Thursday, 13 July 2017

Top Tips For Surviving The First 6 Months As A New Parent

I've always been quite frank about my experience on being a parent and if you've read any of my previous parenting posts, you won't be shocked to find that this one will be no different. Life with a newborn isn't the beautiful, frilly filled experience so many people seem to paint it out to be, so I thought I'd share my top tips for surviving the first 6 months.

Top tips for surviving the first 6 months as a new parent

I don't think anyone really knows how they'll cope with a new baby. I know I didn't have the first idea, I had visions of how I thought it would be but the reality was genuinely that much harder. You get given advice from everyone and their wife but the world of babies changes so quickly and what as acceptable last year won't cut the mustard now.

I cannot emphasis this enough but routine, routine, routine. Not only because when you're sleep deprived, hurting, emotional and have a screaming baby in your arms that it's easier to just follow a routine that worry about what you've got to do but it also makes a world of difference for baby. Don't get me wrong, the first few weeks my routine was out the window but once we got into one, it did make life alot easier.
My little dude is 7 months today and our days (depending on groups etc) go something like this;

6am; wake up & bottle
6.20-8am; nap
8am; downstairs, he plays while I eat breakfast and get his food ready.
8.30am; his 'breakfast'.
9.00am; upstairs to get dressed and watch cartoons while I get myself ready.
9.45am; leave house to go to group
10.45am; return home, bottle.
11.30-12.30pm; play time
12.30 - 1.30pm; my lunch and his lunch
1.30 - 3pm; play time
3.00 - 3.45; nap time
3.45 - 4.15pm; food for him
4.15pm - 5.30pm; play time, bath time and get ready for bed
5.45 -6.00pm; bottle
6.00pm - 6.40pm; bed

As we are currently teething, he's waking up around 3 times a night but in between the painful teeth we usually get a good 12 hours of undisturbed sleep, which not only am I eternally grateful for but means he wakes up refreshed and happy too. On bad days this routine means I don't have to think about what I'm doing, I just do it. It makes life so much easier!

If someone offers you help - take it. Seriously, an hour away from baby can do wonders for you and them. There is no shame in wanting some alone time to have a bath, a nap or even catch up on a TV show. Babies are hard work and you only make it harder on yourself by being stubborn and turning down help! When we had the infamous 4 day screaming fit before he was diagnosed with reflux, in between the crying, sleep deprivation and feedings I cannot explain how utterly grateful I was to anyone who would take him, even if it was just so I could have a wee in peace. I ended up in a walk in centre, with no makeup on, baby sick down my top and greasy hair in desperation that someone would be able to make him stop crying. Thankfully he got diagnosed with reflux and a few days later aided with Gaviscon, it was all just a very bad memory.

Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about how you choose to feed your baby. Breast or bottle at the end of the day as long as your baby is fed, loved and happy it doesn't matter. I chose to bottle feed mine as it meant me and my husband could share baby feeds and breastfeeding just wasn't something that I wanted to do. Hell I even pre-make my bottles the night before and my little boy is healthy and happy, so don't let anyone make you feel like you're less of a parent!

I know they are the last thing you want to do in the chaos that is newborn world but go to baby groups. It might take you a few weeks or different groups to find the ones you like (aka other parents are bitchy as fuck) but once you find some, they really do make a difference. Not only do they offer a bit of adult conversation (even if it is just about babies) but you pick up some fab tips, your little one gets to socialise and it gets you out the house. 

The worst days I've had as a parent are definitely the days I've stayed indoors. I always try to get out the house at least once a day. It might be to a group or a walk around the block but a bit of fresh air does wonders for cabin fever. I've had so many days that my little dude has been a total arse so I've popped out for a walk and 5 mins later he's fast asleep and I'm enjoying the quiet time and exercise.

You are always told to sleep when the baby sleeps and to be honest I never could. However around the last month or so my little one always likes me to lay down with him for his afternoon nap, so we lay out the blankets on the floor and get snuggled up. There's been many times now I've woken up by him grabbing my face and I can't even remember falling asleep. These cheeky little naps seriously help us both be in better moods and lets be honest, housework can wait.

Believe it or not there's no right or wrong. Every single parent is winging it but at the end of the day as long as your baby is happy and healthy and your well, surviving, you are bossing parenting. Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, only feed them organic or roll with jarred, do baby led weaning or co-sleep, in a few years time none of that will matter. Hell, as long as it makes you both happy no one else opinion matters. At the end of the day you know your baby better than anyone else so do what works for you.

One thing people ask me if how do you survive with lack of sleep? You survive because you have too to be honest. I've cried, I've thrown tantrums, I've stood in the kitchen and sobbed over the kettle while he screamed in the living room. You get through it, you're stronger than you think you are and more capable than you can ever imagine. My husband used to get in a 5pm and I'd hand him our little dude and simply go to sleep on the sofa until 11.30 when he headed to bed. You will get through it and that first time they sleep through the night you'll wake up with a total wave of panic.
We have been super lucky with little man as at 10 weeks we popped him into his own room in his own bed (bore off with your judgements thanks) and he started sleeping a full 12-13 hours. Until then he slept in his moses basket next to our bed. We swapped the moses for his cot at around 6 weeks as he wouldn't settle in his moses and never looked back!

Like I said before, you do you. Whatever works for you is the right way to bring up your baby and survive the first 6 months but these are the things that made a massive difference to my experience of being a new parent!

Do you have any tips for new parents?

Until next time,


1 comment

  1. It's so refreshing to see an honest post about parenting. I am obviously no expert but quite often social media and blogging makes parenting appear like a Pinterest inspired doddle! I think you are a fabulous mum and I love seeing pictures of your little man!


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