The first six weeks of motherhood: a survival guide

I use the term “survival guide” loosely.  It’s not like I’ve been surviving a winter in Syria.  But lots of people have asked me for any hints and tips I have on coping with the first six weeks with a baby.  This is what helped me, and what I learned.

Disclaimer – This is about the first six weeks, specifically my first six weeks.  I don’t know enough to write about Motherhood with a capital M.  I have learnt that parenting is, in general, massively divisive and that some people leap onto the parenting high horse very quickly.  I can’t be arsed with that, we’re all trying to muddle through in our own way.  So, you’ll read some of this and think I’m on crack.  (I’m not).  Pick and choose the bits you agree with, and ignore the rest.

Don’t underestimate labour

By this I do not mean “labour hurts”.  We’ve established that.  I mean the bit afterwards.  However that baby came out, c-section, vaginal delivery; you’ll feel like you’ve been run over by a truck.  If you’ve had a normal delivery, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to sit down.  If you’ve had a c-section, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to stand up.  Whatever the method of delivery, you’ll bleed, often for longer than you expected. A c-section is major abdominal surgery, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to turn around easily or pick up the baby without pain.  On the plus side, your bits are still intact and you can go to the toilet without thinking being on the rack is preferable.

I say this not to put you off, but to be realistic.  Your body is designed to heal itself, and heal you will.  But it does mean that you need to organise yourself.  Use your maternity leave wisely.  Get some food in the freezer (I did not do this and ended up having to rely almost entirely on family and friends to feed me.  Not advised).  Get the baby’s clothes ready, in easily-accessible piles so you can reach for a vest, bleary-eyed at 3am without having to search through laundry in a panic.  Figure out how to put a nappy on, because believe me, you don’t want to learn  from a  matronly midwife when you can’t bend over (again, yours truly). Little things like this will make a world of difference.

All babies are different

I know this is really, sodding obvious to the naked eye.  But the thing is, you don’t know what your baby is going to be like until he or she rocks up.  So, people who waft around uttering sweeping statements like “babies DON’T SLEEP, YOUR LIFE WILL BE HELL” or “colic doesn’t exist, it’s just a grumpy baby” should be shot.  Some babies sleep well.  Some are night owls.  Some babies need constant comforting, some lie happy on a play mat for hours.  Some babies scream like the gates of Hell have been opened, some babies are so quiet you have to poke them to check they’re alive.

You get my point.  You don’t know what you’re getting until you get it and in your first six weeks, your job is to get to know your baby, understand what makes them tick, and give that to them.  Don’t spend your pregnancy fretting over what might be.

Lack of sleep isn’t as scary as it sounds

OK, I’d be lying if I claimed I wouldn’t commit a crime right now for eight uninterrupted hours, a dark room, a comfy bed and a locked door.  But the fact is, once you’ve done a sleepless night or twenty, you realise that you are built to survive it. The anticipation of it is much worse than the actual thing.  Babies nap during the day, and whilst “sleep whilst the baby sleeps” is much harder than it sounds, and takes discipline and organisation, it is possible.  You can get your sleep, it’ll just be in increments, and not as much as you want.  And remember – for these first six weeks at least, you’re on maternity leave.  It’s not like you have to get it together and be cogent throughout the day.  It’s ok to do things like throw impossibly filthy just-been-for-a-walk-in-the-muddy-forest clothes into the washing machine with your husband’s clean work shirts (again, me).

You can’t make everything better

There is nothing worse than hearing your child cry.  It is hell.  We are programmed to equate that kind of noise with pain.  It is also deafening, and incredibly difficult to listen to for long periods.  Your instinct will be to make your baby stop crying, to make them feel better, to make them happy again.

I’m still learning this lesson; but fact is, you can’t always stop them crying.  Babies cry.  A lot.  And it doesn’t always mean they’re in pain.  Aisling once told me that they’re so little, they don’t even understand how to make themselves stop crying.  There’s no logic there. They can’t soothe themselves.  They are just crying.  That’s all.

