We recently hosted our very 1st Tweet Chat about all the things you only discover once your precious first newborn has arrived.
Many of us attend parenting classes whilst pregnant whether it be NCT or the NHS run classes at the hospital. Both are fantastic and give a great overview of many of the necessities you need to know to prepare for birth and survive that first year of parenting and beyond.
However, a couple of afternoon/evening lessons will never be able to fully prepare you for the whirlwind that is parenting. Often it’s the steepest learning curve you’ll ever go through, reading blogs in the middle of the night feed and occasionally actually listening to the plethora of unsolicited advice we all face as new mums!
Here’s a list of just some of the things parenting classes don’t teach you that we’ve learnt along the way, been told by friends and family and that lots of lovely mums shared on last week’s tweet chat…
1. “Birth plans often go straight out of the window… Don’t spend too much time creating one”.
2. Breastfeeding isn’t a walk in the park. Sometimes it doesn’t work and that’s OK. You are not a failure because it doesn’t work for you and your child.
3. Your vulva will look like a hot dog bun after birth but it will return to normal after a few days!
4. Sometimes all babies want to do is cry. You’re not doing anything wrong.
5. You’ll cry at adverts on the TV and your partner will look at you with a puzzled look or laugh at you as you blub over a dog food advert!
6. Gas and air is about as much use an a unicorn fart…. you might as well inhale one of those instead!
7. There are no routines. What works for one won’t necessarily work for you!
8. Sometimes it’s just a bit shit. There’s no “off” switch. Sometimes you’ll feel like you will want to put them in the bin… this does not make you a bad parent.
9. Baby boys get erections!
10. Sucking a chocolate button will in no way shape or form ease the pain from contractions despite the best intentions of your NCT teacher!
11. You think you know what sleep deprivation feels like before you have a baby. You don’t.
12. Baby boys will pee on you the moment cold air hits their winky… they get extra points if they get it in your mouth!!
13. Your precious first newborn will fall off the bed at some point and you will want to report yourself to social services. It happens. It does not make you a bad parent. You don’t need to report yourself!
14. Piles…. oh the piles!!!
15. The folds on the top of baby grows are so you can pull it down over their legs in the event of a poonami!
16. Once you’ve had a baby people will start asking when the next one is.
17. Husbands are basically useless at 3 am.
18. You need ALL the maternity pads… the big ones!
19. You’ll also need enormous knickers to accommodate said pads…. and you’ll still be wearing the big knickers years later!
20. Milestones are just a rough guide. Don’t stress about them. Every child develops differently… just go at your child’s pace.
21. Similarly a baby’s weight can fluctuate on growth charts. Growth isn’t linear. Don’t worry if they go up or down by a centile.
22. Mastitis… fill a disposable nappy with hot water. It will last longer than a flannel!
23. With your first you will spend ages warming water and using cotton wool balls to wipe bums. Your subsequent children will go straight to baby wipes & you’d never know the difference!
24. Unless you’re Posh Spice your mum tum will never go away. Accept it, embrace it… it produced a human being!
25. Baby girls can have mini periods!
26. NEVER sit down to feed a baby without an empty bladder, a drink, packet of biscuits and phone within easy reach.
27. The “rod you’re making for your own back” by cuddling, rocking, feeding your baby to sleep doesn’t exist. Babies will do what babies will want to do to get them to sleep or not.
28. Nipple cream = great lip balm 😉
29. You will row with your other half about really stupid stuff.
30. It will take 2 hours to get out of the house by which time they will need feeding & changing. Some days you just give up.
31. You don’t need half the crap you think you do!
32. Jumperoos are however an essential baby item. They are otherwise known as “The Circle of Neglect“. They will allow you to finally go to the toilet alone.
33. Once they start walking though you’ll NEVER go to the toilet alone. Ever.
34. Pelvic floor issues are not confined to No1’s! You will spend the majority of the first month post partum pissing and shitting yourself.
35. The pooping yourself will stop. The pissing your knickers on the other hand may become the norm. Sneezes, coughs, unexpected laughter, trampolines will have you diving into Boots to buy Tenner Lady!
36. Little boys LOVE playing with their willies! It never stops… it’s an innate thing all men/boys are born with!
37. Even when they sleep through the night it is still perfectly acceptable for you to nap when they do. They’re called disco power naps if anyone asks 😉
38. Silent reflux is a thing and so is baby Gaviscon®. It works & it will not harm them in any way.
39. It can be very overwhelming. Accept help when it’s offered.
40. 40% of parenting is hostage negotiation through a locked bathroom door.
41. Your ‘Lady Garden’ won’t look or quite feel the same again despite how polite your partner is.
42. You will talk a LOT about poo so much so you will be well versed in the ‘Bristol Stool Chart’!
43. You will fill your phone with 14,763 pictures of your child sitting and doing nothing!
44. Your precious angelic baby will turn into a complete arsehole at around 3 years of age*
*It can / may / probably will happen earlier!
45. Speaking of threenagers… no toddler has ever starved themselves to death no matter how much it seems possible at times!
46. The idea of a baby sleeping through consistently is pretty much a myth. They may be for a while but as with everything, sleeping, eating, potty training… it’s not linear. You think you’ve cracked it then something can come along and mess it all up.
47. You will know what bomb disposal experts go through after cutting your child’s finger nails for the first time!
48. Cluster feeding! Babies don’t stick to a schedule. Some nights you’ll be trapped from 6-10pm!
49. It’s OK to think your child is a little shit sometimes… just as long as others don’t!
And last but by no means least….
50. The world and his wife (& his dog) will want to give you advice… “In my day we did this or that”…
Trust your own instincts! Trust your baby and trust your body! No one knows your child like you do!
Thank you to all the incredible mamas out there that helped contribute to this list. I think its safe to say we can relate to most if not all of the above!
If you are at all worried about anything in regards to yourself or your baby / child please do reach out and speak to a health care professional whether it be your midwife, health visitor or GP. There’s a lot of support available so please don’t feel alone or be worried.
You can also find useful information at the following sites….
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