Mums share best advice for new parents

Mums share best advice for new parents

Nothing can quite prepare you for the change a new baby will bring to your life, especially when it is your first baby. Suddenly having to switch from caring just for yourself to caring for a tiny defenceless baby 24/7, usually on little sleep, is a total game changer and something that takes a while to adjust to.

Baby books and parenting websites are packed with information and factual advice about how to care for your baby, but sometimes you need wise words that come with a reality check too. Being a parent is wonderful but tough, so we compiled some top tips from mums who have recently been right where you are now. Have a read of these small pearls of wisdom for practical, realistic and reassuring tips for first time parents from first time parents.

Top tips for first time parents 

1. Trust your instincts

You really do know your baby best, so if you feel something isn’t right, whether it’s that they’re ill or need more sleep or cuddles or whatever really, listen to your gut and don’t let the books or other people doubt yourself as a mum! 
- Jess

2. Try to get your baby back to sleep after short naps

In the early weeks I used to get my baby straight up when he woke, which was often only for between 20-45 minutes. He was still tired though and had just startled awake. When I started getting him back to sleep by rubbing his tummy or rocking him, he would then sleep for another hour or even more. He’d be much happier when he woke and I got a rest and a chance to get some things done!
- Anna

3. It will be hard and it’s ok to not enjoy every moment

I don’t remember anyone telling me how hard it was actually going to be, or if they did I was too excited to take it in! But it meant when I found it hard I felt like I was failing and it wasn’t normal to struggle. I think realising it will be hard and you will have so many days or parts of days you don’t enjoy but just have to get through and that this is normal, is important. And telling other mum friends or family... that is definitely important too.
- Jasmine

4. Don’t overfuss in the night

When your baby first wakes in the night, unless she’s screaming her head off she might just be stirring. If it hasn’t been long between feeds, like an hour or something, sometimes she’ll go back to sleep with a tummy rub, or even just on her own. My baby would make slight crying noises in her sleep and at first I was waking her unnecessarily by picking her up when she didn’t actually need anything!
- Emily

5. Ask for help

Don’t put pressure on yourself to do it all by yourself. Some days are easier than others but if you need a friend to grab something from the shop because you don’t want to wake your baby or you haven’t slept so need to cancel a plan just do it. Friends and family usually want to help and will happily take your baby for a walk so you can shower or bring round a meal or whatever. Even just having someone to make you a cup of tea or meet with if you’re having a bad day can really make a difference.
- Becky

6. Don’t try to be perfect

When I was pregnant I followed lots of Insta Mums and felt like I should be like that too, with a perfect home and nursery, and that my baby would just slip into my life looking cute in its pram. When she was born it wasn’t like that at all! I was so tired I couldn’t be bothered to look all stylish and made up and I definitely didn’t have the perfect house as my baby hates being put down so the place was just a mess of bottles and washing piles! I eventually realised that stuff didn’t matter and once I stopped comparing myself to Instagram, in fact I stopped using it, I felt so much better! 
- Christina  

7. Use a white noise machine

I used to think babies needed total silence but when a friend gave me her old white noise machine it made my baby sleep better! It apparently mimics the noise they hear when in your uterus so it can comfort them. Now we use it before every nap so she knows it’s time to sleep.
- Helen

8. Try different sleep ideas if baby won’t settle in crib

If your baby won’t sleep in their crib, try putting something in there that smells of you, like a muslin you’ve tucked against your skin for a while. My son would only sleep on me at first but I think the combination of using a sleep pod and having a muslin with my scent on helped him feel more secure. That’s now my number one piece of advice for new parents!
- Katy

9. Don’t feel guilty for making mistakes

Don’t beat yourself up when you get something wrong, we all do! I made mistakes with my baby and make them now he’s a toddler but it’s all part of learning. We feel bad because we love them so much but it doesn’t do anyone any good when we’re too harsh on ourselves.
- Hannah

10. Take a moment to savour it all

I was busy rushing around a lot of the time, waiting for my baby to go to sleep, then off to baby classes most days but I wish I’d just rolled with things more and not fretted about the house and her routine and stuff so much, I think it would have been easier for both of us if I had been more relaxed.
- Bryony

11. Talk to someone if you’re struggling

I started to feel really low after I had my baby but didn’t want to tell anyone at first because I felt like I should be enjoying it all of the time. When I told my partner it felt so much better and we went together to the GP. I now get support from my family and friends, and my Health Visitor and am feeling so much better, enjoying my baby more but also being kinder to myself.
- Aimee

12. Get your partner involved, don’t be a supermum!

Just because you’re at home with the baby more doesn’t mean you have to do everything. My partner and I divide stuff up when he’s at home so everything isn’t left to me and I can concentrate on looking after our baby during the day. He also gets up early at the weekend and stays up late with the baby some nights in the week as otherwise I wouldn’t function properly from all the night wakings -- and I need to have my wits about me to take care of our little one!
- Chloe

What advice would you give to new parents? Let us know over on Facebook, and sign up to our mailing list to stay up-to-date with parenting and product news.