1. Sleep when the baby sleeps
I know, this is the most commonly given piece of advice and I used to want to slap whoever said it to me. But....it’s true. It is so important for new mums to rest and catch up on sleep.
My first baby, Max, was (and still is) a terrible sleeper and I’d have to hold him for all of his naps or walk him in the pram. I had many people offer to hold/walk him so I could nap and it took me AGES to agree. But once I did, it was heavenly!
My 87 year old Grandma would come over and take Max for a walk so I could nap. She even brought lunch for when I woke up!
Thank you to everyone who offered, and kept offering, until I accepted!
2. Let go of all expectations
As I mentioned in point number 1, I am terrible at accepting help. I am a type A personality who is very independent and ‘can do it all’. However, when you have a baby you don’t have to do it all, and there is nothing wrong or shameful about accepting help.
Please, if someone offers assistance just give them a list of jobs to do!
I found myself getting stressed about cleaning. I couldn’t put Max down long enough to clean anything properly and the house was getting messier, which added to my anxiety. My husband eventually agreed to getting a cleaner and she was the best thing ever!
But you don’t have to wait for someone to offer assistance. Please don’t be afraid to say ‘hey I need some help’. There will be people who have wanted to help but didn’t know how.
You will probably be inundated with friends/family wanting to come and see the baby (and you). This is the perfect time say that they are welcome to visit, but can they please bring some groceries/a hot meal/do some washing for you whilst they are there.
3. Buy a slow cooker
This is one of the best kitchen appliances for a family with a new baby!
One of you can prepare the meal during baby’s first nap - chop meat, vegetables and add the sauce.
You then just need to set it to ‘low’ heat and your dinner will be ready in 6-8 hours!
We had so many slow cooker meals when Max was young. The bonus is that you can fill the slow cooker bowl so it will make dinner for two days, plus some lunches and possibly enough to go in the freezer.
The supermarket has many ‘ready to use’ sauces that you can add straight in, or you can find a variety of receipes online.
I still haven’t done this yet, but I’ve been told that you can also cook porridge and desserts in the slow cooker. Bonus!!