First time mum

Maternity, Newborn

So you’re about to become a mum?

Becoming a mum for the first time – how can you sum it up? Exciting; overwhelming; daunting; happy. All of those things and more…….and the advice! Oh the advice will come from every angle. What to eat, what not to eat, what to wear, what not to wear, don’t do too much, don’t do nothing at all; watch your weight; eat what you like.

Once baby comes everyone will have more advice to share, so I asked some mums what would their best top tip be for a first time mum and here is what they had to say……..

Anne says
“Never compare your child’s progress to another childs. They are beautiful in their own way and do things in their own time”

And she is so right. I mean every flower blooms differently don’t they? Comparisons don’t always pay off. We will all grow and develop on our own timeline…..

Kerry has two awesome girls and I love her top tip -she says
“It is impossible to over cuddle a baby. There is no such thing, you won’t create a needy baby, you will create a secure baby!” – if you need any help with this, they will have lots of cuddles during a newborn photoshoot with me!

Kerry has one more tip – and this one is REALLY important and should not be dismissed

“you can never ever have enough muslins!” This applies to my newborn photography studio here in Kent too!

Another Anne (the name is not a prerequisite to follow my photography I promise) shares this…

“Get a baby sling. My daughter got one when her baby was two months old. She rang to tell me she had had her first hot coffee in two months! For her next two babies she took it to the hospital with her.” My beautiful friend Vic and my gorgeous sister-in-law Jade concur. They are both big fans of the slings. In fact, Jade’s top tip was simply “Buy a sling” and she should know…..she had her baby in hers on whilst dancing the night away at a family wedding and the baby didn’t stir once!

Leigh has some great advice that I love and wholly applaud

“I would say trust yourself and your instincts. They are always right and you know your baby better than anyone. Relax and enjoy it”.

Interestingly new mum Katie said a very similar thing – and she followed it up by saying she wished she had listened to her own advice earlier, but you learn as you grow….

“Trust your instinct. You do what is best for you and the baby not other people” (at this point I would definitely say revert back to Kerry’s advice too!)

Vic became a mum to her beautiful baby boy in 2018. She gives invaluable advice – in fact, she took this advice when she bought Jude to my studio for his newborn session and said the whole experience was wonderful because her and her husband could relax, enjoy watching the session and have an un-interrupted chat whilst I photographed the baby.

“Make sure you have time for the two of you as well as your new baby. Remember it was just you before and you can’t forget the love that started you on your journey together”. What beautiful advice.

Robin has this piece of advice – now, as with all advice it comes with the caveat that you should do what is right for you and your baby, but this worked for her.

“Don’t let baby sleep with you unless they are poorly. Let them in in the morning for cuddles but their bed / cot is theirs and yours is yours. I’ve seen a lot of parents regretting this and struggling to get baby in to their own space. Especially when you need your own space and/or a sibling comes along!”. What do you think? Do you co-sleep? Some people swear by it. And what is right for them is right for them.

Wow Sophie is a hive mind of top tips! She had lots to share – I love the first one and know SO many mums that swear by this……

“Spritz for Bits is a must have purchase!!!! All new mums lifesaver” (this blog is not sponsored by Spritz for Bitz but should they wish to supply all my new mums with samples we won’t complain will we?!)

“Infacol – buy the whole shelf” (Pre-cursor, I write this blog during a global pandemic and whilst people are still bonkers and panic buying. Maybe wait for more normal times to buy the whole shelf…….).

“Invite whomever you like round but ask them to bring you stuff – biscuits, dinners, run a hoover round. No one minds helping but they won’t offer because they would rather cuddle the baby.”

She hasn’t stopped there – there is more, so much more!

“Sleep when the baby sleeps. The housework can wait”

And my favourite tip that she shares is something I could not agree with more.

“Make sure people take pictures of you with the baby. You will always find yourself taking the pictures and then have none of you”.
I make it my mission to convince mums to have a photo with the baby during their newborn session. You don’t have to hang it on the wall if you don’t want it – but I promise you when that baby grows up that photo will be treasured. Forever. The baby won’t care if you think you look a mess, or your tummy hasn’t gone down, or you haven’t done your make up. They will just love that they have a beautiful photo of their mumma.

Byrony came with lots of brilliant advice – she is mum to two wonderful little people who share a beautiful sibling bond.

She says “Do what you want – don’t feel guilt tripped because you don’t want to go to baby groups or have mummy dates. Mine turned out (relatively) ok”…… I think her kids turned out brilliantly personsally.

In addition she says “Breast milk…..great for everything. Gammy eyes, sore bits of skin, anything and feed where you like! Most people won’t notice or care, despite what social media says to scaremonger!”. Well, Byrony I couldn’t agree more.

Mums of boys – listen up! This one is for you. The amazing Zara, mummy to Archie and Albie, provided this pearl of wisdom. It is one you won’t want to forget!

“Wipe a cold wet wipe under the nappy waist band, wait 10 seconds and you won’t get pee in the eye when removing the nappy”. Standing ovation for Zara please…….

Helen is nailing being a single mum. She is someone I admire so much. She gives three very clear cut simple pieces of very important advice.

“Trust your instincts; Mummy knows best; go with your gut”. Well said Helen.

Melanie – you are so right.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps. Sod the housework”. Or get someone else to do it! Al those visitors that want to cuddle the baby? They get a cuddle as soon as they’ve done something helpful!

Emma is very clear on her advice – and it has done her no harm. Her tips remind me of a poem which I will treat you to at the end.

“It’s your baby and don’t let anyone tell you what or how to do it. If you want to co-sleep do it! If you want to feed on demand do it! If you want to bottle feed, breastfeed or both – do it! Lastly you cuddle that baby when he or she cries, and you cuddle them tight. They grow up so quickly that the time will be lost before you know it”.

Kate – you legend you…..this tip is brilliant and one of my personal favourites!

“Make the babies cot/bed/crib twice. Put on a protective sheet, then a normal sheet and repeat again so if baby is sick or leaks during the night you just have to take off the top two layers and the bed is already made so you can get back to bed quicker for much needed sleep”. Stand up and take a bow Kate – you win today!

Jacqui became a new mum in 2019, and I love her piece of advice. Many of you should definitely remember this one.

“The best thing we did was not tell anyone straight away when the baby was born and put phones away – you will never get that first hour back again. Stay calm and do what you feel is right”. Jacqui I LOVE that!

Natalie keeps her advice short and sweet – but take it. It is good advice.

“Accept help – no one is super woman”. Indeed.

Julie & Fern & Emma all have the same words for you – “Sleep when the baby does, no matter what housework or jobs need doing”. Which is great advice and reminds me of a poem I have always loved, by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton…..

Cleaning and scubbing can wait till tomorrow
For babies grow up we’ve learnt to our sorrow
So quiet down cobwebs
And dust go to sleep
I’m rocking my baby
And babies don’t keep

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