You've waited 9 long months to meet your baby. You've gone through hours of painful labour or even a c-section and now it's time to take your new baby home from hospital. What you don't know: The first weeks can be a shock to the system. Here are my 5 top tips on how to survive as a new mum:
Don't let guests stress you
It's nice to show off your baby, but you've got to rest at some point. Limit the number of visitors and the time they are staying. If you don't want to seem rude come up with a little code word for your other half so that he can politely let your visitors know that you and baby might need some rest now. Also, remember that no one expects you to be the hostess with the mostess. If someone wants a cup of tea or coffee, let them help themselves.
Forget about the household
The first weeks are about getting to know each other as a family. You'll learn about your baby's needs, when he/she sleeps or when he/she likes to cuddle and most of all you will find out that their needs will totally clash with your previous routine. But don't let that stress you. Lean back, take the time to bond with your baby and let the household wait. Does it really matter if you empty the dishwasher today or tomorrow?
Do your own thing
If you've gone over due you will have already experienced all the 'good advice' that people throw at you, if not, you will experience it now. It will come from all sides, from men and women, from neighbours you have never talked to, complete strangers and people who don't even have children. They'll tell you how long to let your baby cry for, which nappies to use and how to get them into a routine and they'll all tell you something different. Listen, nod and do your own thing. You'll know what is best for your baby.
Well, at least if you are breast feeding. I didn't believe it, but breast feeding is draining. Especially during growth spurts it can feel as if your little one is sucking all your energy out of your body. So sod the weight shifting and keep your energy levels up by eating regularly and having the odd snacks. Also, have a drink ready for every feed. You can get terribly thirsty while feeding your little vampire.
And last but not least...
kiss and cuddle your new family member as much as you possibly can. Cuddling your baby and looking into his/her little face when they smile at you is the most rewarding feeling in the world. So make sure you take as much time as possible to be close to your little bundle of joy. My baby girl is only 5 weeks old and I'm already telling everyone she's growing up too quickly.
If you are a mum already, what are your survival tips? Mums-to-be, did people give you advice on how to be a mum and if so, are you going to stick with it or will you throw it over board to make your own experiences?