Planning for baby

Going from two salaries to one and the costs of baby items can be daunting, but you can keep within budget.
 
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06.From mum to mum

We asked our Facebook followers for tips for new mums, here’s a selection:

Crying

  • Babies cry for a reason, they need something so they let you know, a full tummy and a dry bum and a cuddle is all they need, unless they are sick of course, or have wind, just enjoy every minute, don't worry about the housework, and always except help when its offered, you will need it!!

Feeding

  • Learn about breastfeeding before baby is born - and find out where to get really good bf support. Don't buy everything on "the list" until you know you really need it - after baby is born. A safe sleeping area, some nappies and a few clothes are all baby needs at first.
  • If breastfeeding isn't going so well ring the Australian Breastfeeding Association breastfeeding hotline 1800mum2mum or even hire a private lactation consultant to come visit you at home if you can't get in to see one in your local public hospital urgently. It may seem expensive but is nothing in comparison to the ongoing cost of formula and benefits to you and baby.

Sleeping

  • Never wake a sleeping baby. If a baby falls asleep in your arms, use the arm-drop test to see if you can put them into bed without hem waking: if you can raise and drop their arm without them flinching, you can put them down. Fill your freezer with frozen dinners before the baby comes.
  • Don't get them used to having everything quiet in order for them to take a nap. If they're used to misc. noises, they can sleep while life goes on around them.
  • ALWAYS sleep when baby sleeps! It's the only time you'll get any!

Baby products and toys

  • They are all different. Some gadgets that worked for one won't necessarily work for the other. It's all guess work!!
  • You don't need a nursery full of baby gizmos. Many existing household items will do the job of expensive "baby specific" products. Ask your mother or grandmother what are essential items.
  • Baby #1: Buy everything you think you might need (and really, don't be afraid to consider second hand items - remember, you'll only need some things for a year or so - babies grow up so quickly). Baby #2 inherits everything from Baby #1. The only things I'd recommend buying are a second car seat, a new bed for Baby #1 and a king size bed for yourselves, because there will be mornings when you wake up with 4 in the bed.
  • Prepare a baby first aid kit. Thermometer, gripe water, panadol, emergency contacts/support . It may be the middle of the night when you first need some of this stuff.

Family and friends

  • A good friend coined the phrase "sure come over and see the baby, you can stay fifteen minutes and bring food" really good tip! That and have on hand lots of what we call protective clothing ie washable nappies to catch vommies!
  • Get visitors to help in practical ways -- doing a quick vacuum, stacking the dishwasher -- good friends will be glad to do it and it will be a great relief to have the help.
  • Pay it forward! When friends have had a baby, go over and take them a cooked meal, a box of fresh fruit and veg etc for them to enjoy later! Leave the cakes and crap at home! Then when it's your turn, they'll do the same for you! I didn't cook for a week! It was heaven!

Miscellaneous

  • Take each day as it comes - each day will be different! Don't be too hard on yourself. Be flexible.
  • Try to ignore people who say things like "enjoy every moment". Their rose-coloured glasses will not help you. It's not always fun, and there will be times when you could lose it completely. Instead of making yourself feel guilty because you aren't "enjoying every second", make an effort to recognise and enjoy those few moments each day when you *are* enjoying your baby (or toddler, or child, or teenager, for that matter). Those moments when the world seems to stop: when they smile because they see you, or you see the light shine on their hair, which is suddenly so much longer than it used to be, or they lift up their arms because they want a cuddle, etc. Whatever it is, stop and appreciate *that* moment.
  • I wish I knew how much time feeding/changing/settling took i.e. the best part of a whole day. It's very hard to get anything else done. Also, I now know that you don’t need quite as many lotions and potions as are available. I have some which I'm sure ill never use.
 

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