Letter to myself... what to do and what to get for your baby

 

This is the letter I would have written to myself before our baby son arrived... had I known what I know now.

 

Dear Me,

Batten down the hatches, fill the freezer with ready meals and prepare for the next few months to pass by in a blur. Never again will your emotions be such a toxic cocktail of happiness, fear and anxiety and sheer fatigue. Forget academia – the steepest learning curve of your life is about to start.

 

Giving birth hurts... A LOT. Get over it. Don’t listen when NCT try to tell you to breathe steadily and visualise the waves lapping at the shore. When you’re trying to pass something that resembles a bowling ball, a tropical beach will be the furthest thing from your mind. Take the drugs early. Don’t be a martyr.

 

Now, down to the practicalities. A whole industry has built up around parenthood and you can fill your home with heaps of stuff you don’t need and waste money on a whim. Here’s what we’ve learnt:

 

  • You don’t need a pram – just a pushchair which lies flat and a car seat which fits its frame.

  • Forget what sanctimonious idiots say about dummies. They work – sucking is hugely soothing for babies and helps them to sleep. We love the Mamm ones with the silk teat.

  • It’s good to get babies used to the bottle early as it gives you flexibility and means your partner can put them to bed too.

  • We love the Naty disposable nappies and buy in bulk to save money

  • Our favourite wet wipes are Kinder by Nature from Sainsbury’s (organic ingredients and no nasties)

  • You’ll need nipple pads and maybe some Lansolin to stop the soreness

  • Grobags for babies are amazing (like a baby sleeping bag) and we used these almost from the start. They come in different togs, depending on the weather. In the summer you can even get special lightweight ones made of muslin.

  • Don’t buy too many Newborn clothes - they grow so fast!

  • Splash out on a Bumbo (little chair thing) which enables them to sit upright from a young age

  • Having some kind of activity frame is great whilst changing nappies. Ours is from ikea and our son loves it: http://m.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/functional/18681/18716/#/gb/en/catalog/products/art/70108177/

  • You can sterilise bottles in the dishwasher

  • We love the Moby sling for newborns and the Ergo sling for bigger babies

  • Check out Cook meals – a lifesaver when you’re sick of takeaway and too tired to cook

  • Also buy ready meals – in the early weeks it can be hard to remember to eat lunch

  • H&M do the best baby vests... they have some which button up the side so you don’t have to pull on over the baby’s head

  • Ebay is a great place to shop for bundles of baby clothes

  • Sophie the Giraffe is a rip off but babies really do love them

  • It’s worth buying the Wonder Weeks book or downloading the app – it highlights when baby may be a bit trickier and explains why (developmental milestones etc)

  • If you live in a house it’s worth having two lots of changing mats and paraphernalia (one for upstairs and one for downstairs)

  • Calpol works – you can use it if your baby has a fever or pain from the age of two months. And if baby is really poorly you can use special Ibruprofen too (check with your GP or pharmacist)

  • Forget trying to look glamorous at hospital – pack plenty of maternity pads, tracksuit bottoms and a lot of chocolate!

  • There’s no need to spend loads on a designer highchair – your baby doesn’t care and it’s not gonna look too pretty when it’s caked in babyrice. We love the Noodle by Cosatto because it has an optional tray and adjustable heights so baby can sit at the table with you.

  • Get you baby used to food early... official guidelines say 6 months but we started feeding our son at 17 weeks and so far he is a very adventurous eater.

  • Ella food is great for when you’re in a rush but it’s good to get babies used to different textures so their muscles develop and so they learn how to eat properly.

  • Wooden toys looks pretty but plastic, whizzy, noisy toys are so much fun!

  •  

Trust your instincts!

Motherhood is the most amazing thing – you will make heaps of new friends, people on public transport who previously wouldn’t look you in the eye will talk to you. Your baby will amaze and delight you every single day and you will never regret the day you decided to become a parent.

 

Enjoy it – relish every precious moment and keep a record!
Love from
Me

 

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