You’ll know when something is wrong because you know your baby’s cry better than anyone else, and it goes without saying that anything outside the “normal” zone needs to be checked out by a medical professional asap.  But usually, it will be because many babies can be grouchy as all hell in the evenings.  In parenting circles it’s called the witching hour, or my personal favourite, “arsenic hour”. Ellie becomes a grumpy madam in the evening.  I love my daughter, but my God does she get mardy.  6pm is ratbag hour, and it lasts as long as Ellie wants it to last, thank you very much.  It’s hard to feel good about yourself as a parent when nothing you can do can calm your kid down.

I’m only just learning that I can’t do anything about it, except hold her, and feed her, and wait out with her.  It’ll pass, like all phases do.  And for now, I’m just declaring my evenings a write-off for anything except Ellie.   It’s okay.  But for someone who is programmed to make people feel good about themselves, this is an especially hard lesson to learn.

Approach it with humour

Babies do not operate on logic.  The first time Ellie did what I call “the Level 3 cry” (mouth wide, bottom lip wobbling, sounds like the emergency services are driving through your front room) it took me three hours to work out how to calm her (turns out she didn’t like her new purple trousers, as soon as I replaced them with the green ones she was sweetness and light.  Spoilt fashionista.)

There’s no logic, and you can’t plan for stuff.  The baby wants what the baby wants, and your life isn’t just about you anymore.  Some of the things your baby wants will be ludicrous.  So the only think you can do is laugh.  Find the humour in the situation.  I’ve typed this blog post one handed, because the only position she likes today is spread-eagled across me like a koala. I could complain about the fact that my right side feels like I’ve been throwing kettlebells all morning and my arm has lost all feeling, and a blog post has taken my the best part of a morning when the thought of my to-do list is giving me hives.  But I’d rather find the humour in it.  She’s warm, she’s safe, she’s happy.  She’s a koala.

You  won’t get this time again. It’s an extraordinary time.  And you owe it to yourself to enjoy it.  Even when you’re being weed on, or all you want to do is be able to finish a cup of tea without it going cold, or you are tired, so tired.  Find the humour, laugh  it off.  You’re lucky, so lucky.

What about you, readers?  Any lessons you learned that will help the pregnant AOW cohort survive their first six weeks?

Categories: Becoming a Mother, Written By Anna
42 interesting thoughts on this

42 Comments

  1. Posted March 17, 2014 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    All so true! We could learn so much from the cultures who nurture their new mum’s and allow them to do nothing but rest and look after baby for the first 40 days.

    My survival tip for the first 6 weeks would be fine a couple of good box sets, get comfy in be or on the sofa, and stay there. The house won’t fall down if you don’t clean. Baby classes and coffees with nct chums can wait. Be gentle to yourself and have no expectations of what you should be able to do, or feel inadequate because you aren’t back in your jeans and can barely manage a shower, let alone get out the door. Those koala hugs are soon replaced with octopus toddlers who stand on your face while you try to sleep – so make the most of them xxx

    • Posted March 17, 2014 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      *find *in bed

      Stupid fingers

    • Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Yes to box sets. Ellie and I have worked our way through seasons 1 and 2 of Game Of Thrones.

      And yes to not worrying about the cleaning. Its not that there’s no time for it, it’s more that it’s better to spend that time on something that gives you a break (like a nap).

    • Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      This is exactly what I was going to say. If you’re breast feeding then take the time to get it established. Don’t worry about anything else. Even if your baby has taken to feeding well, they still feed a LOT. That’s completely normal. (However, if you think something isn’t quite right with breast feeding then don’t suffer in silence, get some help. Definitely professional and definitely get on to Twitter.)

  2. rachel JHD
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    A friend of my mothers said she always said ‘the less you do in the first six weeks the more you can do in the first six months.’ Sort of echoes Vivienne’s comment.
    A wise friend said when Alice was crying especially loudly that her mum said ‘Babies have to cry it’s their only exercise.’ Whether it’s true or not it helped me.
    Lastly if asking for advice, people can’t remember as precisely as you want. You want to know about a four & a half week old & all they can really remember is ‘baby’. Also even with friends with same age babies everything changes &just because their baby was doing x when you asked does not mean they do that a few days later.
    Well done on writing a post Anna x

    • Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Rachel I love the ‘babies cry because they have no other exercise’ analogy! That’s brilliant. I also like thinking that she cries because she has no other way to communicate.

