Things I'd go back and tell my new mummy self...
2. Just get out of the house
As a new mummy, getting out the house with baby can seem like a really daunting task. Especially if you have a fussy baby.
Caleb was/can be a crier. Every time we laid him down he would cry. He hated being on his back and being out in his pram was hard work. Couple that with feeding every 20mins to begin with and it felt it wasn't worth leaving the house but one thing I learned was it so was.
I am lucky because I had one NCT mummy in particular that would suggest classes or meeting up and having someone to go to these things with makes it so much easier. I am so grateful for that because it just made it so much easier and more pleasant. I also have a really good friend who had a baby 2 weeks prior to me having Caleb so we meet often too.
It's great because when you get to these baby classes baby comes first (seems obvious) but it means you are free to change, feed, juggle whenever is necessary with no one judging you or throwing you judgmental looks. I've lost count of the amount of classes I've been in where we haven't managed to participate because we've been doing one or all of the above. But it's ok! Getting out of the house is one of the best things you can do with your baby for them and you. To just hear other mummies talking about their sleepless nights or watching your baby begin to interact with other babies or respond to songs, games etc makes it all worthwhile.
Even though, at the beginning it felt hard to get out and about it just got easier and easier and in a way was better to be out the house than in it. If we stay at home Caleb gets cabin fever and by the afternoon the witching hour(s) hit us hard but if we're out he's much more settled and naps. Ahhh naps! He loves being in his pram now and once he's in he manages to stay awake all of 5mins then he can quite literally sleep for hours. The other thing I'd tell myself here is if he does sleep for a few hours *don't panic*, he is fine!
I once took him clothes shopping and he cried all the way round town, I ended up feeding and changing him in primark fitting rooms for well over 30 minutes- oh how my life has changed but I think it's so important to have those experiences instead of staying at home in fear of what may happen.
I love nothing more than meeting up with mummy friends and discussing everything baby (where it's ok to do this and not worry you've turned into the most boring human) and where the babies can play/sleep/feed to their hearts content.
Things we have enjoyed doing lately;
- Baby massage - this was great for Caleb, he became much calmer as the weeks went on and by the last class we could do a full massage!
- Baby peeps (free group at your local sure start centre)
- Pilates - so good to do exercise and have baby watch at the same time and even join in. This is where I'm glad I had a prem baby because even Caleb is heavy to lift!
- Sling swing - babies can sleep against your chest as you can do some gentle exercise to music
- Walking, lots of walking!
The best thing we can do if Caleb is having a fussy day is to get out and walk. It's free and it settles him every time. We walk everywhere and anywhere and I love it. Fresh air never hurts. Sometimes I take the sling or carrier or I'll take the pram depending on how far we are going.
There are lots of other things we want to get out and do too - please let us know what you enjoy doing!
So just go for it. Get out and about - really what is the worst that will happen?!