Thursday, 20 September 2012

Guest Blogger: Grans Tips For New Mums

The article below has kindly been written by Shirley (@sdcrafts) She shares some wise words for all us new mums out there. I have already taken her advice. Take a read and let us know what you think, maybe leave a comment below:

The thing is, Grans say they know best. In fact, they don't know it all from the beginning for all Grans were once New Mums - they know what it is like. The most valuable gift a Gran can bestow on a New Mum is experience. Here's mine, for All of You.

I became a Mum in 1981 and again in 1983. It was a short gap and, yes, I did have two lots of nappies as Older Son was still in night ones. But if you've just had a First Baby, you don't want to know that!

My 5 Best Tips

1 - Sleep When Baby Sleeps

Oh yes you can, even in the first few weeks. Yes, you will be upside down with your sleep patterns; yes, New Baby will be demanding, an alien in the nest, so new that you are thrown into a confused spin of emotional hormones. And you are lactating, healing, the centre of New Baby's attention.

You are Everything. Neglect your sleep at your peril. But How, you wail. Simple. Sleep when Baby sleeps. Always - right through the Day and those precious snatches of the night. Only break this pattern for essential and limited friends & family visits and medical appointments.

Everything else can go hang. Your priority is to Sleep when Baby Sleeps.

2 - Do NO Unnecessary Housework - Just the Hygienic Stuff

If a visiting Mum (now Gran) cannot push the vacuum around for you or peel some potatoes, refer her to me. If your partner is unable to do ALL the shopping and most of the cooking for a few weeks, ditto. If you are ABLE to do ALL the aforementioned jobs AND adhere to Tip #1, you really don't need my advice at all. Go and make a new 3-piece suite and landscape the garden - leave us to the important stuff.

My point is, your New Baby needs You and a Home that will not give him/her dysentery. Your New Baby is not in the least bit interested in ultra-hoovered carpets, plumped up cushions, overflowing waste paper bins.
But your New Baby and You (OK and your partner) do need clean loos, rinsed out wash basins, clean hand towels, a reasonably pristine kitchen. Just clear up as you Both go - that's you and your partner, not the Baby who obviously doesn't yet know one end of a loo brush from the other. Actually, permanent loo brushes are evil - swap over to the disposable kind - I love them! But I am quite sad, really.

So, you need an as-germ-free home as possible, not a palace (unless you have servants). Your New Baby needs you, milk, a clean bum, sleep and not a lot else. Concentrate on those things.

3 - Watch the Pennies

You have prepared your Home for the New Arrival. Well, s/he is here now. Installed, lock, stock and wailing cry in the Nursery. If you have all essential supplies, for the foreseeable future (that's around 18 years or 21 if University is chosen), your Child will not care a curtain hook as much as you what the Home looks like. My 3rd tip is not that you should all inhabit a Refuse Tip, but a home does not need a radical makeover every change of season. Ignore the TV, dismiss the magazines - make a Home not a Show House.

In the first few weeks of New Baby's life, use the things you have already and only buy the essentials - work out what those are before Baby arrives if reading this in advance of Labour Day (sorry to mention that word but if you haven't yet embraced the hard work to come, Get Ready).

4 - Eat Wisely & Spoil Yourself Too

If your are breastfeeding, you need to eat well - all the nutrients you have will go into your milk so you need extra for yourself too. That said, Breastfeeding was the best aid to weight loss I ever knew - I should still be having babies, silly me. That's why I'm podgy in my latter years!

Spoiling yourself means chocolate in moderation and alcohol NOT, unless you want a sozzled infant. I also recall eating a pokey curry and regretting it as I scooped up the resultant nappies the long night through. Monitor what you eat and see how it affects New Baby's motions (that's poo, not when New Baby's first step comes along).

5 - Ignore Me

This one is easy - I have passed on some of my benefits of hindsight, but my two sons are now 31 and nearly 29. So my Early Motherhood is Positively Prehistoric - Things Have Changed.

Still, I hope some of this heartfelt advice will help you understand that you are not alone - early motherhood has not changed at all.

New Babies need You and little else. You need Sleep, Good Food and Lots of Loving Support.


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