  3. Fee
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    This is fab Anna. You forgot to add having a wise owl friend who is a couple of weeks ahead of you available for What’s App messaging in desperate times (that’s you by the way).

    Max turned 6 weeks old yesterday so this is very timely. I would echo everything you’ve said and add that I’ve learnt the main thing is just to let go and give the baby what they want for these first few weeks. Anyone who says you can feed a 6 week old baby to a schedule you devise is nuts.

    Also, getting up and showered and dressed and out the door every day has been my saviour. It makes me feel like me and I’ve done it every day since we got home. ‘People’ have insinuated I am not spending my time wisely and/or I must be having it incredibly easy. I ignore ‘people’ and recommend everyone does the same. Do whatever makes you feel good – its different for everyone.

    Finally, if you’re having a bad day, call your Mum, your Dad, your sister, your friend or a hell even a paid professional and get some help and some rest. I waited 4 weeks to do this. Foolish.

    The amazing, incredible, wonderful moments far outweigh the ones where you consider selling your baby on eBay just to escape the ear splitting wailing for a bit. I still feel like the luckiest person alive. I could live without ALL THE POOP though.

    • Fee
      Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I forgot to say, I cried all the way home from hospital and the whole first night at home. I was so overwhelmed and afraid. I made a light hearted comment about it on Instagram, masking my actual tearful panic and the replies (particularly one from Frankie) made me feel so much better.

      So if you’re sad and overwhelmed and you don’t know why, seek out kindness. It will make so much difference.

      • Katielase
        Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        This. This will be me. I’m so glad you said this Fee!

        And by the way, seeing you with Max recently was one of the first times I really felt like this was something I could do.

        KL x

      • Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        Fee, I’m kicking myself because ‘look after yourself’ is a huge piece of advice that I missed. It’s so easy to throw everything you have at the baby at the expense of yourself. Do something for you every day, whatever that looks like. To me, that kind like a proper shower, no rushing, and a fancy-smelling moisturizer.

        Also YES to get up, get dressed, go out. Even if it’s just down to the shops. Fresh air will give you a world of perspective. Also, going out with a baby the first few times can be intimidating so the more you do it, the more in control you feel.

        And yes to accepting help. Say yes to any offers of the following: A cup of tea, to put a load of laundry on, to take the baby whilst you drink said cup of tea.

      • Posted March 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Oh I cried too, and I did not stop crying for 3 hours straight when we left the hospital. And then people said it was hormonal, it was the meltdown. Probably part of it it was, but our baby was staying at the hospital while we were being sent home 48 hrs after she was born… it was so much more than hormonal.

        But yes, to crying all you need to and seeking kindness. It is there, so much love.

        • mysparethoughts
          Posted March 17, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          day 3 – all the tears for quite a few days couldn’t control them

    • Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      I did the same, Fee. There hasn’t been a day when I haven’t had a shower, got dressed and been out because it kept me focused. You’re not wasting your time xxx

      • rachel JHD
        Posted March 17, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        I love that 9months on we still have our daily walks. The park I’ve seen with a tiny new born using the trees for shade, through autumn & winter & now we’re in spring. I often reminisce when out. Many a time if it all felt too much I put A in the pram/sling & went out for a walk to calm her & give me some head time.

  4. Katielase
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I’m writing all of this down. And all the comments.

    This is what I needed to read, sensible, sane advice that doesn’t make me feel panicky about my ability to cope. Believe me, Anna, 90% of things I read about motherhood at the moment send me into a wailing, weeping, gasping tailspin of “OHSHITWHATAMIDOING?!”, I keep ringing my Mum for sanity. You cannot know how impressive it is to have written advice that makes me feel like I will be okay. Messy and scared but okay.

    Thank you.

    KL xx

    • Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Ah KM I know, I felt similarly. I just felt like everything was written as though the baby was this impossibly hellish thing that you just had to put your head down and fight your way through. That’s just not true.

      • Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        I appear to have replied to KM, our non-existent reader. Sorry, KL! Blame the baby, she’s napping on my left leg. (And autocorrect)

  5. Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I cried every day for two weeks. Perfectly normal but you feel like you might never stop at some points!

    And yes, while I advocate rest and lots of it, as Fee says, do what makes YOU feel good and ignore the people. People are generally stupid because they are not you, and therefore can’t possibly know what is best for you. Only you know that x

  6. Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Nobody told me about labour after-pains. I had them so badly I struggled to feed E for the first couple of days because him latching on would trigger them so strongly I would double over.

