How are you doing?
Both I expect, while ridiculously in love with your beautiful new bundle(s)! My amazing little baby girl is actually no longer a newborn, she's now almost TEN months old! I mean, where did those months go?! I hold her and think 'errm when did you get so big and heavy?!' She's a unit!
My baby girl is actually my second child as I also have a three year old little boy, a.k.a the Threenager!! If you are yet to have a three year old, don't be scared of the 'terrible twos', just prepare yourself for the 'troublesome threes'! Haha sorry to scare you! These are my two little munchkins below!
*This blog post contains affiliate links. They are only products I have bought and used myself and can therefore recommend.
Anyway, back on to my subject today of top tips for mums with newborns! I did start reading baby help books when my baby girl, Toriana was a newborn, but as you've seen, she's rapidly grown to the tender age of ten months already, so she's not quite so new anymore!
These tips are a mixture of what I have learned myself through being a mummy (I do feel a bit like a veteran already), tips from friends and also some goodies from books I've read! So enjoy and I hope they help you!
Tip #1 Cuddles & Snuggles
Hold your baby as much as possible! Don't listen to all this "if you don't put them down, they'll get clingy" malarky!! What these little tiny creatures need is an abundance of love and affection. They've been warm, cozy and protected for the last nine months in your tummy, so now they're out in the big bad world, they need your warmth and security. So just cuddle, snuggle, and hold your beautiful bundle as much as possible! They actually say your child is more likely to feel self confident and secure if they have been given lots of affection.
To see more benefits of showering your baby's with cuddles, read this article!
Tip #2 Don't Give Up!
If you're breastfeeding but you're thinking of giving up, just try your best to carry on if you can! Your precious amazing milk really benefits your baby's immune system as well as adds to tip #1 where you get to give them extra cuddles and bonding time, although obviously you can do this with a bottle too! Admittedly breastfeeding can hurt for about a couple of weeks while your nipples toughen up!! But Lansinoh lanolin cream which I used, is great for that!
Lots of mums stop breastfeeding because they think their baby is unsettled, not getting enough milk, not latching on properly, or because it causes them pain or discomfort, among other reasons. You may have heard about 'On Demand' feeding and it does literally mean on demand! Breastfed babies do need milk often, and yes it can be half an hour after their last feed! Their little bodies digest it so quickly that they need more!
So if you baby is crying a lot for milk, don't think that you don't have enough because you do! Your body will always produce the right amount of milk for your baby. It's just that your baby wants it very often! And it won't be long until they want it less and less. Just think of all those extra wonderful cuddles you'll get, plus all the extra time to sit down and do nothing else!! So what, you can't shower one day or the washing up doesn't get done! Never mind!
My little boy had tongue tie so it was very uncomfortable to feed him as he didn't latch on very well, was jaundiced and very sleepy but I had amazing support from midwives at my local hospital. He had his tongue tie cut at three weeks old and I went on to feed for 14 months, when we were both ready to finish! Even a few days or weeks of breastfeeding is beneficial.
If your baby is having problems latching on, speak to your health visitor, midwife or support workers at the hospital or a local breastfeeding support group. There is loads of support our there. Another contact is La Leche League which is a national breastfeeding support network.
Obviously breastfeeding is not for everyone, but I just wanted to add this tip in case mums were stopping for the reasons above!
Tip #3 Wear Boobable Clothes!
My friend came up with this cool word and now I've copied it! Daily I look in my wardrobe for clothes that are boobable! I flick through items of clothing that I realise I'm not going to be able to wear until I stop breastfeeding (unless I get a rare night out!), but I don't mind because right now I'm grateful and happy that I can breastfeed! You may have to leave your favourite clothes in the wardrobe for a little while, and find yourself staring at your clothes thinking you can't wear this or that, but you will again one day! And it's worth the wait!
I normally wear a vest top over my sexy clippy feeding bra!
Then I'll wear a loose/baggy top over the vest top so when feeding I can lift the loose top up and pull the vest top down. It's discreet and if in public nobody can see my boobies!
Or you can use a breastfeeding cover like the one I've got (link below). It's great as completely covers you and baby but you can still look down and see them and they can see light! I used mine for the first few months when I felt more self conscious feeding in public, but now my not so little baby likes to play and pull it about so I gave up with it!
Tip #4 Read Mummy Blogs
If you want something to pick you up, make you laugh, pick up tips and advice from or keep up with mummy life stuff, then why not read a couple of mummy blogs. You can read them while feeding, when baby is sleeping (if you're not as well!), or even read them aloud to your baby! Babies love the sound of their mummy's voice and enjoy being read to. It doesn't have to be a nursery rhyme! I love Sophie McCartney of 'Tired 'N Tested'. She is so funny and witty and her posts make me laugh especially because I can relate to her baby and toddler antics!
Also try Slummy Single Mummy and The Unmumsy Mum. They'll lift your spirits if you're feeling low or in despair! You won't feel so alone either as they'll be making light of tough mummy situations that you're probably going through! I also love The Reaslistic Mama as she's authentic and gives good advice along with great freebies! I've also learned loads from her blogging course which has taught me how to earn extra money just by writing about things I enjoy! Click here if you want to have a little peek at her Successful Startup course.
