The Great 'What you wish you'd known when you had a baby' Hunt 2012



  • FunWithFlags
    FunWithFlags Forumite Posts: 123 Forumite
    kat360 wrote: »
    Don't feel like a failure if you can't breast feed, it's not the end of the world I wish someone had said that to me when I couldn't with my first and my midwife was being pushy. I actually physically couldn't and I felt that I'd let my child down. Not everyone can and getting berated for something I couldn't do was the worst thing ever. I don't think anyone should be able to tell you how to bring up your children except you.

    Recently, I had my old next door neighbour go on a rant about how I SHOULD have done what was best for my child by breastfeeding, how my children must be ill all the while because they were bottle fed, etc. :mad: Soon wiped the smile off her face when I told her that I couldn't because of medical reasons.

    Sorry for the mini rant:o

    I agree with this so so so much! I couldn't breastfeed also because of medical reasons and I struggled for weeks with the guilt that I couldn't and still get quite upset now when I think about it. I think it's very sad too that as soon as I mention it was for medical reasons when I'm getting told off for not breastfeeding, they say things like "oh well, thats okay then!" and are back to being chummy with me. It's sad that I have to share something so personal to me if I want to stop them judging me iykwim.

    Back to things I wish I'd known, I thought of a couple more yay! I wish I'd known that if you buy a second hand moses basket, it might very well stay on the stand and look all cute and pretty while it's empty but if you put anything heavy in it (we thankfully tested it just before we popped our little newborn in it) it may collapse and you end up with your baby asleep in the basket on the floor for their first night home until you manage to get someone to dash out the next day and pick up a cot for you to plonk the basket in! If we'd been on the ball, we would have tested it when we bought it but I blame preggo brain haha! :rotfl:

    I also wish I'd known that newborns cough up a lot of sick/mucus/fluid/whatever it is the first few days because of being in the womb for so long so that I'd been more prepared with the amount of babygros and vests I had taken to the hospital with me on the first night. I went through all mine and had to borrow from the kind hospital lol!

    And not so much baby related, but I wish I'd known that my feet would swell up to the size of balloons the day after baby was born so that I hadn't had such a huge shock when I woke up! :eek:
  • ElleWoods
    ElleWoods Forumite Posts: 407
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    Congrats in advance to you and Mrs MSE! I'm a single parent so I didn't have anyone to bounce ideas off when my son was born, so a thread like this would have been great then. Hopefully lots of people will take some good advice from it. For what it's worth, my tips are:

    - Practice fastening the car seat straps using a teddy/doll as a baby substitute, and practice putting the seat in the car a few times (this is very easy if it's an isofix system but if it's a seat secured with the seat belt some practice runs will be required). It'll help you familiarise with what's required and stop you having a moment of panic in the hospital car park on the way home!
    - In a similar vein, for the first few weeks carry the pram instructions with you at all times. No matter how often you practice putting it up and down at home, there's bound to be a moment of panic when you need to put a screaming baby in the car and fold the pram up quickly to get home - and you forget how to do it. I carried mine in my handbag until I could do it blindfolded.
    - Don't be surprised if you feel stupid pushing a pram at first, as it's very strange. But don't worry, within a few months it'll become second nature to the point that if you don't have the pram with you it'll feel like you're missing a limb.
    - Agree wholeheartedly with sleeping bags. I think babies can go in them from 7.5lbs (or they could when my son was born in 2006). You can get different togs for different seasons and they do cheap ones in TK Maxx or on Ebay.
    - Stock up on ready meals and/or batch cook and stick some portions in the freezer. It's unlikely you'll want to cook much in the first few weeks, let alone find the time to.
    - Buy lots of muslin cloths (can get them from a supermarket) and carry a few around. My son used to bring up a lot of milk after a feed and I was constantly wiping him with a cloth. Your baby might not be too sicky, but muslins are handy for lots of things.
    - I personally love Mumsnet, so would recommend you (or more likely Mrs MSE, although men use it too) join. It's not only a wealth of advice on parenting issues but there are a range of forums where you can discuss life, the world and everything. Ideal for those times when you have a baby latched on to one boob and one hand free to browse the net!
    - Don't feel like you have to attend mother and baby groups. Some people love them, some people don't. I didn't, so didn't bother after the first few times.
    - Don't feel guilty about anything, whether that's how you feed your baby or whether they go to nursery at six months - whatever you do, someone will always criticise.
    - In times where you despair and think it's not going to get any easier, remember the old saying - This too will pass.
  • 2chinchillas
    2chinchillas Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    Washable nappies & baby wipes- big money saving, better for the environment, less chemicals on baby & a lot easier than I expected (no need to touch poo, soak nappies or deal with nappy pins - modern cloth nappies are easy and very cute!). We will save hundreds even accounting for a high upfront spend and washing costs. Also get a sling (ones that let babies sit in a frog-legged position are good, e.g a long cloth that wraps round the baby or a carrier with a wide base - not one of the more common ones that lets their legs dangle). Not all babies may like them but ours loves being carried and it is so much easier when out and about than a pram!
  • wallaroo
    wallaroo Forumite Posts: 18 Forumite
    Childrens centres are great! You can get vitimins for mum and baby, also toothbrush/toothpaste for baby every 3months (and no you don't have to wait til they have teeth!)

