Mellow Mummy: Surviving a Newborn - A Mellow Guest Post : Taking life as it comes...

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Surviving a Newborn - A Mellow Guest Post

Today's Guest Post has some extremely mellow undertones. Ella from Bells' Little One shares her tips for remaining mellow with a newborn - I shall have to try and remind myself of these tips in a few months time.

Four months ago (almost to the day in fact) my life changed forever in the most amazing way. No matter how many books I read, classes I attended, websites I browsed or veteran mummies I spoke to... when it came to it, I really still had no idea! However, we humans are adaptable creatures (well most of us!) and although you can never 'perfect' parenting, you can at least get to a stage where you start to feel comfortable and (dare I say it?) confident in your ability to look after your baby.

Those first few weeks are definitely a 'sink or swim' moment for anybody's relationship (and sanity!) Luckily myself and my husband both chose the swim option and we quickly fell into a routine of sorts when it came to attending to this demanding little person's every whim. As I breastfed for the first three months, it would have been easy for him to feel left out of things but being the amazing daddy that he is, he quickly carved out his own little niches - and to this day, Oliver's daily bedtime bath (and now feed) is always 'daddy' time.

While at times I felt that I'd really been thrown in at the deep end, I soon found it was very important for me to recognise the things that I was finding the most difficult to cope with and address them quickly before it all got out of hand. Especially with all those leftover hormones floating around, things can soon escalate and before you know it things can seem like the end of the world. One of my pet hates was the nights - I really grew to dread them - I found the constant wakings extremely tough, especially as I was breastfeeding and could never pass the responsibility on. Eventually I realised that if I stopped trying to get back to sleep in between feeds and just expected to be awake most of the night for a while, (I moved into the lounge with baby, watched TV, drank tea and dozed when I could) it suddenly didn't seem so bad. Also from doing that I noticed that a lot of the times I would normally have woken up, Oliver was in fact still asleep and just making lots of noises (he's still a noisy sleeper now). So eventually, going against any health visitors' advice, we moved him into his own room at about three weeks old (closely monitored) and we have all slept a lot better since.

So I guess the moral of that story is another good tip for survival in itself - that health visitors (and midwives, doctors, parents, in-laws and anyone else you can think of) are there to support you and advise you (when asked!), NOT to tell you that you are wrong and make you feel like a bad mother. I very quickly learned to just say "Mmmm hmmm" to most of the'helpful' advice I've been given and then carry on my own way 99% of the time anyway. It is easy to feel bulldozed and pressured as a first time mummy but just stand up, be strong and do things your way anyway! No two babies are the same and nobody knows your baby better than you (and that includes your mother-in-law, no matter what she says!)
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