Becoming a mummy for the 2nd time round, has definitely had both pros and cons when it comes to coping. When I had my first little boy Finlay in November 2013, I definitely felt like it overwhelmed me to begin with, I completely didn’t know what to expect and it was definitely more of a guessing game. The health visitors, doctors and even parents told me that I would soon be able to establish different cries for certain newborn needs. That day never came, I just couldn’t ever tell what cry meant what, or even if the cries were different!
However, since having my 2nd child, I have found I’ve coped so much better. I feel so much more relaxed this time round and I feel like I know what I’m doing and when I need to be doing it, and I definitely think with me being more relaxed it has meant Jacob is more relaxed, I mean he sleeps 8.30-7.30, Finlay doesn’t even do that now and I really believe its because I was a bit het up when he was so little.
So how did I cope with those first few weeks with a newborn?
1.Relax and Don’t Panic.
Now I know sometimes this is so much easier said than done, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a few times where I’ve been so stressed out. Bonding is so important in these first few weeks, don’t put too much on yourself, don’t expect yourself to be able to be running around with housework and errands in those first few weeks. Sleep when you can, in the spare time that you get just sit on the sofa and watch some TV, if you’re a mum for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or whatever time, don’t be worrying constantly about running after everyone, the house doesn’t matter, the fact that it’s 3pm and everyone is still in their PJs doesn’t matter. Order take away, or microwave a ready meal. I can safely say the world will not end.
2. Don’t Hibernate.
Now I think this is more of a preference, as I know a lot of new mummies that have wanted to stay in their own comfort zone for a while after baby comes, and that’s fine if that’s where you feel best. However for me, too much time in the house drives me nuts, I hate being stuck in the house, even if its just a walk round the block, or going to our parents houses, a change of scenery makes me feel so much better and refreshed, it wont harm baby at all, its actually really good for them to get a bit of fresh air, and also gives you that chance you’ve been waiting for to take out baby in the new pram!
3. Accept help.
When I had Finlay I was very much “I can do it on my own” minded, and I was so exhausted after giving birth, and in the end it all got a bit much. With Jacob I’ve been so much more relaxed at letting people help me with him, my parents came everyday for about 3 weeks, to help me clean, and cook, and I don’t mind admitting I needed that help. Jack went out to shops for me all the time and again did most of the cleaning for those first couple of weeks, and I am so grateful for them for doing that, I felt I recovered better and my head was in a lot better place for it. Our bodies go through so much giving birth, and you definitely need some help for a while for both your sanity and physical ability!
4. Baby Preparation
Make sure you have lots of sleepsuits and vests ready for baby when they arrive, as if you’re like me, the washing really wasn’t a priority and I would find myself getting so behind, so having lots of these really put the pressure off, you will soon get on top of it all, but having enough just puts you’re mind at ease. Lots and lots of nappies and wipes! I found buying a pack everytime we went shopping a really good way to stock up, as the last thing you’ll want is to be rushing to a supermarket at silly o’clock to buy them because you’ve just used the last one! I bottle fed both my little ones, so I think stocking up on you’re chosen formula is a good idea too. You’d be surprised at how quickly you go through it, and I’ve found our local shop doesn’t have the whole selection so you would need to go to a bigger supermarket.
5. Go To Bed Early.
This point is especially true if you have other children about. I find this so difficult as when I put the toddler to sleep, me and Jack use it as our chill out time, watching TV, laptops, whatever it is we used this time for ourselves. However when you’re up multiple times in the night, going to bed at 11 is a bad idea! As I can guarantee the baby will wake you at 4/5 o’clock and your little one will get wake up just as you get the baby settled again! There have been a few night where me and jack have gotten around 3 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, due to baby being a baby, and a toddler who likes to get up rather early!