Listen to the music.
Hold their tiny body close to your comforting heart and please dance among the mess.
Do not listen to the whispers that you are spoiling them.
Hold them close and respond to their cries. This is what they need. Newborns need your arms.
Wear you baby. Buy a good wrap and/or sling. If baby has colic it is exhausting for you both. Wearing your baby relieves the stress for both you and your little one.
Please, please, please sleep when baby sleeps. Screw the housework. Forget the cooking. Take every offer of help going. Do not feel guilty, people like to feel needed and to know they have been of help.
Breastfeed if you can. It is a beautiful experience if it goes well and you have the support available in times of trouble. If you are unable, do not beat yourself up. As long as your babies needs are met they do not know any difference.
If you decide to give them a soother/dummy it is your choice. When it comes time to take it away sometimes earlier is better. Before they turn six months about 5.5months to be exact. This way a big attachment has not been formed yet. My number 1 baby had no problem when I took it away. However I wont lie to you with baby number 2 it was hell, but it was so worth it. Six days, we had of stomach churning stress. He now happily goes to sleep cuddling his blue teddy bear. Yes cruel I know, but he was waking me at night only because the dummy had fallen out of his mouth. I just had to get rid of it.
Do not listen to the “sleeping through the night talk”. It has been my experience that they sleep through the night when THEY are ready and not when YOU are ready. You may reach a point where you cannot take waking up every 2 hours anymore. You may decide to try some “sleep training”.
Just know it can take about a week or more so hang in there.
Follow babies lead. Put them down to sleep when they are tired and not when the book tells you too. Throw those baby routine books away. Get to know your individual baby, read their cue’s. How do I know they are tired?
Follow the Sleep, Eat, Play routine in that order. By doing this you can begin to work out what their cries mean. As soon as they wake they are fed, then it is playtime when they can gaze into their mamas loving eyes and listen to her sweet lullaby’s.
Watch for them yawning, turning away from you, rubbing their eyes. Lay them down in their cot.
If baby only sleeps on you, let them during the day. I miss those cuddles with a tiny bundle on my chest. If they only sleep for forty minutes at a time, go with it. Do not stress yourself trying to get them to sleep longer. They will eventually.
Think about buying a safe co-sleeper. Have your baby in bed with you in their own safe space. It is a beautiful thing both for you and bubba.
Look after you! Get out of the house, meet with other mums. Take half an hour for yourself most days. Go for a walk or have a bath. Let you husband/partner take care of you, you are a team.
You will never experience tiredness like it. You will think it is never going to end. But gradually it gets easier. You will be able to survive on fours hours sleep.
There will be moments when you think you cannot continue, but you will.
There will be nights that you pace the floors. The crying will fill the house. Share the load!
Mothers guilt. Take it, scrunch it up and throw it with all your strength into the bin. It is a waste
of energy and precious time. You are doing an amazing job.
When introducing food be relaxed about it. You cannot get it wrong. Follow loosely a baby-led weaning plan, just be mindful of allergies and take note what they have and have not tried, introducing different types of food one at a time.
Have them sit at the dinner table with you, even if they are just eating a banana.
Take photos, but also take videos. Videos are amazing to look back on. Their first gurgle, their first crawl, their first step. They will love watching them when they become that curious three year old. Make sure you are in the photographs. Those family pictures are the golden one’s. Those pictures are the ones that will tell the story when you are gone.
Hold them tight, hold them long. Sing to them, talk to them, read to them. Tickle them and kiss them from head to toe. Savour their deliciousness.
Every stage is fleeting.
Every stage is precious.
Lastly but by no means least. If the normal baby blues lasts longer than two weeks. If you feel down, sad and alone. If you worry excessively about the baby. If you feel disconnected from your baby. If you feel guilty for no good reason, if you have scary thoughts. Please speak to a professional. Do not keep these feelings to yourself. DO NOT BE AFRAID!
I have wanted to write this post for a long time. I have felt like maybe I was not qualified.
I am still struggling with motherhood, three and a half years and two babies later. I have found it so very hard but I have enjoyed it immensely. There is nothing like nurturing your own child. I guess having found it hard I have also learned some lessons. I have worried about things that I now know are unimportant. I am learning what it is that truly matters the most! So I have tried to put my lessons into words. There is stuff I know I have missed, there is so much more I could say.
What I want you to do is dance. Dance to the music and hold them tight. They will be running away from you in the blink of an eye. Accept help and do not listen to the “he should be doing this” and “you are spoiling her”. You are nurturing them, that is your job in whatever way feels right for you. Trust and believe in your instincts, do what you feel.