Pregnancy is an exciting time as you get ready for your baby’s arrival. You know your life is going to change completely, but wouldn’t it be great to really know what to expect in the first few months of life with a little one?
We asked some new parents for the top tips and parenting hacks they wish they had known about, and the best nuggets of advice they would offer to their pregnant friends…
1. Sleep when your baby sleeps
In the early days this is really important. It can take a baby ages to get into a day and night routine, so when they nod off you really do just have to put your head down as well. It’s tempting to try to try to catch up with washing and dishes instead, but I found that getting some sleep needs to be your top priority.
Jenna, mum to Noah
2. Make the most of your free time now
Before I had Poppy I had no idea how much free time I used to have. I wish I had done a bit more with it. My advice would be read a book, go to the cinema or theatre, go swimming, whatever you like doing, as it may be a while before you have any time to yourself again.
Sasha, mum to Poppy
3. Background noise can help
When Zofia was tiny we always tiptoed around to try not to wake her, but a little background noise, or white noise actually helped her get to sleep. They’ve been in your womb for 9 months and they’re used to constant background noise as well as the sound of your voice and your heartbeat.
Alina, mum to Zofia
4. When poonamis strike…
The envelope-style neck on your baby’s bodysuits actually has a useful purpose. In the event of a poonami you can easily slip the whole thing off from the shoulders down, rather than trying to wriggle it over your baby’s head! I only found this out when Jack was 4 months old, everyone should know about this!
Simon, dad to Jack
5. Coping with colic
Jamie suffered from colic from one month old. It was an awful time but I found that it was best to concentrate on soothing him rather than worrying about whether I was being a good parent. Laying him on his tummy on my lap and stroking his back helped. There’s no one cause of colic so it’s a case of trial and error until you find the solution to suit your baby, but don’t give up. In the end Colief Infant Drops were the thing that worked for us, and gave us all some much needed relief. I would definitely suggest trying them if your baby has symptoms of colic.
Victoria, mum to Jamie
6. Trust your instincts
My advice would be to listen to your baby and be patient. There are lots of tricky phases and it’s easy to worry that other parents might be judging you, but everything passes eventually. There’s a lot of advice out there about controlled crying and getting them into a routine. As time went on all the rules went out the window, but I found my own way of doing things and that helped my confidence as a mum.
Kate, mum to Gracie
7. Hot tip
My best tip is for night feeds, especially during colder weather. Keep a hot water bottle in your bed, and when you get up to do a night feed, just slip it into your baby’s Moses basket to keep it warm while you feed them. Then, take it out just before you slip your baby back in. Your baby will be lovely and warm and full at the end of their feed. The hot water bottle trick meant Melissa hardly noticed going from my arms back to bed.
Dani, mum to Melissa
8. Out and about
Newborns are actually very portable, so if you feel up to it, I’d say get out and about with them as much as you can. Later, when they’re in more of a routine, you may feel reluctant to disrupt this, but when they’re tiny and can sleep anywhere in their carry cot you can just take them along with you.
David, dad to Evie
9. Don’t believe the hype
Social media is all well and good, but don’t forget you need to take it all with a pinch of salt, especially those Instagram shots of other people’s perfect homes / lives / babies. Ditto those competitive parents whose babies are apparently sleeping through the night at three weeks’ old!
Fatima, mum to Moussa
10. One day at a time
Being a parent is the toughest job in the world. It’s also the most rewarding, but it’s hard work, and you’re allowed to say that. Being honest about it doesn’t make you a bad parent and it often helps to get things off your chest to a friend or another parent who understands.
Rachel, mum to Alfie
You should always see your GP if you’re worried about your baby’s health, but did you know that your Tesco pharmacist can help with lots of childhood health queries? For more parenting tips tailored to your baby’s age and stage, sign up to Tesco Baby Club.