Tip #5 Write A Daily Baby Journal
To tell the truth, I didn't do this with my second baby! Sorry Toriana! I did with my first, Tommy. I wrote about what we did everyday for the whole first year of his life! So I guess it's like a memoir that I can go back and read again and again in years to come and remember when he first did things and the fun things we did! Believe me, you will forget stuff! Blame it on the baby brain! Maybe just do it for the first six months though as after a while I did get a bit like "I really can't be bothered to write anymore!" And when your baby is moving about and sleeping less, you'll have much less time on your hands to do anything!
Not quite sure how I'll tell Toriana when she's older that I didn't do a 'first year of your life journal' for her when I did for Tommy! No favouritism, just that when you have two young children, you have no time to do ANYTHING apart from the necessary, if you're lucky!
Tip #6 Blow In Their Face
You know when your baby hurts themselves or is unbearably upset, they do that thing before the massive cry which looks like they're holding their breath don't they? It's so scary and you're just willing them to make a noise. For example a toddler friend, by accident dropped quite a heavy toy on my baby's head and it looked like she couldn't breathe as so upset. My mummy friend then said to blow in her face. It quickly makes them realise they need to breathe again and therefore the cry comes quicker. Scary I know, but I'm so grateful for this advice as it has definitely worked with my little one!
Tip #7 Distraction On The Changing Mat
When these tiny bubbas grow a little and learn to wriggle about, they'll be rolling all over the place while trying to change their nappy! Or they might cry as they don't like laying down for a bum change! So I just started singing the 'Wind the bobbin up' song to Toriana along with doing the actions, and she stopped crying and wriggling! Success! Try it and see if it works for you! Also you can use another distraction technique such as giving them a pack of wipes (closed, or you'll you have a string of wipes trailing from the packet!) that they can rustle. Basically just give them something to hold which distracts them for the few seconds you need to change their bum! At ten months old, I am literally crawling after Toriana trying to change and dress her!
Tip #8 Don't Be Too Smelly!
I mean nice smelly don't worry! Although being a mummy to a newborn often means your hygiene standards get a little lower, when you're not able to have a shower for a day or two, or three!!
They say to not wear perfume, body sprays etc around the little munchkins because they're only just getting used to breathing alone. We don't want to overload their little lungs with strong scents. This goes for fresh flowers too as they release pollen into the air which is an allergen. It'll make your perfume last so much longer if you can't wear it for a while, so there is a positive for you there too!
Tip #9 Find Your Own Sensory Toys
When they're really teeny tiny, they won't be playing with anything, but it won't be long! As they get more mobile with their hands, they love to touch and feel different things. There are tons of baby toys on the market, but they do quickly get bored of them! They only entertain them for so long, so why not make your own (if you're feeling particularly crafty!)
To save money, you can buy second hands toys on Facebook selling sites or eBay etc or you could use what you already have in your home! Also known as sensory toys!
These free sensory toys could include: a shower puff sponge, non sharp kitchen utensils like a whisk, cut up wool in a ball pit, big buttons, zips, hairbrush, dried pasta in a plastic bottle you can shake, sparkly material, bits of carpet and so on. These all make fabulous toy ideas!
Tip #10 Stimulate Your Baby
This can be through just looking at them and smiling. Eye contact is so important as your baby will feel your love, attention and affection. Poke your tongue out, move their arms and legs about, talk to them, sing to them and show them things. You may feel silly at first taking part in a one sided conversation, so just narrate what's going on and what you're doing. For example you might say "look at those big green trees over there" or "we're just changing your stinky nappy!" Soon talking to your baby will feel normal and natural.
Children learn to speak by being spoken to. They don't learn speech by listening passively to others talking to each other or from the television. They learn through being spoken to, so it's never too early to talk to your baby and give them lots of eye contact and your full attention when you do!
We've reached the ten tips, but lets squeeze another one in!
Extra Tip #11 Get Out Of The House!
When you're physically able to, go out! You don't want to be staring at your four walls all day. There's a whole new world out there for your baby to see, even if it is just the corner shop! See friends and go to baby groups so your baby gets to see different faces, hear different voices and sounds and see new scenery. Getting out is beneficial for you too as you get to meet other mums in similar situations, breathe in fresh air and just feel like you've accomplished the hardest thing in the world - getting out of the house with your baby and all their baggage! It does feel like a huge amount of effort to get out of the house (believe me it's even harder when you have a toddler and a baby!) but it is worth it and I bet you will so much better for doing it!
As well as local mummy Facebook groups you can join, there's a national one called Mummy Social where you just enter you location and it puts you in touch with other mummies in that area. Netmums and Mumsnet are good too. Check them out when you have a spare few minutes!
I hope my tips have been helpful to you and that you are enjoying being mummies to your beautiful little bundles!
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Bye for now, Lisa x
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