New Mum Mistakes. I made a LOT. When I got pregnant with my second child, I swore there were some things I was going to do differently second time around. Some mistakes I made, if you will, when raising Erin. The rods I made for my own back that I blamed on being a New Mum novice. Things I wouldn’t do again second time around.
Fast forward 8 months and Neve has joined our family, yet I find myself making the same ‘mistakes’ all over again….
Introduce bottle early
With Erin, we didn’t introduce a bottle until she was around 6 weeks old. We were told that too early could cause nipple confusion, and as I really wanted to breastfeed, this put me off! What they didn’t tell me is not to leave it too late. It turns out we did just that, as despite numerous attempts and a variety of bottle types, Erin point blank refused to feed from anything other than me.
The result? Mummy missed out on a lot of social events! I became the only person who could get her to sleep, with her bedtime falling right in the middle of any social occasion.
Second time around we were planning on introducing the bottle from week 1, expressing regularly and allowing Mike to feed at least one feed a day.
Did we? Did we heck. Firstly I was in hospital for 4 weeks, and unable to walk, breastfeeding was pretty much the only thing I could successfully do without assistance! Because of that I was reluctant to risk jeopardising it.
Secondly I got lazy, finding expressing a bit of a chore.
The result? A boob monster. A boob monster who now too also refuses a bottle. This photo is quite literally, the only bottle she has ever taken! Regular night time waking and me as the sole bedtime milk source! The joys!
No rocking or feeding to sleep…
Hmm that didn’t happen either! Turns out Neve loves Rock a Bye baby and settled pretty much as soon as I started to sing it whilst cradling her in my arms. Pre nap time feeds inevitably involved her falling asleep on the breast.
Whilst I know full well that she is using the breast as a sleeping aid, I really don’t care: there is no better feeling in the world than a milk drunk sleepy baby snuggling after a feed.
No sleeping on me
Ah that old chestnut, yes with my second baby I was meant to PUT THEM DOWN. No sleeping on Mummy’s chest, no sleepy snuggles, and no sitting on the sofa post feed – I would put her down in the cot. This, would be essential I told myself, especially with an older child at home.
It turns out? Newborn baby snuggles are pretty priceless. When it’s your last baby and you know it is – you’ll take every snuggle you can get. I couldn’t resist a prolonged cuddle after a feed, and seeing her little content face snuggled up on my chest. If I could bottle that feeling I would – so screw the cot!
Not responding instantly to her cries…
With my second, I would let her learn to self settle; and be a little less responsive in order for her to attempt getting back to sleep on her own.
Try this when you have a 3 year old, a three year old who wakes at the slightest noise and then too inevitably wants a cuddle. You will do anything to keep that threenager asleep, which usually involves my other half saying ‘stick a boob in it!!’ And quickly.
Am I feeling the pain of my mistakes. Yes. Massively so. I am exhausted, I have no energy and I inevitably look like shit.
But you know what? I don’t care.
If these are the worst mistakes I can make as a parent? Bring them on.
Neve is my last baby and therefore every moment is a ‘last time’. I will not look back on my life and regret the extra cuddles I have had with my baby.
So for now. I will continue to make the same mistakes all over again, and do so with a smile on my face!
(Disclaimer – apart from at 4am when I’ve barely slept… generally I am not smiling then!!)