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Best tips and advice for first time parents, from YOU!

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In one of our recent competitions, we asked you to give your best tips or advice for first time parents. We had a staggering response and some really great advice and new ideas – so here’s some of the best from you!

At the hospital

‘Ask the nurses at the hospital to show you how to swaddle…took me a while to get it perfect but when I did, my little one went straight off to sleep’ ~ Stacy Sorell

‘Always practice putting your new car seat in the car before you need to take baby home from hospital. Nothing worse than standing in the hospital carpark with the instruction book in one hand and baby in the other. When you buy one, many shops show you if you ask’ ~ Tracy K Nixonadvice for first time parents

‘Take baby wipes to hospital – cotton wool with their first poo’s doesn’t work!’ ~ Michelle Harrison

‘Mums, always take extra pyjamas in your hospital bag. we stayed in a few days as my little one wouldn’t latch on properly, I only took one pair as I wasn’t expecting to be in long.’ ~ Stacy Sorrell

Once you’re home…

‘Don’t buy bath seats, use a washing basket – baby is safe and has room to play’ – Gemma Gaitan

‘Fill the freezer with easy to prepare nutricious food and go easy with visitors until you feel up to it.’ ~ Eileen Bowdin

‘Be organised, stock up on things and keep sterilising – no-one wants to wait for a bottle to be sterilised whilst a baby is crying’ ~ Rachel Morgan

‘Everyone needs a baby rocker. When you’re little one is crying and just don’t want to sleep, put them in it – works a charm!’ ~ Danie Brown

‘ Buy a baby carrier – I managed to get so much housework done with baby attached to me when she just wouldn’t go down’ ~ Leanne Lunn

‘I don’t think anyone warned me how isolating being a new mum can be, so make the most of groups like breastfeeding support groups & mums and baby groups. Not only will you get great advice from people going through the same, but you may end up with some great friends too.’ ~ Laura Olivia Tonks

‘Stock up on home-cooked meals for the freezer and if friends could pop over with nice meals, all the better! You won’t have time or energy to cook with a newborn’ ~ Natalie Holland

Night time & Feeding

‘If bottle feeding, I brought everything upstairs for night feeds. Boiled water before I went to bed and put it in the bottles, then just added formula and warmed the bottle in a bottle warmer and fed baby wrapped up in bed together!’ ~ Victoria Alexandra Wandlessadvice for first time parents

‘Bedtime routines! Bath, feed, bed and my little one started sleeping 12 hours from 12 weeks. Most of all enjoy every minute – quality time is precious time’ ~ Kate SkateyKatey Jordan

‘Establish a routine as soon as possible, it pays dividends in the long term. So long as there is always time to bond, you and baby will be fine.’ ~ Lyndsey Jane Howard

‘Its not all gushing feelings of love and perfect bliss when you have a newborn. I wanted to cry when baby cried and scream when they woke every hour through the night. Sleep deprivation is the biggest challenge, but remember it doesn’t last. Accept offers of people watching your baby while you get a quick nap or if friends offer to do the hoovering or washing. No-one is super woman – we ALL need help sometimes!’ ~ Maxie-Leigh Remblance

‘Use Johnsons baby bedtime lotion – always helps my little one drfit off’ ~ Emily Coombes

‘If your baby brings up a lot of milk each feed, consider swapping to a ‘staydown milk’ ~ Jill Armstrong

Visitors

‘Accept help from family members – rope them in to help with household task or sitting in with little one while you catch up on much needed sleep. Put chores on the backburner for a while and buy a slow-cooker!’ ~ Tobys Proud Mummy Toys

‘Ask family and friends to buy nappies/toiletries as gifts. It sounds daft but the amount of ‘newborn’ outfits we were given we never worn as they grow so fast. At least nappies will always be needed buy used water slide.’ ~ Stacy Sorrell

‘Don’t be afraid to ask for help or accept help offered, especially in the early days and if someone comes to visit, ask if they can do things to help and say what needs doing’ ~ Rosaline Blight, Stacy Fenemore, Amanda Potter

‘The first night home will be hardest. Have someone deliver some meals for the freezer or get a takeaway and just absorb your new family. Dishes and cleaning can wait – babies grow up too fast!’ ~ Katy Rhodes-Roberts

‘Forget about cleaning or ask someone to help out. Put visitors off for the first few weeks as you’ll be exhausted. Let others bring you meals or cook and freeze meals before baby arrives, so you’re prepared. Buy muslin squares, they’re far better than bibs or burping cloths as they catch anything quicker!’ ~ Jenny Hammond Beattie

General tips!

