Becoming a parent for the first time was so much more intense than I could ever imagine! The emotions following birth thanks to an influx of hormones, leaky boobs and a screaming baby, the rush of love that consumes you, oh and of course, the lack of sleep!
I don’t think anything could have prepared me for how I felt and how I still do feel everytime I look at that little face! Here are the top 5 things I would go back and tell myself if I could…
1. Follow your instincts… They are the most important resource you have. Don’t stress and ask everyone’s opinion. Trust yourself! Don’t worry that she won’t sleep in the Next-to-Me that is mainly serving purpose as a bedside table! Google will tell you (most of the time) that sleeping with her in your bed is unsafe (it isn’t if you do it properly!) and that you will never get her out of your bed (this one is only half true but the cuddles are amazing!)
2. It shouldn’t hurt when you feed… I spent the first four months of Aoife’s life wincing at every feed when she would nurse. My nipples were cracked and bleeding and it brought tears to my eyes. It’s amazing really that I persevered and have been feeding as long as I have! It can hurt in the beginning but it shouldn’t long-term. This is indicative of an underlying issue! If I could go back I would look into seeking support! This time luckily it has gone smoothly!
3. Don’t let the comments get to you… By this I mean “making a rod for your own back” in particular! What utter c**p. You hold your baby as much as you like and stay with her as long as you wish! It is perfectly normal to not want to leave a 4 month old overnight, that is just part of who you are and how you parent!
4. Stand your ground… She is your baby. Make the boundaries clear. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how upset I was when she got fed chocolate without me knowing when she was a baby. Don’t get me wrong she has chocolate now but I just didn’t deem it necessary to give a 6 month old chocolate.
5. Don’t be afraid… This parenting business can be hard work but ultimately as first time parents we are all learning what works for us! It just so happens that you ended up doing things slightly different than the mainstream and that is okay! Arm yourself with facts for when you meet the inevitable sceptics and all will be fine!
And of course, take as many photos as you can… part of my reasons for creating a blog was to document my time with Aoife. I have thousands of photos and love looking back on them. Capture those memories as the time goes by so quickly!
This post is an entry for BritMums #VicksBabyRub Challenge, sponsored by Vicks BabyRub. Specially designed for babies aged 6 months and over, Vicks BabyRub is available at Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and all good pharmacy chains. RRP £3.99.