Welcome back to my guest blogger series, Meet the Parents. This week the advice comes from Sian, who blogs over at Quite Frankly She Said.
Tell me a bit about you, your blog and your family.
I’m a stay-at-home mama to two scrummy little boys who are 3 and 1. I live in beautiful Hertfordshire with my fiance, Ian, and we’re due to get married next summer. I also have two stepchildren, aged 9 and 7, so our house is quite busy! I blog about my family and our life and style, plus the occasional rant!
What one essential item would you insist on putting in your hospital bag (for you)?
My essential item was a towel. I didn’t take one with my first baby and had to dry myself with paper towels after showering. I was in hospital for 5 days so it wasn’t ideal! A lovely, soft, fluffy towel was top of my list when packing for my second baby.
Er, didn’t they give you a hospital towel?!
Was there anything unexpected that happened during labour, that you think first-time mums should be prepared for?
My first baby’s birth didn’t go to plan at all, and I was very unprepared for dealing with all the interventions and c-section. It’s great to think positive and plan for a textbook birth, but it’s good to also be aware of interventions that may happen so you know what to expect if they do.
What would be your one essential product for a newborn that no new parent should live without?
A sling. Babies don’t like to be put down – you can hardly blame then when they’ve spent 9 months cocooned and warm! So a sling is a great way to keep them close but also have your hands free for other stuff.
Little M hated being in a sling! I tried lots of times but she just screamed. In the end I just resigned myself to the fact that the housework would never get done!
What’s the best piece of advice you were given before your first child was born?
Sleep when your baby sleeps. I was not prepared for being up so many times a night!
What’s the worst piece of advice you were given?
Buy bottles to combi-feed so that Ian can bond. Feeding isn’t the only way parents bond with babies! Despite me breastfeeding Ian has a fantastic bond with our boys.
What would be your top tip for a first time parent-to-be?
Take lots of photos. Those babies of ours, they grow and change so quick. You will never take enough photos!
What’s the hardest thing about being a new parent?
The tiredness. My goodness, I underestimated how tired I would be. Babies just aren’t designed to sleep, but as soon as you accept that it does start to feel easier.
I really found it helped to keep reminding myself and my hubby that it’s completely normal to be awake at all hours with a baby. I think it’s more stressful if you perceive it as a problem.
What’s the best thing about being a new parent?
The feeling of the most amazing, unconditional love in the world. There is nothing like it.