I've been preparing all the various baby things that Little N no longer can use for her.
Having just been a new mum myself, I thought I'd just write down some tips I wished someone had shared with me before I embarked on this journey.
These are things I have learnt (and am definitely STILL learning) along the way.. Part 2 specifically focuses on tips for a breastfeeding mom..
1. Listen to others but do what you are comfortable with
Almost everyone has an opinion on how to raise a baby. From your experienced grandmother and mother, to aunts and colleagues, even strangers at the supermarkets.
Some will tell you not to let the baby cry at all or she'd learn not to trust you.
Some will say you should let the baby cry a little or you will spoil your baby.
Some will say your baby is colicky when she cries. Others will tell you she is hungry.
Some tell you that you need to feed your baby on demand. Others tell you to feed her on a strict schedule.
I've learnt that you can't stop others from handing you advice but it's important to do what you are comfortable with.
2. Accept hand-me-downs from friends
Babies grow so fast and there is really little point in buying a whole new wardrobe and nursery essentials.. unless you are planning to reuse them plenty of times with subsequent babies or you simply don't know where else to spend your money.
My boss gave me some really lovely (and I think rather expensive) baby clothes and I was so sad when she outgrew them in a month!
Accept hand-me-downs from your friends.. In fact, ask for hand-me-downs if they are your good friends.. Most people I know are more than happy to clear their storeroom of baby things they do not need..
3. Try everything for a few days to decide if it works
When trying something new with the baby - whether it's putting her to sleep in a new way, feeding her using a new type of bottle or starting out a new routine with her, don't decide that it doesn't work if you have only tried it out once or for a day..
I've learnt that babies need time to get used to something, so unless it is obviously very wrong for her, try it out for a few days or for a week if you can before deciding if it works.
4. If something doesn't work, try again later
Babies change all the time.
They grow so quickly and hence change really quickly as well. If something doesn't work, try again a few weeks later and it might work.
We started out rocking Little N to sleep every night and it got really tiring and difficult because as she got more alert, she may fall asleep on our arms but once we put her down, she will wake and cry.
I decided that everyone needs to learn how to fall asleep on their own so I started putting her down on her cot while she was awake, singing and patting her until she was sleepy to let her fall asleep on her own.
It didn't seem to work at all initially, but recently, she seemed to have gotten it and now, she'd flip over to her tummy, talk a little to herself and then nod off. She doesn't always do this though.. sometimes she still fusses and cries.. and I know that she may change again later but for now, this makes putting her to nap and to bed quite a pleasant thing to do..
5. Accept help from others so you can rest
I find this the hardest to do.. I do want to spend every minute with the baby! Even if she's being cranky and my hair is all messed up from lack of sleep.
But I also realised that I do not make good decisions when I am tired.. and I do get so very very snappy (oh dear).
Having someone take over for an hour whilst I try to nap or lie down to rest is important for my own sanity..
Sitting in her Bumbo chair