    One thing I wish I'd known is that you can get lansinoh on prescription, its bloomin expensive otherwise! If you plan to breastfeed, get some and take it to hospital with you - use lots!

    Get lots of things in that you can snack on, ideally one handed!

    The sun is fantastic for removing poo stains! Even a not sunny day will do a pretty good job, just takes longer.
  • Air_Cooled_75
    Air_Cooled_75 Forumite Posts: 497 Forumite
    Try not to have your washer/dryer break down and have delivery of the new one delayed due to the worst snow in years :)

    I agree with the comments about lying down when breastfeeding, it means you're having a rest. In my area we have specialist breastfeeding midwives who I found amazing when I was really struggling. I rang the hospital and she was round within an hour and she came every day until we were all happy :)

    Try not to waste a load of money on things you won't need :)

    My LO lived in babygros for AGES and as someone else has said, go cheap (but soft) as the will get messy. We got loads given to us from a friend who had had twins, didn't have a problem using second hand.
  • srjbailey
    srjbailey Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    Baby vests usually have an envelope style neck. This means that you can easily pull the vest down and off your baby's body if they've done an up the back poo, instead of lifting it over their head. It is much easier and less messy this way. Did not realise this until baby number two, duh!

    Cheap pashminas/ large scarves make a great breast feeding cover up/ discreet baby sick wiper/ spare blanket when out and about.

    Don't underestimate how long it can take for some babies to bring up trapped wind. Even if they have a burp there can still be more wind trapped, causing discomfort when you put them down. Although it seems obvious it took me a while to realise this with my first, sometimes I'd have to walk around with him for over half an hour winding him.

    Children's centres can be a great resource for free groups, especially for courses such as baby massage and baby signing which cost a lot privately.

    Plastic drinks bottles filled with dried lentils/ pasta make great rattles for around 4 month old babies and older (make sure that you super glue the lids on). Wooden spoons make a great cheap toy that little hands seem to love!

    Vanish oxi action spray has helped me tackle baby poo etc stains. If you find that baby poo spills out the side of the nappy then the nappy may be too big. I was always too keen to move my baby up a size when they reached the minimum wieght for the size above. I realised with my second child that the snugger the nappy, the better the poo is contained.

    Relax and enjoy Motherhood, it's great :T
  • toniq
    toniq Forumite Posts: 29,340
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Post natal depression is nothing to be ashamed off and your HV or Doctor wont judge you for seeking help.

    Also learning when to let go and let someone help, took me a while to realise hubby wasn't as useless as I presumed he would be with baby.