    I agree on the sleep, but would also have relished the opportunity to tell myself that you shouldn’t expect to function without help or assistance on 1-2 hour’s sleep a night for weeks on end. When other mums tell you they don’t sleep, they do actually sleep for SOME hours, even broken, so you should rope in help til you find a level you can function on and won’t have you hearing phantom voices in Asda Living (seriously, aural hallucinations – crazy).

    Like Fee, I felt better for getting up and getting dressed/brushing hair/going outside but also let myself off on days where I just had to cancel everything and hibernate.

    The good bits are far far FAR better than you can ever imagine. SO MUCH BETTER. Just purely amazing.

    Px

    • Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Hope that didn’t sound overly negative…just would advise to prepare for after labour as well as before (as you say Anna) and try not to over-compare with other mums! Also don’t let anyone in the house unless they make you a cuppa/bring stuff/cook tea/look after the baby for five. Guests should be made aware that they won’t be waited on….

      Px

      • Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        Not negative at all. I like what you said about finding a level of sleep you can function on. Everyone is different. The amount will probably wax and wane though, depending on other circumstances.

      • Becca
        Posted March 17, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        Would sending this around before hand and/or sticking it to our door be too much?
        http://www.beforethebaby.com/2014/03/six-rules-for-visiting-new-mother.html

        • Fee
          Posted March 17, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          I disagree with the first one – if people hadn’t suggested a time to come round I would never have seen anyone!

  7. Rach M
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    This is going to be my go-to advice list if it’s ever me! Great writing as always, Anna x

  8. Sarah
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Great advice! I would say to accept all help offered. The grandparents LOVE spending time with new baby and I have very much appreciated them taking her out for a couple of hours so I can sleep/relax/do stuff. And they bring biscuits!

    Do not underestimate how much a breastfed baby wants to feed. At first I thought I was doing it wrong as she would feed for hours (esp in evenings) but now I realise this is OK. Box sets are the way to go! And a smartphone/ipad. As is a husband/partner/anyone to regularly feed and water you whilst you are stuck on the sofa for hours.

    Also agree with the shower and get out the house bit, males you feel human.

    And remembering it will get better!

    *written one handed with left hand on phone whilst 5 week old milking me like a mini cow!*

  9. Caroline
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I’m 3 weeks away from my due date and I have been flitting between terror, impatience and excitement.
    I have felt overwhelmed by the amount of people who claim that having a newborn is ridiculously hard. It’s as if they’ve forgotten the good bits and only remember the crying (yours and the baby’s) and the lack of sleep. I’m not going to lie, this had left me deflated and almost dreading what I have in store. It’s only recently that I have come to ignore all these comments and concentrate on being excited.
    I’ve waited so long for him to arrive that I refuse to be scared of what him being here will bring. (Opps that might be a tear in my eye.)
    And anyway – I LOVE a good box set.

    • Fee
      Posted March 17, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      As you know, I felt this way too but my experience has been completely different to what I was expecting. There are definitely moments of ‘Go to sleep you little brute!’ but all in all we have such a lovely time together.

    • Becca
      Posted March 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been saving the Good Wife for this very reason.

  10. Fee
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Another tip.

    Baby Gap sell zip up babygros. Dress your baby in them for Dr/Midwife/Health Visitor/Baby Clinic appointments. Nothing worse than naffing about with poppers whilst someone is watching. Or is it just me who can’t do up a babygro?

    • Posted March 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Fee, it used to take me 30 minutes to do the nappy/vest/babygrow with poppers combo. I used to be terrified of hurting her arms or of losing a finger. Now I’m pretty sure I could represent GB at the baby changing Olympics.

  11. Liz
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    So much good advice here.

    I was very much of the getting out the house kept me sane mindset, everything is a bit better with a walk and some fresh air.

    I never got to do the sleep when the baby sleeps thing as T’s only naps were in the pram or on me on the sofa. What I did though was just accept that my days would involve ALOT of sitting on the sofa and I managed to watch loads of films which was great actually.

