This week, I’m delighted to welcome some great advice from Kate, who blogs at Lesbemums.
Tell me a bit about you, your blog and your family.
Hi, I’m Kate, and I’m one half of a same sex family blog called ‘Lesbemums’. We write about life as a same-sex family, and everything in between including LGBT issues in the UK. We finally gave birth to our son, who’s currently 16 months old, after two years of trying via ‘At Home AI’.
What one essential item would you insist on putting in your hospital bag (for you)?
An extra pillow! The hospital pillows are notoriously thin and if you’re able to grab any sleep you’re going to want to be comfy.
I was very lucky with my hospital – I found the pillows really comfy! Maybe I got lucky!
Was there anything unexpected that happened during labour, that you think first-time mums should be prepared for?
You hear a lot about how long it can take, but expect for it to happen ever so quickly as well. After being induced at 9am, I was already feeling contractions an hour later, with T then born just over 12 hours later (which, from the experiences of others, is quite quick!).
What would be your one essential product for a newborn that no new parent should live without?
Once we were able to bath T, I found investing in a decent seat was a back-saver and made everything a lot calmer. We used one by AngelCare.
We’ve just switched from a baby bath to a bath seat and it’s so much better having two hands free!
What’s the best piece of advice you were given before your first child was born?
Control guests! Everyone is going to want to meet the new addition to your family, but you’re going to want some precious time as a family. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’. If you do say ‘yes’, ask them to bring a meal!
We did this. In fact, we didn’t allow any guests at all (apart from midwives) for the first week!
What’s the worst piece of advice you were given?
Not so much the worst piece given, but the best piece NOT given. No one told me about cluster feeding. I doubted myself so much during the first few weeks that if someone had told me about cluster feeding I would have been a lot calmer.
What would be your top tip for a first time parent-to-be?
Probably sounding like a broken record but SLEEP WHEN THEY SLEEP. I know the washing is piling up, I know the sink is full, I know you haven’t showered in days, but sleep is vital. Without it, it can turn a girl hysterical. It’ll be a lot harder to sleep when they’re older as nap times become smaller/less frequent.
What’s the hardest thing about being a new parent?
Trusting your instincts. Dr. Google has a lot to answer for, and more often then not it’s the wrong answer. Listen to your baby, go through everything in a methodical way (hungry? wet? Hot?), and if in doubt ask a friend – not Dr. Google.
What’s the best thing about being a new parent?
Oh the love. It sounds corny and tacky, but you will feel nothing like it. You love your partner, but nothing compares to the love of your child. You will feel this sudden urge of protection that could push buses.