Being a new mum for the first time is daunting, tiring and can be very lonely. After navigating through my first year I have created a list that definitely was the top ten saviours surviving through those first few months.
1: Instagram – not just to share those gorgeous pics of bub for everyone to see, but at 3am it kept me sane and connected while I was sitting there breastfeeding trying not to fall asleep. I met a lot of new mummas going through exactly what I was all over the world, with our bubs born just a day apart in some cases. Connected with some amazing mummas that have so much insight into their experience and how they came over Post-natal depression, so inspiring. You're not alone out there.
2: FeedBaby app – not only sleep deprived but the memory needs a jump start most of the time, this app helped me to remember when I last fed, which size I fed from and how much, when she slept and how long for. These patterns are great to learn and as the days blur into one, I found it so helpful, I still use it now rather than remembering, what time did I put her down, I know I did the washing, cleaned the kitchen... how long does that usually take. Takes the guess work out and one less thing to worry about on that long list of things running through your head (other than sleep).
3: Mothers group – such a wonderful group of ladies, no matter what we are all in this together, at what hour or what question we relied (and still do) on each other to help us navigate through what we are doing, plus it's nice knowing there are at least 7 other mummas up at the same time I am feeding. Such strong mummas and have made my life richer.
4: Exercise groups – once again routine and getting back into the outside world. To meet other new mummas, and feel part of something, while exercising and getting fit again. Gets you motivated and outside your couch bubble. I would strongly suggest Pram Fitness for inner west mums, Karen is amazing! She understand chaos little ones bring to any day and embraced it. As they grow they enjoy the outdoors and socialising with the other bubs.
5: Partners and support – you can do it all mumma but a helping hand lightens the burden, plus it is a great life learning skill for bub getting to know there are more than one way to do something, even having your partner put them to bed their way, might not be how you would do it, they need to find their too so they can be connected and a great dad.
6: Breastfeeding support – not only the Breastfeeding association that do great work for new mummas, but also the clinic supports this. I feel like I went there a thousand times, it helps you navigate through a very difficult (but natural) thing. And even if breastfeeding doesn't work for you, it helps you to make those informed decision on what is right for you and your bub, and how to transition to formula.
7: Portable change mats – absolute godsend, if you didn't get one at your baby shower, definitely a must. It can happen anytime, anywhere, those poo explosions and most times you're not near a change room, I used mine the second it was given to me (hilarious story I will save for another time).
8: Comfortable, soft and durable onesies – they live in them in summer or winter, the easiest thing to get baby in, and oh so cute of course. So easy to add some tights, pants or much needed tutu to dress it up, definitely an essential.
9: Baby sling – if they are anything like my little girl, even around the house when they won't let you put them down at all, and just want to be held all day, you just need your hands free and not be glued to the couch, to get that glass of water, start on dinner, or just to relieve your tired arms for hours on end. They love the movement of you walking and the warmth up against you, they were there for 9 months already. DaisyGro in the UK have amazing ones, I might see if I can stock a few of hers for you, keep an eye on my website
10: Slow cooker – in that 20 minute gap you might get between a 2 minute shower and the next breastfeed, you can chuck all the ingredients in and put it on, voila dinner is ready at dinner time without much effort at all. It saved me so many times and helped me with my everyday routine.
I wouldn't have been able to get through such a tough, but rewarding, year without any of these resources, especially the amazing people I have met and have supported me along the way.