Welcome back to Meet the Parents. This week we’re chatting to Lynn who writes at Glasgow with Kids.
Tell me a bit about you, your blog and your family.
I’m Lynn and I live in Glasgow with my 3 year old daughter, my brand new squishy baby boy, my husband, our wonderfully patient labrador and our grumpy cat. We’re all currently getting used to life with another tiny human in it!
Ever since my daughter was a few weeks old I’ve always liked to get out and about with her, meeting other mums with babies (now toddlers) and just doing stuff. So I started writing about all the things we did together – classes, groups, cafes, restaurants – in a wee Facebook page. It proved quite popular and grew into something a bit bigger, and now here we are!
What one essential item would you insist on putting in your hospital bag (for you)?
After my labour with my daughter I’d have definitely said my TENS machine. It got me to 6cm on its own. However with my son I never spontaneously went into labour and the thing I couldn’t have done without was a big exercise ball to bounce on whilst trying to make labour happen. That and hair bobbles. Nothing annoyed me more than my hair during labour. The hospital is far too hot for that.
Oh yes, hair bobbles were a godsend! I still use them now for the bedtime routine as Little M’s new favourite thing is to pull my hair out!
Was there anything unexpected that happened during labour, that you think first-time mums should be prepared for?
Well I ended up having an emergency caesarean. So probably that. With my first, I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I’d gone to prenatal yoga for 6 months, did my cat curls every day to get baby into position and practiced those breathing techniques to make sure I was ready. And I was ready for labour. But not for a caesarean.
There are lots of things that can happen that might lead to a C-section and I think that if I’d thought about it beforehand and perhaps prepared myself for that possibility, I might not have felt the sense of guilt and failure that I did for a while afterwards. Second time I was far more prepared for any eventuality. Thankfully. Because it happened again!
What would be your one essential product for a newborn that no new parent should live without?
The best gift we were given was our baby bath; the Acqua Bambino 2 stage bath from Mamas & Papas. It’s designed so that you don’t need to hold onto baby with one hand while you bathe them with the other whilst breaking your back a little bit more every time. You can pop baby in perfectly safely and you have 2 hands free. And an intact spine. It’s bigger than most baths but that didn’t bother us. We used it until my first was over 2, and it’s back out again.
What’s the best piece of advice you were given before your first child was born?
Do a food prep before baby comes along. I didn’t, and I really regretted it. I absolutely planned to do one this time but it didn’t happen. I’m regretting it again. As is my waistline.
We still have some meals in the freezer that I made when pregnant! We just didn’t feel like them at the time and managed to get through okay. It was nice to have them there as a safety net though.
What’s the worst piece of advice you were given?
The only advice I can remember being utterly ridiculous from my first pregnancy was when I was talking to my aunt about my hospital bag. She asked me what I was wearing in the hospital. I replied, “probably jammies?” wondering if maybe that’s not appropriate hospital wear anymore. She responded with the following: “No, I mean what scent are you wearing. You need to remember to pack perfume so that the baby will know your scent”. Now firstly, I never wore much perfume beforehand and have never had a ‘signature scent’. And secondly, I think I remembered to put perfume on maybe 5 times in the year after she was born. It’s not really a priority when you’re just trying to get out of the house on time!
Oh yeah, and the nurse in my GP practice told me that as long as I was breastfeeding I couldn’t get pregnant. Don’t believe anyone who tells you this!
I think your aunt was half-right – the baby will know your scent – but it will be your natural one!
What would be your top tip for a first time parent-to-be?
If someone has given you some advice or one of their top parenting tips (obviously unless it’s important medical advice) and it doesn’t feel right to you then don’t do it. Every baby is different and what works for one of your friends or relatives might not work for you. If you want to cry-it-out or bottle feed or co-sleep or breastfeed or whatever else, just do it. It is hard to trust yourself and your own judgement sometimes when people are so adamant about the advice they give you. But it’s so important to do what works for you and your family
What’s the hardest thing about being a new parent?
I always thought it would be the lack of sleep. And that was a contributing factor. But with my first child the hardest thing I found for the first few months was being so emotional and questioning myself all the time. From talking to other new mums that’s something we all had in common. It was really great to know that I wasn’t alone. With my second I’ve been much more confident and found things a lot easier with the baby. Dealing with an emotional toddler at the same though, that’s the difficult part this time!
This is what makes me nervous about having a second!
What’s the best thing about being a new parent?
I remember reading an article that described having a child something like this: “It’s like having your whole heart walking around outside of your body forever.” And it is. I never imagined before what it would feel like to have a child, and I never could have imagined how much I would love a tiny little alien-looking human the second that I saw it. It honestly was instantaneous. Both times. And it has only grown with time.
So lovely that it happened that way for you, but I just want to mention that for some mums it doesn’t happen instantly, and that’s totally okay too xx