    I second not to let other mothers upset you with their bragging of what their angels are doing, all babies are unique and do things at their own pace.
  • Brightness
    Brightness Forumite Posts: 293 Forumite
    edited 10 October 2012 at 3:02PM
    I've read all these posts with interest and it's amazed me to see that time will never change some things. I had my first baby over 26 years ago & as a young military wife, living abroad and a hubby sent out on exercise as soon as I came home from hospital, I almost had a breakdown!

    No one tells you that a few days after having the baby and you're supposed to be all happy and smiley, you can't stop crying and don't know why (it's hormones)! You lose your marbles totally for about a year after having baby (brain cells die off more rapidly - fact!) & that kids still cost you money even when they are grown up LOL.

    The best bits of advice I got were ... Put a warm hot water bottle in baby's crib or whatever else he/she sleeps in. Nothing worse than being cuddled by a warm Mummy or Daddy for a night time feed and then being put into a cold bed - no matter how warm you think the room is.

    If you use a dummy, attach it to the buggy, pram straps or whatever by some means or you'll lose it & don't feel bad about using one either. If it means baby is happy then so be it - as my dentist said about my two boys - you could trade in his dummy for a treat via the dummy fairy but you can't trade in a thumb (youngest sucked his thumb in the womb and carried on doing so well into his teens - apparently, I do it in my sleep *blush*) & also carry a spare - dummy that is, not thumb LOL.

    From bitter experience, if baby has a favourite cuddly toy, blankie or whatever, GET A SPARE! There is nothing worse than a 2 year old who has lost bunny and sobs himself to sleep every night for 4 months because of it. Nothing you do or say will make the fact that he or she has lost their most treasured possession any better :/

    If using a moses basket or something with a small mattress, use pillow cases on the bottom - they don't slip like sheets do and you can use them afterwards.

    Always put a folded up muslin or terry nappy by baby's head of the crib, pram etc - if they are sick then you just lift that out of the way and not have to change the whole bed. I used terry nappies for everything as you can boil wash them & keep them white by soaking in milton overnight.

    When baby is wearing shoes always put your phone number in the bottom of them - they love to kick shoes and socks off and become professionals at it!

    If baby has dry skin, cradle cap eczema or similar then please don't waste money on all the proprietary brands of 'cures'. One of the best things you can get is Aqueous cream - ask at the pharmacy counter for a large tub - it is only a couple of £'s. Mixed with boiling water and added to baby's bath water or even just left to go tepid you can wash baby with it instead of soap & even rub it on their skin afterwards. It's wonderful and is also the base product of many of the brands.

    Join things like Bounty, SMA, Heinz etc online - you can get some fantastic freebies and special offers - you don't have to buy their products!

    Lastly, just love your baby & each other and don't ever expect life to be the same again. Kids are darned hard work but bring so many smiles and so much love and happiness that it's all worth it :) Oh and for those who have said about mum's bragging about baby walking at 5mths... My eldest was walking round the furniture at 5mths and it was a darned nightmare! If I put him in his playpen, even to go to the loo he would scream the place down. I think the neighbours must have thought I was torturing him! He was also a 'climber' and would do anything to get out of his cot. I seriously think he'd have escaped a strait jacket like Houdini used to do!

    Good luck with it all and hope Mrs MSE has a nice easy labour, pain relief is there for a reason and as my midwife said to me 'You get no medals for being a martyr, my love. Just more pain, tears and tiredness xxx
  • claire21
    claire21 Forumite Posts: 32,747
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    This is going back 20 years, my friend pushed her pram to the newsagents, left baby outside, went in got papers and milk and was halfway home before she remembered she didnt have baby and pram with her.
    So dont do that!
  • Tawny75
    Tawny75 Forumite Posts: 155 Forumite
    I left my new 2 week old baby in her car seat in a trolley park in Tesco! It was only when I walked back to the car I realised something was missing. Apparently it happens all the time.

    She is 13 now and I still look round for her when she isn't with me!

    Oh, another be prepared for a lifetime of rocking a trolley. I still rock it when I am in the queue in the supermarket, just watch other people, you can always tell parents by the trolley rock.....
    I promise that I will do my best.....
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