My baby is 3 weeks old now!
Although I did a lot of research into having a baby and the things I would need, there are some things that I got quite wrong or had to learn by experience.
Having a baby is a difficult but amazing experience, you can’t really prepare for it fully and I’m sure everyone will have something they didn’t buy or was caught off guard with something! Here are my tips for getting through the first few weeks with a newborn.
Get sleepsuits that have built-in feet and mittens. Bonus if you get the ones with zips rather than poppers!
Baby outfits are so cute but most don’t have feet and mittens on them. Getting socks and mittens to stay on a baby is not easy! They do scratch themselves so mittens are a must! Socks actually work better for mittens than mittens.
I had most of my baby clothes given and the sleepsuits do have mittens and feet in but they are poppers. Trying to get poppers fastened when the baby’s legs are going mental is not an easy task. It’s like trying to dress a worm.
If I had to start from scratch, I’d just buy around 10 – 15 zipped sleepsuits and vests.
I bought a pack of two baby bath towels, you know, the ones with the little baby hoods?
We ended up buying a further three white hand towels – this was for the changing mats. The changing mats are cold so we had one to put down on top of the mats to stop him feeling cold, also this meant we could pat him down after wiping him so we weren’t putting a nappy over damp skin.
We did end up buying a second changing mat for downstairs. So now we have one in the living room and one in the nursery – I already bought a caddy to have nappy supplies downstairs.
Wow, I really underestimated how much milk would leak from my boobs! Turns out I needed more than two nursing bras as I needed a new one each day. As soon as my milk came in, I leaked so much!
I ended up buying another 4. It is worth trying different styles. I hate the ones with the clips to pull the bra down and prefer the ones that are just cross over cloth so you can pull down and get your boob out without faffing with the clips as I just end up with both unfastened and my boobs out as I can’t fasten with one hand between swapping sides and it just does not feel comfortable.
I only bought a packet of muslin cloths as I didn’t think I’d use them, but I actually use them loads! I assumed I’d just want to use wipes to clean sick up but the clothes are much better, plus bigger for putting over your shoulder or under the baby’s chin.
It’s best to have them to hand both upstairs and downstairs and they need washing often, so stock up!
Food and drink
It’s time to start practising making tea and buttering toast with one hand. At 3 am.
Also, train your partner to bring your food cut up into bite-size pieces so you and eat with your fingers of one hand while breastfeeding.
When it comes to drinks, a water bottle with a straw that you can have on the sofa/chair with you is a great idea as reaching over to get a drink from a side table can cause the baby to unlatch, or wake him if he’s asleep.
When you pack your hospital bag, pack it for ease of access so you are able to describe to others where things are. Also, go through it with your partner and make sure you have a refresh of where everything is closer to your due date. Don’t pack it weeks in advance and just forget about it.
It’s hard to move around after giving birth and often midwives will be going in your bag to get things out for you, so make sure baby’s first outfit, your change of clothes after the birth and things like shower gel, toothpaste, maternity pads and pants are easy to get to and easy to explain to there’s where to get them.
I ended up having a bed bath after my labour and the midwife had to find my shower gel to wash me and nightie to dress me. It’s not glamourous but you want it to be as easy as possible.