When I was pregnant I searched the internet to find out what I need to be a parent. Bouncers, playmats, a lovely expensive pram, bottles, and a machine thing that makes the bottles up for you were the things I kept coming across that I apparently needed.
Well, it turns out I needed none of them so I thought I’d write my own list for parents-to-be. (We did have a playmat and bouncer but they lasted 5 minutes)
1- A sling.
Okay, so originally babywearing was only something that weirdos did. (Admittedly I am one of those weirdos but shh) However they are becoming more and more popular due to how bloody useful they are. Everyone knows how much newborn babies enjoy cuddles, and as lovely as these cuddles are, for most of us sitting on the sofa all day long cuddling our babies just isn’t practical especially when there is a massive pile of dishes to do, tea to make and about 28 loads of washing piles to sort out. Well, a sling is an amazing solution for this minor dilemma. Some babies are perfectly content with lying in their moses baskets whilst you get on with your housework and daily tasks however most of us are blessed with little bundles of love who would disagree with the concept of lying down peacefully for an hour or so while you get on with things.
Stretchy wraps are perfect for newborns up until 6ish months. Here is a photo of 3 week old Freddie in the sling.
When Freddie was around 3 months we bought a Tula and newborn insert to use too. It took a while to adjust to a buckle carrier after being so used to a wrap but now I love it, especially now that we dont have to faff around with the insert too. (He grew out of that around 4/5 months.)
Here he is on my back, we started back carrying around 5-6 months. This is perfect for when he’s having a cranky day and I need to get on with housework or cooking etc.
2- Breast pads and nursing bras/vests.
Breast pads are a must especially for the first few weeks. Luckily I wasn’t much of a leaker but I know lots of breastfeeding mommas who still use them 6+ months into their breastfeeding journey.
I didn’t think nursing bras were necessary and were just ugly souvenirs of motherhood. But nope, they are very much necessary. (To most mums anyway). For the first few months I just wore my normal bras however the under wiring caused persistent mastitis so I have since ditched the bras and just wear nursing vests instead. (I can’t believe I’ve just told you all that, don’t worry my boobs are still at a normal-ish level and haven’t reached my knees yet.)
3- A supportive partner
Whether that supportive partner is your other half, your mum, your best friend or a random person you grabbed from the street, it is so important to have that support within the first few weeks-months who can take charge of all the less important things like cooking and cleaning while you and your baby get to know eachother and establish feeding. Obviously things get harder when there are other children but I haven’t crossed that bridge yet!
4- Babygrows, vests, socks and cardigans. And lots of ’em.
For the first few months you probably won’t bother dressing your baby in anything other than cute babygrows and cardi’s. After all, they spend most of the day sleeping, and lets be honest, who likes sleeping in jeans?!
Here is Freddie at 4 weeks old looking gorgeous.
5- Facebook groups
Joining Facebook groups is essential. Especially if you’re breastfeeding. There are loads of breastfeeding groups that are amazing. I joined a few when I was about 6 months pregnant and if it wasn’t for those groups then I would have probably given up breastfeeding in the early weeks. These Facebook groups equipped me with everything I needed to know before Freddie even got here. There are also many other Facebook groups for parenting.
A list of my favourite groups are here
- UK Breastfeeding and Parenting Support
- Gentle Parenting UK
- Slings and Off Topic Discussion
- Babywearing Spotted
So, if you are reading this and you’re a mum-to-be I hope that was somewhat useful. And if you’re reading this and you are already a mum, leave a comment and tell me your top 5 essentials!
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