.
i also wrongly assumed that once he was born i would be immediately in tune with him, knowing exactly what he wanted. nope. but this is half the fun, starring at him for hours on end, trying to read him and learn his signals, trying to communicate. for me, the changing mat is the best place to bond. we are face to face, he is awake, and i have both hands free to grab brightly coloured objects or to sing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes over and over. at around 5 weeks this all started to pay off, as i was blessed with smiles, closely followed by ‘talking’… best thing ever.
so my advice from what i have learnt over the last three months?
newborn babies really do love swaddling, it looks mean, it’s the opposite. dummy’s are not the devil. the hair dryer turns into a magic sleep machine, and exercise balls will take the strain out of ALL THE BOUNCING.
take lots of photos, all the time, of everything. you can edit them down next time you are feeding or stuck under a sleeping baby and don’t dare move
buy ‘one handed food’ you can eat straight away. wash fruit before storing it, prepare anything you can in advance. not only will it save you time and stress, it’ll make you feel like you’ve got your shit together, which at this time, does not happen as much as you’d like.
set up stations, like you do with the changing table, where you put everything at arms length, do this everywhere. if you are breast feeding you are going to need a glass of water, some entertainment, maybe some food, some form of communication, a muslin, a blanket, maybe a dummy… i have a day and a night station, which means i don’t have to run around the house with a crying hungry baby trying to find somewhere good to feed.
let your standards slip, find a new class of tidy, leave those dirty dishes, enjoy the chaos for a while.
don’t try to be superwoman, surround yourself with helpful things and people…
things that have helped me..
PRISCILLA DUNSTAN’S BABY LANGUAGE. a lady with photographic memory for sound noticed her baby made certain sounds for certain needs, she then went on to test the theory with more than 1,000 babies around the world. the noises are natural reflexes the baby makes, for example making a na sound when hungry as their mouth is making a sucking motion. it’s not voodoo (people give me a stupid look when i explain it to them) it is nature helping us out!
BREAST FEEDING APP. unless your memory stood the test of pregnancy and new motherhood, this will help you keep track of everything!
ARRIVAL BREAST FEEDING SUPPORT. i’m going to say it, breast feeding is hard, especially if there are complications (a story for another day) it can all be very overwhelming. these ladies, local to Ipswich (do look into people in your area) came to my house, were warm and friendly, then reassuring, and then literally turned it all around for me. they recognised Max was tongue tied, explained my options and put me in touch with another lovely lady to quickly get it sorted out. if it were not for these ladies i would have given up. give them a call if you are struggling even a little bit.
FIVE TO THRIVE. as much as motherhood should be learnt from older generations, some may have a very old fashioned, and unhealthy way of dealing with babies. this is a round up of everything we have learnt about babies and people in the last 50 years, we don’t use lead pencils anymore if you catch my drift?
the biggest revelation i have had since having a baby (and bear with me on this one), is that babies are actually just people put into an alien world. they have been put into a brand new body they need to learn how to work, in a brand new world they need to figure out. they have all the tools there, they are very very smart, they just need to completely learn how to communicate. it is scary and very hard work for them. so rather than just babying him and seeing crying as noise, i now want to calm and comfort him, try to figure out what he is trying to tell me, and in return help explain the world to him.
sorry got a bit deep there, will definitely post a fluffier piece next time!