4 babies later... By Babiesinwaiting | 28 / Jun / 2017
4 babies later…
I’ve been thinking recently how nice it is to be a more experienced Mummy and to really enjoy having a newborn without any fear or anxiety about the unknown. I am thoroughly relishing every single minute of having my daughter Alice who is now 11 weeks old.
I feel as if I have learnt so much through my experiences with babies over the years. I’ve done the years of feeding, changing, weaning and nurturing development. This time I pretty much know what to expect and so having her is an absolute joy. This time I’m not learning or trying to figure things out. I’m on automatic pilot and loving it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a perfect parent – in fact I don’t believe there is such a thing. I have my stressed moments and times of frustration (usually with my nearly 3 year old son). I am also aware that life can be extremely unpredictable and can throw you a curve ball when you least expect it. That said, the baby thing at the moment is lovely. This time round I have a completely different attitude and way of parenting my newborn.
If I could travel back in time and speak to the 25 year old first time Mum that I was 7 years ago I’d say…
• ‘You are doing a great job!’
• ‘Just feed the baby! Don’t worry about what others think about breastfeeding in public. Your son needs you to feed him. Sit down and calmly feed him. Stop scanning the room to check for disapproving looks. These strangers are of no importance to you but your son is your world, give him what he is asking for… Stop looking for a changing room to feed in while out shopping or wondering if you can make it home in time. Feed your baby.
Who cares that he only fed half an hour ago. You wouldn't wait two hours for your next drink if you were thirsty. Feed on demand of the baby, not the clock.'
• ‘Nothing stays the same so soak it up. Take photos and videos. He’s changing and growing so fast. Before you know it he will be nearly 8 years old and you will struggle to remember his quirky little ways as a baby. It will all be a bit of a hazy blur. TAKE PHOTOS!’
• ‘In a few weeks time he won’t need you to rock him to sleep at night. Enjoy this phase while it lasts. Breathe in deeply his newborn scent and just go with it. He can’t tell you that he wants to hear your heart beat and feel your movement as you walk around from room to room, you aren’t spoiling him. You aren’t creating a bad habit. Give him the love that he needs in the way that he wants it. He needs his Mummy.’
• ‘It really doesn’t matter if other people have babies that sleep through the night or can roll over already! He will get there when his ready and in his own time.’
• ‘Be led by him. Stop trying to wake him, feed him and change him every time before you go out. Be led by him and not your appointments or baby classes. Of course he’s unsettled you have woken him up and fed him when he didn’t really need it because you know that ‘Sing and Sign’ starts soon. Why not leave him sleeping, gently transfer him and feed him when he shows his own cues. See things from his point of view. He will tell you what he needs and when. Listen to him.’
• ‘He hates the pram and the car seat. Listen to him. Use the sling and keep car journeys short or with another adult to comfort him. If he’s not happy, you’re not happy. Give yourself a break. This time will not last long.’
• ‘Enjoy every single moment. Keep things simple, a loving pair of arms and a happy Mummy is all he really needs.’
To the first time Mummys reading this; parenting is the most magical and steep learning curve ever. Embrace it and enjoy it. Be baby led! It’s taken me 4 babies to have the confidence to truly listen to my instincts as to what MY baby needs and wants without worry about what others think. I am now fully enjoying it. You know your baby best.
(I wonder what advice I will give myself in 7 years from now ;) )