The Duke and Dutchess of Sussex have finally welcomed their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world! Many new parents will recognise their pride and excitement at showing off their new baby for the first time. Even if most of us look considerably more bedraggled at the time of doing so (if only we all had a private makeup artist and hairdresser, damn it).
There will be plenty of scrutiny on the details of Archie’s and his family’s lives for the foreseeable future. No doubt lots of advice will be given (welcome or not) on parenting. What they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong, what they’re not doing. Everyone will have an opinion they’re more than happy to share.
We all recognise the sentences that start with, “What really helped ME, was…” I know I do!
Of course, we thought it was only fair to jump on the same bandwagon and get stuck in with giving our own advice. Ehem… So, what advice would we give these new parents?
When you have a baby, it’s likely that there will be a list of people hankering after the first glimpse of your little one. Some family and close friends may even come into the hospital to see you, which can be lovely, but some mum’s find it overwhelming. That’s totally normal though, so there’s no need to feel guilty. Everyone’s different and although it’s lovely to share in the excitement with loved ones, it’s ok if you need some time to rest first!
How long you want to wait before having visitors can depend on what sort of delivery you had, and how you’re feeling after the birth. But many parents prefer to have some time to themselves to settle in as a family before accepting visitors. Don’t feel bad about asking friends and family to wait a few days before popping over.
Sleep when you can!
I was told this after my first born and it really helped. Being a parent can be tiring, especially if you’re getting to grips with a new baby! It can be tempting to do jobs around the house when your little one is sleeping. Filling the dishwasher, then the laundry, maybe a quick hoover… but if you’re feeling tired, have a nap instead. It’s more important that you feel well rested than if the washing up gets done. Household jobs WILL get done, but there might not be another window for a quick snooze!
Forget the supermarket shop
If you can cut out some of the usual life admin in the weeks of your baby’s life - do it! Personally, I don’t really mind shopping (although my husband hates it unless he’s browsing the middle aisle at Lidel). Registering and ordering your weekly shop online for a few weeks can save time and hassle, giving you extra time for more important or enjoyable things.
You could even treat yourself to a few weeks of food delivery service. There are loads that have popped up recently and almost all have introductory offers. Companies like Riverford, Gusto and Simply Cook make cooking really easy and means you spend minimal time in the supermarket. This can also be a nice idea for a baby shower gift!
It can be really hard not to compare your baby and yourself. Remember that glossy magazine and Instagram images you see aren’t real. It’s not the full picture, so don’t compare. If social media is making you feel bad, then delete it - you and your baby have better things to do!
Other friends and parents you spend time with can be a source for comparison. All babies are different and develop at their own rate. Who does what first will often be completely irrelevant in a few years or even a few months. Don’t wish away these years, your child will be grown up all too soon!
Get out when you can!
It can be tempting to shut yourself cosy and away in the house, but getting outside for some fresh air and a change of scenery is a great idea. You can easily get cabin fever in the house!
What was the best advice you got before you had your baby? We’d love to know! Share with us on Instagram @matchstick_monkey.