New mum? 12 things to make life easier

Dummy: If it's good enough for Victoria Beckham....

It’s all about the baby in those first few weeks – and rightly so. But you must look after yourself too, particularly given your partner won’t have a clue what you’re going through and your mother will have forgotten everything about new motherhood (you will too, it’s a devious trick by mother nature to ensure we have more children).

The way to ensure that you survive phase one of motherhood, in my experience, is to equip yourself with anything it takes to make you new life enjoyable/ tolerable.

As I gear up for the arrival of number 2 I’m gathering together the following 12 ESSENTIALS.

Dairy Milk

Or anything you find delicious that comes in a wrapper and you can eat one-handed.

Vacherin/Salami/A very rare steak

And any other foodstuffs that you’ve had do without during pregnancy.

I asked my consultant very nicely the other day if he wouldn’t mind delivering Baby a couple of weeks early, with a view to catching the end of the Vacherin season.

He won’t. But he’s a man: he’s never had to go without runny cheese.

Alcohol

Red wine, white wine, fizzy wine, gin, brandy, vodka, moonshine, whatever.

Kiwi fruit

Essential for aiding the inevitable but terrifying first bowel movement. Kiwis help to stop it feeling like either your vagina will fall out or your C-Section scar will burst open.

Dummies

Silence is golden. Especially useful if you have a baby with reflux. The sucking action soothes their little throats if they are often being sick.

Swaddling blanket

If your baby is anything like mine, they’ll like to feel all wrapped up and cosy like a caterpillar so swaddling is invaluable for encouraging sleep.

I used a normal square blanket and turn one corner in but there are lots of specially designed swaddle wraps on the market.

Muslins

You can never have enough (again, particularly if your baby has reflux). Useful for just about everything such as wiping dribble, mopping up little sick burps, providing a thin shade from the sun or even an environmentally-friendly makeshift nappy in desperate times!

Your smartphone

With a selection of your favourite websites saved in your browser for night feeds. It gets lonely out there at 3am. Some of my faves (no indication of my IQ, obviously): Dlisted.com; Blindgossip.com; Mailonline.co.uk (don’t try to fight it); Mumfidential.com, of course.

A Shovel

To bash anyone over the head who trills “Oh just sleep when baby sleeps!”.

Those people have one of three things: a retired mother at their beck and call; a maternity nurse; or a full-time mother’s help/housekeeper. Who the hell do these people think is going to do the laundry, food shopping, cooking, cleaning etc?

Slow-flow bottles, steriliser and some ready-made Aptamil

I don’t care if you’re going to breastfeed, attach baby to a sacred cow’s udder or gently pipette holy water into its little mouth, everyone needs some formula and feeding equipment as a back up just in case.

Digital thermometer

This is still my best friend, two years after my daughter was born. You can usually tell when baby has a soaring temperature but when you’re just not quite sure if they’re sick or just fractious and you want peace of mind, a digital thermometer can calm your nerves in seconds.

A holiday or weekend away – booked

For when your baby is around 6 or 8 months (I’m not suggesting you invite them unless you really can’t be apart from them though). It will give your something to aim for.

I don’t get why you’d want to go on a “babymoon” before the baby’s arrived? Pregnancy is no different in a foreign country.

Far more sensible to save your money for a proper break with your partner.

You’ll have  partially ignored him for half a year; it’ll be so nice for him to spend time with you when you’re not sulking about him screwing up the sleep training you’ve been working so hard on.

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You can read Henrietta Rodger’s blog here 

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