    One of things I wish I’d been told about was growth spurts, they were completely unknown and the first one was at 3 weeks, it was 2 days of pretty much non-stop feeding day and night which at the time I thought would literally never-end. It would have so useful to have been taught that this the babies way of getting your milk supply right rather than figuring it out through sodding mumsnet! Also I would really recommend new mums find out where their breastfeeding support group has meetings and go even if things are going well – the advice of specialists and peer supporters is invaluable.

    Finally, the best thing about 6 weeks is its just around then your baby will be doing real, proper smiles. These are guaranteed to melt your heart and tell you that however you are doing things you are doing them right!

  12. Posted March 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Pretty much everything has been said already, but I found setting myself one little task in a day helped me feel more in control of things. If I just managed to empty the dishwasher I felt like queen of the universe. I also made sure I got a shower and make up done every day, prioritizing that helped me feel more human. Something that took me a lot longer to figure out was that the only advice worth listening to is the stuff that empowers you to make your own decisions about your baby. If a conversation, website or book leaves you feeling flat or like a failure in any way, ignore it. I never slept when the baby slept, but she was a really good sleeper and I felt more rested/energized if I did something else like read or sew. Find what works for your family. Finally, it’s hard in places but it’s also not necessarily going to be awful- we slept(ish) and we enjoyed most of it!

  13. Posted March 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    So at 15:00 I finally could read this, though I had it open at 8:00 am. All I can say is yes to all of this, yes so much. You made me smile, and laugh. And I am totally sending this to the husband.

    The witching hour.. perfect name. Our little one is such an angel, until… that happens. And we have no idea what it is (though I think it is trying to regurgitate and deal with air in the stomach at the same time). It must be because her stomach is still too small for her nutritional needs , or that’s my theory. Why it only happens at night (between 7 and 9 pm) we don’t understand. But what I can say is that it has nothing to do with bottles (I had always heard that air bubbles that are “ingested” while bottle feeding were to blame with all of this, but she is breastfeeding and properly latched and this still happens). One more mystery. Also, the fact that if you change her position she suddenly feels better and starts smiling (for bouts of 2 seconds before she screams again). It seems random (like the purple and green trousers).

    Thanks for this Anna, so much. This is why I love this place.

  14. Susan Tarbert
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    My sister sent me this link as she needs me to think more positively. My baby is 4 weeks tomorrow and I am still trying to figure them out. My husband keeps telling me to go with the flow but find it so hard as I want to know why baby is doing this or that or why are they crying. This post has helped and I need to refer to it more often when I am trying to second guess my baby and question why they are acting a certain way. It is very weary when baby will only sleep on you or out in the pram but keep getting told to enjoy these moments as they don’t last! I hope that in the weeks to come I will learn to chill out and enjoyall the precious moments with my baby!

    • Liz
      Posted March 18, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Oh Susan, big hugs to you.

      It is really hard but it gets easier as the weeks go on I promise. You will figure out what your baby wants and how to help, and when to accept that there isn’t much you can do and just give lots of cuddles. You probably know a lot more about your little person that you are giving yourself credit for already.

      I had a baby who would not sleep anywhere but on me and in the pram, even at night when we co-slept for everyone’s sanity. It is completely draining as you never seem to have a moment to yourself, I completely empathise with you. At the time I was desperate for my little girl to sleep somewhere, anywhere, but on me. Now, she is 16 months and I kind of miss those days where we had so many cuddles and I just accepted that we would be sat on the sofa watching films and trash tv. I can’t remember the last time she had a nap on my lap now, and cuddles are very much when she wants them!

      At the moment do what ever you can to make your life easier and you will get through this phase – my top time is to make sure you have a water bottle, snacks, book and remote control in easy reach before the baby falls asleep on you so you are set up for a couple of hours.

      xx

  15. Erin
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Having a little person be dependent on you completely is the most wonderful and terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced. Agree with everything on here – plenty of wise mamas out there! The only other thing I’d say is that everything passes in time – it’s all a phase. The growth spurts, sleepless nights, unexplained crying will all eventually pass, and it just gets better and better. My little one is now five months old and we understand each other so much better now. Hang in there! I also recommend the free ‘white noise’ app for your phone – our little boy loved this in the first six weeks and it always helped calm him down and get him to sleep.

