Monday, 5 January 2015

Newborn memories...

My sister is due to have her second baby at the end of the month and our recent conversations have reminded me what those first few weeks are like. Now, it goes without saying that a newborn is a wonderful, marvellous thing and it truly is an amazing thing to go through. But. There's no doubt that there are moments of extreme difficulty and these are some of the things I definitely won't miss:

1. Lack of sleep. It's an obvious one, but the perpetual jet-lag feeling goes on for what seems like forever. I really wish someone had told me (the first time) that it does end somewhere around three months - but getting to that point seems to take a lot longer. A bit like the nine months of pregnancy the first time. 

2. Not finishing a cup of tea. Or a meal. Or a conversation. Or actually, finish anything without the interruption of a nappy change / crying / need for food. And you might as well get used to it - I'm six years in, and whilst there's been an improvement, my needs are still very much second to the kids. 

3. An inability to leave the house within a 30 minute time frame. And you can guarantee that once you've finally got everything ready to go, darling newborn will require a nappy change. It is the law. 

4. Total strangers cooing over the baby - and then delving into your personal life. Don't get me wrong, it's lovely when people want to compliment you on your beautiful offspring (well, sometimes), but when they start asking you about the birth, it's just a step too far. And, following on from that... strangers telling you why your baby is crying. 'He's hungry' was a personal favourite. At best just irritating, it can - especially if point 1 has been particularly bad - get seriously out of hand - I had quite the set-to with someone on a bus once that didn't end well. Don't mess with a new mother that's had no sleep would be my advice.

6. Ridiculously impractical clothes. It is a baby, not some kind of doll to be dressed as a miniature adult. And anyone that buys clothes that are handwash-only should be immediately de-friended. More difficult with family, but still achievable. 

7. Newborn fetishers. This will be someone you only tenuously know that has a sudden, desperate need to visit you during this most precious time. We all know someone that does this - it could be someone you've only met a couple of times, or it could be a very remote family connection. If you can't think of anyone, then it may well be you - and if so, stop it. It's annoying.

8. Smug mothers who have everything under complete control. You know who you are - don't rub it in.

9. Anyone who wants to suggest that reusable nappies are not only possible, but entirely practical. These people tend not to have had children yet. Rest assured, as soon as their own bundle of joy arrives, it will only be a matter of days before they are picking up their own supply of pampers. 

10. The breast-feeding nazis. The reality is: it's not always easy and it can't always be done. Yes, in an ideal world, we'd all breast feed - but don't let anyone pressure you into thinking you're a failure if it doesn't work for you. Formula feeding is absolutely fine.

All of that said, having a newborn is one of the best experiences you'll ever have. If you're about to do it - first time or not - enjoy it. You'll be fantastic - and don't let anyone tell you differently!

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