‘Make the most of your maternity leave – it goes quicker than you think!’ ~ Maria Curtis

‘Don’t creep around them, continue your normal routine. Babies sleep through anything so there is no need to be extremely quiet around them. If you do, they’ll start to wake with every noise you make. Start with noise around them and they will sleep through any noise made, day or night’ ~ Beverly Davies

‘Take is easy on yourself – you’re doing great!’ ~ Francesca Vincent

‘Don’t buy every ‘must have’ gadgets until you’ve had your baby as you waste so much money on things you don’t need’ ~ Joanna Taylor

‘Get your clothes on in the morning, don’t stay in your pyjama’s too long as you’re less likely to get stuff done’ ~ Linda Tudhopeadvice for first time parents

‘I recommend checking out your local sling library, a great way to test a sling before you buy and with both hands free while you ‘wear’ your baby, she’ll be content and you’ll be be more relaxed too.’ ~ Angela Broadbridge

‘Buy plenty of socks! Baby mitts don’t stay on so use socks instead. They’re longer and fitted and stay put!’ ~ Frances Hollis, Lou Gage

‘Enjoy every moment as they grow so fast!’ ~ Gill Queeny Holmes, Sarah-Jane Heaney, Laceyashton Mather, Emma Lomas, Chick Taylor, Linda McGarrigle, Hester A McQueen, Lyndsey McDonald, Laura Thom

‘Don’t buy expensive equipment or clothes as your baby will outgrow everything quickly. Baby shoes are pointless and get your child a bank account to save birthday and Christmas money in’ ~ Melanie King

‘Book yourself on a first aid course suitable for new parents; gives you peace of mind that you know what to do in a medical emergency.’ ~ Jenni Willbond

‘Don’t compare your baby to others. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and every baby reaches milestones when they’re ready, so don’t panic and treasure every second’ ~ Louise Kisby

‘Twas the best of times, twas the worst of times! My advice is to read as much as you can and listen to as much as you can take….then swiftly forget it! Just go with the flow and trust your own instincts – if you do need help/ advice, just ask!!’ ~ Bryan Clark

‘Relax and enjoy it and don’t worry too much!’ ~ Hilda Wright

‘Stock up on essentials at baby events in your supermarket or bulk buy during your regular shopping trip- nappies, toiletries, shampoos etc – my little girl is 2 now and we are still yet to buy her any toiletries for her!’ ~ Stacy Taylor

‘Try and find 5 mins a day to write in a memory book, your wee ones acheivements / activities. Time will fly so quickly and they do so much you will forget when that did what and what exactly they did! It sounds simple but 5 mins when you’re a new parents is hard, but really worth it in years to come when you read your memory book back. My heart melts everytime I pick ours up’ ~ Joanna Tocher

Crying

‘Remember when you baby cries, they won’t cry forever. It’s only for a short time in your life and theirs, so grin and bear it. In 6 months or so, the crying will stop!’ ~ Charlotte Scott-Osbornbuy used water slide

‘If baby is crying and you have done the rules of: Feed, wind, nappy, rock – they are just having you on!’ ~ Jenni Eagle

‘Don’t pick baby up at every slight cry – if you do, you’ll never get anything done!’ ~ Sharon Wrightadvice for first time parents

‘Remind yourself that if they have been fed, changed and are a comfortable temperature, sometimes babies just cry! It got me through many a long night’ ~ Louise Hunter

AND THE BEST ADVICE FROM NEARLY EVERYONE…..

‘Sleep when baby sleeps and trust your instincts! Everyone will give you advice or tell you what you should be doing, but you’re the parents and you should do what is best for you and baby!’ ~ Angela Burgess, Jenny Hammond Beattie, Clare Jackson, Vicki Stevens, Abigail Edkins, Becki Dingley, Lyndsey Jane Howard, Vickie Jayne Harley, Julie Leia Henderson, Claire Gray, Catherine McAlinden, Marie Robertson, Nicola Wroughton, Amelia Grinyer, Chelsea Wood, Sue More, Georgina Catherine Ackroyd, Ali Lycett, Donna Foxall, Kelly STevens, Larissa Wynn, Calire Thomson Little, Freya Harman, Abbie Armstrong, Nicola Long, Carly Poole, Hollie Adlam, Laura Hughes, Tracey Hallmark, Vicky Barker

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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