  16. Sharon
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    My top tip is get easy snacks to eat while breast feeding, especially when your partner goes back to work. Easy to make and to eat- when Phoebe was 3or 4 weeks I had a meltdown as I was so hungry but couldn’t put her down long enough to eat my soup! It took me several sleep deprived and hungry weeks to suss snacks I could safely eat while feeding her and that were v quick to prepare!
    Also speak up – some nights I am trapped on the sofa feeding and my husband would come in, say a quick hello and jump in the shower (has to works in a dusty workshop) as he assumed as I was feeding there wasn’t anything he could do. After a meltdown from me (blaming hormones) he now always checks if I need a drink etc. Sane goes for visitors- esp as some forget you need time to recover, esp if you had a section. People get so excited to see the baby but if you need time or only one short visit a day then say. The newborn bubble goes far too quickly, put your new family first.
    Hormones and tears- I cried most days for several weeks – sometimes upset, sometimes frustration (see soup incident above) and some happy tears too. I had assumed the hormones would cause this for a few days not a few weeks, and the lack of sleep can heighten everything. It was only when a lovely community midwife said this was normal I could relax and go with the flow of the hormones, rather than worry why I wasn’t full of joy all the time!

  17. Posted March 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Excellent post Anna!

    There is not much I can say that hasn’t already been said above so here are some random tips:

    - if you are in the market for a kindle, get one with a backlight. There is a lot of reading I could have been doing during the night feeds and instead I’ve been on my phone running out of blogs to read

    - sock-ons are your friend

    - if you have the budget for it and it’s available near you, consider doing an NCT Early Days postnatal course. I’ve just finished our 6 week course and I found it much more useful and reassuring than the antenatal course (which was obviously v focussed on labour and birth but that’s a bit like concentrating on the wedding not the marriage)

    - the reality is better than the theory. You will have hard days and nights with your newborn but you’ll also have amazing snuggly cuddles, thousands of biscuits, and lots of gazing at each other to do

    - breastfeeding is impossible to prepare for, really. The most useful thing you can do to prepare is find out beforehand where your local bf clinics and cafes are, and contact details for local support workers -and use them. It will hurt at first in my anecdotal experience of asking everyone I know who’s breastfed (and being told ‘if it hurts you’re doing it wrong’ in antenatal bf classes is not that helpful) so use the resources available to check everything is as it should be

    - take lots of photos because in just a few weeks you will look back and only be able to remember the first 6 weeks through a haze

    - join twitter and find the AOWettes. They’ve been invaluable with advice and suggestions when I’ve asked

    k x

    • Sharon
      Posted March 19, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Sock ons are fabulous!

  18. LottieS
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    LOVE this!

    My 8 day old boy cried and fussed his way from 11.30-2.30 last night. Feeding did nothing to soothe him. Then realized I hadn’t put. His little hat on and suddenly, all was right with the world again. He needed his hat. Makes sense really!

  19. Posted March 19, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    So sorry I haven’t had time to read all the comments but will be back to do that later.

    May I add – take indulgent fancy toiletries in your hospital bag – my first shower at the hospital even though I could barely walk to it was soothed by Liz Earle cleanser, lovely shampoo and soothing calendula body wash (I swear by Weleda baby one). Also the Weleda bath cream was a life saver as it was only thing that soothed my stitches (I would lie in the bath & allow myself to cry there, not over the baby).

    Two = get out of the house every day. It means you have to have some semblance of dressing and gentle exercise and fresh air and feels like you’ve achieved something.

    Three- go to a baby group where they make you tea. Best decision I ever made. It was at my local church. (I don’t go to church but that’s where it was held). It was free. They not only made you tea but brought it to you on a sofa!

    x

  20. Kat
    Posted March 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Oh Anna how I wish I’d had great advice like this when L was born. I’ve lurked on AOW without posting for ages but this one struck a chord with me. I never just sat and enjoyed those koala moments because I worried about the house being clean for visitors and I didn’t realise how much you need to take care of yourself. Yes to the hurting afterwards – would highly recommend sitting on cushion and that a warm shower soothed the pain when my milk came in around day 3 – wasn’t prepared for that at all! Putting make up on every day made me feel vaguely human and I would definitely agree with trying to get out and get a little bit of fresh air every day

    K

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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